The Frim interview
I caught up with relatively new US dubstep producer The Frim in the aftermath of the ‘Firepower’ tour. And asked how it went.
The Frim: The tour went amazing! I’m incredibly lucky to have been a part of it. It was only really intense for the first few days, I didn’t know anybody and I was nauseous due to anxiety all day, puking every morning. But by the end of it it was as if I’d lived my entire life on that bus. I got used to it really fast.
DB: When did you start work on the new EP? Has it been a long time coming?
F: Yes it has, the tracks on it are all the first tracks that I sent Datsik last spring when he first talked to me. I’ve made many new tracks since then but also I worked on the EP tracks for months until I was happy with them. ‘Bassline Skanka’ was the hardest, it’s been rendered several dozen times over the months because I couldn’t find the right kick and snare. It’s still not as good as I want it but sometimes in art you have to move on.
DB: Were you primarily a producer, or DJ or both in the years before this?
F: I’ve always been primarily a producer, mostly because I live in rural VT and there wasn’t a dubstep scene around here when I started producing it, but then suddenly it became popular among common teens. But I’ve been DJing for years, at college I DJed house parties every weekend. That’s why was so comfortable DJing on the tour, for once I didn’t have to worry about setting up the speakers or random people spilling drinks on the decks, etc.
DB: So to now: 2012 overall has been good for you?
F: Amazing, I went from a relatively unknown producer trying desperately to get any real gigs to opening for Datsik, Terravita, Getter and X-Kore all across the country and releasing my first ever EP.
DB: What’s a tune you would isolate from the EP and talk to us about?
F: This would obviously be ‘Bassline Skanka’ as it is my most popular tune at the moment. It has an interesting backstory, it started out as a terrible sounding remake from scratch of Skrillex ‘Ruffneck’ (Full Flex), done just for production practice/boredom. I decided that I liked the drums I had made for it so I replaced all of the basses, samples and instruments with new ones. I then spent months adding background fill effects and tweaking it.
DB: So back to the tour: give us a snapshot of life on the road with Firepower.
F: We would usually wake up sometime in the late morning or early afternoon, and have to go check the sheet to find out what city we were in. I’d usually walk around the venue and find the green room, go out and find food, then hang out and produce until the show. After the show we would party on the bus and then go to sleep at bus call, once we leave for the next city. We’d sleep through the bus ride and then repeat the process.
DB: and speaking of fire(power), if your house was on fire and you had to rescue one beloved piece of studio gear, what? No laptops. They burn.
F: I don’t know what to say! My favorite piece of studio gear is the pair of Samson Rubicon r5a monitors that I got for christmas many years ago, and even then they are only $300 a pair so I wouldn’t risk my life to save them.
DB: Name 5 tracks in any genre that you would say people need to hear right now.
F: Friction & Nu Balance ‘Robocop’ (Taxman Robostep Remix)
I’m obsessed with Taxman at the moment, and I played this tune every set. The mixdown sounds so good on every system!
Monstar ‘Face Fucking Bass’
I played this tune every set on tour as well, and every single time the crowd cheered when this tune dropped. I’m still trying to figure out what it is about the writing makes people do that. It is a genius tune.
This one’s unreleased so you’ll have to search for a mixcut on youtube, I don’t have a real copy myself. Eptic is the master at what I call ‘windows’, where everything cuts out but one or two elements for a second, causing a jarring jump transition feel. There are at least 6 of them in the intro and many in the drop. Everything about his writing is phenomenal, he’s one of the best in all of dubstep.
Kill The Noise ‘Black Magic’ (Kill The Noise Part. 2)
Everything about this track is amazing, I didn’t think he would be able to top Kill The Noise Part. 1 but he did! The Reese filtering in this track is mind-boggling. This track is a good example of the kind of sound that I want the 2nd Frim EP to have, not just ‘tunes’ but actual ‘songs’ with chord progressions and musical writing.
Jakes ‘Somebody Say’ (ft. Sgt. Pokes)
I’ve been a huge fan of Jakes for years and somehow he just keeps outdoing himself. His tunes always make me dance like a lunatic. Also, if anyone knows where that video game sounding noise at 1:49 comes from, please tell me! That’s my favorite part of the entire tune.
DB: what’s plans for the 2013?
F: Right now I’m working on trying to save up some money so I can move out of Vermont and to California or somewhere else that has a big dubstep scene that I can be a part of. I am constantly making new tunes. And working on EP2.