The Others interview
As ‘Fall Out/Freeze The Frame’ drops I caught up with The Others.
DB: How has 2012 been for you so far?
TO: It’s been a challenging year, lots of ups & downs. But generally pretty constructive as I managed to finish my album.
DB: So how long did the album take to evolve? Lots of anticipation for it.
TO: I suppose from start to finish it took about a year with tours in between. But then some of the tracks I’d had sitting around for a while and put aside for the project. I wanted to collaborate on tracks with Emalkay, Joker & Breakage which I did, and also got some great vocals from Lonette Charles, Geoff Smith & Stamina MC. As a whole I’m pretty happy with the way in which it all came together and can’t wait for people to hear it.
DB: Along with the tracks, I love this artwork. What is the inspiration for this?
TO: Well, the idea that runs throughout the album and single artwork is to try and create a storyboard based around the album title ‘Red Planet’. The title was the starting point to build the story around with the sleeve designs. My vision was to, w have a sci-fi comic book theme continuing on from where my last EP (First Flight) left off, and our artwork guy at Dub Police (www.arezz.be) hit the nail on the head as he seems to do so every time. He always manages to turn my crazy ideas in to amazing artwork.
DB: Name some notable live dates you’ve played this year, any venue, any country.
TO: Dub Police 4th Anniversary at Fabric, London.
Daily Dubstep vs Star Warz NYE at ICC, Ghent.
Smog Sessions at Dim Mak Studios, Los Angeles.
Sub.Mission at Cervantes Ballroom, Denver.
Oi! 8th Anniversary at Paradiso, Amsterdam.
DB: So what are the best clubs to hear your vibe and related?
TO: There are so many places that I hold in high regard, and all for different reasons. Some clubs stand out because of the massive sound system, or for the amazing crowds and atmosphere, or great hospitality which goes such a long way; it can really make you feel at ease and comfortable which will bring out the best from you when you perform.
One place that ticks all these boxes is Sub.Mission at Cervantes Ballroom in Denver, CO. Travelling across the USA on tour is always enjoyable and over the years I’ve played some amazing shows in the states. But Sub.Mission really stands out, the vibes and energy from the crowd are incredible, the system is monstrous, and the promoter & her whole crew are a great bunch of guys and have grown to become good friends. Denver captures the original spirit of what dubstep is all about!
DB: The hard US Dubstep sound, how do you feel about it?
TO: There’s no doubt the way dubstep has taken off in the states has been phenomenal and the past few years have produced so many great artists and sounds. In a way I can’t help but feel proud of the way a scene of which I’ve been involved with for many years has really turned things on it’s head over there and inspired so many people.
As for how the ‘American’ sound has evolved, some of it I’m into and some of it I’m not, I try not to judge the movement as a whole but more on a tune to tune basis. I feel there’s some great stuff still coming out of the US but that also creates a string of copycats who take those ideas and replicate them without adding any of their own flavour and style.
Some of the tracks are pretty heavy and maybe some of it is a bit too full on for my liking but that doesn’t make me resent the artist or the US dubstep sound, it simply means it’s not my cup of tea and it’s not necessarily something I’d play in my set. It’s just part of the evolution of this versatile sound.
DB: How is media changing in regard to listening to music? How do people get excited and passionate about music? I won’t qualify that question, I’ll leave it open-ended.
TO: The way dubstep and electronic music has really taken off around the world in the past few years I think you have to put down to the internet. Dubstep is still a relatively young scene in comparison to house, techno, drum & bass etc and those scenes have taken many years to gain the worldwide followings they have, whereas dubstep seemed to achieve this huge worldwide following in what seemed like months rather than years.
When those other established scenes first started to gain momentum the internet hadn’t even been invented and access to music in general wasn’t as easy as jumping on YouTube and searching for the latest track from the latest artist. I spent a big chunk of my youth in record shops trying to hum basslines of tracks I’d heard in a rave or on pirate radio and usually receiving a face of confusion from the records store workers, only for them to tell me they’d just sold the last copy! These days it’s so simple and straightforward to get all this information and access to the music at the touch of a button.
I still think people can get passionate and excited about the music, and surely it makes life easier for the consumer. But sometimes I do miss those days behaving like madman in a record shop.
DB: Name an album session, any genre, that you would have loved to have seen the recording of and why.
TO: You’ve opened a massive can of worms there. But from a purely electronic perspective I think I’d have to say ‘Discovery’ by Daft Punk. Ever since I first heard that album it had a big effect on the way I listen to music and certainly had a big influence on me when I started making my own music. I would just love to see those guys at work and see how they ended up with such a masterpiece. Still to this day few in electronic music have come close to creating such a great album.