Teddy Killerz: on the RAMpage
Teddy Killerz took time out from waging grim, fur-lined atrocities against teddies and non-teddies alike – we presume – to discuss their new moves on RAM: the ominous salvo of ‘Teddynator’ and ‘Endlessly’.
First off I think you’ve been busy on the live front? I am thinking of that tour with Audio btw…
Oleg: Yeah, things are getting better & better! We already did quite a few shows in 2015 across Europe, Russia, and the UK shows. But of course there was also our first Australian & New Zealand tour with Audio, which was awesome. We really enjoyed the crowds there and had a really cool time. It’s good to go somewhere where it’s warm during February too.
So where are you based, in order to do all your live dates so effectively? I feel there’s a Teddy HQ somewhere!
Garud: Well, our HQ is virtual and based in chat conferences! I’m currently living in Bratislava, Slovakia. Oleg lives in Zaporozhye, Ukraine, but we have a plan to get him to Bratislava very soon. Anton stays in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
We’d like to stay in the same city – it would make things much easier.
And is this where you guys produce too?
We produce separately and send stems and projects to each other regularly. Sometimes, we visit each other to produce music too. Although not as often as we’d like to.
About RAM and TK: I feel that this is one of the very few labels big enough for your vision.
Garud: That’s true. When we decided Teddy Killerz should be focused primarily on D&B the decision to accept an invitation to join RAM came naturally. Since speaking to Ray Rampage and up until now we feel really at home with the Ramily.
The whole label team and artists have a good relationship and we discuss a lot of stuff together.
‘Endlessly’: if it was a machine it would be a big ugly one.
Anton: Well, ‘Endlessly’ was like part two of ‘Teddynator’. The single was inspired a lot by a futuristic mix of AI machines and movies like Prometheus… note the cover concept. We had few versions of these tunes – more melodical with cool synths above the beat on the drop, but in the end we decided to keep it minimalistic and a little bit metallic, if you know what I mean.
Back to the first question, when you play live do you have a precise idea of what you want to drop, or is it spontaneous and crazy every time?
Garud: We each approach this really differently. We don’t play together a lot, so we all have different ways of doing it. Personally, I spend a day before the show picking up tunes and building a track list. Of course, it doesn’t mean that I follow it on the stage – it all depends on how the crowd reacts to the tunes you drop.
There are some geographical factors which exist too – I did a Latin American tour in December 2014 and people there really like it heavy, so I don’t mind playing some of heavier hitters I like. It’s more to entertain the crowd, than please yourself, you know.
What happens if the crowd’s energy changes mid set? Many factors can cause this, and it’s a different world than in old days of D&B…
Garud You never know what’s going to happen during your set. There are some big bangers like ‘Drop it low’ by Frankee which works really well on 99% of dancefloors all over the world… We always try to catch the vibe and the mood of the crowd and do our best to make them go crazy.
I’m very open-minded about music, so I have large collection of many styles of music with me and if it works – I can drop some trap tunes, some dubstep bangers and so forth.
On topic, what non-D&B do you check?
Anton: To be honest, D&B is still like 70% of the music I listen to. But I also like jazz, good blues songs, a lot of classic funk.
Oleg: Speaking about electronic music, I’m big fan of old school breakbeat. I also do like a lot of music released by OWSLA and love what they’re doing. Jack U, Jauz, What So Not… There are so many great musicians, so I am not sure I can name all of them.
I also don’t mind to listen to some good pop, rock, hip-hop songs as well.
Garud: I’m really digging house music lately. There is such a huge wave of house coming through at the moment. I’m a really big fan of so-called bassline house, tunes by Chris Lorenzo, Hannah Wants, Woz, Destructo and so on. Classic music was always a great inspiration to me. I think I have my favourite tunes in all genres.
Back to the ep and ‘Teddynator’… I played it to someone as a great example of your sound, a typical ‘Teddy Killerz’ vibe, would you agree with that?
Oleg: Yeah, ‘Teddynator’ is definitely a good example of our sound from 2014, I would say. We are trying to experiment with sound and some tunes we have in progress now sound quite different from what everyone is used to hearing from us.
About your tune ‘Higher Ground’ on RAMiami… would this be a direction you’d do more of?
Oleg: Higher Ground was one of those experiments. It’s still very ‘neuro’, but not as heavy as ‘Teddynator’ or ‘Endlessly’. And yes, it has nice vocals from Pat Fulgoni. We would like to work more with vocalsists. We’ll see for the future!
What’s next in store for you guys? Don’t know how you find time to produce as must be so busy!
Garud: We are already finishing our next new EP on RAM. But I think the next thing is going to be a collaboration with our good friends Modestep on their new album London Road… which I have to say is going to be sick as f*ck! We are really happy for the guys, because they’ve made an absolutely brilliant album.
Any final shouts, Teddy Killerz?
Garud: Shouts out to RAM family: Jim, Ray, Scott, Andy, Hannah, John & everyone else who make it so amazing! And big ups to the whole Teddy
Killerz crew – Matt, Pravin, Francesco, Wes & Jasha! Thanks to everyone who visits our shows and listens to our music!
Massive shout to Drum&Bass Arena & UKF for supporting our music so much too!