A Touch of Static
In troubled times, Static has welcomely produced an buzzing, crackling & encompassing array of work called Something About Nothing, out now on Retrograde featuring the likes of Frank Carter III, Drifta and Retraflex: totally one to inhale deeply & lose yourself in.
Sounds like a lot of heart and soul’s gone into Something About Nothing, when did you start it?
Around a year ago the idea was to do a new four track EP but one track led to another and Tom – label owner – and I decided to raise the bar and go for an LP.
It seemed to happen organically and because of this it was a pleasure to do.
How would you – if you stood away from it and evaluated – sum up the connecting, unifying vibe of this album? What is it that makes it hang together, that makes it unique? Imagine you’re looking at a building, a piece of architecture.
If it was a building, a piece of architecture, then it would be one that depending on what mood you visit it, it would change shape and have a totally different atmosphere and appearance.
This is a hard question: once we decided to go ahead and try and compile an album I had in my head from the offset & not to stick to one particular sound, to actually try and create something that would reflect what I am all about as an artist. The unifying string between all of the songs is that I tried to capture emotion in each tune. Musicality and emotion.
This last year has been a little manic in my personal life to say the least and a lot has happened, good and bad.
Each tune was made completely apart from each another… I stuck to each track until it was complete, hoping each one would sound unique to the other.
Tell me about that lovely cover art.
We didn’t want anything to upfront and definitely nothing with my face planted all over the cover. Tom and I spoke to Ben Fawce and he sent the idea over, we liked it so much we went with it
Why the title Something About Nothing? Is it something about humanity that you’re saying?
It was originally going to be the title of the track ‘From the Past’. When Tom came over to discuss album titles we both thought this would be better as the album title as people can interpret it in different ways: I see it as ‘Something’ being the collection of tracks and ‘Nothing’ being the non-specific mood to the album but I think Tom reads a lot deeper into it: he kind of feels like it is a statement about humanity as people forget sometimes we are just a bunch of carbon atoms floating around in space and that in the big picture & that nothing really matters…he does get pretty deep that guy!
Can I ask about ‘Til I Die’, with Drifta… just how it came about and the vibe you wanted to instil.
Drifta is a very close friend, when we get in the studio together it just works and always will. We never start off with a theme we just see what happens and this time we created a vibe that was very much on the jungle side of things. The track was started and finished with in one session and I think by the end we where pretty drunk, the quick fun ones always seem to be the best.
What does ‘Will It Be OK’ mean? The title?
Well, this track is my favourite out of the album, perhaps not the strongest but I have a big emotional link to it.
It was made around a time when I had so many questions that needed to be answered my head was all over the place and I just wanted to know, ‘will everything be ok?’
How did you come to collab with Frank Carter III? … and Retraflex?
Frank and Tom had been talking via email, Tom sent him some of my previous work and it went from there, Frank has been and is such a pleasure to work with, the story he tells and the passion and soul he sings with is first class.
‘Run For Shelter’ is more of an atmospheric vibe and his vocals finished it of better than I could’ve ever imagined.
‘Got That Feeling’ was taken on a totally different approach: I wanted to have a track in the album that had more of a jazzy vibe. Frank loved the instrumental I sent him and vibed with it so well and I think the final track speaks for itself from his part.
Retraflex is actually Tom, the label owner. So I see and speak to him a lot, he came down to the studio here in Sussex for a weekend, we had some drinks and food, and created a very chilled track: it was just how the weekend was.
Can I ask about the meaning behind the title of ‘In The Stories’?
It was taken from the vocal I used and it fitted the tune well as I was trying to tell a story with the LP, so it just stuck.
Where is D&B heading would you say? You are creating a lot of substance with this music, do you see a lot of artists doing the same?
Producers are more open to experimenting with sounds and different takes on the genres plus software, mics and computers are affordable so more available to people, because of this I feel it will keep developing more and more. There are some very talented musicians out there and I think more and more are not sticking to one particular sound…
Will the sound change?
It’s a hard one to try and predict how the sound of D&B will change as it’s always on the move.
Tell me about Retrograde… sometimes with new labels/imprints it gets confusing. What’s the label stand for as it were?
If I were to personify Retrograde it’s like Flexout Audio’s lovely little sister.
However the guys didn’t want this to be a sister label that simply showcases artists that they felt weren’t quite ready for a Flexout release like some other labels do… it’s a sister label to showcase D&B with musicality and that’s kind of what I’m all about.
I’m really happy that my album is the first release on their new project. I’m really excited to watch the label grow just as I’ve seen Flexout evolve over the last three years.
Any shouts and live action scenarios we should look out for?
Yes of course, Massive thanks to Tom for all his hard work and support with this project and for giving me an opportunity. And Frank for his amazing vocals and words, he’s by far one of the best male singers this scene has had in my opinion one to definitely watch. And Mr Drifta for his ears… checking the tracks throughout this project and of course an amazing collaboration. And lastly Bob from subvert mastering: he’s done a grand job.