drumandbassarena

Five Minutes With Loadstar

Five Minutes With Loadstar

The Ram Records banger factory is in fine fettle this year. Last week Culture Shock gave us a royal booting with his awesome double treat Troglodyte/I Remember, now Loadstar are up to very similar tricks with a two track EP that shows both sides to their heavyweight musical capabilities. Passenger and Bomber, one heads-down underground bass-caked banger, one half-step hype track. Just don’t go calling it dubstep….

So… Passenger! Your first dubstep tune?

Gav: “It’s not dubstep!”

Ah. This isn’t awkward in the slightest. Dubstep at D&B tempo, then.

Nick: “Yes. I guess you could call it drumstep…”

No thanks. Do you like that term?

Both: “No! It’s rubbish!”

Nick: “People have been doing that half time stuff for many many years. Old Chase & Status stuff. There’s loads of Renegade stuff that goes half time. Is that called drumstep? No way!”

Gav: “I think people just feel they have to compartmentalise everything. It’s just music! But everyone loves genres, which is a shame. The worse is EDM. Have you heard that term?”

Yes. Ghastly business… It’s just dance music! Now then, back to Passenger. It’s a bit different from what you’ve done before, right?

Nick: “Yeah, it’s a far cry from Link To The Past. But that’s what we want. We don’t want to ever stick to a formula. We love all styles of D&B and we wanted to make something with a big heavy drop and we love musical intro. We never want to write the same tune over and over again. We’re musicians, we want to do something that excites us on every tune. We know people won’t love everything we do but we’re doing what we want to do, which is really important.”

True. Now let’s talk about Bomber on the B-side. Banger alert! A nice balance to Passenger…

Gav: “That’s what we’ve tried to do on all of our releases; have a balance and as much of a full spectrum as possible. The Space Between and BLVD were very different tunes. Berlin and Hit The Ground was the same. Bomber worked well as a good B-side. It’s no-compromises D&B. Proper club stuff that’s true to our roots.”

Like Link To The Past. That’s still getting massive plays two years later… Pretty big for the first Loadstar release. Have you felt the pressure to live up to that standard ever since?

Nick: “Good question! I think there’s always pressure when a track has had such an impact. We never thought it would kick off as much as it did. But like we’ve said; we don’t want to write the same tune every time. We could’ve done but we don’t want to. There’s no fun in that.”

Gav: “I don’t think we’ve ever felt too much pressure in that way. We followed it up with The Space Between which was completely different, that’s how we do things!”

I love the video for The Space Between!

Gav: “It’s made by the same people who made the video for Passenger!”

Nick: “It’s properly off the wall. We’re really happy with it. It’s a link back to all our childhoods. We didn’t want the cheesy dance music video with DJs in the club and all that. We just don’t want to play things safely. I could’ve carried on being Lomax for ever. The same goes for Gav as Xample. We want to do things that people aren’t quite expecting. Not just rollers; we’ve been doing that for years. Dance music is in a mental place right now and we want to celebrate that and be part of that. We want reflect the madness that’s going on in our own music.”

So the jump from Xample & Lomax to Loadstar is a ‘wipe the slate clean’ thing in a way?

Nick: “People associated what we were doing individually with what we were trying to do together. When we first did stuff to got together people couldn’t work it out. It wasn’t about what we’d done before, it’s about what we’re doing in the future.”

Like Future Perfect – the name of the album! Tell us more…

Gav: “We’ve got a rough release date as mid October. I think people will be surprised at what’s on there. That’s not to say there isn’t a good selection of straight up drum & bass, mind; there’s a lot. We’ve been roadtesting it in the last year. Andy’s been battering the tunes too, which has been great. We’re really excited about it. There’s some cool vocals on there, there’s some deep tracks. We want to engage the listener in every way.”

Nick: “We didn’t want an ablum full of bangers…”

Those albums get boring pretty quickly…

Nick: “Exactly. We want the album to have a shelf life and we want to engage as many listeners as possible. We want it to reach a really wide audience and show people what we’re really capable of. We’ve taken a long time on this, we just really hope that shines through.”

How about the title Future Perfect, where did that come from?

Gav: “I think we’re going to get asked this question a lot pretty soon. We love the way it sounds and we love futuristic sounding music. It kinda sums up our conversion from Xample & Lomax to Loadstar too; it’s been a difficult task but one we’ve worked incredibly hard to make a success. Hopefully the album will be the icing on the cake.”

Me too. Is this the first time you’ve chatted about the album?

Nick: “Nah, we’ve told other people too…”

Oh. I was hoping for a Drum&BassArena exclusive. Sad face.

Gav: “We can give you an exclusive!”

Come on then…

Nick: “Link To The Past VIP”

Say what?

Gav: “We’re working on it. Keep your ears very close to the ground…”

Wow. You heard it here first!

Passenger / Bomber is out now on Ram. Listen and download here.

Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.