Sometimes it’s better not to know certain things, like how to play a keyboard…
Let’s get some facts straight: he’s Hazard. Also, Bricks Don’t Roll. We caught up in Birmingham about the killer new ep and about his ultra busy schedule.
Hazard I know you are always booked & that your live schedule must be non-stop… you never stop travelling…
It’s a job, a job that people see is exciting. It is…
… but I detect that the constant dates and travelling take a toll?
I had to stop the abroad work mainly as I was getting sick every time I went. But I do Europe without going much further and I’m doing alright so far!
I took a bit of time off the DJing, not much, just a bit of time, just some time for myself, the family… it’s been great. You get more inspiration to go into the studio. It’s hard to do the DJing five gigs a week thing. It kills.
And if I got a year off… but who can afford that?
So were you touring by air, by road, when you were suffering from travel sickness?
Both but it’s more the fear of being sick! I could be playing Belgium: it’s only a little flight but the night before I would be there thinking ‘What if I get sick on the plane?’ Then you get no sleep worrying about it! The new way to do it then is that every time I play in Belgium I drive there ha ha.
I do the gig, drive straight back, it’s wicked!
You on CDs, USB?
It’s USB, it’s been since January this year. I looked into it and thought ‘That seems easy’… you get the tunes people send you, throw them into your little record box program. There’s no burning CDs, no scratched CD, no big wallet… I walk into a club now and all you can see’s a pair of headphones ha ha.
There’s the new Bricks Don’t Roll ep on Playaz so does that mean there’s lots of new tunes on that USB?
There’s always stuff… but the ep, well most of the tracks on there are older ones. There’s newer tracks like ‘Bricks Don’t Roll’ and ‘Death Sport’, then there were other tunes that we put on there. People have been asking for the tunes, it’s been going really well.
From the ep, ‘Death Sport’ is a killer. Is the sample from…
The sample, ‘You are condemned to Death Sport’ came from a certain film…
It reminded me of old grainy VHS-type films, ‘Deathrace 2000’ and also ‘Rollerball’…
… it’s always old crap films that the good samples are from!
And the title tune?
‘Bricks Don’t Roll’ came about, well, about a year ago.
It was actually a tune I made many a year ago but I could never get it right. I was going to scrap the version that’s actually out now. But I decided to master it myself and it came out sounding much better than it was, the mixdown was originally rubbish. I mastered it to a state where I could play it out.
Is the mastering process effectively to get the tune big and polished enough to play live?
I’ve got a basic idea but I ain’t got a clue. People assume I know my ins and outs of producing but when I say to people I don’t really know what I’m doing, they don’t believe me!
That’s the beauty of it: I don’t want to know! When you know what you’re doing, it takes away the innocence of not knowing.
Sometimes it’s better not to know certain things, like how to play a keyboard.
A person who plays a keyboard may not play a certain note, ‘cos it’s ‘wrong’.
If I play it and sounds good, then fine.
When does it come about in the day to day that you’re inspired to start writing?
I had to stop myself thinking that every single time that a studio session was going to be productive because it’s not.
Some days I go in knowing I’m not going to be making anything, I’m going to be messing about with equipment. That’s fun to me… everybody’s got their hobbies, mine’s buying loads of equipment. Inspiration comes from messing about in the studio. I’ll make a sound or loop and think ‘I know what to do with this’.
Other times like now I haven’t been in the studio for two months and I don’t want to. I haven’t even opened the door. But tomorrow I might go in.
Overall this ep has a change. Not ‘better’ but just different: different layers… You’ve taken a different route.
I’m glad you got that feeling but I ain’t got a clue what I did! A tune like ‘Mc Q’ or ‘Meen Time’ are going on for about five years old. I just want to go in and have some fun making the music. If you get a tune out of it, great. Most of the time you don’t.
It’s now 2014 and ten years back we had an amazing year for D&B: 2004 was a great year. It was also when you really started to emerge in peoples’ minds, how do you see the time that’s passed?
The way I’ve approached the last ten years is: make music, go out an DJ. The money that I earn is spent on equipment. To make music.
You can imagine how small my room’s getting… and most of it’s in the way of other equipment.
Back to the beginning, would you take off abroad or stick around Birmingham if you had time off from touring?
I’d stay right here. Stay at home. Make music. Watch TV, Go into the garden.
I do a job which people think is exciting and it is. But when you do finish that job, you don’t want to do something exciting: you want to go home.
Bricks Don’t Roll
Image by Chelone Wolf