Loadstar – The ‘Berlin / Hit The Ground’ Interview
You guys seem to have hit some kind of superhuman stride with your production, what has your favourite single together been so far?
I think the impact that ‘Link to the Past’ had was pretty special. It was a real big track for us and it really felt like a bit of an anthem at the time, as well as getting really good radio presence etc, so yeah I think this has been our favourite so far. Also the fact that it was just a raw underground tune with a nice deep intro, its what we do best I think. A good first release for the new ‘Loadstar’ name!
How was writing the album (assuming its 100% finished)? And how is waiting for it to come out? What aspects of it do you think will come as a surprise to your fans?
It’s been an interesting journey for us, we actually started it really about 2 years ago, and things have changed so much in that time that it’s been a constantly evolving process. We get bored of our own tracks quite quickly so it’s been a case of making sure things stay fresh and relevant, and always pushing ourselves to do better. We’ve both been involved in writing music for many years but we are still learning all the time. Perhaps the best way to write an album is just to lock yourself away in the studio for a month and write the whole thing! But we’ve had a good amount of time which means we haven’t had to rush anything, ensuring we get it right. We are putting the finishing touches to it right now.
Berlin is amazingly contrasted with that gorgeous refrain and a dystopian, evil bassline, how exactly was that track formed between the two of you? It’s like this single is bringing the tension between musicality and dancefloor sounds in your production together in one track..
With all our tracks we try and bring something musically interesting, coupled with high energy dancefloor appeal. Quite often I will just sit for hours coming up with loads of intro ideas, I love just coming up with anything melodic, synthy and with an interesting progression. Then Gav will have a play, developing it and working on further ideas. We both get an idea of where we want to take it at this point so then we get in the studio and have a long writing session. With ‘Berlin’ we wanted to take it in a different direction when the tune dropped, something unexpected. This was originally a tune that wasn’t intended for release but instead something we could put into our DJ sets….this is the best way to test tunes out and see what works. This was the case with ‘Berlin’, we wrote it really quickly and had been playing it for a while, and also they had been getting a great reaction from Andy C, who has the ability to take tracks and turn them into anthems! So we wanted to get this more underground single out, it’s a good taste of what’s to come with the album.
So legend has it that the Xample and Lomax sides of the equation are responsible for these different sides to the Loadstar sound, do you stick to that division of labour?
Every track comes together in a different way, we don’t like to necessarily stick to a formula, we try and let it happen in an organic way and we need to keep things interesting. Generally speaking I bring the ideas and the musical elements, Gav focuses on making sounds and has more technical understanding. Most of the time we are in the studio together, but we are always working, on our laptops when we are on the move, also sometimes when we can’t be arsed to get to the studio we work from home, whenever inspiration kicks in really! It doesn’t really matter, we just love the writing process and anything we think has good potential we will focus on.
Nick couldn’t help but notice you sign off your D&BTV Innovation in the Sun interview with “Skkrrrilllex”. What is it about bass-monger that people find so irresistible?
I think he’s become really successful because, like Pendulum, he came along with this huge sound and makes a lot of dubstep producers who are trying to do the same thing look very average. He also has the musical edge and uses samples in imaginative ways… it feels fresh and exciting. He’s young and enthusiastic and people are drawn to him, we’ve met him a few times and he’s a very down to earth guy.
Your Ed Sheeran Remix is stunning, how did that come about?
We get offered a lot of remixes and always chose them carefully, only taking them on if we feel we can do something special… you have the respect the artist you’re remixing. Ed Sheeran has a sound that we are really into and we love his music. We didn’t want to stick to any kind of standard formula for this remix, we love the vocal and wanted to do something interesting musically and have a big long epic kind of intro, then drop into something heavy. As with a lot of remixes we don’t get a lot of time to sit on them so I think this came together in about a week.
Not all great producers make good remixes but you guys have got it down, what makes a truly great remix? Have you guys got any particular favourites you think do the job perfectly?
To achieve a great remix in my opinion is a combination of re-inventing the way a song can sound, using the sounds in an inspiring way and with interesting interpretation, adding appropriate elements as to not take it too far away and try and write a new track… the main elements of the original should always be the focus and the starting point. A good example – I love the track ‘Daniel’ by Bat for Lashes, and Duke Dumont captures the remix vibe perfectly… its awesomeness is in the subtlety…. love it.
What can we expect from the Loadstar live show… Is it still drafted for Autumn?
We are putting it together currently, something really special, but we are going to launch the whole show first part of 2012. Look out!
At the time of writing we’re massively excited to have you at our 15th Birthday celebrations, are you coming armed and dangerous?
Absolutely. We are really looking forward to this event and really stoked to be part of the lineup. It’s a great achievement for D&BA, they have always been such a massive part of the whole scene and want to give a big shout out to Risky and everyone at D&BArena, Risky is one of the hardest working guys in the game so massive respect!
What are you looking forward to the most over the next couple of years for Loadstar?
We don’t ever take things too seriously, we’re fortunate enough to be doing what we love, DJing around the world and making music! We have a great label behind us who have been fully supportive of what we’re doing. So the album will be the next big step for us, and putting the live project into effect next year, I think it’s going to be even busier than this year if that’s possible! But we are excited for what’s ahead, it’s a really exciting time for dance music in general at the moment.