Rene LaVice: Play With Fire Deluxe
Rene LaVice always, without fail, without remorse and with his pitch black heart driven by gently insane creative fire has re-imagined (RAMplified?) his recent Play With Fire release.
We’ll get to that but first… that jumper.
Straight off, what’s something lately that has been a wtf moment for you?
My sister gave me a jumper with an image of the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau riding a moose while completely nude with Canadian geese flying around in the background.
I don’t know where she gets this stuff.
I wear it all the time, obviously. Fits in nicely with my checkered suit, multicolour dream shirts and other wardrobe items I keep in rotation.
Had to ask, why ‘Play With Fire’? I mean is this about people approaching YOU or is it something from your past about something else? I was thinking about the phrase and it’s a bit menacing.
The tittle means a lot of things, that’s why it fits the album. Many of the songs on the album are largely written about love and fatal attractions.
Love is like fire, and if you play with it you can get burned. Others are about extreme states of being and the breaking point in life where events blow apart one’s life.
Fire is an explosive, destructive energy that can level an entire forest, but then after a new forest grows, so it’s a creative force as well.
I used to be a firefighter in Canada so I get caught up in those analogies sometimes.
‘Play With Fire’ is also an ethos that I live by. I don’t do anything half heartedly. So I use it as a kind of direction for myself, like if I’m going to play a DJ set, I play with fire, I keep that fire in the belly and get into it 110%, and the crowd always responds to it; they can tell if you’re slacking.
Making music is like that too. You put so much energy into something, it takes entire chunks out of your life, and then what you’ve made can totally backfire, but it’s a risk worth taking because when it works, it spreads like wildfire and takes on a life of its own, it’s wicked.
Same with love, you can’t live without it, so play with fire.
Take us into the concept of this new release and why you wanted to do this.
The idea was proposed to me by Ram Records to do a Deluxe version of the album with reworked versions of some tracks as well as some tracks that I had removed from the first version in the process of getting right to the heart of statement I wanted to make with the album.
Keep in mind there were countless tracks, some half finished, some finished, that I was considering for the album, but a film director sometimes has to cut his favourite scene for the sake of the film as a whole, so many of the ones I loved I cut out.
It was all about getting a razor sharp image of what the album was saying. Now that the first release has done its job, this album is like the director’s cut; it’s a more expansive version where people who know how diverse and innovative I am as a producer can look to the edges of the horizon and get a more in depth landscape of the album.
Big big fan of ‘Wave’, it gets in and gets stuck in, can you take us into the Entire History of The Tune ? I love both versions I’ve heard.
I had written the instrumental of that track and I was looking for vocalists to sing on it. None of the people fit the palette of sound that I had in my head, so when I eventually sent it to the label, all it had was the demo vocal I had recorded myself while writing the lyrics to the song.
When Andy C heard it told me he really liked my singing on it and asked me to keep it that was for the final version, which I really didn’t expect. I remember being on a phone call with him saying “Andy I really don’t know if I should sing on this, I meant for someone else to sing it, people might hate on this because it’s unorthodox for a producer to sing…” and so on, and he was like “No man, you’ve got to keep it on there. it’s got real feeling in it. It’s got a real vibe.”
After that I was like “yeah you know what, fuck it, I’ve broken enough rules already, lets do this.” Now I’m not shy about singing on Drum and Bass stuff at all, i just do what sounds dope to me. I sung in bands and stuff for years, but people just get weird about who’s singing on D&B stuff. it doesn’t make any sense. TC does it, Rob Swire does it, Monsta, Calyx…. they kill it. I think it sounds sick, so why not. I kind of hated my voice before, but now I like it. It’s got a weird tone to it. I like being a bit weird.
What’s the song about, lyrically? Did it come from experience?
Yeah the song is some realness lyrically. It’s about leaving Toronto and moving to the UK to pursue music and see my full potential. At the time I wrote it, everyone’s eyes were on me like daggers. I was the stand out producer from Canada and everyone was watching me, there was a lot of support, but also a lot of jealousy. I had a devil and an angel on each shoulder, on each ear, ringing my phone, talking about me online. I got sick of fighting up stream all the time and one day I just said ‘fuck it’ and went to the UK.
The song was just like “yeah say whatever the fuck you want, you don’t know me, you can’t tell me what I am, so say bye bye to the one you thought you knew, instead of drowning in shit talk I’ll just speak with my actions. there’s a lot of people that love me out here so I’m gonna love my life if you like it or not.”
I think it’s advice anyone should follow in anything in life. It doesn’t matter what people say about you, your actions speak louder than shit talk ever can. I wrote the song while in Toronto still, that’s why it’s called wave, “take me to the ocean. take me fuckin’ anywhere. get me the fuck out of here.” Even if that wasn’t your life experience, you can relate to the feeling.
It’s a song that’s universal to the human experience at one time or another. It’s a feeling. On that note I still have massive love for everyone in Toronto that always supported me, I love all of the people that helped me grow, gave me advice, inspired me, the “love your homies” song is in the mail, ha ha soon come. These things aren’t always cut and dry, that’s why there are more songs to be written!
‘Wicked It Worked’ feels like it would be insane live, is that the case?
Yes. It shocks people, because they think it’s going to come in and sound really ‘old school’ but my engineering on that record was to a really high standard, so the thump of the drums and the sub bass level really jolts people.
Please give us some nice live stories, from your travels.
Titties. Titties everywhere. And crowdsurfing. It’s all a blur. I have the best fans, they always yell “YO! I’m so ‘n’ so from twitter!” and I’m like “oh shit! what up!” and we have a blast.
… and hey: some nightmares too. If you have them. Everyone loves real life horror.
Forgetting to play a brand new track I made. idiot…
Can you take us into any other aspect of the release… a tune or a guest or even a segment of a tune… of your choice. Rap at will!
‘Lights Out’ was originally written over a different instrumental but the project file for it was lost because an old computer of mine had crashed before I could back it up. I knew if I tried re-making it, well, I probably could have, but I didn’t want to risk loosing the soul of the record. So I flipped it on its head and Boomah loved it.
So both versions of lights out you hear are completely different versions of the song.
To tie it up about Play With Fire Deluxe, what keeps you on fire with D&B? As, to me, you always deliver the unexpected; you are always on fire.
I have a lot of interests I guess. I just have an curious mind. I like to take a sound, flip it, and make it explode.
I can’t really dissect it beyond that.