Do Rene LaVice’s talents know any bounds?
A producer, film maker and DJ, LaVice continues to shoot from strength to strength. 2015 is certainly no exception. The Canadian is helping turn the musical attention in North America towards drum and bass. And when he’s not touring to the furthest corners of the atlas you can see him enjoying some pho soup, skateboarding, digging for records in his beloved Toronto and holding on to that dream of playing live with Barbra Streisand.
Hearing The Calling blow DJ sets away and getting a nod from Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, the EP is ready to drop on Andy C’s Ram Records in early March. Coupled with a confirmed spot supporting Spor’s hugely anticipated comeback tour, Rene LaVice is on blinding form.
We’re sure he saw all of this coming and will soon be on stage at the GRAMMY’s snatching awards out of peoples’ hands for not winning best video. Until then, his positive outlook to life and music (and interviews), continues to add even more purpose to his killer beats…
Big up Rene! What have you been up to today?
I just woke up so I’m banging my favourite Dipset tunes while eating some eggs and drinking some tea. Debating swapping the tea for a cola in a minute.
You’re from Toronto, but you seem to be touring a lot of the time – what do you miss about your Toronto stomping ground?
Hanging out in Chinatown with my friends and eating pho soup at the usual spots. There are also some good places to skateboard there, so I miss those places sometimes. Oh and Play De Record, record store. That’s where I got most of my early records from and other equipment too, it feels like home to stroll in there these days. I love that place. So many great records in there.
Who were your biggest influences in music growing up?
Hmmm. I wasn’t really gun-shy when it came to genres, so this list is a bit all over the place. Off the top, early on I really liked Debussy, KRS One, The Clash, and the Killer Instinct Soundtrack, ha.
It seems D&B is finally taking off properly in North America and Canada…is this right? Who were the local ambassadors who really pushed and continuing to push this?
The scene isn’t bad. It’s got a long way to go before it’s good as the UK or Europe, but it’s cool to see the music dripping onto the main stage (where it belongs) at really big music festivals and club nights looking healthy. It can be hit and miss at times though.
What’s the preferred style and how does it compare to other forms of D&B?
It’s diverse right now. It’s better this way too; about eight years ago the only thing going off was jump up. Then everyone decided they hated jump up and only liked really deep & boring stuff. Then it was like, ‘Ok now all we want to hear is something that sounds like a screeching drill probing my skull at 3000 decibels…’ Now crowds are more into hearing a sets from S.P.Y, The Brookes Brothers then Audio all one after the other. And – most importantly – they’ll be energetic all night for all of it.
Any rising D&B talents across the pond we should get to know?
Yeah, Schematic’s always working on his stuff. If you like stuff that’s rolling but not your usual liquid track then check him out. I’m sure he’s got some dubs at the moment…nudge nudge.
As we found out last week, the mighty Spor is back! His UK tour sees him being supported by a familiar name…how does that feel?
Well they told me I was going to be supporting Barbra Streisand, so I was a bit upset at first because I was really looking forward to hearing Woman In Love every night. Aside from that it’s wicked. Everyone’s stoked that Spor is back and he’s touring. He was producing some of the biggest tracks in D&B when I was coming up a few years back, so yeah, it’s yet another slightly surreal experience. The tour’s going to be mental though, we’re gonna smash it!
One day it’ll happen, one day. You toured Australia over Christmas and New Year, how was it down under?
It was lovely. I kicked it with some kangaroos and got some sun (and rain) during the middle of winter which was really weird but also really cool. The crowds were massive and super energetic too. I went to New Zealand for the first time and performed at Northern Bass Festival which was really great. The landscape in NZ is breathtaking.
You’ve had various support from DJs like Bailey, Loxy and Marky – how does it feel having names as varied as these big your music up?
That’s been something that’s given me pause numerous times in the last year or two. It feels fantastic. I love diversity. It’s exciting to make music that speaks to people of different callings.
Especially Andy C, he signed you off the basis of an untitled demo…did that affect the way you received music and listen to stuff that’s sent to you?
Yeah that broke down a lot of barriers. It doesn’t matter if you’re a big famous name or not, cool music is cool music. I try to listen to as much as I can and discover new tracks. It’s exciting when someone sends me new music and I encourage people to do it. (email@example.com)
You made your debut on Canadian imprint Stride Recordings. It hasn’t released for a few years now, can you tell us what happened to such a promising label?
Weird mixture of egos, no money and someone getting too high.
There’s always one. Could you ever imagine travelling across the world playing D&B when you first started?
Started what? Drum and Bass-ing? I guess not. I thought I was going to be in a rock band before all of that. Then I think I thought I was going to be a turntablist DMC world champion or something. But then I was like, ‘wait I really like writing beats too.’ So things kind of all blended together after a while. I kind of knew I had potential to do something early on though. I would see peoples reactions to certain things I made and they would be like ‘dude you’re really good at this’ or something – it gave me a couple of clues that I had potential.
I MEAN I VISUALIZED IT ALL!!! I KNEW IT ALL BEFORE ALL OF YOU!!! KANYE KANYE KANYE!!!! IMA GENIAL GENIUS!!!!!
Haha! Moving swiftly on…The Calling has had a massive reception worldwide, how did it feel to have Zane Lowe tipping it as his hottest record a few weeks back?
That was insane, Zane is that man. I was puffing out my chest a lot that day and calling up the nay sayers like “I TOLD U MUTHAFUCKAZ!” Haha, but yeah I mean that, combined with The Calling being picked for Track Of The Day on Radio 1, then seeing it get onto the C list, for the official playlist for Radio 1 was mind blowing. It was proof that music like this can be on mainstream radio right next to Mark Ronson and Meghan Trainor and all that other stuff. So there ya go kids. Like what you like and don’t let anyone else tell you that’s wrong. If you believe in something, chances are there are a large number of people that do also. (Message!)
Playing any festivals this year?
I haven’t looked at my calendar that far ahead yet! Been busy working on new music and stuff!
Can we expect to see any more stage diving…
I didn’t choose the stage dive all right, the stage dive chose me.
No promises, but you can expect some authentic moments though. That’s why live shows are so important! Look what you’re missing!
What festival would you love to play at and what would your dream line-up be?
I’ll say Burning Man. That one looks nuts. Dream line-up? That changes every day I think. If I was to go to a festival tonight I’d probably love to see Ghostface Killa, Death From Above 1979, Diplo, and Andy C
Here’s an obligatory album question – what can you tell us at this stage?
It’s going to be music that comes from the heart, that’s drawing from different influences, that’s infused with that René LaVice type energy.
Any news on the film making front?
Yes, I’m currently working on a short documentary. It should be out soon, but music is the priority right now.
We look forward to watching, anything else lined up this year that we can look forward to?
I has many secrets.
Fine, have it your way…cheers though! Any last words of wisdom?
BAKING SODA I’VE GOT BAKING SODA!!!!!!!!!!
Whip it through the glasss…
The Calling is released with Freudian on Ram on 1st March