Smooth has recently stepped up with a new release and, instead of us simply asking the questions, he’s given us one. Three simple letters. Can you guess which?
Helloooo Smooth how’s tricks? What are you doing right now?
Heeeeey I’m very good thanks for asking. Excited about the release of WTF.
Hope you are fine as well! I am actually just getting ready for basketball.
First up who did that insane cover art for WTF? That’s ace!
Thanks! Yes I know it looks so amazing. It was done by my Dutch homie Kees Van Duyn aka Koyn. He has done a lot of amazing artworks for Viper and also did stage animation at Viper events.
Very talented guy indeed!
When did ‘WTF’ come about? I bet it was a trip to hear it being played back. It’s great.
Yeah for sure! ‘WTF’ was actually one of those tunes that came together really fast when it comes to the arrangement and the whole idea of how it should drop.
Maybe this is one more reason why I called it ‘WTF’ too in the beginning it was actually called ‘Speed Demon’ but the naming just wasn’t on the button.
And yes when I dropped it for the first time I saw the reaction I felt like ‘WTF’ which was in my head for a long time was the right naming of the track and it always makes me feel really happy when my tune gets a good reaction!
So we spoke here so you been on the road loads?
Yes mate deffo a lot happened since then. The biggest adventures for me this year are still Tokyo where I played at Womb, Viper Summer Slammers Tour in Australia and Pirate Station in Moscow.
Big shows and lucky enough all the people that made it happen around me made me fell like home. Which is really cool to have when you are on the other side of earth!
And any road stories?
The most funny/weird experience I had this year must have been when I played with Markoman at LIR, we played a Telekinesis set. All of the sudden the power generator died and this huge stage was completely out of power for about 10 mins.
That was also one big “WTF” moment in my life…
All of the sudden they sorted out the power supply and the part of the set after the power came back was INSANE! It was just one of those moments where everybody was completely relieved and happy that the music was back and we were all banging our heads till the end of the set!
LIR is a very special event and I’m very happy and honoured that I was a part of it!
Now as you’ve illustrated, certain things can grab your imagination and they can actually be ‘wtf’ moments… any such things in life inspire the tune?
Yeah that is deffo true. The main motive behind the naming of the tune was just that the tune is short, simple and when you read/hear the title it kinda has the “I need to hear why the name of the track is WTF” momentum.
I feel like between the intro and the drop there is that line of unpredictability which makes you go ‘WTF?’.
And certainly I had my share of WTF moments in my life as much as anybody else.
For instance the biggest one was when I almost burnt down my kitchen while I tried to make myself chips. Left oil on the stove to get hot and in between I just wanted to listen what I just produced in my studio…
Obviously I forgot about the oil when I was already in a mix session.
So when I came back the kitchen was full of smoke and when I opened the door I provided the last part of the equation and that was oxygen and it started burning really bad.
Luckily I survived and I’m still making music but not while I’m cooking… well sometimes.
Tell me about ‘Revenge’: also a killer. And… is there a story behind the title? (smiles sweetly)
Thank you. I wish I could tell you this big story about how I’m out for ‘Revenge’.
I was just hunting for a sick vocal sample cause I knew that would take the tune to the next level. And I had many speeches from different trailers inside but this one fit in the best at the end.
What’s something – no matter how small – you’ve been learning in the studio this year?
Actually what I implemented in this release and it was also a completely new approach for me was distorting and saturating the hell out of elements that I normally never touched with distorton/saturation.
For instance I distorted the drums separately. It really helps with getting a lot of loudness from elements.
There just has to be the right amount of it so it doesn’t sound distorted yet you add a lot of harmonics to the sound and at the same time you make the sound more flat.
Then in cases where you want to have that clean sound you can also do it parallel so you get those extra harmonics but still keep that transient.
And what sort of changes have you seen on the road, in audiences?
From what I’ve seen lately in the club scene, people really like it hard lately.
Still there has to be the right amount between hard and more ‘happy’ D&B but everywhere I played lately the loved it when it was banging.
And lucky enough for me I love playing out harder sets and I always did.
OK, any shouts and things to look out for?
Yes thanks for having me again. Thanks for all the support and also a big thank you to all my followers and my lovely label Viper Recordings.