The Upbeats: Sky’s the Limit
“They hit the limit… The limit hit back…”
Everything about Noisia & The Upbeats’ latest venture screams blockbuster, and rightly so. As far as releases go, they’ve taken it to a whole other level. With 5 masterminds at work, it’s no surprise that the Dead Limit EP has made such a splash.
Aliases for each character, complete with costumes and backstories, as well as an incredibly funny trailer have combined to create one of the most clever and entertaining campaigns we’ve seen in time. With an abundance of innuendo and double entendres there is certainly no shortage of giggles to be had. It’s not all shits and giggles though – one listen to the EP and you realise the production gives the entire project credibility. Then again, were we expecting any less from Noisia & The Upbeats?
The title track drops with such brutality that it deserves its own warning label. Best to not listen to it on public transport for instance, as you may feel the urge to violently nod your head and/or headbutt the nearest person to you, making a complete twat of yourself in the process.
Truly outstanding release. We caught up with Jeremy of The Upbeats to chat about the work that went behind it, PLUS we caught wind of an upcoming LP in the process… HYPE!
Yes Jeremy, how goes it?
It goes good, chatting to you on my last day here in the UK. About to head into the studio for one last session with Dylan before heading back to NZ.
Safe travels! You guys recently unleashed the Dead Limit EP with Noisia – Everything about this release screams blockbuster. F&*%ing bravo. How did the concept come about?
Thank you!! Yeah we’re super stoked with how it all came together! The initial concept for the collaboration EP was a bit of a last minute thing. We realised we had a nice little bundle of unfinished collab tunes sitting around, and didn’t really know what to do with them. Then one day Thijs suggested finishing them off and releasing it as an EP, which of course we were thrilled about!
Did the movie idea come after the tracks were already completed or were the tracks designed for it?
The concept for the artwork & characters came after we had actually finished the music. We came up with the name for the title track ‘Dead Limit’, and it just screamed movie poster.
A project of this magnitude surely took a while to complete?
Haha yeah this one was pretty drawn out. All of the tracks, except for Omnivore, were started 2-3 years ago. Mouth Breather & Inverse were started in New Zealand when Nik came for a holiday a few years ago. And Dead Limit was started in 2012 in the old Noisia studios. All of the tracks were basically just rough sketches until April this year when we got together in the new Noisia studios, all 5 of us, and finished them up.
You guys have been in London for a bit now, has that made working on stuff like this a bit easier when you can jump in the studio together? I’d imagine that’d be the most creative environment?
Yeah definitely, it’s been a great experience being based in the UK. Dylan has been here for about a year and a half now, while I’ve only been here for 5 months. And on top of the fact it’s been awesome getting in the studio with people like Noisia, Ivy Lab & Prolix, it’s also been really exciting getting back in the studio just the two of us. We’ve been more creative/productive these last 5 months than we have been in years!
That’s great to hear! The artwork is incredible – Real GTA vibes. Who was the genius behind that?
The artwork initial concept was put together by all 5 of us, and the photographer Frederiek Bosch. We came up with personas for each of us. Then in the space of 24 hours went and found clothing & props and shot all the pictures. It was ridiculously fun, and such a cool way to wrap up the project. Then the magic really happened when we handed the photos on to illustrator Tom Jager. We gave him a rough brief of the style we were hoping to achieve, and he absolutely KILLED IT!!
That he did! Absolutely love the movie idea behind the release, so you all came up with your individual character’s back story/ costumes, etc.?
Yeah, that was probably the most fun part of the process. Coming up with each others attributes and special abilities. It’s great getting to do this kind’ve thing, because we get to really express our stupid sense of humour, and infantile personalities 😛
Is Dylan really a considerate lover, and is it true that once he’s in, he can’t pull out? (He might wanna get that checked out…)
The MOST considerate… Known for evenings spent bare chested by the fire, suckling on red wine.
What a dreamboat! The trailer is nothing short of brilliant – who were the creative minds behind that?
Yeah again, we’re so super happy with that. The animation was done by the extremely talented ‘Wolves’. And the voice over is done by none other than our boss of a manager Pravin!
Outstanding. According to the trailer the release is rated BD – Balls Deep for extra penetration… 😉 The double entendres and innuendo in the trailer are amazing. Did you all sit down for one big brainstorming session to nut it all out?
Yeah there were multiple drunken brain storming sessions, and email chains with ridiculous tag lines that ran into the hundreds. We’ve got dick jokes for DAYYYYS FAM!
Haha i’d love to see those email chains! 🙂 Jokes aside, let’s chat about the music itself – The title track is an absolute weapon, probably my personal favourite (although it’s difficult to choose just one). The sheer weight and aggression behind the track is enough to incite a riot. At 6 minutes long it really is a masterpiece. How’d this one come together?
Nik and Dylan started this one a long time ago. I think Nik was saying it was in 2012, back in the old studios. I think they had about 3 or 4 different sessions on it, but it never quite worked. We could all tell it had potential, that completely over the top reece (bass thing before the drop) was in there from the start, but it just didn’t really translate once it dropped. So when we finally all got together earlier this year, that was the track that we really focused on. It took quite a lot of work, and throwing around a lot of ideas to finally get something we were all happy with. But I think all of that work really paid off, it is one of the tracks I’m happiest to have been involved in!!
The outro is intriguing… What’s that about?
That was a bit of a last minute addition. It was actually a sketch that the Noisia mans had created earlier, and we thought it would be nice to have a bit of a change of scenery at the end of the onslaught.
Mouthbreather – been waiting for this for an age! Honestly up there with one of my favourite samples of all time. Where the hell did THAT sample come from??
Haha, now that would be giving it away… Again though, that sample was a really late addition. The track was basically done, and we stumbled on that and just had to put it in. Initially it was just horribly recorded samples of Dylan, Nik & I heavy breathing into a mic… really gross 😡
Any mouth breathers in your life you’d like to name and shame?
Couldn’t you tell by that stupid/ignorant look on my face.. I have been known to be an occasional mouth breather 😛
Should’ve known… Now, Omnivore is diabolical. So much going on it that track, how do you guys split who works on what?
Well we always work together in person. So it’s a bit of a mashup. Omnivore was started in de Noisia studios, with Nik and I. So seeing as it was Cubase, and we’re Logic peoples, I just sat in the back and told Nik to do all the things. Basically just saying every few minutes “make it better”. Occasionally feeding him a grape.
Do you have personal faves off the EP?
I can’t really go past Dead Limit. It’s just a fucking monster… if I’m allowed to say that about our own tune…
In this case, you most certainly are. Now you’ve had the opportunity to put so much time an effort into a concept behind a release, are you going to be able to release a track the ‘normal’ way ever again?
Yeah we’ve definitely made it hard for ourselves, I think maybe we set the bar a bit too high, whatever we release next is destined to disappoint.. haha!
I doubt it… If you could write the soundtrack for any movie in the history of cinema, which one would it be?
Oh shit… Big call… Off the top of my head would probably be ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’.
Nice one! What’s coming up next for you guys?
Top secret BIG THINGS!!!!!!! Seriously though, very – cough cough – secret, LP related things!