Ulterior Motive: To The Beat Of Their Own Drum
Ulterior Motive have been smashing it on all fronts lately. With a new release due on Metalheadz next month, a huge collab with Friction for his ‘vs.’ series, as well as slick remixes for the likes of Etherwood and Icicle in the bag, you’d be forgiven for assuming their schedule couldn’t get any busier. Well think again… They’ve just released their debut sample pack on Prime Loops and are in the midst of a busy touring schedule which has included an appearance at Glastonbury, and has seen them travel as far as Hong Kong and Australia. We caught up with the talented duo to chat about the sample pack, releases, touring and more…
Sup fellas! Thanks for taking the time to chat! What does your daily schedule look like these days?
Hello, well as always the daily routine focuses on music in one form or another. We’ve been doing some production work for other people recently as well as working on new UM material. We’re pulling 8-10 hour days most of the week.
You recently teamed up with Prime Loops for your debut sample pack.. How did the idea for a sample pack come together?
Prime Loops approached us while we were writing our album last year but we didn’t feel we could commit to it as the focus was on getting the album right. We wanted to comprise a sample pack that could be used across as many styles of drum and bass as possible but at the same time keep it inline with the UM sound. The pack contains as many elements as we could cram in to get someone started on producing a track.
What kind of sound did you want to capture in the sample pack?
As always we wanted to keep things funky, there’s a whole load of stabs, pads, bass sounds and drum breaks that we’ve used and written especially for the pack. There really isn’t any point writing a sample pack with sounds you’re not prepared to use yourself. That’s the hardest thing putting a pack together, once you spend ages getting a break sounding right, it’s hard to give it away!
What was the process like getting it all together?
A couple of the sounds were lifted from older projects that never got finished but the vast majority are new sounds created for the pack. We would create a new logic project and just jam, then bounce out all the parts we loved. Some further processing and then shortlisting all the really good ones – repeat repeat repeat!
Do you remember what your first ever sample was?
Probably something like the Worm break or Skull snaps. First sample pack was jungle warfare vol1 – still great now actually.
If you could pick one artist to put together the sample pack of your dreams who would it be?
Greg – An Aphex twin sample cd would be pretty interesting.
James – Probably Amon Tobin.
On the release front you’ve got You’re Next/ Music City coming out on Metalheadz next month – ‘You’re Next’ is MEAN! Story behind the track?
Thanks, You’re Next is the lead track of the 12”. We wanted to write a dark dubby track with a lead reese hook. The backbone of the track is the break on this one, the rhythm in the snares is slightly off which gives it that funky swing.
You’re bringing the funk back in Music City as well, in what the label have deemed ‘the slick older cousin of Sideways’ 😉 What was the inspiration behind this one?
Simply put, 70’s cop show music. By now people know how much we like “the funk”. All of the guitar was recorded live in the studio with the bass player from “The Baker Brothers” to give it some authenticity. It’s a sound that’s been missing in D&B for a while.
Wicked! Last weekend you guys played at Glastonbury on the Heaven stage with Shangri-La… That must have been one to tick off the bucket list! Do you still get nervous before gigs like that?
This was without doubt the highlight of 2015 so far. The whole of the Shangri-la area at Glastonbury was electric and the atmosphere at 3am on Saturday morning was insane. We’re so pleased to have been asked to be part of it. As for nerves not so much, it’s just about being a professional, you have to play the same in front of 50 people as you would 4000.
Did you get to catch some acts yourselves at Glasto? If so, highlights?
We managed to catch a few between us, Run the Jewels, Flying Lotus, FKA Twigs, George Clinton, The Who, My Nu Leng, Skepta, Pharrell, but I think we are in agreeance that the highlight of the weeks performances was Lionel Richie. That man smashed it!.
He is a don! You’ve been smashing it on the remix front with remixes for Etherwood and Icicle as well.. Do remixes come with a lot less pressure?
Remixes come with the same amount of pressure as your own solo releases they require the same amount of focus and dedication. The idea of a remix for us is to make it our own not just change the drum step.
A huge big ups are in order for ‘Curfew’ as well, the next in the Friction’s ‘vs.’ series. Again sensing the old-school rave tip! What was it like working with Friction on this one?
Friction is a real gent and pleasure to work with. The colab had been on the cards for a while and the V’s project was the perfect opportunity to put it to bed. He came down to our studio with a few ideas and samples and we started working something out in the first session. We all agreed to do something with that old rave feel from the off. The response to Curfew was great it goes to show how fundamental the old UK Hardcore sound is what we all do today.
Loads of travel for you these days with festival season in full swing, plus you just had tours in Australia and Hong Kong, what’s been a travel highlight this year so far?
The AU/NZ tour was really special and so was Hong Kong. Being able to travel the world and do what we do is the biggest blessing you can have. Every place we visit is special in its own way.
You taking any time off for yourselves in the summer? Or is that what Sun & Bass is all about?
Are you joking? Time off ?? No real time off for us, a couple days to recover from Glastonbury and we are already back in on another remix. Sun and Bass is our annual holiday for sure although you always feel like you need another holiday to recover from it.
The Ulterior Motive Prime Loops sample pack is out now. Get it here.