As a featured act in the Hospital Records crew Fred V and Grafix have spent the summer serving up their usual array of amazing music and building a full-on live show. Also, we recently discovered a former dBs Music student, Shannon Kitchen is working with them on vocals, so it was about time we dropped them a line to find out more about the collaboration, their break in the industry and building a D&B live show...
Tell us about how you started working with Shannon?
"We met Shannon a few years ago through her boyfriend Ayush, this was when we first moved to Bristol about three years ago. I think he's another former dBsMusic student as well. So yes, big up Ayush! Shannon is a great singer to work with and it's great seeing her stage presence developing with every show."
Tell us about how the live show was formed?
"The show is centred around three laptops. Me and Josh each have a 'performance' laptop which we use to process our individual guitars and which also host all our synths, and then we have another laptop playing all backing tracks separated into six channels. Our tech guy and tour manager Jon came up with this model as it's a similar one he's worked with before.
"It sounds very simple but we've already had a few technical issues which were made worse by incredibly short changeover times at the two of the festivals we've taken the show to. Everything seems to go wrong a lot more when there a few thousand people waiting for you to play! The show was inspired by other producers that have live shows that don't involve hiring a load of session musicians to do a load of the work. Acts like; Disclosure, Porter Robinson, Mura Masa were all a key inspiration for us."
How did you get your break in the music industry?
"Music became full time for us when we signed to Hospital Records, six years ago. We felt like they were signing us before we'd properly had time to develop our sound and learn a lot of the engineering aspects of everything but they really helped us grow as artists. Before we signed to them we had a bunch of releases on smaller labels and we were playing a load of shows around the UK and Europe but everything was fairly inconsistent and it was hard to imagine having an income consistent enough for it to be full time. We got signed at the beginning of our third year of University so it was a pretty fun time!"
Any advice for people sending off demos to labels or artists?
"I'd say just send one track at a time or maybe two at most, and tailor each message to whoever your sending it to to make it less spammy. Or if you're sending a demo to label most of the info you need will be on their website, and just clearly mark the file with an email address."
What's your background in music?
"We both come from live music backgrounds having played in bands during our younger years, and then studied Creative Music Technology University. We were both producers before we were DJs"
Finally, any top bits of studio gear you couldn't work without?
"That would have to be, iZotope Trash for distortion, Kush Audio Clarifonic DSP for adding high end, Addictive Drums 2 for live drums and a load of UAD plugins from their DSP system for a bunch of things!"
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