Gerra & Stone talk us through the new ‘Ison/Vengeance’ release on Program and how they want to explore the possibilities of D&B… and turns out their particular signature sound counfounds even them! Catch them tonight: see at the end for details.
I pick up ‘your’ sound but how you phrase it… how would you sum up your particular, special sound?
To be honest this question has come up a fair bit in interviews of late but we still don’t really know how to describe it ourself!
It’s fair to say we have a lot of influences both inside and outside D&B, and definitely try to keep core elements like soul and groove in our mind at all times when we are writing, regardless of mood. There’s a lot of technically-amazing stuff going on production-wise in the scene at the moment but we feel some of it can lack musical depth and atmosphere – so we want to avoid getting into that trap… whilst still aiming our music at the dancefloor.
How has your work evolved over time – you’ve released on Dispatch for example – to what we’re now hearing on Program? Has it changed much?
In our mind it’s been a natural progression: as any producer will tell you the whole thing is a continual learning curve.
We both come from a DJ background and definitely had a clear vision of our D&B sound in mind from the start, but it takes a certain amount of work to find a point where you can really translate that into what you are doing.
This is something we only really feel we are starting to achieve now: our taste in D&B is pretty much completely across the board (as anyone who has seen us play will know). There is so much freedom of moods within the genre from melodic/soulful vibes to more energetic/aggressive, and we’re very keen to explore them all as opposed to being tied down to a certain style.
We definitely think you can do more with D&B musically than any other genre. It takes influence from pretty much every other style out there so there’s no limit to what you can do around the 170 (ish!) bracket.
Hopefully this is evident with our recent releases on Ram/ Program, and it’s certainly something you are going to be hearing a lot more of from us in the coming year.
Can you take us behind ‘Ison’ and what inspired it? Interested in those atmospheric sounds.
When we wrote ‘Ison’ we were definitely feeling inspired by film soundtracks at the time – using cinematic style sounds to create tension and mood with the intro that carries on through the track. We love the way that these types of atmospheres can fit with hard hitting D&B and wanted to put our hand to it.
What venues and spots do you love playing and why?
There are too many to mention really – for UK spots we always have good vibes in London, Bristol, Brighton, Leeds. We’ve been to Germany three times this year and thoroughly enjoyed each trip so have to give a shout out to the guys that booked us in Munich, Berlin and Saarbrucken also. In particular we enjoyed playing for nearly five hours in total in Saarbrucken! Sound system wise its got to be the Moat Stage at Outlook Festival Croatia, definitely the best rig we have played on by a mile.
For nostalgic purposes we would have to mention The Cellar (formerly Soul Cellar) in Southampton – it was one of the first places that we both played and certainly one the main venues that we made any sort of name for ourself with. It’s sadly closing its doors for good in a couple of weeks time so we’re throwing one last Release event there on January 2, head down if you want to give it a send off with us!
You mention Bristol and I know you have a track called ‘Bus 54′ is this a Bristol reference?
Harry recently relocated to Bristol, we both grew up in Southampton where Dave is still based. We would like to say ‘Bus 54′ is a Bristol nod – however it’s actually a production geek out reference! For those that know…
Name five tunes of any genre you’re currently loving?
Daniel Avery ‘Naive Response’
2562 ‘A New Today’
FD ‘Change Please’
Jehst X Strange U ‘Dolph Lundgren’
You mentioned the show tonight so what else is happening?
Well, gig-wise we are pretty busy for January – you can see us play at:
January 2 – The Cellar, Southampton
January 9 – Basment 45, Bristol
January 16 – Rainbow Venues, Birmingham
January 17 – Paci Paciana, Bergamo – Italy
January 30 – Coronet Theatre, London
January 30 – TBA Nottingham
Releases-wise we have a five track EP out on Dispatch early 2015: this will be a completely new venture for us into more soulful/melodic sounds and features a full vocal track with live keys, courtesy of Lucy Kitchen and Stephen Mccleery.
We also have the DLR remix of ‘Backhand’ on Dispatch and are currently in the process of returning the favour for him.
We’re hard at work on our next Program/Ram release currently, so keep your eyes peeled for more information as and when!
Also look out for our ’60 minutes of Ram’ mix dropping on Mistajams 1xtra show soon.
Got to shout out the people who have helped us progress our career this year really… that would be AntTC1 at Dispatch, Ray Rampage at Ram/Program and Alex Smiler and Tom Dagless at The Bassic Agency.