Bachelors Of Science: The ACT:LIVE Interview
werd: james niche
[de]Blase Entertainment and the St8Cyde Jump Up are proud to present the Bachelors of Science to TILT Night Club this Friday, and I am very excited.
These men have been lighting a fire under the ass of the Drum and Bass world worldwide and now is the time to see them before they head back into the studio to work on new material.
Bachelors, Chris and Rene, were kind enough to take some time out of their busy schedules and shed some light on where they've been, where they are and what's coming up in the future.
So, all you DnB heads, enjoy. I now present the Bachelors Of Science...
ACT:LIVE: So, where are you right now as you type this?
Rene: Sitting in the home studio, just on the outside of San Francisco.
Chris: Chillin' at home in the bay area.
ACT:LIVE: I know you guys are brewing a heavy storm in the Drum and Bass (DnB) world, I'll get to that, but where are you guys from?
Rene: Originally born in New Zealand, then grew up in England. I mostly lived in the London area before moving out to San Francisco about seven years ago.
Chris: I was born in Southampton England, then moved to San Francisco ten years ago.
ACT:LIVE: What's the history of the relationship and chemistry between the two of you?
Rene: What chemistry? lol .... We actually met each other out here in San Francisco while working together. At the time I was heavy into production, while Chris had more of a DJ background. Both of us had a passion for electronic music, especially the DnB scene, and that's how it all began really ... we just combined our talents in the hope that something good would come out of it.
Chris: We met about seven years ago. I was DJ'ing a lot at the time and wanted to start producing, Rene was already choppin' beats by this time..so after a few beers we decided.. I'd teach Rene the basics of mixing and Rene would teach me the basics of producing...and it was born.
ACT:LIVE: What did you do previously?
Rene: Well prior to meeting Chris I was studying out in the UK for my music/media degree. I've still got the day job (highly unlikely I'd ever go full-time into the music biz just because of financial reasons), but there's a nice balance now between both.
Chris: A lot of promoting and running a DnB record shop in Southampton.
ACT:LIVE: What inspires the creations?
Rene: Typically the music making happens in very compact space of time, ie: We'll both go away or be listening to all kinds of styles of music and keep an ear out for any good samples or production styles that we like ... and then usually there just comes a point after a few months of listening that we'll get the bug to produce again, and that's when we combine all the ideas from what we've been listening to over the year. As far as actual songs though, typically it revolves around a sample or a chord progression ... I guess we just have an ear now for whether something will work or not.
Chris: It does revolve around a solid sample or chord progression, but also the samples we choose or the chords we use are a lot of the time related directly to the mood we're in and just whats going on in our lives at that point.
ACT:LIVE: What are your musical tastes?
Rene: Similar to what I stated above, they're always changing, always developing. At the time of the last album I was listening to a lot of soul, indie and down tempo. Recently I've been listening to a lot of jazz standards, African acid, techno and classical. Certain bands are always firm favorites for me though like Avalanches, Lemon Jelly, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra, Portishead.
Chris: I listen to everything. I'm into a lot down tempo stuff right now, soul, dubstep and dancehall.
ACT:LIVE:Did you have any formal schooling or instrumental background?
Rene: Yeah I was brought up as a classically trained pianist and then got into the whole improvisation thing, often playing whatever I felt like at that particular moment, and as I said, I went to college for music, but funnily enough I don't think it really played any influence on how we make our tracks. The piano playing part definitely helped, but as far as educational theory and all that, it's such a different world when it comes to producing electronic music ... people basically throw the rulebook out and that's where some of the most creative tension comes in.
Chris: I've not had any formal music training. Music has always been a big part of my life.
ACT:LIVE: So where do you get out and do your thing at in San Fran?
Rene: The San Francisco scene is like a family, people come and go but there's a core group of people who put their heart and soul into making events happen. There's definitely certain DnB spots such as Compression, SF Underground and Anu. Then outside of that genre we're lucky, because a large roster of talent tends to come through town to places like Mighty, Mezzanine, Fillmore etc.
Chris: I think we've played all of the weekly and monthly events in San Francisco. The dnb scene in the bay area has so many people putting their time and energy into it. People here do it for the love of the music, and its great to be apart of that.
ACT:LIVE: Anything you'd like to share about San Fran on the topic of music?
Rene: Dubstep is huge over here at the moment, to the point that it's probably taken a lot of people away from drum n bass .. but when I talk to people about why they're more into that now, it's because they were getting bored with the same familiar sound that was being put out. Ironically when they hear some of the stuff we play, it's refreshing to them and you find they actually had no idea there were all these other styles of DnB being made. I think that's a good thing ... no genre can ever be top dog over a period of time if they keep producing the same stuff over and over. So that's where we are now, trying to bring in other influences and change the definition of what DnB can be.
ACT:LIVE: Ever heard of Mr. Lexicon?
Rene: No ... should I have?
ACT:LIVE: (laughs) No, you shouldn't have necessarily heard of them. I was out in San Fran a little while ago and they were this hip-hop group with this gimmick of being foreign rappers from some "Slavic" country. A buddy of mine is their DJ.
ACT:LIVE: Traveling much?
Rene: We've definitely been traveling a lot recently .. mostly just to shows in the USA and I was recently in Europe doing some promotion, but I have to say this will probably the last of the shows for a while as we're itching to get back into production for a few months.
Chris: We've been doing a lot of shows recently, but are now ready for the studio.
ACT:LIVE: If overseas, what's the ratio of gigs between home and abroad?
Rene & Chris: Definitely more around home than abroad, but that's always a cost issue. It's probably like 5 to 1, we're expecting to go back to Europe in 2009 though and might do a short tour then.
ACT:LIVE: So, good god you held on to #1 on BeatPort.com's DnB chart for how many weeks?
Rene & Chris: Christ we didn't actually realize it was still number 1! It's been really surprising the success we've had recently and we definitely don't take it for granted. To be honest we didn't know what to expect, distributors first said they weren't going to pick up the album because it wasn't "dance floor" enough, but the label took a chance on us anyways. Next thing you know it's the fifth most downloaded album of all time, Strings Track had been on Beatport #1 for 4 weeks and didn't seem to be slowing and Song For Lovers had a whopping nine weeks at #1 with over 20,000 plays on YouTube.
Needless to say, we're chuffed and pleased to see that there is an audience that really really wanted this style of electronic music.
ACT:LIVE: What was going on with you guys as the album starting breaking?
Rene: It was amazing how long the album took to finish, even just small stuff like pressing, promotion etc. and that's before it's even out! So after it came out we took a bit of a break and really it's been a lot of word of mouth and a gradual build that's kept the album in the top tens for so long. Next thing you know, while we thought we were relatively unknown, turned out everyone was talking.
Chris: Yeah, by the time the album came out we'd already started getting ideas together for the next one;)
ACT:LIVE: Who is working with you guys to distribute the album?
Rene: Distribution is done by Horizons Music and ST Holdings in the UK. I wish there was more time to do interviews and stuff like this to be honest, I love doing it.
ACT:LIVE: Have you been to New York before? Rochester?
Rene: Well I was in NYC playing downtown last September ... I loved the energy of NYC.
Chris: No I've never been to Rochester. I'm really looking forward to coming though.
ACT:LIVE: Know anything about Rochester?
Rene: I'm waiting for the full report from Chris. :)
Chris: Its 3 hours from Niagara falls. ;)
ACT:LIVE: Well, the NYS, DnB crews will all be in house next week for the gig and are excited. Anything you want to say, shout out, drop, plug....?
Rene & Chris: Just a thanks to everyone for the continued support, we wouldn't be doing it if people weren't listening to it (ok, maybe we would).
But really, we always try and give everything our all and just hope that people let loose, dance and have a fuckin' great time. Shouts to Dave Schinman and the Secret Night Of Science guys in NYC, keep an eye out for the upcoming Song For Lovers music video that's being shot right now and as always ... if anyone wants to get in touch, drop us a line www.bachelorsofscience.com.
I'd like to thank Chris and Rene for answering some questions and keeping it real.
These guys seem like some cool dudes and I can't wait to get down and have some fun this weekend.
I encourage everyone to get out and pick up their new disc, "Science Fiction".
I have always been a fan of Drum and Bass, especially some of the harder material, but these guys are a refreshing taste in the sea of the same old that circulates in the electronic world. The "Song For Lovers" single is a perfect example of that.
See you Friday kiddies. Peace.
Right now we're listening to:
HELMET "See You Dead" ("Size Matters", 2004, Interscope)
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