Well dirty dancers, do we have a treat for you. We recently got in touch with a duo making some serious noise on the other side of the pond, and across the blogosphere for that matter. UK’s own Disco Of Doom took some time to talk about what they’ve been up to and what’s in store for this year.
GDD: Okay, so how did you guys get into Electronic Music in the first place? Did growing up in the UK play a big role in the music that inspired you? Were you DJs first or producers?
Tom: My brother was a huge influence on me getting into dance music. He got into rave in the early 90’s whilst I was into Indie like Nirvana, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Carter USM and also bands like Faith No More (I was a skater at this poin.t) My brother got into rave and we happened to have one of the biggest illegal raves happen just up the road one May bank holiday and wallop, I was hooked.
Ben: I was a drummer in a rap/metal band for most of my late teens, and gradually got into electronic music production after listening to alot of Leftfield, Prodigy, Chemical Bros, Underworld etc. in the mid to late 90s. Of course at that time the UK was pretty much the centre of electronic music and that definitely had an effect simply because there was so much of it around and so many of our friends were involved in playing and making it. Tom was a DJ before we started making music together – I didn’t really start playing out until about 5 years ago.
GDD: How did you guys meet in the first place? Did black thundering clouds start to form and papers began to fly and swirl around as lightning struck?
Tom: I’d like to say it was love at first sight but sadly no such romance. We both finished our respective universities and both had plans to move to London (not knowing each other at this stage) as was another mutual friend and the rest as they say is history.
Ben: I was a kindly charitable youth, and took pity on Tom’s malnourished and weakly aspect immediately; ‘There is a fellow’ I said to myself, ‘who needs all the help he can get’. It was like something out of a Dickens novel, like when they drag those dying kids out of the workhouse and turn them into gentlemen. That is Dickens, isn’t it?
GDD: So the name Disco of Doom came from the idea to brand a force of DJing, events, and originally a radio show. Did you ever think it was going to turn into the success you guys have had with production?
Tom: ‘Brand’ is such a corporate way of looking at it but essentially yes. We both wanted to launch a new project which represented our changing tastes in music and Disco Of Doom popped into my head one night and that was that. It seemed like a good name that would lend itself to events, labels, the radio show and more.
Ben: These days there are simply so many people doing this kind of thing that to make sure you stand out you do need to think alot more about elements other than the music that can shape how you are perceived. We just liked the whole feel of the name really, we think it’s pretty indicative of our sound – it’s quite energetic and a little bit dark but at the same time not being particularly serious about it, keeping the element of fun so things don’t get too screwfaced and dude-heavy.
GDD: What were your biggest musical influences early on? How have they changed to what your influenced by today (What DJ/producers today influence you)? What kind of music do you guys listen to when you’re not in the studio?
Tom: Within electronic music I’ve been a fully paid up member of the rave scene since 1992, I’ve journeyed through rave, techno, hardcore, jungle, breaks, house music, electro and finally back to techno. Part of our production ethos is to draw inspirations from both our musical backgrounds and interests and I think this comes through in our production by the fact that one day we’ll make techno, next something with a big bassline, rave samples, bashing electro.
Ben: In reality I listen to very little dance music outside the clubs and the studio, I leave that to Tom – I’m a professional composer so on any given day I listen to bits and pieces of almost everything. Apart from the aforementioned dance supergroups from the 90s (Chems, Leftfield etc.) the most influential artists on me have probably been Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden and so on, because those were the acts that made me want to become a musician.
GDD: This past year must have been very exciting for you guys, with the success of ‘Sex Face’ and its tremendous support from Brodinski, Busy P, Boys Noize and Drop The Lime – just to name a few. What has that meant to you guys?
Tom: For me I think it has been a real boost to have these names onboard. It was around a time I was a bit down about the amount of effort we were putting in to what felt like little response but to hear this feedback from artists and DJs we’re really into was a real boost to get back into things. It’s amazing when your favourite DJs and producers get back to you with supportive comments!
Ben: Obviously it’s great to get props from other artists like those, especially when they keep sending you videos of themselves dropping the tune in question at a packed rave! Brodinski did that twice – what a legend!
Tom: We’ve just finished a couple of big remixes but at this time we’re still waiting for the official green light from the labels so don’t want to jinx them! Production-wise last year saw us do a whole load of remixing whilst I think this year will be a lot more focused on our own production. We’ve got our next EP forthcoming on Discobelle Records in February, this is a four tracker the first track of which (Invader) Annie Mac was super hyped about and asked to give it away on her blog which was a nice start. We’ve hopefully got a few interesting remixes on the package so it should be a banger!
GDD: Lets talk about production… what are you guys using right now in the studio? What about for the DJ set? Any signature details that make that Disco of Doom sound?
Tom: In the studio we work with Logic using mostly native synths and plugins – we do have a few special plug-ins that featured heavily such as the Sugar Byte’s Effectrix which makes superb effects.
Ben: Yeah we pretty much exclusively use Logic, for years I’ve much preferred to work totally in the box with my laptop so that I can work from anywhere I want, and not be hindered by ‘needing’ that synth that’s back at home in the studio. I do use some NI stuff and as Tom said Effectrix is a very useful tool indeed.
GDD: You guys have been on a warpath of gigs and the festival circuit in europe… Any plans to come to the US? Can we say…. Miami in March? What about out here to LA at some point?
Tom: We’d love to come to tour the States, any offers welcomed!
GDD: Last but not least, do you guys dance dirty?
Tom: Ben dances like his dad.
GDD: Hahaha WOW. Thanks for that…. and again for letting us in on everything! Wish you guys the best of luck in the new year, and we’ll be sure to get you out here to LA soon enough!
2: Soulgrabber – Motocross Madness (Bart B More Mix)
3: Gonzales – Never Stop (Erol Alkan Remix)
4: Benny Rodriguez – Rotterdam Tribute
5: Green Velvet – Flash
6: Panteros666 – Kegstand (Dubbel Dutch Remix)
7: Disco Of Doom – Invader
8: Jan Driver – Mecafunk
9: Mumbai Science – Gold
10: Caribou – Sun (Bowski Remix)