2010 saw a vast array of break out artists across the EDM spectrum, in the disco-house genre we were continually impressed by Russ Chimes‘ tunes. Last month we caught up with the British sensation, to chat about his recent Midnight Club EP and what’s to come in 2011. Here’s how it went:
GDD™: Hey Russ how was your Christmas and New Year?
RC: It was very good. Nice and chilled.
GDD™: Drink of choice over the holiday break?
RC: Mulled cider is a winner!
GDD™: How did you get into electronic music and when did it all start for you?
RC: I was always in bands in college, I did a graphic design degree in Bournemouth, then moved to London where I got a job and started working. I always had music as a hobby and it just grew from there: I got a job playing backing guitar in a couple of clubs around London, but then I fell out of love with that, and decided to start making my own stuff. Bought a copy of Logic, started producing in my bedroom and then some of my stuff got onto Discodust and that was the start really.
GDD™: So you’re still using Logic now, not made a transition to Ableton?
RC: Yeh man, I’ve always stuck with Logic, and so far so good.
GDD™: The sound you’re making at the moment is impressive stuff. Who were your main influences growing up, and on the flipside who influences your current sound?
RC: I’ve gone through a lot of stages and a lot of different kinds of music, I used to be into Punk-Rock, then went through Hip-Hop and Drum n Bass. But in terms of dance music, it was definitely the French Touch sound from guys like Cassius, Etienne De Crecy, and all the Super Discount albums. I went through a bit of a trance stage at the end of school, which I think maybe influences me in some way – I know Trance’s a bit of a dirty word – but yeh, definitely the French Touch guys, and obviously Daft Punk, as the main influences.
GDD™: While we’re on the subject, have you seen Tron yet? and what did you make of the soundtrack?
RC: I’ve listened to the soundtrack, but haven’t actually seen the film yet – I’m terrible! The album: only as a movie soundtrack, people judge it in strange ways…
GDD™: There are a lot of producers both new and from from the former movement who are gradually reviving the French Touch sound, do you see it as a something that will ever return to it’s former glory?
RC: I dunno man, I hope it does. The sound is very defined as it is, it’s always been good to dance to in clubs, and I still play quite a lot out when I DJ. So I hope that it does make a full revival, it’d be good.
GDD™: Really enjoyed both your Expressway mixes and Midnight Club, particularly ‘Targa’, massive track – what does 2011 have in store for you?
RC: Next thing is definitely a second EP. We’re hoping to put that out in the first quarter of 2011, and I’m continually working towards an album, so hopefully at some point this year that will drop. So that’s really the target at the moment: to get a longplayer record, a nice album with concepts and stories behind it. That’s what I’d love to do.
GDD™: Excellent, so do you reckon you’ll couple it with another feature length as you did with Midnight Club?
RC: Man, I don’t know, it was a pretty lucky thing that that happened. It’s was chance: firstly meeting Saman Keshavarz, and secondly being funded by the label was super lucky, so whether it’ll happen again, I’ve no idea. We’ll just have to wait and see, it’d be amazing though.
GDD™: We’d love to see that. Pitch it to the label early mate, get that one in the bag!
GDD™: So tell us, what was the inspiration for the Midnight Club video trilogy?
RC: The concept behind the EP was of wicked driving music. You just get in the car, slap it on and it makes your right foot take the pedal to the floor. That was really the whole premise, and I saw that when Saman the director came onboard, he had this whole story planned out and it was like merging the adrenaline of driving with his form of storytelling. It’s parts of all those 80s classic films, where guy meets girl, guy loses girl, is then meant to get her back, while having some cool car chases and looking badass. It’s not really that deep, yet he’s turned it into an epic story that’s really well told.
GDD™: What’s the most important thing to you when you produce a track? Is there a particular sound you’re after and a backbone or set of rules that you work around?
RC: I think most of it’s on melody: I try to start with a riff and build tracks around it, rather than starting out with a beat. I think having a really catchy and good riff is the key backbone and I guess that’s what I’m always searching for in tracks, to have that one killer riff which sticks in your head for the next week.
GDD™: Any remixes that your doing that your able to give us the inside scoop on?
RC: I’ve literally just finished one for Anoraak, he’s an old friend of mine, and it’s for his new single ‘Crazy Eyes’ off his album. And also I am doing one for Moonchild, he did one for my EP, so I am paying him back the favor and remixing his new track. So those are the two I am working on at the moment, but yeh, we’ll see what comes up in the next few months.
GDD™: I was checking out your blog and saw some shots of the West Coast of the US. Were you playing shows out here? And between us Brits, how’d you find it?
RC: Yeh man, I came out about 3 months ago. Sadly it wasn’t for shows, but it was the first time I’d been out there and I absolutely loved it. Great place. The weather was rubbish: grey, overcast and moody, but I dunno, there’s something about California. Super laidback, and super chilled; it was really cool.
GDD™: And do you have any plans to make it out Stateside in the coming months?
RC: I really don’t know. I’d love to come and play out there. When we were over there, a friend of mine Alex Metric was playing at Avalon and man, I’d love to play that party. So hopefully at some point – fingers crossed!
GDD™: Last of all, and we have to ask you this because of the nature of our blog: as a punter, when you’re on the dancefloor, do you dance dirty?
RC: Dude, always.
GDD™: Glad to hear it.
A couple of months old, this one’s a firm GDD™ favorite:
Russ and his management have kindly hooked us up with a rare pair of Midnight Club Vinyl, individually numbered, and signed by Russ himself. To be in with a chance of winning, drop us a line via our Facebook wall, and tell us your favorite French House tune of all time. Winners will be chosen by midnight on Tuesday (PCT). Get at it!