Interviews

Addison Groove Interview

UK Garage / Grime / 2step / Dubstep

N: Your music had allowed you to travel quite a lot. You’ve been a little bit everywhere and you will be performing in Shanghai soon, did you expect such a wide international demand?

AG: No, it just happened I suppose. You build up. I remember being as Headhunter, I was making music in my bedroom and I got signed to Tempa and in the space of 6 months I went from no gigs to playing in Germany. For someone that is just making music in his laptop to then be asked to play somewhere… I didn’t get paid much to play in these places but you didn’t care about it. You’re like “waw, people want me to play for them” so you go and do it. In my past I was very serious about my BMX riding, I loved it. Then, when my music started taking over, I realised I was doing well in music so I stopped riding my bike and took the music a little bit more serious. It wasn’t until my first EP on Tempa that I took it seriously, before that I was just messing around. Then you take it more serious and realise “Hey I can do things” and start DJing to these people. Then you want to educate people when you DJ to them. It just grew from there. To me it is no surprise, which is humbling, but at the same time people still ask me to come play in China, Australia or South America and I would never say no. The only thing I don’t like, even if I’m not scared of it, is flying. I just hate the whole process of it. You know, if I can get a train to China and be there in 2 hours I would, but that is impossible to do from England. It’s just a bit tedious but when you actually arrive it’s nice, yeah.

N: What about your legendary track Footcrab? How did this track come to be what it became and did you expect that outcome to occur while making it?

AG: There are several reasons why I did the track. The first reason is that while I was on Youtube looking at the juke music I was thinking “This is good music, I want to start playing it”. So I started playing juke music in my Headhunter sets and I was like “What if we had a track with mix from a juke record to dubstep record?”. So I started messing around with this kind of juke style at 140 bpm, but I wanted to mix it with dubstep. That’s how I made Footcrab. It’s a cross between a juke track and a dubstep track and I wanted to have a track mixing the two genres. Also, because it was completely from experimentation as well: chopping up vocal samples and see what I can discover with the 808 bass drum and snare drum, and a vocal. This is one of the first tracks I made in this style and it happened to be one of the biggest tracks in 2010 or something like that, which is great. The good thing about Footcrab is that it’s like a legacy. I’ve seen it from when I first made it and when it became big. I still play it today and people still respond to it. It’s amazing, it’s crazy how this track that I made 3 years ago has that great response. And I really don’t mind playing it. When someone comes and asks me to play it I play it cause I like it. I do play my new version, it’s a bit more of a techno style, like boumboumboum…but it’s still nice!

N: Yes, I remember hearing Dj Rashad’s version yesterday night, goodie!

AG: Yes yes, I played it also. I played mine early on cause it was slower and then I played the Rashad one around the end.

N: What is the sample of Foodcrab, in terms of the vocals?

AG: Oh I can’t say. I just do the digging for acapellas, it is not that difficult to find if you look in the right places. I use Ableton, I put in vocals and chop them up, trying to create some words and create Footcrab words, and yeas, It’s a cool discovery.

N: What about the exposure of Footcrab. Who made it known?

AG: I suppose Loefah helped with the exposure, he put it up and got it to some people. There were people emailing me, saying “I heard this track you’re playing, it’s crazy, can I have it?” People like Kode 9 emailed me: “I want this track from you” and I admire K9 so I was like” yeah sure” and slowly I started hearing techno DJs playing it. Surgeon and Mr. Scruff have played it. I didn’t expect this to happen. It all accumulated and went upwards…

N: Tell us more about your other project Headhunter and how is it different to Addison Groove?

AG: It is the more technical style of music that I make. I use the same tool to make this music, except for the 808. I use more samples and I do a lot more processing. I tend to be more of a nerd, more of a geek when I make the Headhunter tracks, which is cool, I like to do that. But it’s definitely got a more techno style to it than the Addison Groove stuff which has a more of a bassy stuff I suppose, if you want to define it. I had a release as Headhunter in December last year, it was two dubstep tracks and I will probably continue making Headhunter tracks but not right now, maybe sometime in the future. At the moment I am enjoying making Addison Groove music and when I am on the road, in a trend, it is good to stay within the same trend, continue to make the music that is coming naturally to me.

N: Where have you performed but Headhunter sets?

AG: The people who would put Headhunter cannot afford Addison Groove so I am not doing anymore Headhunter gigs. Addison Groove gigs are bigger, they are more diverse oriented and yes, there is a bit more money involved. If I can have fun playing whatever I want and make a good living out of it, then I would do that. I played Headhunter in a boat last year, in this festival in Croatia called Outlook, the big dubstep festival in Europe. It was sunny and I was playing older dubstep from 2008. I can go from playing music from 110 bpm to 180 and I am sure I couldn’t do that if I was booked to play in a dubstep party. I don’t like this restriction; I like to be a bit crazy in my style of Djing.

N: future plans

AG: In October, there will be another 12 inch and the title of the 12 inch is “I go boom”. I played the track last night and I’ve been playing this track for long time now. Every time I play it people go crazy so I know it is a good track and it will go out on 50 weapons. For next year, I am in the mood of making another album so I will just do that. After this tour maybe I’ll start it. I haven’t started it yet. That is a year-long thing and I promised to a friend of mine in Berlin I would do him a Headhunter remix, so I will eventually do that. I usually do what I say, I am very good with my word.

N: How did you find your performance at Booty Bakery and the vibe yesterday?

AG: Yes it was good, it was nice! It was very hot, that is the first thing I noticed. Let put this in order: Ok, the first thing I noticed was “yea I can play here”. Second thing, there was a girl in the first row, she was asking for the 101 and I asked myself: does this girl really know this track? And I kept telling her: wait, please wait! I’ll play it in a little bit. And then I played it and I heard uuuuuh! Half an hour later there was another girl that comes onto the stage and goes “Can you play Bad Things?”, the track from my album, and I am thinking “How this girl even knows about this track?” By that time I was playing juke music so it was the first time I played this Bad Things track in 60 bpm and it sounded nice! I was very surprised, this kind of worked. So that was one of the things I noticed. But yes, I enjoyed it. I am using a new kind of setup that I have been only doing for two days and I did it yesterday in Boston. I am using a new controller called the F1 given to me for BETA test. So there might of been some places when the music didn’t sound quite right but there is no better way to learn that with a piece of software in a club. I am still getting used to it. Yesterday actually went really well. I don’t think people noticed many technical problems or issues but that is something that just lies in the background. In a week of time, after doing 7 more gigs it will be good.