Monday, 25 March 2013

The Interview - Draper

Once again, running this little blog has let me strike a potential gold mine (though given the interviewee, it should perhaps be liquid gold,) thanks to the generosity of one of my favourite artists, a master of all things chilled and bass, Draper. With remixes of some big name artists  including Twin Atlantic, Wiz Khalifa, Ellie Goulding and Bring Me The Horizon and complementing his original productions, Draper is making waves (again, perhaps it should be subsonic waves) on the UK dance scene.

Alongside this was a performance at Wembley Stadium as Rita Ora's DJ last summer, which suggest that he's got all bases (you should get the pun) covered in bringing his lovely collection of tunes to the world of electronic music. So here is an interview with the man himself, discussing everything from the elusive philosophical question 'What is Liquidstep?' to how hot he likes his Nando's and which comedian he reckons would be his ideal support act!

Draper Interview Part I - The Music

·         Where does the inspiration for your tracks come from? 
- I usually just play around with different sounds and then I’ll hear something that instantly makes me think of an idea and then I run with it. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad! Or it’ll be an idea that can spark from literally anything!

·         How would you define your trademark ‘liquidstep’ style of music? What makes it unique?
- It’s unique because it’s different… it’s the same tempo as dubstep but it’s more lighthearted yet with deep character to it.

·         How do you go about writing songs, where do you start and how do ideas normally develop? Does remixing call for a style of song writing?
- I never have a plan when writing a song, it’s all quite chaotic, there’s no structure or science it’s a lot of improvisation and changing sounds to see what’s cooler.

·         Do you have a favourite tempo and/or key you like to write in?
- I’m very accustomed to writing at 140bpm now, however I am a huge fan of 128… I don’t have a favourite key because I never know what key I’m writing in.

·         What was the first song you ever wrote? How did you produce it, and have you ever played it live?
-The first song I ever wrote was on a guitar, recorded on cakewalk guitar tracks pro. I had no idea how to use it or about production techniques so it was just terrible, but you have to start somewhere… Revamping that song to my style now is an interesting thought, might give it a go!

·         What was it like being able to totally rework an album (in the case of The Chillout Sessions)? Did you draw any ideas from the previous BMTH remix compilation? (2009’s Suicide Season: Cut Up)
- I haven’t actually heard that remix compilation, I really just stuck to what I knew and made some chilled mixes, no preparation or research, just what sounded chill.

·         Who would you like to work with most given the choice of any producer / vocalist / band on a collaboration who would it be?
- J√≥nsi. He’s an abstract post rock artist that just blows my mind away on every song he’s written. Another would be Tomas Dvorak, a great abstract producer.

·         Does a Draper album seem like a possibility in the near future? If/when you end up doing an album, is there anything special you want to try?
- Maybe further down the line. I’d definitely diversify my genres, electro house/chillwave/dnb and work on a bunch of collaborations for sure.

Draper Interview Part II - The World Of Draper
·         How was it performing at Wembley last summer with Rita Ora? Is there any chance of a possible collaboration in the future?
- Being at Wembley was a phenomenal experience. Everything about that day was mind blowing! A collaboration, who knows.
·         Have you made any funny backstage / tour bus requests? Can you think of any you’d like if you could get away with it?
- I don’t have the clout to ask for anything at this point in my career, but if I could get anything I’d get Michael McIntyre to be funny before the show.
·         How hot do you like your Nandos?
- I’ve only ever been twice so I haven’t tried anything other than medium…
·         If you had the chance to completely rewrite the score for any film past or present what would it be?
- Titanic, I’d re-score it with raging electronic tracks.
·         Where would be your ideal after party location? (You can think globally with this one if you like!)
- New York, love that place.
·         Who’s the most famous person in your phonebook?
- My mum.
·         If you had to do a Desert Island discs style ‘pick 5 songs from your record collection’ sort of thing, what would you go with?
Jonsi – Hengilas
Friendly Fires – Jump In the Pool
Tomas Dvorak – The Glasshouse with Butterfly
The Streets – Has It Come to This
Mac Miller – Nikes On My Feet
·         If you weren’t writing and performing lovely music for a living, what would you be doing?
- Still something in the music industry, studio engineering/production most likely.

Draper's new EP, appropriately entitled Draper EP, is out now and available to buy here and is, in my opinion a most excellent little collection. Also check out his soundcloud account, where he has released lots of remixes and originals for free, it's well worth a visit!

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