Saturday, March 14, 2009

Interview: Mt. Eden Dnb

To listen to Mt. Eden Dnb while reading click here

H: First off, thanks for being the first Central Beat Collective artist ever. Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself? Who are you and where are you from?
J: My name is Jesse cooper and I’m from Mount Eden. I grew up in the ghettoes of Mount Eden [laughs]. Henly Road.
H: How did you get into dnb and what has/does it change about your life?
J: It hasn’t really changed my life…But I got into it when my mates and I started listening to it at parties and stuff so…Its got a good tempo which always gets me going when I’m drinking.
H: Who are your main musical influences?
J: I personally like Roni Size, mainly because he has raps in his music. It just sounds a lot more unique than a lot of the mainstream stuff out there.
H: Your 5 favourite tracks at the moment?
J: Concord Dawn’s remix of Ill Skillz – Be There For You. That was one of the first dnb songs which really got me going. I quite like all that Chase & Status, but now they’re mainstream and thrashed quite a bit. Sigma- All blue. Drumsound & Bassline Smith – Cold Turkey.
H: Anything else… dubsteb?
J: The thing is…I know a song when I hear one but I don’t really know the artist or the name of it…Especially with dubstep. I’m kind of “ooohhh yeah I recognize this song” but…
H: I know what you mean. Of all the great musical acts in the world, who would you like to see/see again?
J: [Pause] Andy C...again. And Chase AND Status…preferably with both playing. We went to Fu to see them and only one of them turned up. It might be a better performance if it was both of them but... Also I’d like to see Benga and Skream again.
H: Your music has this quality that really takes parties to the next level. Describe the feeling you get when you’re out somewhere and people start crankin’ to your music.
J: Umm… I’m on a happy buzz but…I kind of feel a bit blues at same the time. I don’t know why, I guess I just don’t really like the attention. I definitely feel good when I see everyone’s happy, I just don’t like the attention sometimes.
H: Your songs seem to exude this uplifting feeling evident in people’s reactions to them. How do you manage to keep that feeling consistent in all of your tracks?
J: When I make a song I always try to make it really catchy. Not a song that’s just kind of been put out randomly, with a random beat, I only put songs out for a purpose, and that’s to catch people’s attention.
H: So talk us through your process of making a song. What equipment/software do you use and how do you use it?
J: I use a PC. I’ve borrowed a midi keyboard from my mate Joe. Cheers Joe. I’ve got a Korg KontrolPad which I am going to use as a drum pad when I figure out how to get it going. For software I use Acid Pro, Fruity Loops and Reason. First I start off with the drum beat. Then I try to match a melody or a bassline to the beat. I always use different variations of the main drum pattern so it doesn’t get repetitive. I think the important thing when making dnb is you’ve got to give a bit more flavour to the bassline and especially the drums. Then I choose samples that work best with my basslines. But I always start with the drums.
H: New Zealand has a great dnb scene. It’s definitely a way of life for many and represents something more real than the world of education and work. Where do you think our scene is heading in the next few years?
J: I wouldn’t have a clue bro! [laughs] What would you say? Maybe with the younger guys coming through there might be more of a hip hop influence than before because our generation really grew up with hip hop. And you see State Of Mind, their new track with PNC which is bad. And Tiki rapping on his own tracks... Concord Dawn and Scribe. That all has a big influence. I think also guys will be coming through the rock scene… and rock music influencing the dnb scene. So much rock is the same tempo as dnb, its quite similar. I saw Shapeshifter a couple of times over the holidays, and I noticed a few of their new tracks are quite rocky. They’re mean. Pendulum with their new album... sounds like a heavy mix between rock and dnb, with all that live guitar and everything. There might be more people who are deeply into their rock coming through and they’ll be sampling rock songs and using rock drum patterns and using it to produce a new brand of dnb.
H: So like a more mixed genre of dnb than before?
J: Yeah you got rock, hip hop, breaks, dance music… all with a dnb feel.
H: I heard on the grapevine that you’ve also been dabbling in the visual side of music, can you tell us some more about that?
J: VJing and stuff? Yeh I love VJing. Its cool because you can have music banging and this buzzy video clip playing along with it and you can chuck on anything and take the song and the party to the next level. The crowd loves it. It just adds another dimension to a performance.
H: So is there a possibility of a live Mt. Eden Dnb? Could you combine these two aspects?
J: Yeah…well I haven’t learnt how to mix yet. I only produce my music. Hopefully in the future I can learn how to mix and then do my visuals at the same time. That would be really cool. I need to get all my gear sorted and stuff, I don’t have decks yet. But yeah, I would be really stoked if I could get it all together and hit two birds with one stone, kind of thing.
H: Tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to the past months and what can we expect from you short term and long term?
J: Ummm, just making more music for my mates and stuff, and hopefully get a little bit more exposure, not just to my mates but to mates of mates, you know, through Facebook and Youtube…sh** I’ve nearly forgotten the question… [laughs]
H: You know, for example, you’re doing your building degree at the moment… What are you more focused on? Are you going to go hard with your music after that or…?
J: Once I finish my building, ‘cause I’m really over the early starts, ill probably just have one year to myself, make more music… practice my mixing at my mates houses and stuff, and have more focus towards music and the arts. I miss out on a lot of stuff when I’m building. Now that I’ve actually quit my job…
H: What? EXCLUSIVE! What happened?
J: It happened on Tuesday. My boss wouldn’t let me go to tech so I was like “go f*** yourself”, so yeah. He said it was my call, so yeah I made my call. Now that I’ve quit my job I’m looking out for another one obviously but ..I’ve got a lot more time on my hands to make music now. I made a track the other day…
H: What’s it called?
J: Its called “Chasing Shadows”. I sampled off a guy on Youtube called “Este Bit”… He’s from Poland and he’s pretty stoked with it. I did the visuals for that too. Its online now on Youtube. But yeah it’s been pretty cool… I’ve learnt a lot about how to use VJ-ing programs and how to sample video clips and stuff. I’ll be doing a VJ gig at the Shift event coming up. So that’s a start… I’ll be playing really old school cartoons, Dragonball Z, Transformers, some other things you might not have heard of… all while dnb is playing. I think that’s something that might get people into the more rowdy buzz. Fighting scenes, Matrix and sh**. It’ll be cool.
H: Have you got any last words for your fans, friends, whatever?
J: RELAX, you’ll live longer [laughs]

Cheers mate, best of luck with your music. And look out for some of Mt. Eden Dnb’s talent on the up and coming Central Beat Collective mixtape! If you can't wait...You can get all of this boys music on youtube

Also, Look out for our next interview in a month’s time.