TiD&B Interview: Friction

Posted by on Monday, August 15th, 2011

Last week saw the release of Friction’s first single of the year, the effortlessly sexy Summer hit ‘Someone’ featuring McLean which has had us singing our little hearts out to, accompanied by the equally heavyweight banger ‘Flip the Page’.  With talk on the D&B grapevine that this may also mark the beginnings of work on a debut solo longplayer, we wasted no time and got on the phone to the Shogun Audio boss to catch up and find out more…




TiD&B: How’s your summer going? Do you find it gets more manic with festival appearances around this time?
Friction: It’s going amazingly well, particularly as we’re in the middle of festival season and I love playing them.  Everything is very busy at the moment, as I’m in and out of the UK a lot whilst of course trying to get into the studio when I can, but it’s all really good.

TiD&B: Let’s talk about your current single ‘Someone’ how did the hook up with McLean come about?
Friction: I’d been working on it for a little while and it was my publisher that actually linked me up with McLean. I’d heard some of his solo work and was feeling it, so we met up in my studio in London and he laid down some vocals on the instrumental. I loved what he did with it and knew straight away that that was the final version as frequency and vibe wise, it sat so perfectly.  Then I started playing ‘Someone’ out and the crowds loved it and judging by their reaction, I knew it’d have to be released.  But then of course, I knew I needed a flipside too and so thought I’d make a straight up drum and bass tune, a pure party roller, no big vocal tune, just a cool track to compliment it, which is how ‘Flip The Page’ came about.




TiD&B: With a non-stop DJ schedule and also heading up Shogun Audio, how do you find the time to get in the studio and work on making music too – is it something you have to plan?
Friction: It’s hard to plan anything when it comes to making music, as a lot of the time it just kind of happens.  But yeah, it’s really difficult trying to fit production time around such a busy DJ schedule, and that’s always been the main problem, trying to find time, as when I first started, I was making tunes and also DJing, but  then when the DJing really took off I stopped writing as I just didn’t have time.  Then about a year and a half ago, I really wanted to get back into the studio and it’s been a year or so now that I’ve been trying to balance both…it’s hard though as I love both aspects and wouldn’t want to give up either.




TiD&B: So with more focus given to making beats, is there perhaps an album in the works?
Friction: Yes, it’s still very early stages as I’m just getting ideas down at the moment but I am working towards an album which will hopefully see a release in the middle of next year.

TiD&B: Exciting stuff, we’re very much looking forward to it! Writing an album and trying to get a specific sound across must be quite difficult, particularly as has been showcased in previous releases and in your live sets, you embrace all subgenres of D&B – so how would you describe the signature Friction sound?
Friction: That’s a really hard question! When it comes to writing music, I always write what I’m feeling and never really have a plan which is why style-wise, it can go in any direction.  For example, with ‘Set It Off’ (collabo with K-Tee), I built it around an old skool hip hop sample which had quite an aggressive feel so I added a tougher bassline and drums to it.  Then ‘Flip The Page’ came about from a disco sample I found, which inspired me to write a dancefloor roller….so it always depends on what mood I’m in.  I’m into all styles of D&B, and could never choose one to favour – as long as a track is produced well and it’s a good tune, I like it.  Music can effect you in different ways and there’s so much to be found within D&B which is what I love about the genre.

TiD&B: That definitely comes through in your live sets, having seen you play out countless times, such as at your Shogun Audio nights at Cable, London, the energy is immense!
Friction: Thanks! Shogun nights are always special and that’s where I get serious with the tunes, haha!

Photo by Justin De Souza

TiD&B: We noticed that you’ll be dropping 2 sets at this Saturday’s Shogun Audio at Cable, including an ‘alt set’, what vibes can we expect?
Friction: Everything! A bit of garage, house and everyting that’s inspired me over the years – it’s nice to mix it up!

TiD&B: What else do you listen to apart from D&B?
Friction: I recently bought the SBTRKT album and I’ve been into the latest SebastiAn LP, but I listen to lots of styles, from old-skool West coast hip hop to influences such as Massive Attack and old-skool rave.  It’s hard to fit in time listening to so much music, as even in my down time, when for example I’m catching up on emails, I end up listening to new D&B cuts!  But I do love a variety of sounds!

TiD&B: As one of the busiest heads in the scene, when you do get a moment to relax, what do you usually get up to?
Friction: Normal stuff really; watching movies, catching up with friends, reading a book…although I haven’t read one in about five years! I’m a bit of a work-a-holic, on it 24/7, but again, I love what I do which is why I put all my time into it!

TiD&B: Having become known for your formidable skills on the decks; tight mixes and exceptional selection, do you still practise and prepare for sets, or do you leave it for when you’re playing out?
Friction: Yeah, every now and again, it’s important to at least try and fit in a quick mix to test out new tunes.  Actually when I’ve finished in the studio tonight, I’ll be taking a few hours out to get ready for the weekend as I’ve got a couple of big shows coming up…but again, it’s all about having the time – there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

TiD&B: Wrapping things up, you’ve got us hooked on word that you’re working on a longplayer, but what goodness from the Shogun imprint can we keep an ear out for too?
Friction: Our latest signing, The Prototypes will be releasing their debut 12” in October which we’re excited about and following that, we have a compilation album project coming out featuring all the artists from the label.  We were going over the tracklist earlier today and it’s going be really special!

TiD&B: Go on, tell us more…
Friction: I’ve been sworn to secrecy, haha and can’t disclose any info but it’ll be out soon, around October, so not too long to go – expect the usual Shogun Audio sound; cutting edge rollers with a bit of funk.

Posted on: 15/08/11 Categories: Interviews TiD&B Features

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