jackbeats-interview

So on Saturday 29th Jan, I got my “ninja on” and sneaked over to Wax:On in Leeds for what was set to be an awesome night with the duo Jack Beats (Beni G and Niall aka. Plus One) playing along side Nero, Kissy Sell Out, Zinc and Hype.

Wearing my cheap “wife beater” vest and armed with an iPhone – we’d arranged to meet up with the boys before their set for a quick interview. All looked good untill Beni’s sat nav got nicked, meaning (as Niall put it) they “ended up driving round Leeds like a couple of plums [laughs]” and almost being late for their set. We called them up after the gig instead.

First off – how was the Wax:On gig for you guys?
Beni: Yeah really good. Both of us had just had a month which feels like a long time so we were a bit worried about being a bit rusty. I literally stepped off the plane straight to the gig and we were both really pleased it went well. The crowd were really good.

A month off – you’ve had your first gig – what else have you got coming up?
Niall: Basically heads down really on the album – that’s why we’re staying in the UK for next couple of months and doing the tour here ‘cus we can do the album during the week and get some touring in at the weekend. We’re basically just in album world until we go to America so it’s pretty full on.

Any plans to play with scratch on their tour dates?
Niall: For the moment I’m just concentrating on the Jack Beats stuff – I’m still part of scratch perverts but just not getting involved in the gigs.

How’s the new Jack Beats album sounding?
Niall: Yeah it’s getting there man. We’ve kinda just been working on a few things that are a little bit different to what we normally do, as well as working on a few B-sides, a few things that are quite clubby and ticking a few of the boxes of things people might expect – so it’s exciting man.

What’s the usual approach in working together to create your tracks?
Niall: Well one of us usually comes up with a basic idea and if the other persons in it then we’ll crack on and we’ll take it to either a finished conclusion or we’ll just experiment with the idea.
Beni: Once we know it’s the right direction it sort of snowballs from there really. It tends to get to a point where we start building into a tune, then that will get remixed, then that will get remixed some more and it often get’s twisted quite differently from where we first started off. Quite often we’ll end up with 3 or 4 versions of a tune but there’s always some sort of idea or vibe that we kick it off with.

Who do you reckon would win in a nunchuck fight between you both?
Niall: (in the background) ooooh… good one.
Beni:[laughs] it would be close but I use to do Nijitsu, Wing Chun and Karate so I might be allright on the old nunchucks!

So a track that surprised us was Shutterbug as it was really different to your normal style but just as bloody awesome – how did that come about?
Niall: We were on tour and we wrote a little riff and were like when we get home we’ll finish that in the studio. The idea was to use the vocal sample in the tune as a kind of top line bass line rather than just one our synths… I don’t think a lot of people actually realize that that was it was all about but it don’t matter as people seem to like it [laughs]

Big Boi – Shutterbug (Jack Beats Remix)

’Big Boi – Shutterbug (Jack Beats Remix)’

Yeah mate – people go crazy when that drops! So what are your thoughts on music blogs?
Niall: Well we came through the whole blog culture man, I don’t think things would have gone the way they have without it.  We approached doing the new project (Jack Beats) a bit faceless and we used things like MySpace and stuff to do it.

We were previously known for hip-hop and drum ‘n’ bass and stuff and we started doing Jack Beats before the whole kind of “cross genre nights” of music and so to do 4/4 music – it wasn’t hitting it like it does now. We used MySpace originally just to experiment with peoples reactions and the blogs just took a hold of it.

To be honest man we owe a hell of a lot to the blog culture so we still totally check it. If you get a blog that you like it’s just like picking up a newspaper. It’s also about personality, you know someone like Pelski’s blog you can just watch him and his mood about music change so it’s different from a magazine that has to go to the current cool trend.

So you guys have had your track used on the BBC’s Shooting Stars (UK) – have you seen it?
Beni: Yeah our manager let us know that someone had been in touch and they’d heard the track and wanted to license it for some of the shows. We found out quite late in the day and then tuned in to see it and it was mad cus we both use to watch Shooting Stars back in the day with George Doors and all that.

Project Bassline – Drop the Pressure (Jack Beats Remix)

’Project Bassline – Drop the Pressure (Jack Beats Remix)’

You’ve been touring all over with Jack Beats – where’s the more memorable places you’ve been?
Beni: Well it’s been great cus we’ve had a lot of good reception in a lot of different territories. I guess the more memorable gigs was some of the festval stuff like Pukkelpop and Hard Halloween – a lot of the Hard shows that we play out in America are always really good especially the Halloween one.

We did Space in Ibiza last year which was really good especially as it was a place we really wanted to play but here’s a lot of different territories really and the American and Australian ones have really latched on to the sort of stuff that we’re doing which is great.

Boys… thanks for your time
Beni: Pleasure man – Big ups!

Photo by Gary Brown www.gbmultimedia.co.uk

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