You took some time off playing gigs in 2014. Have you come into 2015 feeling refreshed?Watch the video for "Why You Feel So Low" below. The track has been released as a single today, and arrives backed with an
That wasn't through choice unfortunately. I had pretty serious problems with my health last year, firstly around WMC when I had to cancel a bunch of stuff and fly home early, and then over the summer where I missed the whole of July and August and then had to thin things out a lot in the autumn in order to fully recover. It's obviously not quite the same when you're ill but the period I spent on the sidelines did give me a chance to think and take stock of things generally which I hadn't really had the chance to do in the previous four or five years which were pretty much full speed without a break. In hindsight having the break was probably a good thing, but it was a pretty awful year generally.
You started making the album while preparing for a set at Labyrinth. How did that affect the recording process?
The situation was that the trip to Asia for Labyrinth in September was going to be the first shows I had back after being ill. Actually I decided that before I was anywhere near ready to play a gig: I'd done the festival in 2010 and couldn't handle the thought of missing the chance of doing it again. But in the couple of weeks before the trip I was out of bed and able to do some work in the studio so I'd made a start on the album, and I'd also started thinking about what kind of a set I was going to play at the festival.
What really brought the record together though was the experience of the festival itself, both my actual set and just hanging out there for the weekend, and once I got home and back in the studio it was a really quick process. I was conscious that there were a few eyebrows raised when I was announced for Labyrinth, I guess from people who switched off around the time Hardbody
came out, and it was nice to get the chance to remind people that I don't tend to stick with one thing for too long, and it's the same with the album: it doesn't sound much like Hardbody
You've explored a few different styles of music. How much pressure do you feel from fans who want you to stick to one sound?
There's constant pressure. For the first time recently I've had people on at me wanting more trancey house tunes. And obviously there is a fairly large contingent who want another Triangulation
and will hate me until that happens. The challenge is to avoid all that stuff affecting you, and not reading comment sections is a good first step on that but a very difficult one... I do my best not to. Ultimately you can never please everyone and all you can do is whatever feels right at the time. I don't think anyone can accuse me of following trends or jumping on bandwagons or whatever, I just make the music I want to make and then wait for the haters to do their worst. I mean, obviously I fan the flames of it to an extent with stuff like that FACT
Singles Club thing
, but actually it's always been like this for me: when my first album came out people either said it wasn't proper dubstep or I wasn't as good as Peverelist. So I'm used to it.
What does the rest of 2015 hold in store?
I've had to make a few lifestyle changes in order to get back to a full touring schedule but I'm kind of OK with that now. I really enjoy being on the road but if you're partying constantly it takes a lot out of you and I've learned the hard way that getting through it with everything intact requires a bit of forward planning. Other than touring, we're really busy with Hotflush and the schedule is looking really exciting for the rest of the year, plus we have one or two new projects that have been in the works for a while that well be rolling out gradually.
We're also launching a series of Hotflush nights called Reflexion, which is simply a way for us to branch out from just doing label showcases and bring in people whose music we love and will contribute to making a great party. The first one of those is at a new venue in London called Steel Works on March 28th with myself, Dense & Pika, Jack Haighton and we've invited one of my favourite DJs, Function, to be the first outside guest. So having had a fucking terrible 2014 I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into this year, it should be fun.