Our first interview from this year’s wonderful Shambhala Music Festival comes from the Bristol duo Snarophobe. They have been jet setting across the globe the last little while and both of them have finally made their way over to North America to bring their own special blend of bass music.
AYNiB: Thank you very much for sitting down with All You Need is Bass. We really appreciate you taking the time out of your obviously busy weekend.
Maybe if you guys could just quickly introduce yourselves and give a quick description of what your sound is like for people who haven’t had a chance to check you guys out?
[quote style=”boxed” float=”left”]Ya’ we’re coming with loads of Dub, Dubstep, bits of Jungle, and our own take on Glitch Hop.[/quote]
Chris: This is Chris and Pete from Snareophobe. We come from Bristol in the UK. We just landed in Shambhala Music Festival in BC and we’re getting ready to play some UK bass music to all these lovely, beautiful, naked people. Ya’ we’re coming with loads of Dub, Dubstep, bits of Jungle, and our own take on Glitch Hop. We’ve just finished an album that we’re going to promote and test for the first time today.”
Pete: Exciting times!
How did you guys meet?
Chris: In prison.
Pete: Ya, in prison in Manchester. No, we didn’t really really. We did meet in Manchester, just through free parties out in the country side up in Manchester – in the Peak District in the UK. Just through the Drum and Bass scene and throwing parties.
Chris: We’ve been involved with free party culture and sound systems in the UK for close to 15 years now. I used to run club nights, where we used to host any Breakbeat, Drum and Bass, or Jungle act in the UK. It grew into the Dubstep acts later on as well, and I met Pete through doing those kind of things and just a love of Drum and Bass and Jungle music.
Pete: Ya man!
How are you finding the differences between UK and North American Bass music and scenes?
Chris: We don’t really know first hand quite yet. We’ve just landed, but we’ve obviously seen videos and heard lots of people’s music. We’re really into Bassnectar, and a lot of the West Coast stuff. We’re doing some collaborations with people like FreQ Nasty who just moved out to the West Coast as well. We love all that stuff.
Pete: Justin Roommate
Chris: Ya, Justin Roommate as well – the Avocaudio guys and Ill.Esha.
Pete: I’ve been through to the US for the last 3 or 4 years. Burning Man 2009 was the first time I came over and it blew my mind. Since then it has been a big influence on my music because all I had known was the UK really. I hadn’t investigated the US scene too much and going to Burning Man was a massive “Here ya go in your face. Here it all is”.
AYNiB: Ya, your Burning Man mix is fantastic.
Pete: Nice one, thanks man. I took that out the second year. I met some wicked people with good vibes.
You guys thinking about going back to Burning Man any time soon?
Pete: Ya! Plans, always plans to get there if our schedule permits. <laughter>
Chris: I’ve never been there before, but I’d love to go there in the future. That’d be cool.
AYNiB: It’s a pretty intense place. It’s beautiful but bloody hot.
Pete: Desert vibes <laughter>
You guys have been touring around. You were in India and I believe Poland right?
Chris: Ya, all through Europe the last couple of years and played a lot of big shows in Europe. The India shows were pretty cool as well. It was nice to see the start of the scenes over there. The Dubstep scenes have been growing strong over there. I hadn’t really expected that. It’s like when I first got in to this kind of music – that is what is happening over there right now. There are loads of cool producers coming through, making some really nice tunes that we heard. It’s really healthy over there.
[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]The Dubstep scenes have been growing strong over there [India][/quote] How long were you over there?
Chris: Only like 4 nights and 5 days.
Where were you?
Chris: We flew into Mumbai and then went to Goa and then to Pune and then back to Mumbai. It was a whistle stop tour. Everything is fast forward over there, so it was very different but we enjoyed the shows.
Did you enjoy the food?
Chris: Some select food out there.
I was taking a look at your website and saw the Jamie Oliver remix and it looks pretty good. Though, I haven’t tried it yet.
AYNiB: It looks pretty hearty.
Chris: Ya, it is – but you Canadians will love that stuff!
AYNiB: Ya! Cheese, beef – that’s all us.
Pete: Swap it out for some moose or something.
AYNiB: Some venison might be good in there.
Are you planning on doing any more food remixes?
Pete: Hell yeah, we got loads more in the pipeline. That’s our kind of staple regular break from writing music at home. You just take yourself away from the computer and cook up some wicked food.
Chris: Now we’re on tour with Dub FX and the Flower Fairy. They’re big raw foodies and nutritionalists and they’re really into some health foods that I’ve never heard of before. Some rare bits and pieces the last couple of days and we’re away for close to 3 months, so I expect my belly is going to shrink and I’m going to get in to some new kinds of foods while I’m away.
Have they introduced you to Kambucha yet?
Chris: What’s that?
AYNiB: It’s a sort of fermented cultured mushroom tea.
Pete: No, not yet.
AYNiB: Its delicious, and gives a nice little pick me up.
Chris: Is it magic?
AYNiB: I wish. <laughter>
Pete: Maybe, mushroom brain magic.
So, what else have you guys been working on?
Chris: Just the album really for the last year. Just getting stuff ready for that, trying to finalize it before we came over here and get it all finished off. That’s going to be released imminently.
Is there a set date yet?
Pete: Probably in the next couple of weeks through our website snareophobe.com, and if you catch us at any of the shows in Canada we will have copies there with the merch.
Chris: Convoyunltd.com as always will have blog posts up there, and that’s where the shops are for all our crews albums and music.
It feels like videos are really important for the whole Convoy Unlimited feel. Are you guys planning on doing any releases as well?
Chris: Ya, we’d like to collaborate with some people over here if possible. We’re away for 3 months so there should be lots of opportunity to do that. bd Films back in Bristol is our main guy really. He’s sort of covered everyone out that way. It’s made all the Dub FX tours possible really I think. It has sort of exposed everyone’s music.
AYNiB: And he’s just put out that collection too.
Chris: Ya, that’s right the DVD collection has just come out. It’s the Amsterdam footage from when we were messing around in Amsterdam a few years ago.
Do you guys have any big collaborations on the solo album?
Chris: There is lots of bass music. Some of it turned out to be stuff that we don’t really play out on the dance floor. There is lots of sort of nice deep Hip Hop on there – kind of Glitch Hop stuff. Lots of songs that we recorded with lots of the vocalists that we do live stuff with. Marf who plays with La La and the Boo Ya and sings with Congo Natty. Eva Lazurus from Dub Mafia – they are an unbelievable Drum and Bass/Jungle band from Bristol .
AYNiB: Ya, they are unreal! I just discovered them a few months ago and they blew my mind.
Chris: They are the best live band I’ve ever seen and met. They are just outstanding. We did a few tunes with Eva on the album. Little Reece from Mr. Woodnote as well. We kept it kind of family based. All these people are our good friends and real good vibes. That’s how we like to keep things really.
Pete: There is a Dub FX collaboration on there, and a Jinx In Dub collaboration as well. It’s quite a collaborative album. There is like two or three tracks on there that are our own without any external input but all of the others are featuring vocalists or other producers.
AYNiB: It’s nice because it brings a different little taste, but still has your same vibe underneath.
Chris: Ya, keep it in the family – spread the love, that kind of vibe.
Pete: As I said there are songs that I’m personally looking forward to getting a load of good remixes back from. We’ve put out some feelers out for some remixes and some collaborations and working on some stuff with Freq Nasty as I say. Ya, there is loads of opportunities in the future I’m looking forward to now that this album is done and over.
Who would be your dream collaboration if it could be anybody?
Chris: Jill Scott Maybe – I’d love to make a tune with Jill Scott that would unreal wouldn’t it. There are so many people isn’t there. As far as bass music goes, Break would be really good to work with.
Pete: Rage against the Machine
AYNiB: Get them back together?
Chris: Ya, Zach at least. There are so many people who’d I’d love to say really. Were speaking with some people we really respect. We’ve had a chat with Bassnectar in the past about doing some stuff. They are all these super busy people but it’s ongoing – locking these down. Working on a million tracks at once. The album has been our main focus recently. Now it’s time to have some fun and to make some different bits and pieces. There is a guy Spenghead in Bristol who we’ve written some music with and done some collaborations with. We’re also looking to put out some Glitch Hop stuff out on an EP with MutiMusic.
What is your production process like – are you writing on tour?
Chris: Ya, we’re going to attempt to be writing while we’re on tour. Hardware permitting, because we’ve had a few problems since we’ve been away – and we’ve only been away for like a week if that. But we’re going to try to write some stuff while away. At least put some ideas together while we are here and take some inspiration from everything that is around us.
Pete: Maybe get some more singing lessons <laughter>
Chris:Ya we’ll definitely be writing some stuff with Cade, Flower Fairy and DubFX while we’re away. We’ve always been pushing for that the whole time that we’ve been together. Hopefully we’ll meet some cool people along the way and some people who’ll put towards some music. Some Didgeridoo players, Hang players and anyone that’s up for recording really.
You guys just recently revamped your live setup. What’s changed?
Pete: We were running one laptop with two CD-DJs. That was the basic setup that we had before, and a controller. Now we’ve got two laptops that are tempo synched between those two. We’ve got two controllers – one each. And we’ve got two CD-DJs in the mix.
Chris: We’ve started hosting the sets recently when we don’t have the people who collaborate with us on the album like Little Reece – or some rapper. I can’t rap but I’ve been hosting a little bit recently. Sort of Reggae style chatter and just bits and pieces of interaction with the crowd. I’m just learning that really. I’ve just done it a few times but I love doing it. It’s like making the step from behind the tables and to in front of the crowd and getting people involved. I think that it is really important to rock the crowd.
Pete: It makes a huge difference.
Chris:We’re still pushing the new live setup – its wicked fun and its about exposing these new tunes we’ve created.
Do you guys have any side projects that you work on?
Chris: Not as such really. We just have collaborations and things individually but it all comes together as Snareophobe in the end. I’m interested in a lot of the Hip Hop stuff, and recording vocalists. Pete is interested in a lot of the different kind of stuff, like the Glitch Hop is what he’s been messing around with.
[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]…obviously when you get to 16 you start liking bands like Nirvana. That sort of stuff – long hair, hating everything until you discover Roni Size[/quote]
Pete: That, and minimal Drum and Bass as well. That, and like tribal half-time Drum and Bass that I’ve been messing around with as well. I used to write that years ago, and a lot of Jungle stuff as well. I just occasionally pop in to that every now and again. Take ideas from the past and bring it in to the Snareophobe sound and change it up a little bit.
What did you guys grow up listening to?
Chris: Funk, Hip Hop, Soul and then obviously when you get to 16 you start liking bands like Nirvana. That sort of stuff – long hair, hating everything until you discover Roni Size.
Pete: Ya, ya exactly <laughter>
AYNiB: It’s funny how Roni Size is that person for so many of us. Brown Paper Bag changed my life.
Pete: DJ Hype was the one for me. The Ganja Crew – that pretty much changed my life.
Who are you guys excited to see this weekend at Shambhala?
Chris: Excited to see Pretty Lights, and Koan Sound always destroy everything they touch in a good way.
Pete: I can’t really remember who was in the line up – Oh, Chali 2na!
AYNiB: Ya Chali 2na! Nu-Mark has played here a bunch of times, and just I’m hoping that some sort of J5 reunion ends up happening one day.
[quote style=”boxed” float=”left”]we ended up entering this remix competition with Chali 2na[/quote] Chris: We were looking for J5 accappellas just to do a mashup for our last tune because we knew we were playing before him and we ended up entering this remix competition with Chali 2na. There were strict guide lines on how to make the track.
Pete: We just did a thing and submitted it.
Chris: Loads of people backed us though. It was wicked, but we will leave that to the Hip Hop heads.
Where are you guys off to after this?
Chris:Back to Vancouver, and then to Tofino and Cumberland next week and then we’ve got a couple of days rest before some DubFX street shows. Then we’re driving across the entire universe after that in a tour bus – which I’ve never driven before so that should be interesting.
So, you get to drive?
Chris: Oh, yeah –Across all of Canada! We drive from Toronto to San Fransisco in a couple of days, and then we’ve got another month and a half tour after that.
So is there anything awesome in your rider? [quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]They’re like the mafia from Finland but they’re hippo shaped.[/quote]
Chris: Bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon.
Pete: And Moomins!
What is a Moomin?
Pete: Oh, if you don’t know – you’ve got to get know Moomins. They are are the future and the past.
Chris: They’re like the mafia from Finland but they’re hippo shaped.
Any advice for up and coming artists?
Chris: Don’t be like us, what ever you do – don’t be like us because your parents will be very disappointed in you.
Pete: Ya, just stay positive because you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. You just have to believe in yourself.
Chris: That is the most American thing I think ever heard! <laughter>
Pete: Or, don’t listen to your parents. Basically be your own person and do your own thing.
[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]don’t be like us because your parents will be very disappointed in you[/quote] Chris: Ya, people go to school throughout the world and are made to learn all this stuff that might not apply to them later on in life. Once you figure out what your path should be, and you figure out your interests. Follow your instincts. That’s what’s key. That’s what’s always made me achieve what I wanted to achieve and be super happy inside. Now we’re playing shows at Shambhala across the other side of the world. It’s ridiculous that we get to meet good, fun, loving people everywhere we go, and that’s what it’s all about really.
Pete: Follow your passions man.
One last question, you’ve played a Shambhala in the UK comparatively so far which Shambhala do you like better?
Pete: Shambala in the UK in terms of festivals is up there as my second favorite festival after Beat Hearder Festival. They are very similar vibes with every one in fancy dress and really happy and having a laugh and no angry faces anywhere. I just think the one in UK lacks a lot more titties.
Chris: It’s like the same, but with less titties and sunshine but more mud.
Pete: Ya, basically, but the bass music thing has grown massively in the UK and a lot of it comes from the UK so people are sport for choice for acts over there. There is some sick stuff going on in the tents over there. Music that you might not encounter over here, but we’re going to see some stuff over here that we’ve never seen in the UK before so it’s totally different – and I think the only other difference is that there is an ‘H’ in the name isn’t there?
Do you find that with so many festivals in the UK that its reaching a saturation point?
Chris: Not really, I still think it’s still pretty healthy. The only thing I do sort of question is the corporate vibe that’s going on in a lot of them now. A lot of the grass-roots festivals that have gotten a lot bigger and bigger each year – they then get taken over by big corporate sponsors and I’ve just seen it ruin a few festivals to be honest. I hope that doesn’t happen with the ones that I really feel for and that I go to every year, even just as a punter. I think its amazing that with this festival Shambhala – where the people own the land and are having a massive party on their own turf and that’s really cool. It’s like an old school Glastonbury vibe if you know what I mean. There is a family running this, and massive respect to them and big love!
You can check out Snareophobe on their fall tour with DubFX & Flower Fairy, Cade and StarfighterZ in many locations across Canada from now until Sept 15th and then across the USA until October. For tickets and more info hit up dubfx2012.com.
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For More Info on Snareophobe:
|Record Labels: Noodles / Ape Music / Functional / Bulldozer / Convoy UnLtdListen to and buy their new album at: snareophobe.bandcamp.com