Genre-bending “champion of the underground”, Drop the Lime talks to Pulse's Grace Caffyn about breaking necks, his Rockabilly roots and the release of his new album ‘Enter The Night’.
Pulse: So, you’re touring the UK and Europe with your new album ‘Enter The Night’? Drop The Lime: Yeah, I just got back from playing Barcelona and Paris, it’s been a blast. I’m about to do a few shows in the UK. London is crazy! People are doing the hula hoops, dancing on the tube... You’ve heard of YOLO? This is YOOO - you only olympics once! There is so much going on and it’s always different every time i come.
Speaking of the Olympics, tell us about your 4-hour marathon set coming up at Birthday? To tell you the truth, I haven’t prepared for it at all. I’m just going to put all my favourite music on a USB and plug it in. I’ll probably start out with music that inspires me, it could be Brian Eno, those kind of cinematic influences, some Philip Glass and from there probably go into bluesy Rock and Roll and Rockabilly.
Rockabilly is a big inspiration for you. Rockabilly, Blues and Western have always been my favourite genres to listen to, but I never really incorporated them into my own music until Hot as hell. When i dropped Hot as hell in my set it just clicked with my inner self, I felt at home. I thought “this is me, i feel good”. With ‘Enter the night’ I took the same approach, using that Rockabilly sound, going back to when i was a teenager, playing my guitar in a basement and adding the electro elements from my DJing days.
Is the UK music scene a big influence for you? Completely. From the beginning. I remember when I first got into electronic music I loved UK Jungle and artists like Groove Rider and Underworld and Prodigy. Hearing those artists, something inside me just clicked, and it’s stayed with me ever since - who knows why. With popular electronic music in the charts now, it’s just artists copying each other. There is no originality - so with this album I turned back to that underground sound that the UK does so well. There is so much good underground electronic music going on right now, and rock too - i’m going back to all of that. I’m not competing anymore, just doing my own thing.
What was it like recording at Ultra? Ultra has been transformed. They’ve changed their name to Ultra “music”, not Ultra “records”. They aren't just a dance record label now. It’s really exciting to see a big label take risks with a new direction, away from artists that have chart topping dance, embracing artists like me who are underground and creative. They have been so supportive with the evolution of this album.
Reactions to the album so far? The crowd reaction has been amazing, especially to ‘Ghostriders’ and ‘Bandit Blues’. I didn’t expect people to know them yet, but I guess i’ve always had a very devoted, hardcore fan-base. It goes back to what to what we were saying before, I don’t want to make chart music or beat-you-up dance music. I don’t want my music to punch you in the face. I’ll see comments on twitter like “you’re going to break necks tonight!” but I don’t want to do that. I don’t want my fans to punch each other, I want them to fall in love. I want to have my influence on that wild time after the gig. Genres like Punk rock and heavy metal make people aggressive, but I just want to make sexy music.
Would you describe this as a dark record? I’m an extremely happy person, i’m not morbid - but I find myself attracted to the romance of darkness and the mystery of the night. There is something beautiful and mysterious about danger and darkness - and I embrace that, I try to find the space between light and dark with my music. You can really see that in ‘Devils Eyes’ which is a hook i’ve been singing for four years, and that song has evolved from a hard dance-floor tune into what it is now.
Do you still consider yourself the “Heavy Bass Champion”? It's weird, I don’t know who it was, I think it might have been Time Out Magazine in New York who coined that term “Heavy Bass Champion” when I did a remix for Moby nearly 5 years ago. I think i’ve evolved from it, Trouble and Bass were at the beginning of the bass craze, we made a hat which was worn by Little Wayne, that said ‘Bass’ on it, but no one knew it was Trouble and Bass! I’ve broadened my horizons away from heavy bass, obviously i’m still attracted to and inspired by Bass music, so i’m not ruling it out of my music career forever.
Drop The Lime's debut album 'Enter The Night' is out now on Onelove Recordings.
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