In the mean time, we discussed matters with the three in question, and soon discovered that their love for Darude was quite concerning...
For those who are unaware of your music, how would you describe the Grayarea sound?
McRae: Well it’s actually really easy to recreate using a few items that anyone could find around their home. First take a live chicken, some cough syrup, a jar of pickles, and a porno mag…
Nosmo: Dude, what the hell is wrong with you! You can’t use cough syrup.
Ruin: Well when it comes down to it (without the demonstration) we try to approach writing from more of a songwriting perspective. For now, we’re not content just making a strictly dancefloor track, as we’re interested in writing tunes that stick in your head long after you leave the club or record store. As a result we try not to be pinned down by staying in one particular genre—we’ve never sat down with a specific idea as to what type of track we were going to write, we just do what we do and let people call it whatever they like. It’s all music to us. But if we have to describe it, people have used such phrases for our different tracks as Progressive House, Nu Skool Breaks, Progressive Breaks, House, Techno, Progressive Techno, Tech House…let’s see, what else…um, Teen Pop, Brit Pop, Bubblegum Pop, Pop Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Nu Metal, Post-Garcia-Nu-Jam-Intelligent-Hippie-Thrash…
Can you describe the ‘chemistry’ between you three lads in the studio? Does it get a bit hectic with three minds?
Nosmo: We actually argue a little and agree a lot about most stuff. We’ve been friends since high school so we’re pretty used to each other by now.
Ruin: Yeah, well, one of us pours the drinks, another works on the track and the third tells the first two that the drinks are too weak and the track sucks. We rotate every half hour or so and in a couple of days the track is finished.
‘One For The Road’ has arguably been a big stepping stone for you guys, being played by guys such as Sasha, Digweed & Cass. How much has this record helped you get your name out?
Nosmo: While it has been quite the stepping stone for us, and its exposure on various radio broadcasts such as Sasha’s set on the Essential Mix and Digweed giving the Designated Remix some airplay, it is important to remember that it was our first finished track ever (save an unreleased Bjork remix). We were working on it with a guy who goes by the name Kris B when we were all pretty much learning the ropes as far as producing tracks goes, and didn’t anticipate anything coming of it.
Ruin: The response has been incredible on it, and especially after Hope released the Designated mix under the Polyester imprint and we had everyone from Sasha & Digweed to Rennie Pilgrem & the big breakbeat names playing the two versions, it really started getting our name around the different arenas.
McRae: The biggest step for us in terms of moving forward has been the licensing of our forthcoming single “Yewminyst” to Nick Warren’s Global Underground 24/Reykjavik compilation, which is slated for release early next year. It’s an unconventional breakbeat track that has seen some incredible support by names we never anticipated would give it a second listen from the few copies that were promo’d (uh, leaked?). We’re happy with what’s come of “One for the Road”, but as musicians, we’re quite a ways past it, and are excited for the opportunity to give our audience the opportunity to look past it and display how we’ve all grown as producers.
The ‘Live Act’ aspect of Grayarea is a big part of your work, as shown by your recent guest mix on John Digweed’s Kiss FM show. Do you plan to take your act worldwide or keep it in the US?
McRae: Listen, there are countless beautiful women around the world, and it would be a shame to miss out on so many by staying in our little corner of the world.
Nosmo: McRae has a saying, “If I have to sleep with every beautiful woman in the world for the betterment of Grayarea, then by the grace of god and these two fingers, I’ll do it.”
Ruin: Yeah…uh, we’re planning a solid US tour for this summer and we’re hoping to make it out of the country sometime next fall, but that’s tentative. I don’t want to disappoint all of McRae’s adoring fans.
What pleasure do you get from seeing your own work featured on such big mix releases as Nick Warren’s next GU?
Ruin: Obviously, it’s amazing for us. We only started putting out tracks quite recently, so needless to say, it’s pretty exciting that all this is happening so quickly. We’d be a bunch of assholes if we weren’t excited about it.
McRae: Wait…we are a bunch of assholes.
Ruin: Oh, right, well. Yeah, you know it’s really no big deal, we can’t believe that it took this long. I mean, we’ve been doing this for like, 10 months already—I mean, come on—how long does it take to get noticed in this business?
What can you tell us about any upcoming remixes and productions?
McRae: Well, Nosmo has been getting into the bossa nova and samba rhythms a lot lately. He’s been wearing a poncho and a big sombrero and walking around the house playing the castanets. So we’ve been beating the crap out of him and locking him out of the studio.
Nosmo: We’ve got about ten tracks sitting around just waiting to be released, but scheduling is kind of a bitch right now. There’s a lot of remix stuff in the works, but none that we’re allowed to discuss openly right now. “Yewminyst” should be out for promo around February or March, and a re-mastered version of the original mix of “One for the Road” backed with a huge Gabriel and Dresden mix is due out in January.
Dave: We’re not kidding. He’s wearing the sombrero right now
You have recently set up your own label, Graylabel. What have you got planned in the near and distant future for the label. Is it solely going to showcase your work?
Nosmo: We happen to be fortunate enough to be friends with a lot of amazing, unsigned and/or relatively unknown artists. Justin Corbett out of San Francisco, our buddy Nate, aka Hidden Variable out of Chicago, Kris B who co-wrote the original mix of “One for the Road,” and a whole lot more. We’re hoping to get some releases other than our own work out in mid 2003.
Ruin: Setting up the label wasn’t so much a recent thing as an excuse to release our own material at first just short of a year ago. We’ve got some plans in the works for random odd collaborations, limited releases, who knows—it’s more of an excuse to showcase our friends & an outlet for our idiocy at this point.
McRae: And a channel for me to release my solo work as “Underpants” in hopes releasing some of the demons in my head.
What producers or DJ’s have been influential to you over the years?
McRae: I like Darude.
Nosmo: lots and lots o’ influences, but off the top of my head…Donald Glaude, Charlie May, Timo, Paranoid Jack, Timewriter, Terry Lee brown Jr., Buckfunk 3000, Andy Page, Rabbit In The Moon, Orbital, Underworld, Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk circa the Roule Records heyday before they began to suck more than a 40 year old crack whore and the devil himself………..and Darude.
What do you guys like to get up to in your spare time away from the studio?
McRae: Playing soccer, drinking fine wine, reading the classics, and dry-fucking cheerleaders.
Nosmo: jell-o shots and animal husbandry. I’m also a real movie fanatic - even sucky ones, and I spend way too much time on Instant Messenger.
Ruin: I have a job. I just love it. I mean, I can’t stand the thought of actually making music for a living at some point, and not having a job to get up for at 7am, 5 days a week - Jesus, someone kill me now. Please. Quick & painless.