- First and foremost, what is it about the UK that gets Aussies wanting to move over?
I think most Aussies do it from home – its not an easy move. Maybe you hear more from the Aussies that do move coz its easier for labels to sign you when they know your only a couple of miles away? That why I moved anyway.
- What are the notable differences between the music scenes in both countries?
Coz there is a huge scene in London I think you see less attitude. That’s not to say its not there, of course it’s there but I think the Brits are great at supporting people who are cutting it. It helps everyone.
The music is heaps darker in London as well. I was surprised how funky the breaks were in Aus.
- Apparently you were a trumpet player before you became interested in electronic music. What instigated the change over from live music to tweaking knobs and buttons?
I still practise about an hour a day. It would be a shame to waist all that work but the fact is I can be more original with electronic music. I’m ultimately satisfied by using nothing more than a computer and my brain to make my music and earn my money – nice one.
- How did you get your start as a producer?
I nearly paid a big studio all my savings from a lucky string of gigs to do an album. Apart from the fact I wasn’t ready, my friend pointed out that I could do all the pre-production from home so I bought a modest studio instead.
- What can you tell us about having your tunes picked up by Rennie Pilgrem's TCR label?
It was a breath of fresh air. I was despairing at the state of the house scene which crashed partly due to the world cup. I’ve always written breaks but Sydney was a house town so that’s what I went to London with in the beginning.
Everyone on TCR knows Rennie is the daddy. And everyone in breaks wants a TCR release. Their good people and I’m lucky to know them.
- What other labels have your tunes been picked up by? Is there any particular reason as to why you release on different labels as opposed to just sticking to one?
Apart from TCR my other homes are Oblong (Bushwacka’s house imprint) and 10kilo as well.
Most labels can only do so much. You have to try and spread it round a bit without overexposing your self.
- How would you describe the Smithmonger sound?
Basically massive b-lines and a good sense of humour. People are out for a good time so I try to make it a party. I’m getting harder and darker through slogging it out in London but the quirky bits are still there.
- I've read a few articles highlighting the fact that there is a typical Australian sound to breakbeat. Do you agree or find this hard to believe?
From a DJ perspective its definitely funkier which I’m not so into coz I’m a dark bastard.
From a production perspective, I don’t think there are enough Australian’s getting their tunes to the right labels for anyone to make that statement. I’ve heard some wicked Aussie stuff on this tour that I’ll be handing out to some people back in London – can’t wait.
- What tools do you utilise in the studio to create your beats?
I have a wicked Mac with a fantastic pair of speakers attached to it. I’m using more and more software but I still have my jp8000 and supernova, a Sherman filter and a lovely summit valve preamp.
- So what process do you got though preparing to write a tune?
I go to the gym @ about 7am and after a shower I usually try to write the bass line in the nuddy. This helps with concentration and makes me feel more comfortable about expressing myself. I add one piece of clothing per section and hopefully before anyone stops over I’m half decent. Its worked well for me, but it was a few months before I realised the lace curtains didn’t actually stop people from seeing in. This however has helped to give my tunes an edge.
- Holidaywise, what do you plan to do while you're back in Australia?
I’ve just been fishing with dad of southern Tasmania the day before yesterday. We got 10 crays, 3 sharks, 14 king flatties, 2 squid and I caught a cold as well. We had the whole extended family round for a feast that won’t be forgotten soon.
- Are you doing any gigs while you're in the country?
I’ve finished my gigs – I did 6 shows but its my first Aussie tour so it was more about reconnaissance. The words out anyway - Next time I come the back wall will get blown out everywhere.
- What has been the best gig you've played?
Toss up between Tassie @ Mobius and Newcastle @ The Brewery. Both wicked gigs. Both wicked crowds.
- What are your current top 5 tunes?
1. Smithmonger ‘Hey’ Boombox
2. Bent Coppa ‘Break in’ Proper
3. Hey Boy Hey Girl Boot CDR
4. J Groove ‘Begin to Believe’ Smithmonger Mix CDR
5. Busta Rhymes Boot