We Had A Chin Wag Wag With The Guys At Lifestyle Music About The Australian Connection LP
Posted by Adam on 9th May 2017
Hi chaps! How are you?
Peter: Very well, just getting the last-minute things prepped for our big Australia trip B)
Felix: Always busy to be honest! But I’m so excited for the months ahead. Lots to prepare before we fly down under.
Why don’t you start off by telling us a bit about yourselves and about the label
Peter: I’m Peter, I’m male and live in the south of the UK in a Tory stronghold called Horsham, roughly about halfway between London and Brighton. I’m seeking passionate drum and bass fans with similar interests in grit, dirt, and vibes. I’ve been involved with drum and bass for a number of years now, running the Youtube channel ‘Capital’, events in my area and now co-owning Lifestyle. Our label releases Drum & Bass music, it’s been going 7 years now, with me joining in the last 3, and we’re probably more known for being the label that’s sat on the edge, bringing through the up and coming talent in the scene.
Felix: Tory stronghold LOL! I’m originally from Folkestone, moved to Kingston to study Music Tech and in the last 2 and a half years moved to Horsham and bumped into Peter. I’ve been running the label since I landed in Kingston, which is where I formed my love for Drum & Bass. Working at Fabric at the time gave me the idea to start the label as I was already in that world.
You’ve been running the label for several years now, what’s the biggest challenge you face trying to keep a full release schedule going
Peter: Keeping the quality of the music high can be a big challenge, but I’ve taken the prerogative to only release music when it’s right, not just filling space with anything that will do. Luckily we have a seriously talented bunch surrounding us now, so the level is very consistent. Building that solid foundation and having a real family feel is important.
Felix: I can agree with Peter here, it has been difficult over the years to hit the right spot. Quality over quantity and all that. There was a point where we were releasing once every 2 weeks in the early days but now we’re focused on making sure everything is right before getting a release out there.
And what’s your approach to not becoming stagnant or stuck in a rut
Peter: Interesting question! From me it can be setting goals and challenges, trying to keep things fresh. I set myself out with to-do lists every couple of months, with long term and short term things I need to achieve or finish, and this has worked well. I guess with drum and bass as well, you can get a bit caught up in the genre, especially when you’re running a label. I got quite militant for a while and didn’t really listen to much else a few years ago. I got burnt out a couple of times doing that so I’ve certainly learnt it’s healthy take yourself away and listen to all forms of music. Don’t get too one track minded or you’ll go crazy!
Felix: This is a really strong question and always something you have to consider when running a label, you’ve got to keep your finger on the pulse and maintain your musical values to keep the limelight on the label. Personally when I began the label my approach to not becoming stagnant was not pigeon holing ourselves to a specific sub-genre, even releasing music outside of the realm of Drum & Bass. Additionally the original focus of the label was to encourage upcoming talent and I feel this has helped us to rise with it.
The next release if the Australian Connection complication. How did this come about…and why Australia?
Peter: Well the labels had a strong involvement with Louis ‘Lockjaw’ for a long time now, being a label he first released with and he was kind of the catalyst for the idea. I’ve also been a big fan of Gran Calavera’s music, who was another inspiration. I guess I saw a window, no other label had focused a release on the country and getting those two on board was a solid base. It’s always seemed like the place that’s next to blow up, you have arguably one of the biggest acts to crossover to mainstream from DnB in Pendulum, then the likes of Shock One and outside of dnb, Flume, but it’s almost seemed to have sat there a little bit. The talent coming through now is seriously strong and we wanted to help shine a light on that. Someone said to me, we’re almost helping unleash a tiger that’s been waiting. As well, drum and bass has become such a worldwide genre, moving on from being once very UK centric. I think it’s a great thing and want to embrace that.
Felix: I’ll have to pass credit to Peter for this one, it’s been his idea originally. Lockjaw joined our ranks prior to Peter joining so in parts it started there, therefore we picked Australia because we found Louis to have such an exceptional sound and he has gone strength to strength. The artists he put us on to had a similar quality and vibe and so the Australian Connection was born. In answer to your question, why not Australia?
How hard is it signing music and working with artists who are on the other side of the world?
Peter: Ha! You’ve got to be mindful of the time. I know I’ve put Lockjaw through his paces with this project as there’s been a lot of contact with him back and forth, he’s helped a lot with the direction and we use his company Sine Sound Mastering. It’s been fun though, they’ve been genuinely a great bunch, but yeah this project has taken 2 years from initial idea to release date, so maybe that says something!
Felix: I’ve been using social media to make connections with artists all over the world since the label started which has helped, not only that but I’m a bit of a night owl anyway so chatting with the Australian bunch hasn’t been so bad. Our morning is their evening so that’s an interesting dynamic, can’t wait to set foot there and finally meet these guys face to face!
There’s a few new names on the album as well as a few familiar ones, did you approach artists you wanted to work with or did they send you tunes?
Peter: We approached most to be honest, but some guys we were given heads up about which was cool. Ewol pointed us in the direction of Dauntless and Ekko & Sidetrack showed us VLTRN and Manikin. I’m still annoyed at Ekko & Sidetrack though, they wouldn’t give me a tune because they are ‘exclusively signed’ to some Viper label or something. If I see them in Perth, they’re getting a real telling off.
Felix: As Peter said we hunted a few of the artists we had great interest in, once we started talking you could see the community come to light! Since then we’ve had group chats with everyone, sharing tracks and providing feedback. They have kept us well informed too about the dangers of Drop Bears and Hoop Snakes.
What’s your personal favourite track from the album?
Peter: Ooooh, very difficult question! One thing that’s been so awesome getting the feedback is how varied it is as to which tracks people like the most. Everybody says something different! For me though, it probably is Gran Calavera’s Panaroma. That is my kinda jam and when the reece kicks in, it gives me shivers every time. Can’t wait to hear Tony drop that in Perth!
Felix: Too much pressure, can’t choose, pretty much all of them. There are so many great tracks on this LP, but if I had to choose I would have to say that I’ve definitely been smashing VLTRN – Valkyrie. I have a lot of time for that sound! Besides that I would say the track I feel stands out from the crowd in uniqueness is Manikin – Stay.
Is this something you’d do again but with a different country?
Peter: Let’s just say, yes. That’s all we can reveal for now :)
Felix: Yeah… same as the above ;) Have to wait and see!
Thanks guys! Is there anything else you want to tell us about?
Peter: We’re just very excited about what we’ve got going on with the label, can’t wait to show everyone what we’re following this album up with this year. I guess the biggest thing for now is the tour we’re embarking on in Oz. We’ve got shows in Perth, Sydney & Melbourne and we hope to see some good crews there. If they don’t go, they don’t love their country!
Felix: Totally overwhelmed with everything that’s happening to be honest, we’ll be keeping up with our podcasts and we’re aiming to host the next one in Australia! The excitement is real. Outside of Australia we have a few things coming up in Brighton later this year and a lot planned for 2k18!