We Grab John B For A Chat And He Mixes Our Latest Podcast

Posted by Adam on 3rd May 2017

Hi John! How are you?
Good thanks, busy, working hard!

You’re always jet setting around the world, where have we caught you today?
It’s a Tuesday afternoon so I’m at home in the studio/office – just finished recording the new studio mix for your podcast actually! I’m only really off travelling at weekends so midweek routine is usually recovery at the start, then preparation for upcoming gigs later in the week. I’ve actually got the whole of May off for some intense studio bizniz so I’m looking forward to a few weeks without breathing in airplane farts & unpacking and repacking my liquids & gels every five minutes hah!

How’s 2017 treated you so far? Any standout moments yet?
Good, very busy start to the year, done a few mini-tours of the USA & also had a great time in NYC in Feb with Mrs B for our Wedding Anniversary & her Birthday. Been all over the place, LA, Seattle, DC, Estonia, Siberia, Germany etc etc. Nice to have a little break now before it kicks off again in the summer – and a chance to get some new music done. Looks like I’m back out in America in the beginning of July and then Again in August too, plus I’ve just had an enquirey to play at my old College in Durham, where I went to University many many moons ago which will be amazing to go back and visit!

You did a set down at Bunker for Viper:100 last week which I watched on line and it looked wicked, how was the vibe down there, it’s a much smaller venue that you normally play at!
It was a good laugh, and also a good opportunity to meet up with a few of my friends that now live in London beforehand. Was my first time down there but I’ve been meaning to go for a while and say hi to the DJ Mag guys. Very hot down in the basement and was a mission crawling around setting up my Serato stuff too hah! With having the last set of the night I knew I’d be able to keep rolling it out after the live stream ended so we went a bit mad with some of the older electro/80s stuff & tracks that no one’s supposed to hear online yet hah! #radioembargo

You also feature on the Viper:100 album which is your first release on the label if I’m not mistaken. How did you end up working with the guys at Viper and can we expect more from you on the label?
Yep. Its been on my list for a while really, I’ve always played quite a lot of Viper stuff in my sets over the years and thought it would be good for profile to put some stuff out with them & get involved a bit more. When I started the track I could tell it would be a really good fit, so I sent it their way once it was done & we got it signed up. I’ll definitely be doing more music for Viper in the future and I’m glad they’re up for it. I make such a variety of D&B of all different styles, so I think separating it out via the most suitable labels is a good approach to take & it helps the fans know what to expect, ie what ‘hat’ I’m wearing hah! (Not that I cover my wonderful hair with hats but you know what I mean)! I kinda took that approach back in the day when I started out but I went through a long period where I wanted complete control and to put everything out on my own label – I guess I’m less protective nowadays, generally more chilled with where things go, and more open to reaching out and sharing stuff more than in the past. Collaboratively speaking in the studio also. With less revenue coming from the music itself these days its also increasingly important just to keep your profile up for the live shows and a good way to do that is my releasing more music and through more channels.

Talking of what’s coming next, what’s this about a collab between you and Rene Lavice with you both on vocals?!
I can’t talk too much about it at the moment as his album is coming out soonish and that’s the main focus for him and his label as far as promo goes – but I’m excited for when we can unleash it on the public hah! I’d had an idea for the concept behind track for a long time, and get on well with Rene & share a lot of his approach to production and just the general ‘who cares what anyone thinks’ attitude – and knew that this track would work really well as a collaboration. I didn’t realise what a good singer he is too so that has certainly helped out as I’m shite & as we both use the same software, (Logic) in the studio it works well, and I’ve actually learned a thing or 2 from him in the process! As far as the track goes I’ll just say it’s punk vs. dnb vs everyone else lol – you’re going to have to wait and see. I really hope we figure out a way to do a video too as I the track will lend itself to it so well…

And you’re working with Digital too?
Yeah! That was a lot of fun as well, and a completely different studio process – but I’ve learned a lot from both. One track is finished, bar the final mixdown mission, and we’re working on another with the aim of putting it out as a release on Headz. There’s also another track that Steve started off as a sketch and I’m going to go in and put my touch on it to get it wrapped up & properly banging. All in the rough, headz, breaks, subs proper authentic real deep d&b vibe – which I absolutely love and have promised myself to make more of this year! As much as I appreciate a good song and glistening production, what originally drew me to dnb and will always keep me here is the power and energy of the raw sound I was hearing at the Blue Note & music who’s heart is still there.

Are there any plans for another album?
Not immediately no, current plan is to push on with lots of singles & EPs, get back on it with the ‘Evolve’ project I started last year, and not be so determined to keep everything on my own label, I’ll see what comes out of the studio but I’d like to do more stuff for Headz obviously, but also spreading the output to other well-known labels I respect if the tunes fit.

You’ve also ventured out into the food world and you’ll be making your own hot sauce, what made you decide to do that?
Indeed I am! In fact I had my first food hygiene inspection last week, which is what you do once you’ve registered as a food business here in the UK, they come and inspect your kitchen and processes etc and I got top marks – 5 Stars! I made the first batch this weekend and will be getting more stock together for full launch in a week or so. Its something I fell into to be honest. I’m a big foodie, I love cooking, and following on from that is caring about your ingredients – when you grow your own tomatoes for example, nothing comes close in terms of flavour. So I started growing a few vegetables and then chillis, as a challenge a few years ago. I got really into growing chillies, I had soooo many plants all over the garden last year, from simple stuff like jalapenos up to super hot varieties like the Trinidad Scorpion Moruga and the world’s hottest, the Carolina Reaper. I even had this hybrid one called ‘lucy’ which was a naga viper cross and the guy that makes the seeds shouts at the plants, keeps them dryer than they like, shakes and tears the leaves and all this stuff to make them angry & even hotter hah!

First batch of LAVA is done! House is full of weapons-grade Carolina Reaper gas hahahaha

A post shared by John B (@johnbbeta) on

I ended up at harvest time with gazillions of these insanely hot peppers so had to figure out what to do with them, so got into making hot sauces! Tested out a few prototype versions on my discerning hot-sauce aficionado friends and well, decided to give it a go as the response was so good! I’ve been doing lots of research, getting my recipes refined and the plan is to do very very limited batches every now and then, and treat it almost like a record label. Rare Dubplate sauces, 1 offs – checking on the feedback, doing a new release, larger pressings once I’ve gauged opinion – maybe repressing classics hah! But number one keeping it really flavourful and spicy. I’m not a huge fan of traditional, very vinegary hot sauces, I think where mine come into their own is the real fruity flavour comes through – I usually use it as more of a marinate on chicken personally, but it really depends on the character of the particular sauce. I’m also really interested in smokey BBQ sauces and you can do interesting things if you spice them up too so I’m planning on giving that a go this year too. Anyway, it’s a fun hobby and I like sharing my work with people the same way I do with my music – plus I will be selling them through the Beta Recordings webstore so it will also drive traffic there and people can pick up some vinyl & merch at the same time ;-)

You asked Facebook for some suggestions on names, will you be using any?!
I went with ‘Jungle Fire Hot Sauce Co.’ in the end! Each batch of sauces I make at this stage will be very limited and unique, with its own name, usually a pun on something D&B related. The first one is called LAVA, as a nod to my EP on Metalheadz, and also its heat. I put ALL my Carolina reapers in it, some white Nagas, Ghost Peppers, all super hots where the heat builds slowly, so I also added in a load of Apache Chillis too, which have more of an instant hit. I gave my mate a spoonful last night and he said his face went numb for 10 minutes haha!

Thanks so much for your time John, is there anything else you want to tell us about?
Always worth checking out www.johnbpodcast.com for all my recent DJ mixes, either recorded from shows, or studio mixes like the one I’ve just done for you.

Also, I’ve dusted off the video camera, or rather bought a nice new one, and have started making tour videos again like I did back in the day, just a lot more professionally – plus have sorted out my YouTube channel so that’s worth a look. www.johnbtv.com takes you right there.

AAaaaand even though I use Apple Music personally, I’ve been making an effort to get my Spotify presence more fun, so I’ve been adding playlists to my Artist profile there – just made a really big ‘Influences’ one over the weekend and will be adding more in coming weeks, so yeah, go give that a look too.

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