DOA: Hey Verse, how's it going?Related Videos:
Verse: I’m good. :)
DOA: For a bit of background info on yourself, could you tell us a bit about how you got into MCing initially? What inspired you to do so and when did you first start out?
Verse: It all started when I was still at school. One of my friends was working on Transmission 1, a pirate radio in London at the time, and he basically started a radio station in our school. I didn’t have any money for tunes so I decided to pick up the mic instead. I used to go out raving at Orange at the Astoria, then later to AWOL.
I went to university in Leeds and got a residency at a club that was called D.O.P.E. I worked down there every Friday for 5 years, hosting the whole night. This really helped me to develop a style of MCing. At this time, I started travelling to London to go out to a night called Speed. Listening to LTJ Bukem and Fabio with Conrad MCing was something really different. When I went to Metalheadz @ Blue Note for the first time something clicked in my head. I went there every week and I've got the membership card to prove it! When Headz moved to Leisure Lounge, I met Keaton through a friend of mine and he introduced me to Loxy and Clayton in 1999. I did my first gig at the End for Hardware and after that, I was a resident there for 7 years. Since then, things have progressed from working in the UK to doing gigs all over the world.
DOA: As most people know, at this point not only are you an accomplished MC but also are a producer making some great tunes. How did the transition from MC to producer happen? Is it something you've always wanted to do?
Verse: For me making tunes was a natural transition. I would hear certain sounds in tunes that I heard when I was out MCing and was always thinking "Right. When I start making music, it's going to have those elements in it". I started on Fruity Loops and progressed to Acid pro. When I got a better computer, I got Logic and then it was just a case of getting my head down and working it all out.
DOA: Do you feel that your experience being a vocalist gave you an advantage going into production?
Verse: I’m not sure. I think you either have an ear for music or you don’t. Being an MC helped in the way that I had mates who were DJ's / producers. Having been MCing for them at the weekend, I'd hang out and absorb information. I'd be sitting in the corner of the studio with my laptop open and ask "What did you just do there? How can I get it to sound like that? “, and that really helped in learning the main guidelines and rules of production. It helped with things like how to cut up a break, EQing techniques and how to modulate a bassline.
DOA: Crunch Recordings has been very well-received and for good reason! What were your main inspirations for starting this label and how did it come to be? Also, do you plan on keeping it an outlet for your own work and collabs or do you plan on putting out any solo releases from other artists in the future on the label?
Verse: Crunch is a project of mine that I started primarily for my own music. I waited until I had a 8 good enough tunes to put out then went for a meeting with ST Holdings. They liked my collabs and solo stuff so it started from there.
For those that know Crunch will know that the sound is kind of deep, When I get time to make tunes it’s when I'm chilling out during the week. I like rolling out tunes that aren’t too hectic. It's a really different style compared to what I work on at the weekend, which is great to get the best of both worlds.
Up until 009, which will be my first solo 12", all the releases have featured a track by me and then a collab on the other side.
Crunch010 is gong to be a 12" limited edition picture disk by 2 guys called Prolific. They really optimize the sound of crunch and I’m going to be supporting their beats.
After these two releases, Crunch is releasing it's first album, "The City of Light“, which is due to land in March 2008. All the tracks are coming from a town called Eindhoven in Holland and it's going to be a serious collection of tunes. Get ready!
DOA: I always applaud artists such as yourself who are not only multi-talented but who take advantage of many different avenues of their creativity. Do you gain inspiration for certain outlets from others? And what are your thoughts on people who limit themselves creatively?
Verse: Sometimes when I’m really tired it’s hard to get on a vibe but generally I’m always on a mad one. I've always been pretty hyper and I don’t find it hard to get motivated or inspired, whether it’s to make some music or write lyrics.
Films make me think deeply and are good for giving you visual ideas for your tunes. Listening to older drum and bass can bring back memories and feelings you had from going out back in the day. Old Dillinja, Krust. Optical and Photek beats from that era really inspire me to roll it out. I find it hard to finish tunes if I’ve been out a lot MCing… it’s good to have a few days to chill before going in.
DOA: Aside from drum and bass, where do you draw your influences from? What other genres/artists inspire you musically?
Verse: All sorts; from hip hop, to all forms of electronic music, to rock.
DOA: Do you have any future collabs lined up that you can fill us in on, either as a vocalist or producer?
Verse: Yeah, lots in the pipeline. I’m working with Pendulum primarily at the moment. The thing I love about drum and bass is all the different angles it has. I’ve got future projects planned with SP, D Bridge , Noisia , Teebee & Calyx, Maldini, Empress, Prolific and Icicle.
DOA: Sounds like you're going to be a busy man! Can you tell us some of your goals for 2008 as it approaches? Are there any big things that you're planning or working towards musically or personally?
Verse: Just see what happens. I’m really looking to crank it with the label this year and just to keep busy and healthy on the road MCing, working with Pendulum. Doing the live show has been a great experience. After having hosted DJ sets for over 13 years, being involved in something different has been a refreshing challenge. Seeing how all the technology works and the how they’ve managed to recreate their D+B tracks live is fucking insane and hyping it up is a pleasure. Personally, I’m feeling good and after being single for a while it’s nice to be in a relationship again.
DOA: Congrats on everything you've got going on recently. That must be so exciting to work with Pendulum on their live experience! I don't think anyone out there would disagree that you're one of today's best D+B MC's and deserve the opportunity greatly. Can you give us some insight as to which of the veteran MC's of D+B were the biggest inspirations to you when you were starting out?
Verse: GQ and Conrad.
DOA: Do you have any special gigs coming up that you're looking forward to? Where can people catch you in the near future?
Verse: It's looking good for next year. Check my MySpace… I update my gigs all the time.
DOA: How about a survey?
Favorite city to have a gig in?
Drink of choice?
* Alcoholic: Makers Mark and coke
* Non-alcoholic: San Pellegrino and elderflower
Favorite hobby other than making music?
* Skiing, then there's always the grinding, mixing, rolling and lighting.
What non-D+B artists are you currently enjoying?
* Nagual Sound Experiment
Favorite film of all time?
* Fifth Element
If you were banished to a deserted island and could only bring 5 items, what would they be?
* Solar powered generator, Macbook, fridge, my girlfriend and a kush clone.
Create your own alternate words for the acronym 'DOA' :
* Death of art
DOA: Thanks so much for your time today! We’re looking forward to all you've got lined up.
Verse: Thanks a lot to all at DOA. Watch out for Crunch 009 in the shops soon. Buy it online first at crunchrecordings.com.
MC Verse MySpace
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