Drum and bass master Dieselboy came through Nashville for Halloween, and we got a chance to talk to him while in transit. Though everyone is now preparing for the winter holidays of joy and frivolity, we thought it was a good time to explore drum and bass as a good counterbalance. Talking to Dieselboy, you'll discover that drum&bass not all about the dark intense sounds, there are also jump-up tracks that rock the party and liquid sounds to groove to.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: Do you think drum and bass is the perfect music for Halloween?
Dieselboy: I think drum and bass is the perfect music for any show,
holiday, what-not, but definitely for Halloween - especially the dark
stuff. People come out in their costumes and they want to hear
something scary and I definitely have plenty of stuff in my DJ bag
that can fulfill that need.
RS: It always seems at big parties there's a house and trance in the main room and then there's the drum and bass room off to the side somewhere. Why do you think it's segregated like that?
Dieselboy: The music sounds are so different. House and trance at
least have a similar kind of beat structure. Some promoters feel like
house and trance is the "main room" music, so they put them in their
own room which tends to be what they believe the main room is and then
drum and bass, it kind of sounds just like a whole other thing,
detached from that. It's not always like that, but definitely at big
shows, it's like they realize the house/trance kids probably don't
want to hear drum and bass and the drum and bass kids probably don't
want to hear house and trance, so they keep them separated like dogs
RS: So where have you been playing lately, what cities?
Dieselboy: Let's see, the past month or so I've done a couple of
shows in Germany, Portugal and Holland. I played Denver, Phoenix, San
Francisco, San Diego, Port Win and Omaha, just off the top of my head.
RS: What's the biggest crowd you've ever played for?
Dieselboy: Good question. I played in Los Angeles and there must
have been about ten thousand people, some of the really big shows.
I've played in front of crowds that have been between five and ten
thousand or more.
RS: When you play over in Europe, do they respond differently to the music you play or is it the same that they respond here in the US?
Dieselboy: The response is very similar. The only place where it is
a bit different would be in England. The thing about England is that,
depending on the show you play, people expect the DJ there to play a
certain type of drum and bass like - one show it might be that
everyone's playing dark and for one show everyone plays like more
commercial kind of jump-up style. So in those kinds of situations, as
a DJ, I'm forced to play way more towards the crowd, like I can't just
freeform DJ like I usually do. In those situations it's like the
crowd will not respond if you play something that they're not
expecting, so it's a bit different. But in any other place, I can
play whatever I want and just like over here, people are into drum and
bass, they get into it, they don't really care. They're not that
specific about what they want to hear, they just want to hear drum and
bass, so in that regard it's a similar response.
RS: You just mentioned the different sub-genres of drum and bass. What are these sub-genres and what kind of music would they entail? What would be a typical jump-up track and what would be a dark track?
Dieselboy: Dark drum and bass sounds like the word Dark - it's like really very intense kind of scary and heavy, almost like the black metal or death metal kind of equivalent in drum and bass. It's just like really heavy and a lot of times dark drum and bass isn't even that dancy, it goes from the shock value and the integrity level of the music. A jump-up track would be something that's a big bouncer, something by Roni Size or Aphrodite. It's more dancy, a bit more funky and not in your face and abrasive. Then there's liquid drum and bass and mellow drum and bass, which is a smooth type of drum and bass that's been sourced by House, jazz, and salsa. It's groovy and definitely not in your face at all, it's way more removed from dark drum and bass and even jump up. Then there's all kinds of stuff in between like kind of miniature sub-genres which could go on for days actually, but the main ones are pretty much jump-up, dark, and liquid.