Break the beats with your face: it’s fun if you try. Nah, just kidding, don’t try that. Just listen to DC Breaks and you will receive the same exhilarating thrill. It’s drum n bass design to make your legs melt. Over the last decade the duo of Dan Havers and Chris Page (think about it… D… C…Breaks… Get it?!) have become a staple on the global DJ circuit, yet they only just released their first full-length album, Different Breed’, this year after a frustrating 4 year wait. And as DC Breaks’ Chris Page puts it, the album is sweet mixture of bangers and ‘songs’. Ahead of their massive 10- date Antipodean tour, we caught up with the aforementioned Mr. Page, to chat about everything from the new album to Australian stereotypes…
GL: This is your third tour in under five years. You guys certainly seem to have a love relationship with Australia and NZ. What is it about Down Under that appeals to you? And what was your most memorable show in Aus and why?
DCB: Yes, we love coming on tour Down Under! The people here are great, they love their DnB, the food and drink is amazing and both countries are incredibly unique in their landscapes and wildlife. I think the best show we ever did was at Metro City in Perth. We were on tour with Technimatic, Cyantific, The Upbeats and 2Shy, and it was just an amazing night. Metro is really cool because it has layers of balconies going up and around the club so on stage you’re faced with a wall of ravers, the vibe is somehow both intimate and big – it’s quite intense! The production and sound were also amazing that night with 3D projection mapping and all sorts.
GL: Having both started off as solo artists, you’ve experienced what it’s like with and without a partner. What do you find are the benefits of working in a duo in comparison to independently?
DCB: We both do everything in terms of writing and mixing etc but Dan tends to have a more musical approach to making music whereas I’m more about bass design and beats. Dan’s also the mixdown maestro, I just don’t have the patience! The best thing is though that when you’re working on an idea and hit a block or get bored you can ping over to the other guy to work on, and likewise you have a stream of fresh ideas to work on for inspiration coming from the other guy.
GL: Drum & Bass take inspiration from many styles of music, are there any particular genres you find especially influential?
DCB: Drum and Bass is really, really varied these days. There’s a ton of different sub-genres and styles. It can be quite tribal within those sub-genres, but we’ve both always been in to all of it so we’ve always wanted to play and make all kinds of DnB. In fact it was one of the ideas behind the album (to be fairly diverse) so there’s liquid on there, jump up, neuro, proper songs and straight up bangers! Influence-wise that means we really grab inspiration from all over the place; hip hop, techno, rock, funk, chill out, jazz, you name it…
GL: You guys have been releasing singles under the name DC Breaks for over 10 years, however “Different Breed” is your first album. Did you find the process of recording an album, rather than singles, influenced how you approached your music making?
DCB: It’s been a strange process for us, because we’ve had an album in some form ready for about 4 years now. We counted the singles that have preceded this album the other day and it was something stupid like 12 or 13 so it’s almost like we’re on album 3 already. In some ways the album is a load of singles: it starts with the uplifting vibes of ‘Never Stop’ then lurches straight into the filth of ‘Underground’. Having a song and a banger is really how we like to do singles so the album ended up being song/banger/song/banger until we ran out of songs then it was just banger, banger, banger! Towards the end we did try and write to fill a few gaps on the album but generally we had such a large pot of potential album tunes it really just came down to making the final selection – and I think we got that about right. The album in its current form is very different to how it would have been had it come out 4 years ago – for the better – it’s more diverse, better made and just a better reflection of who we are and what we’re about.
GL: Your album has been such a big project with production beginning 3 years ago, I’m sure you’ve become very attached to it over this time. How does it feel to finally release it to the public? What’s the response been like?
DCB: Longer actually, we’ve been working on this now for 4 or 5 years. There’s many reasons (mostly all out of our hands) that’s it’s taken this long to come out – we won’t get into that now – but the overwhelming feeling is actually relief that’s it’s finally out. We have become attached to it but also the feeling of being free of ‘album mode’ is quite refreshing and it feels like we can now try some different things, experiment a bit, do some collabs and so on, which you don’t really feel you have the time to do when you’re trying to finish an album project. But we’re really pleased with the response and glad we can finally take the album on tour here and round the world.
GL: You’ve always been at the forefront of the Drum and Bass scene with your mixes always featuring fresh, new talent. Are there any up and coming producers you’ve discovered recently that we should keep an eye on?
DCB: Well one of the things we’re considering is starting our own label so we’d rather keep any hot talent under wraps for now as we might be trying to sign a few of them up 😉
GL: Having already released two singles (‘No One Like You’ and ‘Underground’) from the album so far, is there any indication of which song could be the biggest hit?
DCB: It depends what floats your boat, ‘Underground’ did really well in the core Dnb scene and got caned by everyone from Andy C to Noisia and Calyx & Teebee, whereas something like ‘Never Stop’ was more of a radio tune and made its way on to TV a lot; it featured on Match Of The Day all season, F1 and the Rio Olympics coverage.
GL: As mentioned above you have toured Australia quite a few times, what are the most extreme Australian stereotypes you’ve encountered on your travels here. Did they match your expectations?
The first time I came to Australia I drove up the whole of the east coast with my girlfriend in a van. About half way up we got a flat battery in the middle of nowhere in a national park. We were just starting to panic when a guy pulls up, with his whole family in the back of the car and he’s just casually swigging a beer. I found that hilarious as you’d never get that in the UK. I also met a guy called ‘Wayno’ – lovely guy who ran a surf school but not the brightest, he told me a story about how he once drove for several hours in the wrong direction on Route 1 around Australia – he thought the road signs were wrong rather than he’d gone the wrong way! The stereotypes I find that most ring true are that Aussies are all quite fit, heavily into sports and love a cold beer. So we’ve got quite a lot in common!
Thursday 18th May: Vinyl Underground, Queenstown
Friday 19th May: Underpass, Auckland
Saturday 20th May: Winnie Bagoes, Christchurch
Thursday 25th May: Oh one Eight, Dunedin
Friday 26th May: Electric Circus, Adelaide
Saturday 27th May: The Grand, Wellington
Wednesday 31st May: The Wall, Sydney
Friday 2nd June: Rubix Warehouse, Melbourne
Saturday 3rd June: Biscuit Factory, Brisbane
Sunday 4th June: Villa, Perth
By Georgia Lord