Q: Matrix, you’ve been active on the drum and bass scene for years and years and are as enthusiastic as ever. What keeps you in love with this music?
Yeah, I’ve been making records for a long time but it only feels like I’ve scratched the surface of what’s possible. I’ve made all kinds of music over the years but there’s something about drum and bass which just allows you to take it in any direction you want. I see it as a big melting pot and you can throw anything you like into it. I can’t even imagine how you could ever get to a place where you feel like there aren’t any more ideas to try.
Q: In terms of Matrix and Futurebound, take us back – how did you and Brendan (Futurebound) meet? Have you always been a collaborative duo?
We were already making music as solo artists before we started working together. We met when we were both playing at the same club in Belgium. We hit it off straight away and found that we were both very much on the same page with where we wanted to go with our music. We decided to try and make some music together and the result was our first collaboration, ‘Strength 2 Strength’. Pretty soon after that, we had a whole load of tracks written so we ended up making an album, called ‘Universal Truth’. I guess you could say that album set the tone for the records we’re making today. We just wanted to take the energy and rawness of drum and bass music and fuse it with a lot of melodic elements and vocals and try and give it a real epic feel.
Q: Who were your personal musical influences when you were first making your mark in the music scene?
The whole UK rave scene generally is where our roots were in the beginning. Fabio and Grooverider were definitely very important people for us and when they started playing our records in clubs and on the radio that really helped us to get noticed. I released a single called Mute on Grooverider’s label, Prototype Recordings which was a really influential label at that time. We also both used to go to a club night on Sundays called Blue Note which was run by Goldie and was kind of a legendary night. Loads of drum and bass DJ’s and producers used to go there and it was the place where you’d hear all of their new music first. It was kind of a friendly competition to see who could bring down the hottest track that they’d just made that week. It really felt like that tiny little club was the international headquarters of the entire Drum & Bass scene.
Q: You have a brand new release called ‘Don’t Look Back’. Tell us a little bit more about it?
It’s a drum and bass record featuring Tanya Lacey on vocals and it’s full of the epicness that people will know from our records. We had an early instrumental version of the track which we’d been playing for a few months and it was getting a great response. It felt like it was ready for a big vocal and Tanya totally delivered it. It’s just become our fourth record in a row to make the UK Top 40 singles chart which is amazing for us as we never thought we’d reach that kind of success with our music. It’s so great to see how drum and bass music just keeps growing and reaching an ever wider audience.
Q: Have you struck gold in finding Tanya Lacey?
I’d say so! With some of our previous records, we’ve tried lots of different singers before we’ve got something that felt right for the track, but this time we nailed it first time with Tanya. We love her voice and we also love the fact that she’s a great live performer and has really good energy on stage. She’s just a really cool person and we only like to work with people that we enjoy hanging out with.
Q: Over the years you guys have worked with many, many artists. Who has been your favourite artist to remix, and who has been the most rewarding musician / DJ to work with?
We’ve certainly done lots of remixes over the years which we always enjoy. We’ve recently done a mix of ‘Gecko’ by Oliver Heldens and Becky Hill. It was great to be asked to do it as it’s a massive record and working with a vocal like that just makes our job a lot easier. Another one we’ve done in the past few weeks is Eric Prydz, ‘Liberate’. We’ve both been huge fans of Eric for years and he’s definitely influenced the way we make our records so we were very happy when that one came in. One of the things we like about most Eric Prydz records is the way they start with quite a simple melodic idea and just keep on building all the way through the track so we tried to do that with our ‘Liberate’ remix. We had the summer festivals in mind when we made it and it’s been going down really well when we’ve played it.
Probably the most rewarding musicians to work with have been the guys who played with us for our recent live performance in the UK in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. Translating our new single into a full band setup was just a really cool new direction for us to go in and the musicians we’ve been working with are at the top of their game. Aside from that, I’d probably have to say my brother Matt, who is the Optical half of Ed Rush & Optical. He’s just a natural innovator who’s had a massive impact on drum and bass music and if you see him in the studio he plays the mixing desk like it’s a musical instrument!
Q: Tell us about the upcoming Oz tour?
We’re playing in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth and we’re also doing some shows in New Zealand while we’re in that part of the world. We’ve been coming to Australia for many years and it’s always been a great place for us to play. We’re doing some venues that we already know and love, such as Chinese Laundry in Sydney and Hifi Bar in Melbourne and we’re also really looking forward to the Perth show in Metro City. We’ve been there a couple of times and it’s a great venue but this is the first time we’ll have done a show there. We’ve got the Brookes Brothers, The Prototypes and Rockwell on the road with us so it’s gonna be off the hook for sure.
Q: What do you like about DJing here?
The drum and bass scene has always been strong and I’d say it’s one of the first countries outside of the UK where the genre started thriving. We definitely had a lot of fun the last time we were over, on the Stereosonic Tour last November. That was kind of like being part of a travelling circus of musicians and DJ’s and it’s just great to DJ out in the blazing sunshine on a Saturday afternoon which is not something we get to do that often in the UK.
Q: What can we expect from Matrix and Futurebound for the rest of 2014?
We’re working on a remix for Seven Lions at the moment and we’re also doing a remix for somebody else very exciting. I don’t think I’m allowed to tell you who that is just yet but keep your eyes peeled! After that, there’ll be another single from me and Futurebound later in the year and sorry but I have to keep details of that under wraps at the moment so all I can say is… watch this space!
The Viper Recordings Decade World Tour begins in Adelaide (July 18), before heading to Sydney (July 19), Perth (July 25) and Melbourne (July 26). For more information and tickets visit viperrecordings.co.uk.
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