Bachelors of Science Interview

Among drum & bass producers in the United States, not many have carried the torch as long as San Francisco-based trio Bachelors Of Science. Since their inception in 2005, the group has made a name for itself amongst drum & bass’s finest, while remaining one of the strongest voices in stateside drum & bass. Their label Code Recordings – home to up and comers like Whiney and Conduct – celebrated its second birthday in August. Recently, with a 2014 European tour under their belt and a brand new LP in the pipeline for 2015, Bachelors released their latest single for Code Recordings; Don’t Hold Back feat. Dylan Germick b/w Cartier. We sat down with the trio and talked about the label, their new music, and what’s next for Code and Bachelors of Science.

Hi guys, hope you’re good. Tell us about ‘Don’t Hold Back’ with Dylan Germick – rolling, atmospheric vibes for sure. A lot of people have said it takes them back to 2008-2009 Bachelors material. Do you agree with this? What was the inspiration for the tune, and how did it develop?

Chris: I guess everyone has their own take on what our ‘sound’ is, so sometimes it’s surprising to hear that people think we’ve gone ‘back’ to a vibe from the past. We feel like our sound has always been evolving and is really quite diverse – but yet always stayed to a few certain principles – atmospheric, soulful and heavy on musical elements and a certain polish. That diversity in the style is actually part of what inspired part of the thinking behind the new album – one side of the album has more of the soulful/liquid vibe that we’re more known for, while the other side is definitely more on the darker and experimental tip that we’ve also been doing a lot of. At the end of the day, we’re always picking up influences from other kinds of music and that’s half the fun is seeing where that takes us in the studio.

The video is pretty sick too. Who’s skateboarding in the video, and where did you shoot it? What led you to choose the theme for the video?

Lukeino: The video was made by a friend of ours, Austin Graziano and his crew California Bonzing. They are an incredible crew of skateboarders. The video was shot all over San Francisco with them barreling down some of the steepest hills the city has to offer. The song is all about taking chances and going for it and you get that similar feeling when bombing hills at full speed. It’s really about having the freedom of pushing things to the limit. Don’t Hold Back!

Cartier is a really pretty tune as well. What was the inspiration?

Phil: It actually all started with a lighter. I got talking to a dear old friend in the UK all about his experiences back in clubs in the seventies and the stories were just legendary, everything from the early soul clubs and Ronnie Scotts to the hazy disco days of New York. A bottle of scotch later, he gave me his lighter that had been there in all those crazy times, and in exchange I wanted to channel all those sounds, stories and vibes into a track, so Cartier was born.

Don’t Hold Back is also the first single off BoS’s upcoming third album. How long has it been in the works? What can you tell us about it, so far?

Chris: We kinda have this cyclical way of working where we’ll be starting different ideas and pieces of tunes and really didn’t think at first that we were making an album! Suddenly everything just clicked we realized that we had a collection of tunes that tell a story about where we have been the last year or so.

Phil: There’s something about an album gives the listener a chance to settle in and listen to from start to finish (we would hope!) and that’s special. There are some tunes we’ve been dying to release for a long time now, like Satisfy, and brand new tracks that no-one’s heard before, so it’s just really exciting to let them all see the light of day!

Lukeino: Yeah we’ve been working on the album for quite a while now and are really vibing on the process! Some tunes are getting cut and some tunes are getting added as we continue to write new stuff.

You guys did a European tour earlier this year – tell us about that.

Phil: It’s been great touring Europe and catching up with other producers and friends out there. Fabric in particular is definitely somewhere we’ve had on the bucket list and hope to go back and play there more, but then parties like Liquicity (Amsterdam) and City Flow (Antwerp) just continue to blow us away.

Lukeino: Yeah Fabric was just amazing. I had a chance to hang out there on a House music night as well as playing Room 2 with Bukem, Spectrasoul and some other great artists. It was such a great night and experience. The staff there are so friendly and welcoming too! We’re definitely trying to get out to tour Europe at least once a year now. There is something about the vibe out there that is quite different from the states. Promoters – hit us up!

What are the differences between performing in the states and in Europe? Vibe, crowd, venues, etc.

Phil: Certainly the scale is different. While you do get the big festivals out in the states, you don’t get the stacked lineups that are so common on a weekly basis in Europe. But that’s to be expected, so many people who are in the scene are rooted in Europe. But, that said, San Francisco now probably has one of the healthiest scenes in the states with the now with the Stamina Sundays weekly who has an impressive resident roster made up of local producers like Gridlok, Submorphics, Jamal, Flaco, Method One and more.
It’s been two years (!!) since Code Recordings released its first single (Bachelors of Science feat. Emcee Child ‘Beast’). What’s changed since the first release, if anything? What is the core philosophy of Code Recs?

Chris: Code was really born out of a desire to have a home for all things Bachelors. We’ve been at this now for close to ten years, and so we’ve really built up a body of work and wanted to have greater control over our catalog. As far as what’s changed? Not too much, we’ve obviously learned a lot along the way. We’re also really proud of some of the artwork that’s come out (big ups to Seth Grym!) and the whole thing is like family. We have had some really great new releases this last year from friends like Whiney & Conduct and we continue to look for new material to put out so producers please send us demos!

On the topic of CODER001, ‘Beast’ had a really sick video as well. Obviously the music comes first, but what do you think a good music video adds to the overall aesthetic of a release? Can you speak about maybe some commonalities between the ‘Beast’ video and the one for ‘Don’t Hold Back’?

Phil: Video’s been a core part of the package ever since way back when we were hacking together old black and white videos for tracks like Ice Dance. We get a kick out of it, and to be honest, we think it’s only going to grow in importance to labels. What’s exciting the most is now people are finding it easier and easier to make good videos with the tools that are around, whereas it used to be a huge undertaking.

So what’s next on Code Recordings?

Lukeino: Looking forward to hitting some dates in support of the album, and then we’ve also got some upcoming releases from artists like Jamal and Whiney amongst others forthcoming on Code. Beyond that, we just about wrapped up on a nice remix for local SF legend Worthy and we’ve got plans for a new studio space. But for now, we are just hustling in the studio and having fun finishing this album.