Bristol bass music band Dr Meaker have been making waves for a few years but are now taking things to the next level with their Right Back single featuring guest vocals from Kosheen’s Sian Evans. We caught up with the band’s producer and keyboard player Clive Meaker to find out how the single came about and plans for their second album.
Tell us briefly how the band formed…
I started out by producing the music and then formed the live band to take the music out on the road. The band started in 2004 and came together in a natural way through friends of friends and local Bristol hook ups. The current line-up has been together for about four years and is better than ever. We’ve taken our time and really got our shit together as an act.
How would you describe your approach to making music?
Start it with a feeling rather than a formula. Keep it soulful and make sure it has bite and grit and dirt as well as emotion.
Tell us more about Right Back and how did it came about…
The single was inspired by a going “back to basics” mentality. We just wanted to make an underground soulful roller and had no expectations on how far it would go. We made the track with V Recordings in mind and Bryan Gee at V took an interest in it early on, before we even recorded any vocals for it. My manager found the sample and said, “go make a tune with that”.
I asked Sian Evans to write the vocal and it was all pretty simple to put together. A very liberating track to make as there was no pressure from anyone to make it, so it’s got a natural vibe to it.
How did the hook up with Sian Evans come about?
I met Sian at Glastonbury a few years ago in the backstage Jazz stage area and we hit it off. We have worked on two or three tracks over the last few years but not released anything to date.
I sent Sian the instrumental of ‘Right Back’ and she wrote the vocal at home and then we met and recorded at Retrosonic Studios in Bristol. Sian is a seasoned pro in the game. She knows how to write and sing a classic, the recording stage was smooth.
This is your biggest release to date, have you been surprised by the reaction?
It didn’t really surprise me that people liked it ‘cause I liked it. I’m very self critical, which keeps my standards up and I knew when it was finished that it was a top notch tune.
It has a classic, anthemic vibe but you never know how the general public and the media will take it, as essentially it’s an underground tune. I knew the heads would dig it. It has really kicked off on all levels though which is very satisfying.
Got any other releases / remixes in the pipeline we should look out for?
I have done a couple remixes but am not allowed to say what they are yet so keep checking the Dr Meaker Facebook page for updates on those. Some big names!
What else have you been working on in the studio recently?
Remixes and the next album, which we have signed to Circus Records. It’s been a really creative time writing the album and now it’s time for the arrangement tweaks, final recordings and mixdowns. That crazy shit that makes you go mad!
Tell us a bit more about the mix you are giving away with us and how you went about selecting the tracks for it.
Our drummer Tom Wheeler put this mix together as I was snowed under at the time. He likes to mix up different styles of DnB, I really enjoyed listening to his selection.
Where can people catch you in the next few months?
Wide Eyes at Lakota, Bristol on August 30 (DJ/PA set); Outlook, Croatia on September 5 (DJ/PA set); Tokyo Dub Festival, Bristol on 27 September (live); Electric Brixton, London on October 3 (live); Smack, Leamington on 10 October (DJ/PA set); Bunker, Bristol on 11 November (DJ/PA set) and Unit 37 DNB, Plymouth on 14 November (DJ/PA set).
What’s the best gig you’ve played in the last six months?
Bristol Pride was a great vibe and so was Blissfields Festival and Boomtown. Looking forward to Outlook in September. I prefer playing live if possible as it’s a great feeling when there are eight of you rocking out on stage.
Which do you prefer & why – indoor concerts or outdoor festivals?
If it’s warm and the vibe is right then festivals can be total magic. Indoor gigs can get much more intense which is also a wicked buzz and sometimes inspires me to do a bit of stage diving! They both have a special place in our hearts but I think we are really made for festivals… big fucking stages!
Anything else you want to tell us about?
Come check out the Dr Meaker live act and buy the records too. Much love.