Grooverider Interview

Grooverider is back on the radio, in the studio and even his revered Prototype label is returning. Never afraid to speak his mind, we catch up with the drum & bass legend for an exclusive interview.

You’re back on the radio with Fabio every Tuesday on Ministry Of Sound Radio and sounding good.  They seem to have their dnb game down at the moment.  How’s it going with the show there? 

It’s going alright man, making the best of the tools that we got. It’s only a small station, it’s not the BBC, but we’re trying to build that shit up. What better brand to be with than Ministry Of Sound?

There have been lot of changes in urban music radio over the last few years, what’s your views on it and where’s it all heading?

Is it urban music any more? That’s the question to be answered.  Sounds like pop to me.  I said a couple of years ago that David Guetta ruined hip-hop, it doesn’t sound like hip-hop any more, it’s turned into house. The EDM sound has changed a lot of things. I’m told that music that’s hitting the charts is drum & bass, but where’s the bass? I call it happy hardbreak, can’t tell much difference.  Sounds like hardcore but with a breakbeat.

You’re playing across the full spectrum on radio, which might surprise some people… what’s your views on all this sub-genre malarkey?

I don’t hear music like that, I hear a drum & bass track ‘cause it’s drum & bass, regardless of whether it’s got a piano or an ugly techno sound.  A lot of the gigs I play it’s the harder sound, but I do the other thing as well.  I’m not scared to say I like drum & bass, and I like all of it. I don’t like every track, but I like certain tracks from every style.  If it’s good, it’s good.

Any new producers you like the sound of at the moment?

There’s so many all the time, it’s not fair for me to break it down.  I respect anyone that’s got the front to make a track and send it for me to play ‘cause I’ve got very high standards, hahaha!

You’re back in the studio as well, been hearing some big tracks on the show… what’s inspired you to get back on producing?

Time.  I have more time than I used to have. Having a kid changed my life, and that’s it.  A lot of things have changed in the time my child has grown, and I’ve had to learn a lot of new things in the studio.  Plus, it’s the confidence factor.  I’ve been out of the production game for ten years.  Even if I am who I am, sometimes it’s a lack of confidence.

Your music is sounding very different to anything else that’s out there at the moment… how would you describe the sound you’re going for?

I’m not going for anything, just trying to make a tune, never been that person to try and copy something that’s already out there. Every time I go in the studio, it’s new sounds; I never use a template or stuff from tracks I’ve made before.  I’m always looking to make something new, maybe to be played, maybe not, maybe a load of crap. I make a lot of crap as well.  But there again, it’s a confidence thing.

Are these tracks staying in your percy stash or have you got plans to release them?

I only make tracks for me to play really.  I just like to make tracks so that my sets sound different to the next man.  I’m not thinking about such and such label, I’m just trying to make my set different.  That’s the main reason why I want to make tunes.  I’ve got the Metalheadz Avenger EP out soon, couple of other bits coming out maybe on Prototype, but I’m not thinking like that when I’m in the studio.

Prototype Records was obviously very big in the game with some massive tracks in the back catalogue… any chance of some cheeky re-releases?

Yeah, they’re all gonna come back out on digital format, Prototype’s not done that kind of thing, but I’m waiting to see what’s what.  No one’s really sure what’s going on with the music market, with digital and the rest of it.  So I’m just observing, and waiting to see what’s good.

Prototype had a very distinctive sound, but no doubt you’ll want to come with something fresh… have you got a particular direction in mind for future releases, or are you leaving it open for now?

It just happened to turn that way… it just came out like that to be honest.  It wasn’t planned that way.  It was just music that I liked.  When I started it, there wasn’t that sound out there so much, I couldn’t really find what I was into.  To be honest, in the beginning, I only started it so I could knock a couple of my own tunes out!  And it’ll probably be the same this time around, just a bit of fun.  I’m not thinking about a specific genre, it’s just about decent music.

You’ve had a busy schedule this summer for events and September is looking pretty rammed as well… what have been the highlights this year?

There have been lots of great parties. Innovation has been extraordinary, really good parties.  SunAndBass and Sunbeatz are coming up, always big. And you’ve got United Festival and Norman Jay’s Good Times In The Park soon, which are looking good.

Shut That Sh*t Down is back this autumn, you’ve been involved since the start as resident-in-chief… for those that don’t know, what’s different about the night, and why should people check it out?

It’s just a crowd that I never see anywhere else, which makes it special.  To me it just goes to show that there are so many more people out there looking for a different kind of drum & bass night in London.  What can I say… we got Rob Smiley’s back, that’s all there is to it!

Finally, any chance of a Prototype night in the pipeline?

Ask Rob Smiley hahaha… but let’s just say the chances are good.

Grooverider is playing alongside Fabio, Bailey, Rob Smiley and more at Shut That Sh*t Down: Deeper at Rhythm Factory, London on Friday 19 September. For full info head to their Facebook event page.

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