Big up to Alex Eveson for taking the time to, candidly, answer some of our questions about life growing up in Glastonbury, how he got into drum & bass, and shooting down our request for a VIP version of his tune (ha!).
> As someone that only knows Glastonbury for the festival of the same name, can you give our readers a sense of what life was like growing up there?
it’s not your typical small english town, it’s a pretty leftfield place. for instance, to buy a pair of jeans or socks or something, you’d have to go to the next town over, but you could stroll down the high street and have no trouble buying a sword and a crystal buddah statue or something…
Bristol was only an hour away on the bus, and if you’re from Glastonbury, Bristol pretty much became your destination at the weekend for skating, raving etc, and with the festival on our doorstep and a lot of kids brought up by more hippy parents, a lot of us would be on the music thing from a really young age, i was raving at festivals from the age of about 12, often with backstage hookups linked through mates. one of the best memories of this was getting to stand/dance right up on the main stage 20ft away from Orbital as they played to 150,000 odd people while the sun went down in Glastonbury ’95 when i’d just turned 13.
> How’d you find your way to drum & bass?
i saw 2 Unlimited on Top of the Pops when i was around 10 and (as a kid) thought it was the coolest thing ever. within that year, i’d discovered the prodigy, and through them, stuff like SL2, Acen, Liquid, Sonz of da Loop da Loop Era etc… rave music was the new big thing so you could find compilation tapes with all these tunes at your local woolworths. after that it was all about tape packs (namely Fantazia), which me and a small group of mates would collect and trade. it was all just rave music to me back then but i was always drawn towards the breaks over the 4 to the floor stuff, so when the scene split, i naturally gravitated towards the jungle sound which led onto the dnb thing.
> “A Dystopian Romance” seems to indicate a bit of heartbreak, but I found it rather uplifting and soulful. Was that what you were aiming for with the track?
i had the name in my head before i wrote the tune. i’ve always been drawn to music which is both melancholic and euphoric at the same time. this was trying to capture that mood, a moment of beauty and light amidst a bleaker, darker landscape. i tried to recreate this mood throughout the entire 3 track 12.
> Speaking of that, and not to pigeon-hole your music, but it has always had a bit more soul to it than most other producers. Where does that soul influence come from?
when i discovered the Prodigy in 93, i also picked up Massive Attack’s ‘Protection’ on cassette (well my mum did and i quickly adopted it), so the trip hop sound kind of ran in parallel to the rave music thing throughout my teens, and i naturally went searching for the influences and samples the triphop/Ninja Tune/Mo Wax guys were drawing on and got into the original 70s funk/dub/jazz/soul stuff as well. when i started mixing d&b, i’d buy all styles and mix them up. i’ve got just as many dark side tech step records as i have deeper atmospheric/liquid stuff, and still like to go pretty hard/dark in dj sets when the time and crowd is right.
with production though, i get a lot more absorbed when i write stuff with a bit more musicality and soul, it’s more of a mix of all my influences, where if i were to write strictly dance floor stuff, i’d only be drawing on one part of myself. i’ve always seen the deeper side of dnb as a fusion of rave music and trip hop. there aren’t many other styles of music that can both bliss you out with the breakdown and tear your head off with the drop to such an extreme.
> You worked out “Grey Dawn” with Halogenix of Ivy Lab, which is a personal favorite. Any other collaborations in the pipeline?
we’ve got another collab called ‘Baby’ which we wrote soon after Grey Dawn. the latter was more my idea/vision that i brought to his studio and we worked on together to crate, whereas ‘Baby’ was me kinda bringing a bit of my soulful vibe to his style he’s rolling out at the moment, so that one’s on a more half step future soul kinda flex and will be dropping on his Critical ‘Systems’ EP in early July along with the sublime ‘Her Waves’ which is one of my favourite liquid tunes in a good while.
i’ve also got something i started with Mako that really needs to get finished on a deep but tribal tip, as soon as Glastonbury festival’s out of the way, i’ll be straight back on that.
> Can you release a VIP of “Deluge” that’s about three minutes longer just for me, please? 😉
nah, that’s all you’re getting, the fact that you want more, means it did it’s job properly, all about tunes that make you wanna hit the repeat button ;]
> Any thoughts on a full length LP? Maybe on your own label, Channel 82?
i’m still kinda recovering from my debut album which dropped on V back in 2012, which was a culmination of all my influences to date (for anyone that missed, you can check it out at www.thelastsummeroflove.com), and since then i’ve been playing around with all sorts of different styles, trying to find a new voice, as i now consider that chapter closed and i’m working on the next. i’ve actually been churning out a load of sub 160 bpm material that’s influenced by my old jungle/rave tapes, more of a nostalgia project that’s turning into a body of work quite naturally. that’d be under an alias though.
as for the Eveson stuff, i’m gonna stick with experimentation and singles for a while until i have something new i want to say with it. as far as Channel 82 goes, that took a back seat while i did the album and has been dormant for a while but i’m gonna be picking up the pace again this year as i was into the direction it was taking, and i’m gonna be leaning more towards a ‘deep jungle’ kinda flavour for the near future.
> I noticed that Kodama, a track you wrote in 2009 for Good Looking, was just released in April and in a very limited market. Does a label sitting on your music that long bother you as much it does people like me that want to buy it?
to be honest, for me it’s not such a bad thing. i got paid up front for that track and it dropped on a Fabric CD and gave me a nice amount of exposure. so it was already kind of out there, just not to the point of a full release which created a lot of hype about the tune over time, more so than if it’d just dropped straight away i imagine.
music fans seem to have a fascination with tunes they can’t get hold of to the point they sometimes get built up to be more than they are. for me having the tune in limbo for so long simply meant for years, i had a well known tune of mine i could drop in my sets for a great reaction, that was still exclusive to myself and a few others, so for me it worked out alright. that was more of a unique situation though, as i said, for me it was already kind of ‘out there’ via the Fabric series, when you have something wrapped up with a label that you’re really proud of, but is taking an eternity to see the light of day, it can be pretty frustrating of course.
most of the labels i work with these days are pretty on it as far as getting tunes out in good time though, so it’s not such a problem. in fact i’m the worst offender with my own label’s stuff, you don’t realise just how difficult it can be to get music out in a timely manner until you’ve tried running a label yourself…
> Thanks again and best of luck with the release!
Thanks a lot! – Alex
Check out his Fizzy Beats 9th Birthday Promo Mix HERE.