Delta Heavy: We like the idea of stuff just morphing into each other
Whisking the listener through a vast myriad of musical influences comes D&B/dubstep duo, Delta Heavy, who have impressed many with their unshackled take on bass music. Here they talk about pet hates, stop motion videos and rabbit hole imagery.
Could you briefly describe your background in music?
Si: My mother is very musical and I’ve always been around it so when I got into my teens, I joined a band and was into my rock and guitar music. As I got to about 17 or 18, I got into drum and bass. Then, when I went to uni I just lived the drum and bass scene in Nottingham with nights like Detonate and that’s how Ben and me met and started making music together.
Ben: My parents got me a set of Technics when I was about 13 or 14, so I’ve been DJing for about 14 years now. When Si and me left uni, we just knew we didn’t want to do anything else and we wanted to give this career a go. We’d never really produced music before but we wanted to make music for a long time and we just taught ourselves, coming from the very beginning together which was around the end of 2006.
As DJs, what would you say are your biggest pet hates?
Si: Really bad set-ups in clubs are probably the biggest one for me and also when stuff isn’t set up right.
Ben: It’s all down to technical problems because, not only does it affect the way you perform but it also puts you in a bad mood. Its difficult to perform in every aspect because you want to put on a good show when you’re playing, but if stuff isn’t working its annoying.
What was your reaction when you saw ‘Hold Me’ gaining so much attention?
Ben: It was our first dubstep production that we actually released, but we’d been into dubstep since it first took off about six or seven years ago. We used to go to FWD every single Friday when it was just this tiny, underground movement. It just happened that the first tunes we got signed with were drum and bass. With ‘Hold Me’ we had this sample that we were just playing around with.
Si: The reaction off of it was great and obviously the tune speaks for itself but the video that we put online created a really cool buzz around the whole release and gave it a concept. So it was really exciting to see how far it spread and people were being made aware of the tune in a way that they probably wouldn’t have.
I guess we can’t take about videos and concepts without talking about the latest one, ‘Get By’…
Ben: Well, when we originally started the ‘Hold Me’ video we wanted to have the lead character as this type of old toy and it never quite worked out and it seemed to apply to the vibe of ‘Get By’. So we had a friend of a friend who has some history in doing stop motion visuals.
Si: Yeah, we wanted to animate this little character and we wondered how we could do it without spending lots of money. The nature of it is really time consuming but this guy Ian Robertson, who put the video together, came back with a refreshed story board using all these childhood games which linked with the 90s garage vibe that we were familiar with when we were leaving school. Ian was doing this video for about a month just stuck in his parents’ basement and not seeing the light of the day. He did it for 5 weeks, for about 16 hours a day just solidly working. He took over 11,000 photos and only used about 3,000 of them but its crazy how much work has gone into it. It was his first bit of commissioned work and his concept and treatment showed us how much passion he had in the whole project so we had to go with him.
When it comes to finding samples for your tracks, how do you go about sourcing bits to use?
Si: I would actually say that finding samples isn’t our biggest strength but we always end up going through acapella packs for hours and hours is usually the way and then you eventually you find a little snippet.
Ben: You always end up searching for hours and hours when you need to and then when you don’t you pull something out and it works. I think the thing about using samples is when you decide to use them. Trying to write a tune and then bring something in at the end is very difficult. What we’re doing now though is getting some proper vocalists in rather than samples which is what we want to be doing anyway.
For your latest EP, ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’, why have you gone with the Alice in Wonderland imagery?
Si: We liked the metaphor of the rabbit hole as this portal to a digital place where things aren’t really what they seem. We like to give our tunes twists where there’s a blend of styles and in comparison there’s a lot of routes you can go down in a rabbit hole. There’s so much stuff in this package and its almost like you can go into so many places. We like the idea of stuff just morphing into each other, without getting too deep. It also sounds pretty cool too.
Over summer, what are you plans for playing out and DJing?
Ben: We’re playing out at SW4 and also Jersey Live. There’s also EDC, Vegas, Mallorca Rocks and loads of other stuff. We’re excited about the next couple of months and we just want to get out there and play our music.
Delta Heavy’s ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’ is out now on RAM Records and can be purchased from hereTagged in: bass music, Delta Heavy, Down The Rabbit Hole, drum and bass, Dubstep, Get By, Hold Me, music, summer festivals
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter