Interview mit Storm
Sie ist die First Lady Of Drum’n’Bass und neben Goldie die wichtigste Botschafterin des mittlerweile elfjährigen Flaggschiffs Metalheadz. Mit dem Mix für die „Winter Of Content“ LP zeigt sie wieder eindrucksvoll, wo der Hammer der Leidenschaft hängt und wie man ihn stilvoll benutzt. In ihrem ersten Interview via AIM sprachen wir über ihren Mix, die eindrucksvolle Bilanz von Metalheadz 2005, den Umgang mit CD’s und warum Fat Boy Slim der Botschafter der Welt sein sollte.
Einen herzlichen Dank gebührt an dieser Stelle Alley Cat /Skunkrock Rec. und Mark / ESP, ohne die das Interview so nicht möglich gewesen wäre!
Booga: In 2005 Metalheadz released 9 regular 12″, 3 platinum 12″, 2 LP’s and 2 LP sampler which are in total 49 new tracks and it’s not the 31st of december yet. What’s happening here?
Storm: Metalheadz is back on form. The master Goldie has been in the A+R chair for quite a while now and has been signing tracks left right and centre, so the output has had to step up because we have soooooooo much product. Headz is Rollin‘ like a few years ago.
Booga: Is this due Goldie put more time into A+R or are more interesting tracks coming in?
Storm: I think in general Goldie is back concentrating on his label. The world is a big place and the possibilities are endless right now.
Booga: On the other hand: no updated website, manager leaving in the middle of the year, discontinued mailinglist – is this Metalheadz undergroundness „at it’s best“?
Storm: No one knows what goes on behind closed doors. I’m not about to tell you and although I hear what your saying. At the end of the day Metalheadz has been representing for over 10 years bringing joy to many people. Let’s face it, it’s all about music and that’s what Metalheadz has always done: release incredibly good music. Back in the day when I first got in this scene I ran Metalheadz with no internet, no website, very minimal mailing list, we just had belief in the music and you know what? It worked. No one had money back in the day to even have a mailing list and when I did I made many people very happy with the amount of product they received, we had the biggest global mailing list of any DnB label. So I think Headz has invested over the years and you know what, I think everything is so easy these days, do you remeber what it was like to work for your art?
Booga: But as Metalheadz grows so do the amount of their listeners, buyers and supporters worldwide. They just want to know sometimes…
Storm: Well I think it’s very easy to pick up on the negative side of things and I hope that whatever is happening as long as Metaheadz is releasing good product then I am happy. And just for your information the label manager left due to ill health, life happens sometimes but the one thing I will say for Headz: We are all still believers and all the new tracks coming are ridiculously good. As for the website I think it will hopefully get better.
Booga: How would you explain the title of the Metalheadz 06 LP „Winter Of Content“?
Storm: Well as the Shakespear saying goes „Now is the Winter of our Discontent“ so cleverly Goldie has had a little play on words and now we have something joyful „The Winter of Content“ and I think you will agree that this album makes one feel very contented.
Booga: No doubt about this. Usually Goldie does the studio mix. This time it was your turn and to me it’s probably the best one. He should have let you do this way earlier before…
Storm: Mmmmmm not going to disagree with you on that point and I think in the future every one will get go.
Booga: So how content are you with yourself about your latest released mix?
Storm: Very contented and it was great fun to make as I mixed at Baileys place and we had a lot of fun doing it. And yes for all the people out there it was recorded in one take no tweaking.
Booga: Didn’t you missed the audience response with rewinds and the adrenaline rush and stuff on your gigs?
Storm: No, mixing a studio CD is a serious business, I feel that if someone is to pay money to buy a mix CD then it must be your best and I mean best performance. I am a top international DJ and a mix CD should be better than perfect. I spent a good couple of days getting the running order right and making sure it works, that the flow is right. I think you should be at your best on a mix CD and I frown upon anyone who makes money from a CD and can’t even be bothered to take the time to do it properly. Some people don’t even mix their CD’s they have, computers do it for them. I think this is disgusting, what kind of DJ does that make you?
Booga: So you prepared the mix for Metalheadz kind of the same way you did with Kemistry for the famous K7 mix CD? How did you do that in detail?
Storm: Any mix CD that you are asked to do obviously you have a set amount of tunes that need representing, then it is just a matter of spending many hours mixing to get the run right. You have to basically know where you want to end in example the last track then work forwards, thats how I do it. On this Metalheadz mix I had three different start tracks, but I kept coming back to IF by D Star and that’s how it ended. Also when doing a studio mix you can achieve very difficult and intricate mixes that you don’t always have the right conditions when your live.
Booga: This is your third Mix CD (K7, Reinforced, Metalheadz) I know of. Don’t you like to do this more often?
Storm: In fact this is my fifth mix CD K7, Reinforced and Artcore were all with Kemistry. And I did solo Reinforced CD and now the Metalheadz CD. Of course I would love to do more, it is what I do best but it’s just being asked and again I think guys get the preference. Thats why I am always so proud and honoured to be part of the whole K7 album, it made Kemistry and myself feel very special.
Booga: And it attracted a lot of people to drum’n’bass – no matter what sex.
Storm: Well thats always something to feel proud about
Booga: A little game. I name you five tracks from the last Metalheadz album which seem important or interesting for me and you have two sentences to comment on each. Ready?
Storm: Oh this is becoming fun now, I am ready.
Booga: Here we go: #1 A-Sides – Don’t Intimidate
Storm: Good to see A-Sides coming with the perfect rough with the smooth tracks, beats are so clean.
Booga: To me the most challenging track from him.
Booga: #2 Outrage – Empty Rooms
Storm: A good solid roller, the beats cut like a knife as we hear a protege rolling out for his hero’s Digital and Spirit, this track is such a joy to mix and it is a little on the dark side mmmmmm.
Booga: Thats it! This is what I thought first: Couldn’t Outrage be kind of a twisted protege of Phantom Audio?
Storm: Yes I think that’s a good way to describe what he does.
Booga: #3 Physics – Murder Dub
Storm: Well whatever is going on up in Finland must be all good as I am totally in love with what this artist is doing. Yes a little DJ unfriendly but thats sometimes a good thing to make you really listen.
Booga: As Goldie told me he doesn’t like cheesy tunes. What makes the difference for this smooth one?
Storm: The fact that he does drop half a bar here and there so psychologically you’re expecting the drop but the anticipation is that bit longer so hits you in a different way and the chords are very soothing.
Booga: #4 Senses – Sabotage
Storm: I think this track and Satellite Song from Commix give you the same kind of vibe, rhythmically simple but devastatingly effective with Senses having the more musical content. This stands out to me as a very easy track to get my head around.
Booga: Did you know he’s the first German releasing a tune on Metalheadz?
Storm: No I didn’t know that because is from Bonny Scotland.
Booga: Yes but he moved from Germany when he was 7, so …
Storm: Didn’t know that, yes I suppose so.
Booga: If that is the same Senses who is releasing tracks on Inperspective.
Storm: Yes, I worked with him at the weekend and he said when he has his first full Metalheadz release he is going to ask Goldie if the head on the label can be tartan, ha ha!
Storm: I said to him maybe he could be on his own cover wearing a kilt he didn’t go for it, boo hoo!
Booga: last track: Break – Void Dweller
Storm: One of my favourites a DJ’s dream you can mix with anything and it sounds wicked, breaks runnin‘ hard, bass chunky and a joy to mix.
Booga: This track reminds me of two things: 1st – The drum sounds a bit like the early Dom & Roland, very thunder rolling… 2nd – Similar to his track „The Race“ on Commercial Suicide there arises a warm and fuzzy pad at the very last break. You left this part aside in your mix.
Storm: I started with one almighty mix with IF by D Star so one end of the Break track suffers and the end of IF also but that’s just the way it rolled out.
Booga: Understandable. In 2001 you told me in an interview the doors are open for new producers. Looking at the release schedule from Metalheadz this year alone, this proofs you were no wrong. Is this just the beginning?
Storm: Indeed, it is all comers welcome, but I think in the last couple of years the newer artists have been developing and I think now some of them are there. It takes time and now the time seems right. Goldie has just signed some spectacular tunes from an artist in Singapore and they are amazing. So right about now the possibilities are endless.
Booga: Some years ago the focus media in Drum’n’Bass is constantly shifting from dubplate to CD. Speaking of the hidden parallel universe of internet instant messenger services and sharing tunes between producers and DJ’s… how comfort are you with this development?
Storm: Yes I am comfortable with the whole CD revolution, and in fact even though I gave some resistance to it in the beginning I am down with it. But from another perspective you have to be very careful, even with people you have trusted for years. Lets take for example Calibre’s new album. It was sent on CD to the press for review, the next minute it was on e-bay for sale before one promo had even been dropped, this was done by Alex C from DJ magazine who has reviewed DnB for years, how disgusting and disrespectful is this to Calibre? Well very, so understand that every label wishes to share tunes but when blatant abuse occurs like this it makes us all think how safe is it all?
Booga: To put up a quote by yourself: Still living inside the Drum’n’Bass bubble?
Storm: 24 – 7 never going to grow up either.
Booga: That must keep you young!
Storm: I hope so.
Booga: I’ll keep compliments until you are in Leipzig…
Booga: Your most embarrassing moment this year on stage?
Storm: I was playing in Brighton and I was taking over from Mr Ray Keith. I was about to embark on an Old Skool Metalheadz set. The crowd was expectant and I was feeling good, I picked up Pulp Fiction and started when the crowd heard the beginning and started going crazy MC Darrison was rollin‘ lyrical, then we realised there was no bassline so Darrison stared singing the Bassline while I started panicking and I keep panicking and I looking at everything. Then DJ Ruffstuff runs in from behind and turns off the filter on the mixer. Oh Doh DJ Storm looking and feeling very silly and very embarrassed, everyone thought it was very funny so I got away with it.
Booga: OK, we are almost done with the interview.
Storm: Anything else you need to know ok.
Booga: How do you handle to live in a city which had a bomb attack from muslim fundamentalists this year? How does it affect your live? Do you think music can do anything about it?
Storm: As I have always said Religion is dangerous and over the years we realise music is a universal language, we have never had any wars over music but many over religion. So I have the answer and I have always said this that only music can save the world if only people could realise this and we could make Fat Boy Slim the ambassador of the world, Goldie could look after Europe, Puff Daddy could take care of the States, Marky could take care of South America, Makoto could take care of Asia and Down Under. Yes the bombing of London was not desirable and obviously has done damage to the UK economy, and life was lost which is always devastating. But faceless cowards like these people will never win and London is pretty much back on its feet.
Booga: Storm, thank you very much for the interview. The visitors of www.itsyours.info will appreciate this a lot!
Storm: Thank you.