In my opinion, a musical genre is built upon the tireless efforts of a rare few passionate groups of artists that have pushed the limits (whether intentionally or not) and broken the boundaries of their predecessors. Whether that boils down to the very fundamentals of the genre itself or those in its league, every generation has certain musicians that have repeatedly stepped over the drawn line before them and created something truly unique for diehard fans. I can’t think of any better artists in the drum and bass world that have paved such a sound and not only mastered it, but gradually surpassed it, than Fred V & Grafix. By fusing the wires of the liquid drum and bass world and proving time and time again that their musical talents far surpass of those restricted to a computer software, Hospital Records’ frontrunner duo has produced their next highly-anticipated album, and boy are fans ready.
I had the pleasure of having a seat with them (and quite a few drinks) at their most recent Hospitality performance at Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles. That being said, we at Your EDM are proud to share with you some insider information about the upcoming album, their perspective of the 2016 tour life and a bit of the boys’ personality.
Hey guys! So hyped to be having a word with you both. How’s the tour life treating you lately?
The US/Canadian tour was brilliant. Plenty of late nights, early mornings, airports, hangovers, powernaps, burgers, wings, sushi etc. the usual goat show that is North American DJ tours. Think the best part of it was catching up with old friends we hadn’t seen for a couple years, was one big reunion. The shows themselves were amazing too, the best batch of shows we’ve done out there for sure!
We know you have quite an album coming right around the corner, can you tell us a bit about that – are there any collabs or special content we can look forward to?
Yes, we’ve got our second album coming out at the end of June. Just over 2 years since ‘Recognise’ came out, so we’re definitely hyped to have a bunch of new content ready to share with everyone. It’s 15 tracks, so pretty big for a dnb album, but still we didn’t want to cut anything out of this group of tracks, as they all serve their own purpose on the record. We’ve got a few interesting vocal features that we’re happy with, most of which are simply good friends of ours – a girl called Amy Pryce, features on 3 tracks, she’s part of our writing team, together with Fred & a guy called Tudor, they as a group generally write all of the FV&G vocals. Tudor himself actually featured on ‘Shine’ from our first album, and features on a track on the new album too. Another track features an up & coming singer/rapper outfit called Franko Fraize & Tone, if anyone likes The Streets, they’ll like what we’ve done with them. Our proudest collaboration on the record is with Kele from Bloc Party – a band we’ve grown up listening too, so was truly an honour to be in the studio with him. There’s also a few vocals sung by Fred himself, a collaboration with a university friend called Dials, lots of guitar recorded by myself (Grafix, yes I actually do a lot of the guitars), and just generally, it’s a much more complete and wholesome album than we could have ever hoped for.
What separates this album from the amazingly successful Recognise LP?
Damn, I didn’t see this question before I started the rant above. I think I covered most of it! All I will say is that it feels like a much more mature and refined attempt at an FV&G album. You can hear our influences a lot more clearly, and we’ve improved as producers on a technical and musical level a lot more since ‘Recognise’.
Tell us a bit about the tour you’re on, what are some of your favorite cities, highlights, and memorable moments of it so far?
Now I’m not saying this because you happen to be from LA Shane, but LA was a real highlight for us. Was amazing playing a sold out show at Avalon, even though I was jetlagged, tired and hungover beyond belief. We saw a mob of old friends, and it was just such a fun night. Miami was a pretty special moment too, a rooftop pool party in the Miami heat playing drum & bass? Who’d have thought it.
With so many amazing Hospital items getting pumped into the Hospital release schedule, are there any specific dub plates from artists that you both enjoy playing in your sets?
It’s always nice to have a steady flow of new music coming into your inbox, there’s definitely a few that have been going down great. The new albums from Logistics & Maduk were great to test out on the tour.
How do you both feel about the current state of drum and bass in The United States?
Very positive. It’s got a really exciting feel to it, as it’s still super underground and not heard of, but then every now and then you’ll hear a big dog play some dnb or similar tempo thing on some mainstage somewhere and it goes off – this is proof that anything could happen with it, and it’s future in North America is exciting to say the least.
Lastly, add any final thoughts for the fans!
Much love, sorry for the rant, hope you enjoy our album – comes out in June, peace!
Purchase Fred V & Grafix’s latest single “Ultraviolet” here.