By: Etienne Frontera
We were granted an interview by the kings of drum and bass, Noisia.
Their name is a synonym for hard hitting bass lines and massive drops. They are easily the best of the best when it comes to Drum & Bass. We are talking of none other than Noisia. The Drum & Bass trio is made up of Nik Roos, Martijn van Sonderen and Thijs de Vlieger, the three coming from Groningen, Neatherlands. Being one, if not the biggest name in the Drum & Bass industry, Noisia has spread through the world conquering the international EDM scene with hits such as Machine Gun, Split the Atom, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites Remix, Raise Your Weapon Remix, and Shellshock. Noisia’s recent debut album, Split The Atom was received very well by critics, and by fans all together. Being on tour constantly, they recently made an appearance the past August 27th at the Electric Daisy Carnival Puerto Rico 2011. And once again, here they are today for an exclusive interview with Forward Musiq.
Forward Musiq: How was electronic music introduced into your lives?
Noisia: Through the radio! We first heard it on our national radiostation 3fm.
FM: Where did you come up with the name, Noisia? And how did each of you meet and decide to make music together?
N: The name came from an upside down videotape of the brand ‘Vision’. We’re still not sure who discovered it exactly. Whichever way it happened, we met in high school and kind of gravitated towards eachother, being the only few kids in the school who were into d&b.
FM: Why did you decide to work on Drum N’ Bass and Dubstep? What made it stand out for you guys from the rest of genres?
N: We used to be all about the bass sounds in d&b. Back then they were quite modest. If a track had just a simple ‘wop’ sound or anything filter-y bassline-y, we were all over it. The vibe of a moody, morphing bass driven d&b track still rubs me in ways no other genre can.
FM: Are there artists that served as pillars of inspiration for your music?
N: Yes. Back in the days: Ed Rush & Optical, Konflict, Stakka & Skynet, Ram Trilogy, Cause for Concern, Daft Punk, The Prodigy. Recently we’ve been liking Glitch Mob, 16 bit, Madeon, Amon Tobin and as always Phace & Misanthrop.
FM: And with whom would you like to collaborate with?
N: 16 bit, Daft Punk, The Prodigy & Justice are still on our wishlist. We’ve just done 3 tracks with Korn, that was quite awesome.
FM: How did the sense of popularity become apparent for you guys? How do you still deal with it?
N: In our home town in Groningen there’s not much to deal with. We have the space to go about our business without much interruption. We do sometimes have rapidly changing and surging workloads and deadlines that mean that sometimes you don’t really know what you’ll be doing from one day to the next. Add to that the factor of creativity, which is not something you can just call on and ‘use’, you can have your day scheduled as perfectly as possible but if the first 4 hours nothing comes out, you might want to stay till later once you do strike something. This might sound like a luxury problem to some, but if that is your work day in day out for 10 years you start noticing the effects it has on the rest of your life.
FM: What has been the most special moment while playing somewhere?
N: The most “special” was definitely when they didn’t catch Martijn when we went stagediving in Moscow. He could barely walk for weeks! Stagediving is always a bit risky, another time Thijs was drunk and did a second dive right after the first one, but before the audience really saw him. Luckily there were a few guys who still tried to hold him, but they couldn´t help him hitting his head on the floor.
FM: What are your future plans?
N: We’re currently building new studios and we’re working on a soundtrack for a video game. After that we will focus on our second album.
FM: What songs that you guys have made, have impacted you, and left a good or a bad memory?
N: We did a track called ‘Gutterpump’, which was an unusually cheerful electro number. Then we had vocals done. The vocal version is a bit regrettable. But that’s in the past. A good memory would be when we played our ‘Messiah’ remix, which was already a milestone for us at the time, live at our show in Perth on NYE 2007/08. We played it at the countdown and when 12 a clock struck it meant all our stressing over the set and all the efforts were done and had – as we saw – paid off. That was great.
FM: I’m sure this is very important for a lot of fans out there: What instruments do you normally use for your live sets (decks, drum machines, etc) And what software do you guys recommend for someone who is starting to produce electronic music?
N: When we play out we use the standard CD players and mixer. In the studio we use ADAM speakers, cubase 6, and a load of plugins. A short list of those: NI Komplete 8U, Toontrack Superior Drummer plus many Add-ons, Fabfilter’s Pro Series, Izotope Trash & Alloy, a few plugins by PSP, a good amount of stuff from our fellow Dutchman Rob Papen. Free synths like Drumatic (for electronic kicks and snares) and synth1 should be in everyone’s Vst-folder.
You guys recently played at the Electric Daisy Carnival in Puerto Rico:
FM: How did you guys feel while playing here in Puerto Rico?
N: Awesome! We’ve had the wettest summer ever in Holland, so coming out to a tropical island for a couple of days was a welcome break!
FM: Was the public different from what you usually deal with?
N: Not really. They were supernice, but almost everywhere we go the people are nice.
FM: What was different about other places that you have played?
N: Playing outdoors is always special. Playing outdoors at almost 100 degrees is even more special!
FM: Evidently, electronic music is growing each day more and more, expanding its genres and capabilities. The EDC at Puerto Rico is an example of that same thing happening on the Island. How do you guys view this expansion?
N: We are really happy about the recent expansion, because we haven’t had to change our sound for it. It used to be too dark for big crowds in North and South-America, but now the general rave-culture has really accepted our dark and bass-focused sound.
FM: What do you see in the future of electronic music?
N: No one knows! Quick demise, eternal glory, double-dip recession, planetary collisions, it’s all possible.