As an artist, what do you do if you are on one of the most successful drum and bass record labels in the world? For Hospital Records artists Gavin Harris aka Xample and Nick Hill aka Lomax the answer is to combine forces! They decided to take their music to the next level late last year when they launched their collaboration as Loadstar and they haven't looked back.
The recent revival of drum and bass and its new lease on life have provided them with the perfect springboard. Their high-energy dance music has been winning fans around the world and they're set to release an album later this year. Loadstar's name may bring a nostalgic twinkle to the eye of anyone who has owned a Commodore 64. It was a popular disk magazine for the platform that started in 1984 and still runs as a cult enthusiast magazine to this day.
The duo are on their way to Australia this month and the site of what Hill says is one of their more crazy tour stories. "Last time we were in Australia it was pretty mad! We ended up staying in the same hotel as Raekwon as he was also touring. He's basically one of our heroes. We bumped into him in the lift, got chatting and we ended up in his suite drinking excessive amounts and partying! It was funny but very random!"
Loadstar have just come from the high of playing at the Glastonbury Festival: "We really enjoyed it as it was our first time playing there. The crowd were really up for it and to top it off the sun started shining when we got on the decks, something that's very rare in Glastonbury terms! We were lucky enough to catch some other acts before we had to shoot off and the Chemical Brothers were a real highlight."
Australia, of course, offers the opportunity for Loadstar to get back to more intimate club shows. "We love both types of shows," says Hill. "Festivals are great simply due to the number of people and the energy associated to playing in front of a huge crowd. However the club shows are equally as good as you can experience a closer connection with the crowd and it can be more intense, something we often prefer. Australia is great for that as the shows are often quite small however people love drum and bass and it all feels really fresh so the energy levels are off the hook and people just want to party!"
Hill sees the resurgence of drum and bass in the context of bass music more generally. "Dubstep has definitely opened it up as people see drum and bass and dubstep now as simply 'bass music' and as such the whole scene has blown up making it hard to ignore. It has been great for us as we have gained some good radio play and some interesting remixes. Also, it has become more widely acceptable to experiment with different tempos, something we have been keen to do for some time. Nowadays electronic music is a platform to create all sorts of music, you don't just have to tie yourself to one style and be limited in that way."
So with Loadstar as their main focus Hill and Harris are on track to release their album around Autumn this year. "We've worked together for a long time now. I think working with someone else always takes a little time to get right. When we first started writing together it took a good year until we did anything really decent. We still often have to work separately as sometimes we are so busy we need to split the workload, so we have two studios. But most of the time we work together, we feel it brings the best out in us. Right now we just wish we had more time for the studio!"
Hill reveals that they are also working on a live show: "We have had a recent tour with our vocalist, Ikay and MC Texas which have gone really well. They both bring a lot of energy to our sets and the crowd loves them, they are a great addition to our shows. We wanted to something a little different and going forward we want to develop this in to a fully live show, something we are putting together at the moment. We want to make sure that when we do go live that it's a really exciting and well put together show, so we are waiting for the right moment to unleash it."
The rest of this year is looking busy: "Our album is out in October so we will be touring fairly extensively promoting that, but over the summer we have Kaoss which is coming out as part of Ram's 100th release. Also we have another release planned for August and September in the lead up to the album. We have a number of remixes in circulation, Jess Mills Live For What I Die For, Wolfgang Gartner's Illmerica and Ed Sheeran's You Need Me . And look out for Loadstar Live!"
Loadstar [UK] plays All City Bass at Brown Alley on Saturday July 23.