Saturday, 5 February 2011

MPM meets... Slum Dogz - February 4th 2011

Composed of long-time friends Doctor P, Swan-E and Krafty, Slum Dogz formed early in 2009 and have since been creating drum 'n' bass hits and remixes. Over at MPM HQ, we've been curious about the workings that go on behind the scenes with these D&B veterans, so we went for a chat with the Dogz in Bristol.

How did 'Slum Dogz' start out?
Swan-E: We just all hooked up. Hooked up with Krafty, we've kind of discovered [Doctor] P along the way. Genius, you know what I mean? We just started making music together, just thought of a new name as well, Slum Dogz, it kind of fit with us.
Doctor P: We did some tracks before we were 'Slum Dogz' together, but then we thought...I dunno. We did them under like, 'Swan-E and Picto' just didn't really sound right. It sounded a bit weird to me.
Swan-E: And Krafty, so we thought "Let's come up with a different name", y'know? We were racking our brains for ages and out come Slum Dogz, based really on...
Krafty: On us lot being a bunch of dogs from the slums. Exactly what it says on the tin.

What would you guys be doing if you weren't in the music business?
Swan-E: Think I'd be a professional footballer! (laughs) I wish. I'd be in a dead end job somewhere.
Krafty: McDonalds or something.
Doctor P: I was on the dole to begin with so I'd be there probably.
Swan-E: I've been there as well, on the dole, so...
Krafty: True Slum Dog right there! (laughs) I'd probably be making a lot of money on the stock market, current exchange, pretty much, I'd be doing that, yeah.

What's your favourite thing about what you guys do?
Krafty: Having a laugh. Just being in the studio and laughing our heads off, really. Don't get much done, normally takes us about six months to do a tune.
Doctor P: The last one became iPods and iPads.
Krafty: iPods and iMacs, and then we suddenly realised we had to make a tune (laughs). Nah, just out on the road, going out and having a crack, having a laugh, and just getting some good response from what we do, really.
Swan-E: I think the key is we were making the tracks. When you see the response from all the hard work that goes into the tracks, that's kinda like the biggest reward for us.

How long does it take you to make a track?
It varies. Sometimes it goes together well, sometimes not. We've just done the Bad Ass remix and that was an absolute killer to do, just to get it going. It went on for ages, we probably could've made four tracks in that time. But we had to treat it with respect and get a really good mix with it, so...sometimes it goes well and it goes together quick.

What's been the best experience of your career so far?
Krafty: Seeing Doctor P smile, that was the greatest experience. We kinda cracked his emotional barrier. He's laughing today. Six months we've been doing that for. It's been emotional. It's brilliant (laughs). I dunno, greatest [experience] I think is just starting to get the recognition, really. Because obviously all of us were doing our thing, we combined together to try and do our thing, and people are noticing, people are booking, the tunes are sounding better, people are requesting tracks. We make the music and hope that people will like the music, and we're starting to feel that we're achieving that now. I love it when we're doing interviews and there's some bird in the background being sick (laughs). Love it.
Swan-E: Last week we was in Maidstone, we pulled up to park and some girl was having a shit in the street (laughs).
Krafty: Having a poo by the bus stop. And now we've got a bird spewing. (shouting) That's it, get it all out, darling. Better out than in! Why's it green? (laughs) Bad times. Only in Bristol.

What's the best crowd you guys have played to?
Krafty: Well we don't get to be together as much as we want.
Doctor P: We haven't done anything together really, it's always kinda like one or the other...
Krafty: Yeah, it's usually just two of us this is a rare occasion, all three of us in the same location. It's good. We're doing the full showcase tonight.
Swan-E: We've done a 2000 [capacity] event in Belgium, couple of thousand last week...
Krafty: Manchester was alright, quite a big crowd. Oh, Brighton. Brighton's probably the best crowd all three of us have done.
Swan-E: To be truthful, this year, we've got a lot of bookings, the three of us.
Krafty: People realising they want the full showcase.
Swan-E: Because it's the showcase you get from the three of us.
Krafty: Lot of festivals coming up as well. We've got the Daydream festival, Springtime festival, we've got another festival somewhere. We've got loads, I think there's about four or five we've been billed on, so it's gonna be good.

What music do you listen to other than dubstep?
Krafty: I like listening to R 'n' B, stuff like that. Doctor P's more death metal (laughs).
Doctor P: I used to be into my death metal, actually (laughs).
Swan-E: Nah, anything really. Anything that's good. Pretty much everything outside of dubstep and drum 'n' bass just to draw inspiration on. Old cliché, two types of music: good and bad. That's it. There's a whole array of music out there, it's a beautiful thing.
Krafty: Some Disney classics as of recent (laughs). Watch out for the next Slum Dogz track.
Swan-E: We got some Jungle Book mixes going on.
Krafty: Disney classics, trust us (laughs).

What have you got in store for this year?
Swan-E: We've just done the 'Bad Ass' remix. We're working on another Slum 'n' Bass production coming for Maximum Boost. Also, for Circus Records, we've got a dubstep thing going with the Jungle Book thing. We've got that all lined up. We've got an album coming out on Circus as well in the last week of March, beginning of April, somewhere around there, that's from the whole Circus camp. There's a lot of things happening this year. [Doctor] P's got a killer track coming up as well. Watch out.

Where do you think dubstep will stand in the future of the music industry?
Krafty: I dunno, it's blossomed.
Swan-E: It's gone worldwide, it's gone massive. It's probably a lot bigger abroad than it is here. Go Los Angeles and other parts of America, [dubstep is selling out] 20,000 [capacity] basketball arenas. It's going massive. But also, I think a lot of the mainstream artists are starting to cross over now, and they're going forth with this dubstep feel.
Doctor P: As long as it doesn't get sort of like, rinsed out and watered down.
Swan-E: Problem is that it could become like that with somebody because they don't understand the feeling of the dubstep.

In that future, where would you guys like to be?
Do you know what? We like just making Slum Dogz Slum 'n' Bass. We like just making music and being diverse in the scene. We make drum 'n' bass, we make dubstep, we make drumstep, we just make music, y'know? And some people wanna label it, but regardless of what you think it is, it's Slum 'n' Bass, and we'll be doing our thing whatever genre you wanna call it. We're gonna do the Slum Dogz thing and I think that's the kinda key to what we're about.

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