Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Evil Nine Interview

So Evil Nine will be playing at Superfly on New Year's Eve - here's an interview I did with half of the outfit last time they played in Leicester, two years ago:

For someone who cuts such a slight figure, it’s hard to believe Tom Beaufoy is one half of Evil Nine, a production outfit responsible for producing some of the most perverse and snarling breakbeats in recent years, and a DJ duo capable of destroying dancefloors around the world with their filthy electro-charged party sets.

Alongside Pat Pardy, their productions have mixed low slung breaks, growling guitars and insanely catchy raps from the likes of Aesop Rock and Juice Aleem to devastating effect, sounding like nothing else in the world of dance music.

They also recently released a Fabric mix CD, taking in the rocky aspects of their own productions and combining it with some of the most exciting electro around to wallop the listener around the head and leave you begging for more.

Despite this clear musical diversity, they’re commonly associated with the breakbeat scene, after all it was fellow Brighton resident Adam Freeland who first signed them to his Marine Parade label, but Tom doesn’t consider themselves as breaks DJs.

“What people class as breakbeat isn’t what I really thought of it when I started getting into it. Id play a bit of electro, a bit of techno… I’d just take wicked tunes from different areas. At the beginning it seemed like it embodied all those qualities and it doesn’t necessarily do that anymore but our philosophy is still the same.

“DJs I always loved when I grew up were people like Laurent Garnier, who used to take you into different areas and it was exciting when he dropped something unexpected and I like that kind of DJing, a bit haphazard and all over the place.”

Unlike many big name DJs who claim to be eclectic, Evil Nine quite evidently are, with a background and taste in music that's quite encyclopaedic.

“I like all kinds of music and I think all kinds of music have something to offer you. Every kind of music influences us because we listen to so much of it such as The Cure, Joy Division, Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Pixies… I even like folk music!”

It’s all these influences that help them come up with such tunes as ‘Crooked’ and ‘Pearl Shot’, which on paper shouldn’t work but somehow their evil fingers work miracles in the studio. Earlier this year they took this brand of rock influenced dance music to the festivals, including a little known appearance at Leeds in August, the memory of which visibly excites Tom.

“We played in the Duracell tent and that actually was amazing, just crazy, that was the only thing that was open on the whole site that night and it was just rammed and they were all so young, just kids and they were screaming and chanting, it was just mad!”

The small but loud Duracell tent was one of the highlights of Leeds festival this year, with the breaks and electro DJs going down well with the traditional rock crowd and Krafty Kuts played a blinding set to an equally packed arena the next evening.

Although this particular gig seems to rank quite highly with Tom, it turns out they’ve played even better ones on their travels around the world. Tom’s face lights up further: “There’s obviously been a few amazing times we’ve played and different countries do different things.

“We played an incredible gig in Hong Kong seven stories up in this apartment building overlooking the whole city and we had about 700 Chinese people singing the words to ‘Crooked’.”

So we’ve established that their musical influences are far ranging and their touring habits are equally varied, but just where does that name come from?

“To be honest it doesn’t come from anywhere,” says Tom. “It’s just a name that Pat thought up and I said yes. We need a name for a demo and it’s lucky because we were gonna call ourselves DJ Wheels and Cheekomendoza, which isn’t quite as catchy!” Quite…

“People have theories but the real answer is there is no reason. At one point Adam [Freeland] thought it might alienate people but I think once people start liking your music the name transcends the meaning anyway.”

Whatever they had called themselves, their music would have found its way into our world eventually and one must thank Adam Freeland for finding them when he did.

New album "They Live" is out now. I'll review it soon as I get my pesky hands on it..

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