We caught up with Viper Recording’s very own Insomniax to chat with them about their new release, their favourite tracks and some hot production tips.
Hi guys, Crying Rain/Facehugger have just been released, what were the inspirations behind the two tracks?
The inspiration behind Crying rain was taken from the old Marcus Intalex & Calibre sound. That old Soul R sound has been a huge influence to both of us over the years.
The track was actually written originally with MC Fats in mind but he didn’t end up doing the vocal in the end so we used the “Rain” sample and think it turned out pretty well in the end, I hope you agree haha.
If you didn’t already know, a Facehugger is a parasite that latches on to its hosts face in the Alien films. We are both massive Alien fans and with the new Alien film just being released we wanted to write a track with an Alien theme.
The two tracks are pretty different in sound, did you face different challenges when writing them?
Yes, totally! Whenever we write for a single we like to write one harder hitting track aimed at the dance-floor and another which is more musical. We feel its important to write different styles of drum and bass to push us out of our comfort zone and prove that we are not one trick ponies. On top of that we love most styles of Drum and Bass, so its really fun trying to pick a style and execute it properly.
Which track took the longest to write?
Funnily enough, the less technical track “Crying Rain” took the longest. I think we wrote that tune in about 2/3 weeks but then took almost six months to mix it down properly. “Face Hugger” which is a lot more technical took around three weeks from start to finish. Sometimes things seem to fall in place quickly and fortunately, for us, on this occasion they did.
The release is out on the mighty Viper Recordings which you were signed to as a duo in 2014, what’s it like being part of one of DnB’s biggest labels? Has it impacted the way you work when it comes to music you create?
That’s a really good question. I think sometimes we forget how big Viper is and how many people would love to be in our position. It can be quite surreal at times. We just get our head down every day and write as much music as we can.
It’s impacted the way we write and produce in a huge way! When we signed in 2014, we both knew we needed to up our production levels considerably. We felt we weren’t technically on a level with the rest of the artists on the label. After a lot of hard work, we definitely feel that we have grown a lot as artists.
What are your favourite tracks to play out at the moment?
Ollie: Mines a track called Rugged by a mate of mine called Sustance. Stripped back techno vibes. A producer to watch out for in 2017.
Damien: BSE+Neonlight – Abductions
You’ve mentioned before that your name fits with the level of sleep deprivation you both experience, is that due to studio time? You hear about a lot of producers who get their best ideas around the 3-4am mark.
Haha, yeah its definitely to do with the whole sleep deprivation thing. We both work different hours in the studio though. Damien usually starts when i go to bed at night (Ollie) and I usually hit the studio in the afternoon after work. We both have suffered with Insomnia. It’s usually to do with musical ideas flying round your head at night and not being able to switch off.
Best snack for the long studio sessions?
Ollie: Usually whatever I can find in the fridge, which usually ends up being a bowl of cereal and a large mug of fresh coffee… I’m a bit of a coffee fiend.
Damien: Things like Nuts, yoghurt and fruit. Helps keep the energy up and doesn’t fill you up too much.
When you guys are DJing how do you divide the play time between yourselves?
If we’re playing together we usually do 10/15 minutes each unless we have 2 gigs that overlap. If this is the case we would usually have an arm wrestle to decide who plays the better one. I must add that Ollie always wins.
As a production duo have you get set roles in the studio? Does Ollie prefer to work on the mixdowns for example
Yes and no really, we are both capable of writing and finishing tracks alone. Damien is really good at getting things to sound big and fat! He’s also really good at writing musical arrangements and chord progressions etc.
Ollie’s really good at arranging and getting the tracks to sound catchy. He adds a lot of attention to detail so when we bring stuff together it works really well.
Any good tips for budding producers in 2017?
Tips for up and coming producers would be to take time to learn a select few plug-ins really well, experiment with sounds by sampling and re-sampling. Don’t be afraid to spend a few weeks on sound design without writing anything or trying to paste out. Save your sounds and prepare folders of pre-made samples like effects, risers, baselines, edits etc so when you come to writing a track its all there in front of you ready to throw into your DAW. Trust us if you do this you will get tracks finished a lot quicker without loosing the vibe. Also if you process a lot of your sounds before you start a project the chances are its going to sound loud and fat without having to push too hard into the limiters in the main project.
We could go on all day with tips but unfortunately we have to call it a day as one of us has to go to bed and the other has to crack on with trying to nail the next release. 🙂
We’ll let you off, cheers guys!