Subsource blew me away with their high energy rock dubstep mania when I saw them live at Take Down Twenty Twelve in March 2012. So I took some time with them to find out more about their continued rise through the ranks with hype that is set to explode into your TV screens soon with their documentary currently nominated for an award in LA.
Take a moment to read this interview, you won’t regret it!
I saw you at Takedown Festival last month and was blown away! Where do you get all that energy from and how do you sustain it while on tour?
We’re fucking hungry for it. There aren’t enough days in the week so we put everything in the tank into every show regardless of whether it’s an abandoned tube station to 30 people or closing a festival to 3000.
Forced to label your sound, how would you describe it?
Post Dubstep Apocalyptica. Ha. Dunno. Question we struggle with the most. Some magazines call us Cyper Punk, some Rockstep or Punkstep, others live Dubstep. All just “words” important to some but not by us. To me we sound like Subsource and we’ll keep evolving organically, nutured by how hard making a living making music or even existing is and the incredible soundscape readily available to take influence from. I guess that’s why it is easy to try and glue the “punk” or “dubstep” labels to us. What would you call us?
Talk me through the birth of Subsource – what has the journey been like to finally get the type of recognition you deserve?
In its infancy the inspiration to start this band came from half the band’s desire to push the boundaries of electronic devices in a live environment and the others wanting to make music more interesting than just a dude behind a laptop. It started as an improvised straightahead dance act. The longer in the tooth, and more disaffected we’ve become means we have now got something to say and how dissatisfying it can be to be pigeon holed into making one particular sub-genre.
The journey has been hard. Fucking hard.
It’s not been an overnight thing. We’ve circumnavigated the globe over three times over in a clapped out van playing to whoever would listen and to be fair now we finally happy that we are representing ourselves truthfully.
It’s great people are listening. All I can say is keep listening. We’re far from done. In fact we’re just getting started.
Stuart – It was great to see a different instrument being used, what made you decide to play an upright electric double bass as your musical weapon of choice? Do you play any other instruments?
I loved the use of the double bass in acts like Reprazent, Red Snapper, and Lamb. Couldn’t get the sound out of my head. I put down the guitar and bought a knackered one a mate found in his attic. My electric upright is a great instrument to play live. It’s a hybrid of dancing and brawling. Quite content to sweat and bleed on stage with that bass until my last breath. At Takedown I jumped in the pit with it and one of the tuning pegs cut my head pretty deep. It all got a bit CG Alin
What do to keep yourselves entertained in your downtime?
On the road we watch films, explore the towns we’re playing, sleep as much as possible, or just hang out. We’re lucky that after all this time we still really enjoy each others company. That lasts for a good while. By the end of the tour, we park, get out the van, and part ways ready to get some space. But the following week, there we are again.
Do you have day jobs and what is the worst job you’ve ever done?
Worst job I’ve had was probably working as a shopping mall mascot dressed as a giant alligator escorted around due the lack of vision.
They had to give me break every 15 minutes due the extreme heat from being surrounded by 10 inches think of Styrofoam. I’d be just in my pants with sweat pouring off me. There was an incident at the town parade with the rival shopping centres’ mascot bear. Dick deserved it.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Doing this but I envisaged more money. Ha
What advice would you give to any other aspiring bands that are struggling to make music that is original enough to stand out?
If you want to do something different, you’re going to have to work a hell of a lot harder than a lot of bands to get shows and interest but be happy in the knowledge that just merging into the deluge of genre specific bile that floods with each “new” trend.
I heard there has been a documentary made about you called Subsource: A Dubumentary – when do we get to see it?
It is still doing the festival circuit at the moment. It’s been nominated for an award in LA in a couple of weeks which is very exciting, but we’ll let people know when they can see it soon. It’s not a “puff” piece. The film maker came on the road for a year and a half and it shows just how hard it can be but also in turn equally rewarding. Man it was weird being at the screening seeing a 12ft me. Hats off to Colin Arnold. It’s wicked.
What happened at V Festival? There’s a rumour of a near death experience in your tour bus?
V Festival is one of many near death experiences, but I was parking the van something sharpish while the guys were getting setup and saw a rare parking opportunity underneath a tree. I piled in thinking the soft folliage would brush out of the way but lurking beneath was a turgid turret of woody doom that smashed through the roof flying literally a couple of inches from my face. The cab filled the foliage that brushed my face mockingly.
How many festivals have you played and do you have any lined up for the summer?
Hundreds. All shapes and sizes. Love festival season. Only just closing on the EP so booking hasn’t been a massive focus but you’ll be able to see us on tour around UK in May, Europe in September, and Guilfest, Redfest, Beach Break and more this summer. Check our facebook page for more dates.
If you could jamm with any artist or band who would it be and why?
We have a series of “resmashes” we call them where we take artists we love and turn their songs them into hellish doom bass deconstructions versions of their former selves. It’d be great to do that with them in the room. So far we’ve done RATM, System of the Down, Slipknot, and Nirvana. Obviously the latter wouldn’t be possible. Just search RESMASHED on youtube or soundcloud and you’ll find them.
How do feel about being compared to the likes of Prodigy and Pendulum?
Both acts are or have been great and deserve so much respect.
We wouldn’t be doing what we do if it wasn’t for the Prodigy and both have done so much for live electronic music.
How has your songwriting process changed over the years?
From improvising instrumental soundscapes with beats to full on songs with vocals and distorted guitars the process has had to evolve as we need to record more now rather than just program. We also write more together than we used to. A track could be circulating in the ether for months when we used to pass tracks around our individual home studio setups.
What are you best and worst memories on tour so far?
The last tour was full of amazing memories. playing to rammed clubs in the middle of nowhere, after-parties, driving though mountains, experiencing different cultures and the worst are playing to empty clubs, running off stage to be sick due to Norovirus infection, breaking down on the side of the autobahn with a bag of frozen vomit and a translucent Dennis in the back of the van, and dealing with narrow minded eejits. Fortunately the balance tips on the side of the good shit. Just.
HMV browse and grab or digital download?
Digital download. HMV had their chance on the sun. Percentage of purchase to artist is greater on a download without as much expense. We are still old school to a degree and there will be a limited run of the EP available but you’ll need to come to a show to get it.
What is the Subsource mission? Where do you plan to be in five years?
Keep pushing, keep playing to more people, keep developing our music and ourselves as musicians
In five years, we want someone else to be driving the van!
www.facebook.com/subsource for more info
Subsource will be playing Waster at Envy on the 25th May and touring their new EP “Generation Doom” upon its release in May.
Written by Jennifer Le Roux
Photos provided as press shots