INTERVIEW: Warriors of the Dystotheque
Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
(Jonny Mac) Hi Vents were great, things have been going really well as last few weeks with our EP being really well received on several radio stations but most of all we were blown away last Wednesday when Nemone played Return To Coney on the Breakfast Show on 6 Music.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Return To Coney”?
‘(Jonny Mac) Return to Coney’ Feat Ella Joy is a reference to the now cult ‘The Warriors’ movie, tracking back to the final scene where the protagonists make it back to Coney Island. “We actually wrote and named this song back in March 2015, but at the back end of last year the Warriors (original cast) actually returned to Coney after 36 years (Talk about good omens!)” The B-side, Escape from Coney, is a different take on the same base track. Think Ennio Morricone, a nod towards OST (Original Soundtrack), a re-telling of the journey in a musical form, which complements the original radio release. ‘Return to Coney’ comes with a select package of remixes. The first from rising star Miaoux Miaoux who delivers a straight up acidic party remix, filtering and raising into the perfect climax, perfect for any warehouse or club dance floor. Midland based industrial duo Attrition deliver a distorted intense yet ambient techno workout, a fitting nod to a dystopian background. Candi Bianca takes it all back to the house as she drops a stripped down tech groover that will rock any floor from sunrise to sunset… ‘Return to Coney’ on Tigre Fair records is the second release from the exciting ‘Warriors of the Dystotheque’. A delightful offering pay homage to the Cult Movie Classic ‘The Warriors’ And is available across all digital platforms from Friday March 4th and will also have a very limited run on 7” transparent vinyl. ‘Warriors come out to play’
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
(Jonny Mac) I watched the Warriors movie :again” last year and my favourite scene is when The Warriors finally make it back to their home turf of Coney Island, I went to the studio the next day and had the name Return To Coney in my mind and began work with Sean in France for a few weeks with some parts Sean had sent and I added some synth and messed heavily with the bass Sean sent also making it into a guitar before sending it over to Mike & Nick in New York who added some brass and parts turning it into the western sound you hear in Escape From Coney.
So myself and Sean stripped it back to make Return To Coney we got the two tracks form one recording.
Why naming the EP after this track in particular?
(Jonny Mac) We are just paying homage to the movie and final scene its where we took our name from so it seemed right to name an EP as well after it inspired this current release.
What was it like to work with Ella Joy?
(Jonny Mac) Really fantastic, we met Ella through Facebook and a friend Bella, we actually wanted to work with Bella but she was bust at the time so she hooked us up with Ella, after hearing her amazing voice I contacted her and sent her the demo and straight away she was onboard. She went away and came back a few weeks later with the vocals and top line recorded.
How was the recording and writing process?
(Jonny Mac) We’re kind of divided by the Atlantic. Sean & Myself DJ’ed and produced big beat, breaks and club music together in the late 90’s through to the mid 2000’s until Jonny returned to Ireland, and Sean became nomadic. The Rufolo brothers have their own lo-fi set up in New York with an absolutely insane array of instruments and kit. We’ve got this kind of new school meets old school set up going on either side of the divide. We don’t follow the norm and just do what we do. As a group we’re on the same level. We work in a kind of call and response way. We all know each other’s influences and style, and we share quite a lot of interests, so we know what to expect when stems get sent back and forth. It’s all about jamming and reacting to the music. We all get locked into the zone when music hit’s our in-box, and in the case of Coney, after sending the base track and receiving stems back between Sean & Myself were able to pull out two tracks from one. We think you’ll agree, they are both incredible and unique.
So what are the PROs and CONs of making music from different cities?
(Sean) it’s was more about the liberation of the whole “band” experience. Traditionally you’d hook up with local mates, or call auditions to find members. You’re basically restricted to the talent in your own town. Both Jonny and I have a background in music together, and the fact Jonny has moved back to Ireland, and I live between countries, hasn’t limited us from working together. Hooking up with the Rufolo brothers over Facebook was the cherry on the top. Those guys just ooze talent and tie the whole concept together.
How does your cultural differences influence your music?
(Sean) That’ s a tough one as UK and America share so much in common when it comes to music culture. I think the big difference here is that the Rufolo brothers come from the analog world, and Jonny and I are stuck in digital land. Both sides dabble in each others territory though, for example, I stuck a bit of bass down on Return to Coney, and the Rufolo’s like to pull out their Juno 6 when they get the chance.
So in some way this is a conceptual EP?
(Sean) It certainly developed into a concept, but initially it was just about toying around with bass and beats. When I sent the seed track over to Jonny he started applying the Warriors idea. We decided that we should develop the soundtrack influence, and when it came back from New York it sounded like Ennio Morricone had been working on it. It totally blew us away. We discussed vocals, and if I’m honest I was a bit reluctant to layer up anything else on it. So instead we returned to the original vibe and hooked up with Ella on the haunting Return to Coney, and the spaghetti western “soundtrack” turned into Escape From Coney.
Would you call this a departure or a follow up off your previous record?
(Sean) Before the band officially came together Jonny had produced Atom Vibe #Hashtag and The Future Is Ours from our first EP The Future Is Ours with Mike and Nick, as well as Si Hayden (who’s just the craziest guitarist) with vocalists Melissa Graham & Tony Jarvis. When I came aboard on those tracks it was more for the ear candy and engineering. After that, formally, as a band, we really started to explore sounds together. I wouldn’t call Coney a departure or a follow up. It’s more of an expansion. We’ve probably got a good 2 albums worth of stuff that we completed over the space of a year. We’re currently trying to whittle those down into one package that we’re all happy with, but we can guarantee that it’ll have enough variety for each track to be a killer.
Any plans to hit the road?
(Jonny Mac) We are more than ready to DJ as its in our blood with Sean & Myself having spent over a decade on the DJ circuit with major guests and headlining many clubs and festivals across the globe.
As for live well its a bit of a logistical nightmare right now but with the support we’ve had on 6 Music and all the other stations we are hoping that after the next few releases the demand for a live tour is there and we will be sure to make that happen.
What else is happening next in Warriors of the Dystotheque’s world?
(Jonny Mac) We are busy recording at the moment and have just got the vocals back for the next release which was actually picked up a few weeks back by BBC Radio Ulsters Across The Line show as an instrumental and they made it track of the day. You can check that here though you will have to wait till June to hear the vocal version.
Besides that we are working out what tracks we are going to put on the album which we hope to release by the end of the Autumn.
Hi Sal, welcome to VENTS! How have you been? Hey RJ! Not bad at all, …