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INTERVIEW: Dub FX

Hi Ben, welcome to VENTS! How have you been? Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Fire Every Day”?

Yeah! So its the first single from my new album ‘Roots’. I’ve also written a short comic novella to accompany the track when you download it for free at www.dubfx.com/fire

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

All my songs seem to come from an endless well of inspiration. I’m not sure why or how but I never run out of ideas, I think that’s mainly due to the fact that I write little bits of songs all the time and stockpile them for another day. This track is a good example of that. Wrote the hook about six years ago but I wrote the verse while recording in the studio.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The live video was all very quick. We rehearsed the track once then did about three takes and went with the second one. I prefer to keep it to 2 or 3 takes when recording live music for the camera, or it can get stale.

The single comes off your new album Roots – what’s the story behind the title?

I love writing a song about something and then using the title to give a new perspective or an alternative meaning to what the song is about. In this case, the odds “Fire Every Day” could summon a vision of anger, confusion or even power depending on who is reading it. But the song goes on to be more about our society going up in flames due to our own narcism.

How was the recording and writing process?

I tend to do almost everything my self in the studio these days. I call in musicians to play instruments that I can’t play, but all the production is by me in Cubase. For this track it was all pretty straight forward. I started off like I usually do by beatboxing the baseline and drums to my self and finding the chords on guitar. I then went in to the studio and built all the drums from samples. The baseline is just a synth I programmed. The percussion was recorded by my uncle Justin. I then added the guitars and keys my self. Once the groove was pretty much there, I recorded the hook and went on to write and record the verses. Once the song was pretty much done I called in my saxophone player ‘Woodnote’ to arrange the brass section and do a solo. I know some people like to record everything first then start mixing and producing it, but I don’t work that way. I start producing right from the start, and it works for me.

What role does Australia play in the your music?

That’s a hard question to answer. 99% of my fans are overseas. I thought my music sucked until I travelled the world and realised it was just Triple J that didn’t like my music. It sucks that one radio station can determine whether an act gets recognition or not. I would love to tour my own country, but that’s not the hand I was dealt.

As you keep getting more successful – do you feel any sort of pressure as you put out new material or rather the opposite?

Not at all. I’m only getting started. I built my fan base by street performing all over the world. By the time I had those viral videos on YouTube back in 2008, I had sold 50000 CDs on the street. My fans have been with me from the start, and they respect the way I do things. They aren’t the kind of people who want me to be that guy they saw ten years ago. They understand my evolution and support me no matter what.

What were some of your own roots you get to explore on this record?

Working with live drums is one of the main ones. I always tended to beatbox or program drums on all my other records. For this one, I wanted it to sound like a real band which is how I originally started. I also explore Samba, Afrobeat and Roots-Reggae on this record which is again the kind of music I was heavily into before I went down the path of Drum & Bass or Dubstep.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Like I said before, I don’t run out of ideas. I tour 6 to 7 months a year. I listen to a lot of music and podcasts. I always have a drum-machine with me to jot down ideas and grooves that pop into my head. If you look through my notes, there are albums worth of ideas and concepts waiting to be revisited. I tend to write my songs by threading a bunch of separate ideas that came to me at different times, into one piece. Other times I just sit in front of the computer with no ideas at all and then 5 hours later I have a new song that literally, wrote its self. I’m very lucky like that.

Any plans to hit the road?

I’m always on tour! Check my bandsintown.com/dubfx profile!

What else is happening next in Dub FX’s world?

I just had my second child, so I’m looking forward to changing a million nappies before I hit the next tour!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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