Dom & Roland Interview ahead of Relapse VS 45 Filters (Fri 28th April)

Foz Foster caught up with Drum & Bass legend Dom & Roland ahead of his forthcoming set in Manchester this Friday (28th April).

Matthew Foster

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Date published: 26th Apr 2017

Dom & Roland in Italicised and Bold Text
Foz Foster in Regular Text

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You've been heavily involved within the Drum & Bass/Jungle scene for over two decades now, how would you rate the current scene and what can you see the positives & negatives being for Drum & Bass in 2017???

The positives: Technology has got to the point where anyone can have the equipment we dreamed about in the early 90s inside their laptop now for free.

There is some amazing music around now written by people that may not have had the wherewithal to make it before.

The negatives: There are people who have records and releases out now that would have never made it back then! Musical story-telling skill, originality longevity and emotional content all often come second to production skill, pr and social status now resulting in a lot of well produced shit to wade through.

Technology has definitely changed things, no one can deny that, interesting to hear your thoughts there. So what would you say are the biggest differences between now and back in the day?

Biggest difference is the Internet. We used to get promos from under the counter in a shop. A Snickers used to be called a Marathon. 10 fags cost 74p. I dont smoke anymore.

There is no denying that the Internet has changed the game. Ha shouts to all the heads that remember the Marathon bar. Smoking is a much more expensive habit now than it ever has been, probably a good thing for your health and your pocket that you have stopped. OK, onto your music - You have had over 200 vinyl releases, there cannot be too many heads with such a prolific output, are there any in particular songs that you are most proud of?

Some of my favorites are my most well known classics. Thunder and Imagination on Moving Shadow. I am very proud of my seventh and most recent album Last Refuge of a Scoundrel on Metalheadz.

Kudos to you for maintaining the work-rate and level of quality going for so many years. In terms of production, whom do you most enjoy working with in the studio when creating music?

I enjoy making music with anyone that is as passionate as myself. Hive, Gridlok and Kemal are probably my favorites although Amon Tobin, Noisia and Optical I have had fun with too.

Some absolute heavyweights there! You have been busy with releases as of late; do you have any additional forthcomings in 2017?

Yes my Dubs from The Dungeons series on my own label is going strong. I and a lot of my 90s colleagues made a lot of music that never came out. I am trying to track down original files and release them now, once a month on limited edition gold vinyl. The first two plates are by me and next up are two cuts from Dillinja. There is a lot more plates and artists lined up and ready to go. I am very excited at the response so far. As far as my more modern output I am working on more Metalheadz things and some remixes with Xanadu for my own label.

What an excellent idea! Testament to the music that was created then, that it can still hold weight all these years down the line! A lot of people reference back then as being the golden era of D&B, so I am sure the series will be very well received! Speaking of back then, which DJ's got you into this music and who do you rate highest both back then and currently?

Back then: Bukem, Dj Lee, Hype, Randall, Doc Scott and of course Grooverider and Fabio.

Now: Doc Scott, Fierce, Myself lol.

A heavyweight list indeed. Interesting to see Doc Scott getting a mention for back then as well as now, he is one of those undeniable forces in Drum & Bass who has never stopped pushing the music forwards. Which producers got you into this music and whom do you rate highest both then and now?

Back Then: Bukem, Doc Scott, Rufige Kru, PFM, Photek, Dillinja, Trace.

Now: Fierce, D-Bridge, Break, Digital, Vicious Circle, Hive and Gridlok.

Another absolutely heavyweight list! As a man who knows what is what, which record labels do you believe have been most influential in getting Drum & Bass to where it?s at now?

They have all had a hand in it; I could not and would not single anyone out.

Blatantly fair enough, what you?re saying is true; they have all done there bit to help it get to where it is now. Do you have any hot tips for who is going to be making a big name for themselves in 2017 that we might not yet have heard of?

Who knows, you can be sure that social media will have a large part in it though.

It seems social media is playing a bigger part than ever before in terms of getting artists noticed. Social media seems to be seeping further into life in general more than ever as well, whether this is a good thing is open to debate! In terms of playing out, do you prefer sets with or without a host?

I do not mind a host over my set if they are hosting, if they think they are up there as a one-man show with a musical backdrop they can go do one.

Excellent response. A good host should compliment a set, not try and take it over. A number of artists seem to experiment with a live show, would this be something you would consider or are you happy with traditional DJ'ing?

DJ'ing please. Two tunes at a time, ez rolled for a smoother groove (I stole that)!

Fair enough, keep it as it has always been! Which countries and cities go craziest for the music?

Way too many variables. I have played both amazing and shit gigs in both amazing and shit countries.

Ha I will not ask which are the shit countries. Which cities do you enjoy playing in the UK & do you notice any regional differences between the North and South?

I try not to discriminate, everywhere has good and bad, we are all the same - one love!

One love indeed! What does the future hold for Dom & Roland then?

More music, more fun, more real-talk lol.

This all sounds good and what we like to hear! Finally, are you looking forward to playing in Manchester once more?

Hell yeah!

Excellent, we are looking forward to having you down and for the musical education that awaits. See you on Friday.

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Dom & Roland joins Phace as well as Nian Dub + Semiotix, Travesty, Sl8r and The Bass Jedi's at Relapse VS 45 Filters this Friday (28th April) at Hidden in Manchester. If you have not already secured your entry then purchase your ticket now to guarantee your entry and save money on the door price.

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