We are beyond ready for our annual dose of Calyx & TeeBee. Having New Zealand bass ambassadors, State of Mind, as well as our own bass sovereignty Reid Speed on the bill for this Wednesday’s Bassrush Funktion takeover in Los Angeles means top tier talent for a solid night of ripping drum & bass—please don’t forget your ear protection. It’s a guarantee the tunes will be heavy enough to penetrate any degree of aural prophylactic you employ.
State of Mind’s Stu Maxwell has been clocking in the miles in North America for a good couple of weeks already. Crisscrossing the continent multiple times, he has crushed everything in this path on his way to Funktion at the Belasco Basement. In contrast, Calyx & TeeBee will be working through some transatlantic jetlag that evening, but the audience won’t be any the wiser as the seasoned duo roll through their unerring selections.
Before they get ready to face-off with some teeth-grinding tunes on the decks, Calyx & TeeBee and State of Mind volley each other with some not-so-confrontational queries in this exclusive pre-game Q&A.
Calyx & TeeBee: What’s your favorite label in the history of drum & bass?
State of Mind: Not totally sure there is a favorite. Every label out there has put out some great tracks and some equally shitty tracks. Generally, in our opinion, the individual artists themselves are what make the labels.
Calyx & TeeBee: What do you usually eat for breakfast?
State of Mind: I’m quite an eater. Normally I have a bowl of cereal or porridge and fruit and coffee, followed up by scrambled eggs, toast and another coffee.
Calyx & TeeBee: What’s your favorite place you’ve played?
State of Mind: We have played so many shows, but our first time in Vegas at EDC was pretty special. Just the whole Vegas experience combined with being an artist at a festival like that—it’s pretty memorable.
Calyx & TeeBee: What do you love about cricket?
State of Mind: The fact that it takes five days and can end in a draw. That’s a real spectator sport right there.
Calyx & TeeBee: What’s the latest piece of outboard equipment you bought?
State of Mind: We bought an Alesis Andromeda on eBay. It’s pretty awesome. That synth is fully analogue and massive. It basically bankrupted Alesis and it’s getting more and more difficult to find.
Calyx & TeeBee: Which of your collaborations with another artist is your favorite?
State of Mind: Probably something we have done with Black Sun Empire over the years. “Red Velvet” was an old one we liked a lot and still play today. It was actually used by Sony in a global TV commercial, so that’s pretty cool.
State of Mind: Does one of you always go first when you play or do you take turns and switch it up?
Calyx & TeeBee: We play at the same time. Our six decks and three mixers allow us to perform simultaneously in rehearsed and spontaneous moments. We usually know opener and closer. That’s it.
State of Mind: What’s the one old tune that somehow never seems to drop out of your set lists?
Calyx & TeeBee: Andy C & Shimon’s “Quest.”
State of Mind: We’ve had some fairly heated discussions about plugins in the past. Do you think modern digital production tools are as good as classic outboard equipment?
Calyx & TeeBee: Yes, without question. There is no better or worse, just different. Our preference is a mix of both.
State of Mind: Why do you think it is that other music types seem to go up and down in popularity, but for the most part drum & bass stays pretty constant?
Calyx & TeeBee: The tempo, culture and vibe are unique. The energy cannot be replicated in any other genre of dance music, in our opinion.
State of Mind: Do either of you have any weird studio rituals to help get the creative juices going?
Calyx & TeeBee: Coffee—that’s all it takes.
State of Mind: Ever fallen off stage?
Calyx & TeeBee: Not a single time! We’ve been lucky so far, but we got some GREAT stories about a few of our peers.