Fresh off an explosive back-to-back session with Teddy Killerz at EDCLV this past weekend, the South London bad boy known as Audio steps up once again to deliver the heat with his aptly titled Beastmode album project on Ram Records. Known the world over for his anabolic prowess in the studio and for unleashing some of the gnarliest cuts to ever grace the likes of imprints like Ram and Virus, Audio continues to steamroll his way to the center of the dancefloor with an epic 14-track LP that is all killer no filler.
From the apocalyptic heart of darkness to trembling sci-fi interludes, Audio once again holds nothing back in his ongoing quest for world domination and thankfully was down to offer up a glimpse into his writing process. Before you get into the interview, the full LP is out now so fire that shit up and use it as fuel to prepare you once again for the full onslaught of Audio on the decks as he and the rest of the Bassrush Funktion crew take over the Regent Theater this Friday night in Los Angeles alongside Bad Company, Teddy Killerz, and Bassrush resident Fallen. Hold tight massive, it’s going to be another scorching weekend on the dancefloor!
You can teach someone the technicals on how to produce, but if it's not in their heart and soul I don't think there's a future.
First off, can you actually teach someone how to make “beastly” tunes that are guaranteed to smash up the dancefloor?
If I’m honest, you can teach someone the technicals on how to produce, but if it’s not in their heart and soul I don’t think there’s a future. It’s like everyone knows how to drive but not everyone can win Formula One even with training; it comes from within.
Our more technical readers are probably going to be interested in chord progressions and the like while others are interested in what skills you’ve developed that are responsible for your ongoing success. Are they one and the same?
When it comes to notes it’s common knowledge that the ones that translate, feel weighty, and are the best in clubs are Gs and Fs. I must admit that I use them a lot. It would be nice to use more range but older clubs can’t handle anything lower, so I find myself staying around that frequency. With that said, club systems are improving so recently I’ve been throwing a few Es and D#s around. As for my own success, I have no idea; I’ve always just been 100% honest with everything I do. I’ve been told I have a good work rate so maybe those factors make a difference… And of course, my amazing charm and wit. [Laughs]
If we were to take you out of your usual working environment and ask you to come sit in on a session with us in our bedroom studio, what basic elements would you need to work your magic?
Powerful PC running latest Studio One with Native Instrument’s Komplete installed. Will need to make sure Camel Phat, Ozone 7, and most importantly Serum are installed as well. Oh, and some Adam monitors. As for refreshments, just some water, some Haribo, and herbal medication, which is vital.
Your work habits seem central to your success; give us a sense of what kind of time you’re putting in and how long an average studio session lasts when you’re deep in a project.
My laptop gets turned on every day even if it’s just to make some drums or bass patches. As I get older I’ve got into the habit of being as productive as possible, and sometimes that means having a few sessions just making elements for a track. I mostly hit the studio in the evenings when the kids are in bed; having children also promotes making the most of your time as its limited when they are young. But once the computer is on it’s on for at least 5-6 hours, where in that time if the vibe is right, you can get the majority of a track done.
Let’s talk about the album now. At what point did the title Beastmode come to you? It’s more than an apt title for your signature style, but there’s no tune actually called “Beastmode” on the album! We found this audio rip from a live set that sounds like it may or may not be related?
There was a collab track I did with my good friend Stapleton. He killed the vocals but the track had so many versions [that] it ruined the vibe for me. I’m sure I’ll dig the vocals out again and just write something else for it soon. As for the title, that came right at the start and seemed a perfect fit.
“Creatures,” the collaboration with Prolix, is one of my favorites off the album. Talk a bit about how this one came together.
Working with Chris [Prolix] had been in the cards for a while. We’ve actually gone in the studio twice before but we couldn’t catch a vibe so this time we just sent files back and forth. I already had the vocal from Hal (Nuklear) and a basic sketch of the tune, and then Chris added his magic touch. We got together in the studio to finalize the mix and then it was done.
At what point do you start testing tunes out on the crowd or sending it out for feedback from others?
As soon as it’s playable I’ll sneak it in a set somewhere. The more you can test things the better. Sending out to DJs comes after I know what’s happening with the release
A number of bits off this album have already been released as singles and have smashed it up proper. Can you usually tell when you’ve got a hit on your hands or is there always a bit of uncertainty until projects are available to the public?
I’m on my fifth album now and I have no idea what tunes will do well or not. I’ve always just done what I wanted in the studio and it’s always been received well so I think as long as I keep doing that, I can always be happy with myself and what I’ve released.
I imagine the period after an album is a bit of a free period where you can switch things up a bit and work your way through some singles and remixes again, is that true?
It usually is, but I have no remixes planned at the moment so I’m going to chill for the rest of the year. Of course I’ll be writing all the time that never stops—ever.
Before we go, any last words of wisdom for all the future beast-masters out there?
Yeah—be true to yourself, don’t listen to YouTube comments, and work hard!