The hard D&B and neurofunk producer from Toulouse, France sort of exploded onto the scene in 2015/2016, quickly earning stripes with Eatbrain and other labels like Mindtech, Neurofunkgrid and Noisia’s Invisible imprint. It seemed for a while in 2016 and 2017 that every other track on the Noisia Radio podcast was a Redpill track, and that’s always a good sign.
The Redpill juggernaut has only picked up steam since those early days, with his unique brand of angry, metal-inspired synths and funky basslines gracing Eatbrain, Bad Taste, Invisible, Blackout and Maztek’s 0101 imprint in 2018 alone. Going into 2019 Redpill doesn’t seem to be slowing down either, with more projects and collabs due out and some huge dates booked.
We thought it was high time to have a sit-down with the French grindmaster as his new Lunch Time EP just released on Eatbrain and the requisite Eatbrain Podcast hit Soundcloud today. It’s fitting on Black Friday, since Redpill’s beats on this EP are so dark and techy. Besides, on the biggest shopping day of the year, everyone could use a ‘Lunch Time’ break.
How did you get into producing drum & bass?
It was around eight years ago, I was playing bass guitar in a French Funk/rock/Electro band called Junkofunk. It was really nice working with them as they were pretty good musicians and friends. Several members of the band were into drum & and bass and they introduced me to it. First listen was Pendulum’s Hold Your Colour album and it was a game changer for me. I immediately started to produce using Reason4, as a hobby at first. I realized later, after around three years of production, that it could turn to a full time job which is what I am doing now.
How did you originally hook up with Eatbrain?
First contact I had with Eatbrain was under my previous alias Bl4ck Owlz. We sent Jade some demos and finally released the Face Scraper EP with a The Clamps collab a bit later. It was the very first Eatbrain EP I worked on. Several other EPs followed under the Redpill alias: Corruption, Call Of The Warchief, and todays Lunch Time. Oddly enough, I only just met Jade for real last year at Balaton Sound summer festival, Budapest.
You’ve released on a lot of huge labels since the Corruption EP: Blackout, Invisible, 0101, et cetera. What made you want to release the Lunch Time EP with Eatbrain?
I have very good relationship with Jade and the Eatbrain crew, they are very kind and professional. We see each other quite often on tour and we were both happy with the idea to work on a new EP. I sent Jade several demo packs as usual and we ended with this selection.
I think the main tune “Lunch Time” fit quite well with the Eatbrain sound signature, with his creepy sounds and his raw and wild energy. The other tunes may bring a sound more unusual on the label such as “Boom Boom” or “And The Hero Will Fall” but adding variety to the EP was the idea. “Children of Chaos” collab with Merikan and “Fusion” bring some additional angry bangers.
Your style seems to be on the darker/heavier end of D&B. What do you think attracts you to dark or techier D&B and neurofunk?
I have been listening various music genre before listening drum & bass such as rock, funk, jazz and metal. I think I can find all this in neurofunk, but in a futuristic and creative new approach. I have been playing funk bass for years and groove is very important to me, that’s why I often prefer balancing syncopated rhythms over flat rollers. That’s quite difficult to give tunes groove while hard limiting and flattening the master heavily, but the result worth it for me. The second drop of “Boom Boom” with triplets is probably the most funky part of the EP.
How did you hook up with Merikan on “Children of Chaos”?
We have been sharing quite a lot of stages past two years. We took advantage of a booking in my hometown Toulouse, France to make a session at my studio. We started the tune sketch there and finished it online later. Working together was great and we are talking of starting a new one soon. Big up to the Jump’n’Bass promoter crew for giving us this opportunity!
Did you have a theme in mind for these tracks before you came up with the EP title? What was the theme as you see it?
The whole EP concept is built around these munchy crunchy vocals from ‘Lunch Time.’ I think they fit great with the Eatbrain concept itself, like a hungry brain-eating monster with a dose of humor. I don’t like when the tunes goes too serious and pretentious (Laughs). The cover designers Trinyó and Art Gutierrez did an awesome job linking all this together.
A couple of musical themes that seem to be present in all the tracks on Lunch Time are that the beats and snares are syncopated in an unexpected way but the synths are almost all quite melodic and almost classical/metal. How did you balance those two things and still come up with what you felt were complete tracks?
I often try to develop musical themes in tracks but there is no room for melodies and harmonies in the drops so the musicality is often carried by intros and breaks. That’s great when the drop is done like an extension of the intro theme, like in “And the Hero Will Fall.” The overall tune becomes more relevant and tells a story. Finding the good balance between music and drop blast is not easy.
Speaking of the synth melodies, many of them both seem to be influenced by classical music or metal guitar riffs but are also techy enough to hearken back to early techstep and neurofunk. Which of all those things would you say you’re most influenced by and what was the end goal for you in terms of sound?
I have been playing metal guitar a lot and I really love to transform all these riffs and chords progressions I learnt into synth melodies. I especially like when they sound dark and epic! Inspiration can be found in everything in everyday life.
Any upcoming releases this winter that you can talk about at this point?
I made a collab with Fourward, which will be released on their new Torn Place EP on Eatbrain soon. Also I am part of a big compilation project on Cause 4 Concern and I have a metal D&B remix for Zardonic and Joanna Syze to come on her LP on Othercide. That’s was a great opportunity to re-use my seven string guitar and record heavy riffs. I am working on new bigger projects with Blackout for 2019 including remixes and collabs.
Any plans to tour this winter or next year? Any plans to come to the US?
I will be playing this winter in Paris for New Year Eve, new dates in Holland and UK are planned too. I am glad to be able to say that I am already booked for Let It Roll summer 2019 and I am also excited that Blackout booked me for their February 2019 Blackout XL at TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht. I look forward for this one, it will be one of the biggest room I ever played! As for the U.S., I am in contact with US booking agencies, we are waiting for the good moment!
Since Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up, do you have your eye on any audio equipment or software sales?
I do a lot of window shopping but I have not bought any new gear in several years. I am really happy with my current workflow and set up and I don’t think I’ve done it all already. I try to restrain myself a bit and keep money for non music investments at the moment. Developing a pleasing family life besides drum & bass is important for me.
Any other fun holiday traditions that you and your family celebrate?
It’s a tradition in my family to eat cooked snails when we all eat together. My grandfather “hunts” them himself and prepares them with his very secret persillade recipe (with parsley and garlic). It takes months to prepare them from harvesting to refining, he is an artist! Everybody loves it in the family, we eat such meal one or two times a year, but it’s always so delicious!