After ten-plus years on the scene, UK drum & bass juggernaut DC Breaks finally released their debut, full-length album 'Different Breed' in April.
The duo of Dan Havers and Chris Page have become mainstays of the international dance and electronic festival circuit over the past two years.
They also boast a bustling catalogue of collaborations with some of the biggest names in pop, having remixed singles for artists such as Lady Gaga, Paloma Faith and Lana del Rey.
This month they embark on their biggest Australian tour to date.
How did you two meet and start working with one another?
[Chris] We met at uni in Edinburgh around 2000/1. We were both making drum & bass separately, but had mutual friends who had told us about each other and it wasn’t long before we had met and played each other some tunes.
We didn’t really know anyone else making drum & bass at the time, so we ended up making a tune together and it worked out pretty well as it got us signed to Frequency Recordings (an offshoot of Ram Records at the time). We were Kryptik (yes two Ks haha!) and Samurai back then and we needed a collaborative name and so… DC Breaks was born.
What do each of you bring to the compositions you create?
We both do a bit of everything, but Dan generally speaking has a more musical approach versus my beats and bass design.
As we live in different cities and don’t actually get in the studio together that often we have become pretty un-precious about pinging ideas back and forth for each other to work on. Once we have a batch of tunes nearly finished we’ll meet up and finish them off together in the studio so we can agree to the final tweaks.
What defines the DC Breaks sound?
I think it's a mix of musicality with a solid D&B undercurrent. We also get bored easily and don’t like to stick to one sound, so we make Jump Up, Neuro, proper songs, liquid, tear out etc etc. Someone once said to me the thing they liked about DC Breaks records was that you never knew what you were going to get, but you would like it.
Is the music on 'Different Breed' vastly different to your previous releases?
Not really. In many ways it’s a sort of ‘best of’ DC Breaks, but with a load of new tunes that are the epitome of what we’re about. We often release singles that have a more song-y or musical track backed by an out-and-out banger on the flip and the album is kind of like that; it starts with the feel-good summer vibes of 'Never Stop' and then it's followed by 'Underground', which is quite a switch.
The first half of the album is sort of song/ banger/ song/ banger but we ran out of songs, so it just becomes all bangers towards the end, haha!
Why did it take so long to release the debut?
Considering we signed to Ram god knows how many years ago it’s mad that we’re only on album one. But in reality over the years we’ve released at least two albums worth of material, just not in the ‘album’ format.
There’s lots of reasons, some to do with internal record label politics, timing, things not going our way. But ultimately we kind of feel like it was meant to be because in its current form, the album is the best it's ever been and reflects us as artists, which is what doing as album is all about.
This will be your biggest Australian tour yet. How are you both feeling in the lead-up to it?
Excited! We love touring Australia. We’ve been over lots of times and it’s always great to see old friends, make some new ones and play to some great people. The crowds out here are always super hyped and fun to play to, so it’s really a highlight of the year for us.
What can audiences expect from the 'Different Breed' shows?
All sorts of D&B, high energy, lots of tunes, lots of DC Breaks tunes of course, quick mixing, a bit of a journey through D&B (if that’s not to cheesy to say) and ultimately if you like D&B – or even if you’re new to it – I’m sure people will have a great time.
In terms of technical production, what will these shows look like?
It really depends on the show, some have big production and some don’t but most importantly they will all sound awesome.
When it comes to performing live, do you prefer festivals or club shows?
I don’t have a preference, it’s more about the vibe on the night. We’ve played to some huge, festival crowds with insane production and it’s been unreal. But then there’s nothing quite like being in a small sweaty, intimate club and having people in your face, leaning over the decks, jumping on you when you drop a sick mix, bringing you shots and all that good shit that you only get in a club.
After the tour, what's next for DC Breaks?
We’re working on album two. Hopefully it won’t take as long as the first one. We’re also looking at doing a bunch of collabs as we really like working with other artists.
Then after this tour it’s straight into festival season in Europe and we’ve got some remixes coming for the likes of London Grammar as well as some very special RAM 25 year stuff, so watch this space.
DC Breaks Shows
Fri 26 May - Electric Circus (Adelaide)
Wed 31 May - The Wall (Sydney)
Fri 2 Jun - Rubix Warehouse (Melbourne)
Sat 3 Jun - Biscuit Factory (Brisbane)
Sun 4 Jun - Villa (Perth)