Fresh off the Footlocker EU Sneaker Mix Tour and now settling in to complete their 2nd album, Modestep are preparing to attack with a vengeance. I popped down to the Pioneer Music Studio Lab, where the Modestep boys gave some lucky competition winners a chance to play with some top DJing kit (by Pioneer) and even got a mixing session from Dubstep themselves. Check out what the boys had to say!
How was the Footlocker EU Sneaker Mix Tour?!
T: Yeah good, it’s all been pretty sick so far so yeah.
J: Madrid was mad, like the whole dance floor was like a mosh pit, everyone on there was like beating at each other. It was like really violent.
What city have you enjoyed the most so far and why? Who partied the hardest?
Both – Madrid;
T: They really liked to beat each other up …to music; it was really aggressive but just in general really good vibe, but when everyone is going mental it drives us – you can get Josh crowd surfing and fucking spraying champagne everywhere. We always perform better when we’ve got a really good crowd.
J: In saying that, Berlin – it wasn’t the biggest turnout ever but everyone just really went for it and you can tell that everyone was there for the music and that they really wanted to be there. We’d rather play to a crowd of 300 people that really want to be there than a crowd of a 1,000 that stand there like lemons
How did you come together – how was the band formed?
T: We’ve been making music since we were really tiny, think we made our first single when we were under 10 years old. We’ve always been in to music a lot together and producing a lot separately, and when we first heard dustup, we were both really intrigued by it and figured we need to put our own spin on it, and work out how it’s done as it was a bit of a mind fuck. It was awesome and we sort of collaborated, and ModeStep happened.
Radio One blew you up didn’t they – how did that come about?
Both: Mista Jam – by himself.
T: We actually signed our 1st deal with UKF the Youtube promoters and they released ‘Feel Good’ for us and they sent it to Jam and he made it Jam Hot and next thing we knew, Fearne Cotton’s playing it and Scott Mills and it’s become this daytime sort of thing and its gone on Capitol and Kiss – it’s just gone everywhere and we were like…Fuck.
Do you ever get that idea as a dub-step group that you wanted to be underground first but now you’re being played on Kiss, Capitol…?
T: The thing is we didn’t have an identity back then, ‘Feel Good’ was the first tune we ever wrote so it wasn’t as if we’d been making underground tunes for 5 years and we got a break, it was – we made a record for a bit of a laugh and it happened to do quite well. And ever since then we’ve been working back to try and prove that we’re actually good musicians and a good band and I think that album two will reflect that.
J: It’s funny cos there were a lot of producers and a lot of radio DJs who slated us when we first came out because of the kind of tongue in cheek way it was all done, but they are the people who are working with us and supporting us – and it’s cool; we’re getting like Hatcha whose like the guy who made the word dubstep, he’s coming on tour with us next year, so yeah it’s been amazing to have the support from the other way round.
Has it gotten to the point where your parents actually believe you have a real job?
T: Our mum does – she’s probably our biggest fan!! (Laughs) she’s been super supportive.
Tats – you can’t avoid them; can you pick out a couple that you love?
T: The clock; basically I was a tattooist before we got signed so I had been working as an apprentice for a couple of years, I actually worked abroad in America and Mexico funnily enough and I always kept my hands and my neck clear but I’ve always been heavily tattooed since I was about 17 but I was always wanted to keep my neck clear, when we got signed to Universal that was sort of my moment to say fuck it, I’m a musician – I’m aloud to get one on my neck. So the clock has a speaker coming behind it and the time I was born on it so it represents being born from music, so yeah, probably my most important. (Laughs)
J: I’ve got an arm full of a Polish artist called Beksinski – I just love his art so I put it on my arm! (Laughs) (You have any more planned?) Yeah – but when we can afford it. Its having the time really cos we’ve been doing 300 shows a year.
You’ve done so much so soon, what is the motivation now? Just to keep going and be bigger than the first album?
T: We just want a good album, we want to be really happy with the next album whereas the 1st album – because of how experimental it was – it was rushed, very rushed. We weren’t necessarily happy with everything that surround it but we’ve finally built a team around us and everyone’s kind of stoked and ready to pounce on this one.
How is the 2nd album coming along?
Yeah we’re like 3 tracks in already, it’s going really well. Our first album was a bit experimental, like most bands have some time before they have success. We had success before there was the band, honestly there wasn’t even our guitarist in the band when we were on day time radio so for us it was like we have to now develop as a band but at the same time write an album, so you can really hear that in the 1st album, loads of different ideas, loads of different genres and concepts and we kinda felt like by the end of that, we knew who we were; especially from touring for like, Jesus, 2 and half years, so we knew exactly what we wanted from our live show and how to bring that across and what goes down well out of the music we perform live, so the 2nd album is heavily influenced from our live shows and also we’ve learnt a lot so its a lot more refined and a lot more rock based really.
Are there any collaborations this time round?
T: Yeah – but were not gonna say. (laughs) We’re just basically working with people we really admire and respect and have loved since we started making music. So yeah, expect SICK collaborations but I don’t wanna say…
Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with but you haven’t yet?
T: There’s loads, loads….(top 3) ok Noisea, definitely – I would love to do a tune with but it would never happen, Original Sin – loved to do a tune with him, Stevie Wonder…I dunno – there’s loads of people….Blue did it (laughs).