Dub FX is a street performer with a penchant for creative live music full of incredible loops and effects, combined of course with his voice and drum and bass rhythms. Benny D Williams hung five with him ahead of his appearance at Earth Frequency Festival which runs 13 – 16 February.
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When I first discovered you I was inspired by the hugeness of your sound, revolutionary approach to looping and knowledge of composition and dynamics. Did you study or just pick stuff up along the way?
I never studied beyond high school… I was lucky and clever enough to surround myself with excellent musicians. I was in a heavy metal band for six years, we spent hours jamming. I also jammed with jazz musicians all around Melbourne where it was completely improvised, so having those very two different experiences was crucial for understanding the balance in writing and jamming on music. I started MCing in clubs, so that was great for learning how to command a crowd where people want to dance… as well as all of this I used to do acoustic sets with a guitar in bars and restaurants… so I really immersed myself in different styles and environments which gave me the building blocks to go out in the street and fuse it all together with the loop station.
How did you handle the transition from street performance to large venues?
Before I was Dub FX I never needed or even knew what a loop station was, but I did however use effects processors in all those other bands… it gave me a strong knowledge of how to use compression, EQ, reverb, delays, over my voice in a live environment. When I started playing on the street with the loop station I already had heaps of cool sounds which sounded great on live PAs. I used the street as a place to workshop material or jam on new ideas so when I played in clubs and festivals I had a polished show… with each live show I would tweak the sounds until I ended up with an arsenal of phat sounds which sounded good on any system… and the best bit is I don’t need a sound man, I literally give the sound man a stereo output, he just needs to turn it up and go have a beer!
Is there still a fair amount of improvisation in your live show?
If I’m on a stage I like to give people a polished show with minimal improvisation because I have so many tricks I can pull out of my hat. If I play in the street it’s almost 100% improvised. BUT if I smoke a lil’ bit of weed before I go onstage then anything can happen.
Where is your own music taste and sonic pleasure residing these days?
I love all music so long as its soulful… believe it of not but heavy music can also be soulful!
You’re dropping in for the Earth Frequency Festival in mid Feb. Is there anyone else you’re looking forward to seeing?
I haven’t had a chance to check out the line up but I will totally come and hang out and have a dance with everyone there!
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Earth Frequency Festival
13 – 16 February, Ivory’s Rock