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“We’ve played there for the past three or four years. It’s kind of like a back home gig for us.” As festival season continues to roll through the summer months in a juggernaut like fashion, it’s nearly Nozstock Festival’s turn to take centre stage in the ‘people having fun in a field’ stakes. One of the acts representing is talented drum & bass production outfit Amoss. Made up of close friends Andy Tweedale and James Evans, the pair are relishing the chance to return to the Herefordshire countryside, lining up alongside fellow luminaries such as Shogun Audio’s Joe Ford, TC, Metalheadz’s Jubei plus another stage takeover by Andy C and Ram Records on the Saturday night in The Cubicles. “We grew up around that area,” continues Andy. “So we know a lot of people there. It’s always a really good show no matter what time of the day it is.” “I think people know what sort of stuff we’re gonna play,” says James. “It’s definitely for more of a crowd the last couple of years.”

This writer was fortunate enough to attend Nozstock Festival last summer. Although, sadly, I lost a beloved pair of Air Max 1’s after sudden torrential rain turned the festival into a muddy bog. “You always gotta take the wellies!” laughs Andy. Seeing as both are local lads, I asked how they became such a focal part of the festival’s lineup over the last few years. “We know the guy who runs The Garden Stage and they asked us to play one year. We did a drum & bass set and we also did a house set on the Sunday afternoon.” says Andy. “All the Nozstock crew are really sound. It’s good to know a lot of the people that work there.” It’s not just purely business for the duo at the festival either; both Andy and James get fully involved in the Nozstock experience. “We’re there all weekend. We always get there Friday first thing and get on it really.” says James. And what is their weapon of choice when it comes to festival based alcoholic beverages: cider or beer? There appears to be an element of indecision between the pair. “Beer definitely. 100%” says Andy. “At Nozstock it’s definitely cider. I don’t normally drink cider but there I’ll knock it back. Mix it with some strawberry Ribena…” chuckles James.

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Festival based shenanigans aside, it’s not just the Nozstock gang Amoss have made a distinct impression on. Via a number of deep and dark releases on labels like Horizons Music, Dispatch Recordings and the mighty Renegade Hardware, Andy and James are definitely setting the pace amongst the new breed of D&B producers constantly flourishing throughout the scene. I get a bit of background as to how the pair came to be Amoss. “We met in high school and we were both in separate bands,” explains James. “We met each other through parties and then got an idea of what the other one was into. Andy had some software and we just messed around with that for a while. That was kind of the birth of it.” With their band backgrounds, in particular Andy’s fondness for all things Metal, there’s definitely an intrinsic link between both musics. Something they take into account now they’ve swapped guitars for midi keyboards and synth plug ins. “There’s a lot of similar energy.” says Andy. “I know Silent Witness is a big Metal head; we’ve had some good chats with him about it. Drum & Bass definitely encapsulates the same kind of energy that we were finding in that music, I guess it rubs off doesn’t it?”

Although still fairly new and somewhat fresh faced to the world of drum & bass, Amoss have certainly laid solid foundations; amassing quite a dedicated following and building a strong catalogue of releases in the process. “Time has been good for us,” states James. “Within two or three releases you can’t get a style for an artist. So over time we’ve been doing more and more tunes to show people what we’re into. If we feel like writing a dark track we have the freedom to do that. I don’t think it’s that much of a surprise these days if we were to bring out a really heavy track, something a bit more rolling and stripped back or something a bit more musical.” “I feel like we hit it at the right time; we haven’t ever felt pressured to write a certain style of music,” continues Andy. “As James said, we always do what we enjoy doing. Whether that be a weird bass track or a dark rolling thing, I’m really proud of what we’ve done in the past four year. I would never have seen us releasing so many tunes on vinyl, being able to work with people like Neil at Horizons or Ant at Dispatch. We’re just trying to enjoy ourselves as much as possible.”  

Amoss are playing at Nozstock Festival, which is happening from 1st – 3rd of August. More information is available here: www.nozstock.com

Words: Wayne Mackenzie

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