Back to the Phuture: “This was 20 years or so in the making”
Tell us a bit about what was happening in the interim, leading up to the reunion.
Spanky: Basically Pierre was doing his solo career, DJing and producing, and I was doing the same thing. I did two albums under ‘Phuture 303’ and I did some solo projects under DJ Spank-Spank as well. After that I reached out to get some help, so to speak, and that’s how Rio came about. But I’ve actually been trying to get Rio in the group now for about 5 years or so. He had his own projects as well, so I had to wait. And for me to now have these two guys working with me, it’s awesome. I just can’t wait til we start putting out projects and you guys can see what’s gonna happen as far as the new studio productions goes.
Pierre: I was DJing and doing stuff for the Strictly Rhythm label, doing what I do basically, travelling and trying to keep things fresh. When I realised that people are really gravitating towards acid again, I felt you know what, this is something that we started, and I think we need to be part of this resurgence in the sound. Because you’ve got people like LMFAO doing acid in their tracks, and other groups as well. We’re the creators of this sound, and I don’t think anybody can do it better than us. So I’m like yo, let’s get on it, let’s do this. I always knew that there would be a right time for us to come back together. I just knew that I had to totally be committed myself. I couldn’t be half in, half out. I had to totally jump into this. When we’re all totally working together properly, we just come up with amazing stuff. Everybody had their role in a way, that’s what was missing in the times when it was ‘Phuture 303’.
When me and Spanky were together being the nucleus of it, we’re kinda on the same wavelength of how to produce, in terms of the energies we put into it. And I think the addition of Rio is like the element that we always wanted there, but we never had. We never had a true keyboard player. I could play keyboards, but I couldn’t get up there and just play like that. I can program, and I can arrange and write. But I’m not a musician like that. So we always kind of wanted that in the past, so I think that’s even more powerful now.
In terms of choosing now as the time to come back… Acid house is having a resurgence, and the 303 is going back into production. But it’s also an interesting time for dance music in America.
Pierre: Definitely, because now they act like it’s never been in America. They’re like ‘oh wow EDM…’ I’m like, EDM? This isn’t really EDM, it’s still house music, and I consider EDM as just another genre of it. I don’t wanna lend credit to being like oh, it’s a new form of music. If that’s the case, where did it come from? They’re like, ‘oh it came from Europe. This EDM thing!’ We do have a passion for this music, and we wanna bring attention to all forms of it. So if some good can come out of it, I think that’s okay. And to be honest, the ‘EDM’ term is catchy, and I understand why it’s easy to pick up on it. But I think it’s also gonna bring attention more to the other genres of the scene as well, and I think it lends more credibility to the electronic scene in general. People with bigger names are trying to do it, and trying to connect with originators like us. So it’s been cool to speak with a lot of guys out there who are eager to do collaborations with me. I think overall it’s positive. Just as long as the history remains intact.
There are mixed feelings about what’s popular at the moment. Some people feel that it’s a watered down version of the music they love, but others are quite positive about it.
Pierre: At every point in time in house music, there’s always been a most popular form that people cried about it being watered down. I don’t see now as any different, it’s just that it’s even more popular than before. And I like a lot of that stuff to be honest. I wanna get into producing it as well, because I have a passion for writing and producing music, and I can do it on all levels, so I don’t think we should be put in a box, I’m not one of those people where your favourite genre is like your favourite football team where you gotta hate all the other ones. You like this one, you hate that other one… I really don’t believe in that. I believe that you either like it, or you don’t like it. It’s either good, or it’s bad. That’s for me music, period. I love all forms of music.
Do you feel that after a few years of it being so big in the US that people are turning to start to look towards the roots, and where it’s come from?
Spanky: Absolutely. So then you can educate people as to where it came from. Sometimes it’s good to go back to the roots, and then try and add different elements to it. So people can learn, and not just stay in one position.
Pierre: I think people are going back and looking for a new direction. Because they feel like they’ve gone so far, but they’re also like, where do we go now? So they’re searching for new ideas by looking back.
Spanky: And I think we’re the group to do that [everyone laughs]. You hear a lot of acid where it’s just a drum machine and a 303. They don’t want to add any different stuff to it. But I don’t want it to be the same way. This is 2014. The name of the group is ‘Phuture’. I think we should be the innovators, instead of the followers. We gonna go back and do what we used to do, but we’re gonna add something to it as well.