Death On The Balcony – Vices & Virtues
Does your mood effect how you go about your production?
Paul: Of course. You can’t force these things or it will show in the final results and the outcome is you will be unhappy with it no matter how hard you try.
So are you pretty prolific in the studio? Do you work on a lot of different things at the same time or generally just try and get one track done as soon as possible?
Mark: We have various different ideas being worked up at once. It’s important to give things time and space to breathe and then come back to them with fresh ears. Listening to the same loop for a while can boggle your mind and send your judgment west when finishing and structuring a track to its best so we try to flick between a few to avoid that.
So where are you at now with your production in terms of where you’d like to be? Or are you pretty confident in your skills these days?
Mark: It is not for us to judge our technical abilities. We will leave that to everyone else! There is always room for improvement no matter how good you think you are. We’re always learning and that’s a good thing. Whilst you can be happy with the things you are making if you think you have got “there” and know all there is to know, you need an ego check!
So can you talk us through the D-Edge release a bit? What’s the idea there?
Mark: We had been in talks with D-Edge for a while after meeting Renato Ratier at Unknown Festival last year. This EP has been a year in the planning so we are very happy it has finally seen the light of day. There were a few problems with a track called “Gonna Miss Me” because of a sample but we’ve now been able to to give this away for free via you guys in conjunction with the EP so all’s well that ends well! We are very happy with the 3 that made the final cut. It shows a good range of sounds of where we are at, whether it’s deep house with funk, groove based house or techno inspired hypnotic melodies. We think this EP shows all 3 well.
Have you played for them yet in Sao Paulo?
Mark: As we touched on before, we met them whilst we were both playing at Unknown Festival in Croatia, we had a laugh then sent them some music, which they liked. We spent a nearly a year sorting out the tracks but we knew it was something we wanted to be involved with and had a good feeling about it so wanted to make it happen.We all get on well socially beyond the music and so we were all very glad to see it come together and to be finally out there!
We haven’t yet been to Brazil but have dates confirmed for early next year at D-Edge & Warung with some more still to be confirmed. It’s penciled for Carnival weekend so that should be an experience!
What was the UK like as a place to grow up for electronic music? I believe the closing times don’t really help matters?
Mark: There are some amazing places to party around the globe, and whilst we still have many more to see, we have been to a fair few of them and can confirm that the UK definitely sits up there! You have strong scenes or club nights in most of the big cities and some great little gems elsewhere. Then you have institutions like Fabric, Back To Basics, Hacienda, Hard Times and Kubicle who we are residents for, There are lots of homegrown labels which is a big help although the closing times of the clubs perhaps don’t assist productivity if you have zero self-control after a few shandies! However it does wonders for the inspiration. Let’s not forget they are parties!
Where else have you been over the years that was really interesting? Are there any annual dates on your calendar that you really look forward to more than others?
Paul: We have done a few tours of the states, which were great. We played the Electric Pickle a bunch of times. It’s like playing in a house party with the best sound system and décor you can find. It has a really welcoming atmosphere and the crowd dance hard. We have also had some great times in Chicago/NYC/San Fran/Atlanta, not to mention a few amazing trips to Mexico and BPM which have always been great! Closer to home we have had a few trips to Amsterdam, which we love and Berlin at Renate and Watergate are always lots of fun! To be honest, most trips away are interesting in some capacity as you connect with people musically and socially. It’s a privilege to be doing what we love.
Definitely. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing emerging producers in this day and age?
Mark: The industry can be competitive and some might say, fickle at times so you have to be prepared to be long ball with it. There are no rules. Looking to work with the best people possible for your scene and style isn’t always easy as would like and it’s an ongoing process. A lot of it can come down to timing good and bad, in and out of your favour!
Paul: You should be prepared to be dedicated, realistic, have a solid positive perspective on what you do and are about, work hard at it and take a few knocks. Make lasting connections, be cool, sincere, easy going and good to people who you meet and work with as best as you can as no one is perfect!
Care for and be passionate about your talent and craft, don’t take things for granted or too seriously, be true to what you believe in whether it’s “on trend” or not at that moment, keep on keeping on!
What’s next for Death on the Balcony?
We have our next EP lined up on Vice&Virtue with a collaboration from us and the band, NUDES plus other tracks from Bearight, Remi Mazet, Stassy & Wilck and Picture House. All being well these will be out in Feb/March next year. We are very happy with the tracks so looking forward to getting those out there!
Also Death On The Balcony originals coming on All Day I Dream, Exploited “Black Jukebox Series” and Smoke N Mirrors with remixes on I Records, Purp & Soul and RVS.
We are sat on a wealth of unsigned music so we are just taking our time and targeting labels that we really want to be a part of and believe in what they are doing.
Aside from that looking forward to wherever our travels may take us in the year to come!
Death on the Balcony’s One Time Too Much is out now on D-Edge Records