Andy C Sits Down with Sensible Reason at Electric Forest [Interview]
Andy C is a UK bass music pioneer, and has quite literally been making people dance since 90 percent of the candy kids were in dirty diapers. Even more impressive is his label RAM Records, which he started with his friend Ant Miles in 1992. The record label has been picking up “Best Label” awards for the past decade, thanks to acts like Sub Focus, Loadstar, Chase and Status, and more. In 2010 he made the list of the Top 100 DJ’s in the world.
Andy C was more than qualified to rock the Tripolee stage at 1 a.m. in Electric Forest. He will also be back in the U.S. on July 18th in New York and then on July 19th at Red Rocks Colorado for the Global Dance Festival. Sensible Reason recently got the chance to sit down with Andy and ask him a few questions at Electric Forest.
Sensible Reason: What influences are you most excited about, having seen the total evolution of bass music between the early 90’s and now?
Andy C: I’m excited about the influences that come from new people.
Sensible Reason: Like who?
Andy C: Well, I like the upsurge in what is happening in America the past few years. I think that has been a very positive force. Obviously, the UK had grown with it in the 90’s and a lot of the dubstep artists came from drum and bass originally, like 12th Planet who’s on now. As a result there is a nice convergence of our philosophy and thought process with music. It all resonates when you put it together. The bass music vibrates, which is why we’ll go play on the same stages together. Bass music truly morphed into something that I couldn’t have ever of dreamed of.
Sensible Reason: So are there any specific artists that you’ve seen get big that you feel you’ve influenced or may have influenced you?
Andy C: There’s a lot, man, like John (12th Planet), and he started out with drum and bass. It’s funny I was hanging out with him the other week, and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of drum and bass history and all that goes into it. It’s fantastic talking to him because he’s spent a lot of time in the UK so he’s one of the guys that I’m especially happy that it worked out for.
Sensible Reason: What was the greatest turning point in your bass career?
Andy C: There’s been many turning points but one of the greatest was doing the tune Valley in the Shadows that came out in the early 90’s [and] sort of set me up for every path. I’ve been doing it quite a while so there’s many many sort of turning points and things, milestones: First Album, signing artists like Chase and Status, Sub Focus, there’s just too many to mention.
Sensible Reason: Does your original sound have influence on your original sound?
Andy C: Of course it does, man. My original sound, my inner feeling of how I feel about music influences everything I am, and that constantly grows. Your tastes and your feeling in music mushrooms as you develop a new take in new sounds. I guess fundamentally I’m always the same kid [that] I always was when I was getting into music, except now I’ve had the luxury of the experience of it. At heart I’m the same musically as I’ve always been, but along the way I’ve morphed and I’ve attained the knowledge and experience of all the other music.
Sensible Reason: Were there any points in time along the progression of bass music where you were disappointed with the direction it was going, or the way the sound was progressing?
Andy C: Honestly, no. I’m a positive individual. I’m not one to be backstage like, ‘no this sucks.’ That’s just not me. I always like to look to the future. I think new sounds, even if you’re not particularly into them, will trickle down as long as they’re popular. They’re going to act as an official model to pull people into their music and then once there’s more people aboard our train they can discover their music at their own pace and hopefully they will gravitate towards what I and my colleagues do.
Sensible Reason: So with that positive outlook how do you feel about people who discount bass music as music so to speak, do you encounter any of that?
Andy C: No, I honestly haven’t. I mean what is real music? We’re sitting here now and there’s a four/four kick drum and a high pitched screech noise and then on the other stages you probably got some trance; music is sound – music is energy – music is a force. It takes many different forms.
Sensible Reason: You’re bouncing around a lot of festivals, do you have a preference for a certain festival or venue for a show?
Andy C: I loved EDC last weekend; that was phenomenal. This is my first time at Electric Forest, and I can’t wait for this. I’ve had so many people hit me up about the vibes for this festival so I’m really looking forward to this. I’m off to Paradiso-I’m blessed, I honestly am blessed. So from one week to the next, there’s an amazing place to go and whether it be a beach next weekend or in Toronto, Digital Dreams on Sunday, I just take it one week at a time and enjoy myself to the max.
Sensible Reason: Have you been to the Forest yet?
Andy C: I haven’t; I literally just got here. So you are the first person I’ve spoke to. [laughs]
So I’m going to chat to a couple of guys and have a drink with my buddy who just poured me some drinks and then I’m going to have a little investigation.
Sensible Reason: Who’s an artist that you recommend for people to check out?
Andy C: I’ve got a new guy from Toronto we just signed called Bensley, incredible. We haven’t put any of his music out yet, purposely because we’re just stocking it all up and then we’re going to unleash it but it is mind blowing.
Sensible Reason: What kind of flavor can the people expect [from Bensley]?
Andy C: They can expect a journey, they can expect feeling, emotion, it really takes you. It’s not about intro, drop, roll out, break down. It’s about the journey and how you get to the end of the song. It’s phenomenal.
Sensible Reason: What artist has had the most influence on you in the last 3-5 years and have you been able to work with any of them?
Andy C: I’d say I’m influenced by my piers and my colleagues. Artistically it’s hard to say because I’m blessed with so many great artists at RAM Records that I honestly take a bit of everything from them all, because you can’t help yourself being the A and R guy that signs the guys, because there’s obviously something about all of their music that I love. Way, way back in the day it was shop and dance, which was a huge music influence on me, and as far as DJ’s go it was Randall, and that sort of really molded my sound out. Nowadays I’m influenced by my own eyes, and I get to hang out and drink beer as well [laughs].
Check out some of his set at Electric Forest Music Festival as well as his entire set from Ultra Music Festival earlier this year.