Interview With Ekko & Sidetrack
Perth-based drum and bass duo, Ekko & Sidetrack, recently dropped their latest single, “Burgle/One Time”, to the delight of dance clubs everywhere. Now signed to Viper Recordings, the brothers just appeared on Viper’s Summer Slammers 2016, and supported acts ranging from Sigma to Pendulum in the past year. We spoke to the pair about their inspirations, their day-to-day activities, and what it’s like produce with your sibling.
Where did the names “Burgle/One Time” come from? Do you guys have a system for naming your songs?
Not really haha, usually they come organically over the course of writing the song. When we first save a tune idea it gets a name based on the vibe somehow, more so that we can remember where we saved it rather than just calling it project 7865. “Burgle’ had more of a concept, when we found the sample that is before the drop, “he wants to get in and get out….” The idea for a tune about a cat burglar came together. Everything else snowballed from there. With ‘One Time” the title comes from a sample we had used for another tune and then decided it fit better in what became “One time”.
The tracks on the new single are sprinters, fast-paced and ready to tear up a dance-floor. What draws you both to the pulsing kicks of drum & bass?
We both loved punk and fast-paced rock music when we were younger so I think Drum and Bass was the next logical progression in choice of electronic music that was being played in nightclubs. Our music tastes now are wide and varied though, a bit like drum and bass.
Your latest video for “Burgle” is a hilarious depiction of a robbery amidst a beat-making session. What spurred its creation?
Thank you! We are both think very visual (Jeff is a Graphic Designer and Jono is an amateur filmmaker ) We found the sample before the drop (he wants to get in, and get out….) and we thought of a cat burglar scene. Then as we wrote the tune, the Marimba sound was so playful that we kept imagining some weird animal interrupting the burglary and the whole thing just snowballed from there. We have visual ideas for all of our tunes but this was the first one we’ve ever brought to life and it was heaps of fun!
How does the process of production and beat-making change when you’re a duo rather than a solo producer?
There are more arguments, haha – but those arguments come from having someone to bounce your ideas off. You never know when or where ideas are going to come from and having two minds working away at one thing is invaluable.
They say location is everything: is location important for your musical inspiration? Is there a place you prefer to record?
Inspiration often happens when you’re furthest from a computer, that’s why mobile phones are useful to sing or hum a melody into. Often we will develop a visual concept or location concept for some of our tunes to make sure they stay focused. For example if we decide a tune has a swampy feel it shouldn’t have super happy synths in it – or if it does they have to sound like they are overgrown and covered in mud so it ties into the rest of the song. It’s kinda an abstract concept but it can help inspire ideas and think of your sonic palette!
What is a day in the life like for Ekko & Sidetrack?
A perfect day? Wake up, Exercise, make a great breakfast (Jono is a chef so he’s got the skills!) Brew some coffee, get in the studio and work on the few tunes we have on the go at any one time, break by taking the dog to the park or watch an episode of something then get back to the studio before finishing off with a nice Gin & Tonic.
Many would attest that 2016 has been a tumultuous year for everyone. Do you find that it has influenced your music/artistry? How so?
Apart from distract us more with news stories on social media? I don’t really think so. Where we are based in Perth, Western Australia we have a good amount of isolation that means unless we choose to get involved in stuff often we can just let it pass us by. Means you don’t waste time on the stupid stuff really.
You both began a new podcast, another platform to share aspects of yourselves that is much more direct than music. What do you find is rewarding about having a podcast, especially as a musician in the public eye?
The thing with podcasts we love is that often the guests are people you don’t hear talk for that long. It’s like listening in to a secret conversation. We wanted to start something of our own so we can have more interesting conversations and share them.
What was the most rewarding concert/live event for you in the past year? What was important about it?
Tame Impala. Amazing Perth band, and their live performance left us awestruck. They make us want to go out and start a rock band and jam out for hours.
Who was the last act you both saw live that stuck with you? Why did they?
Jeff was recently in Memphis and saw some amazing soulful blues, everyone in the band just locked and you kinda realised why music is so powerful.
If you could tour with anyone, who would you choose? Why them?
Ahhhh that’s so hard! Can we just bring everyone? Fred V & Grafix, Dimension, The Brookes Brothers, Gran Calavera, Shockone, Nick from Loadstar and Cyantific. Every man on that list can party, good conversation and they’re all a great laugh.
Is the single a foreshadowing of more material to come? New EP/LP, or anything else before the end of the year?
We have a remix coming up soon, but you’ll find more information about that soon 😉
What was the very first thing you did once your single dropped last Friday?
Smile, high-5 each other over Facetime, then get right back in the studio
Where else can we find out more about you? Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, what’s your preferred social channel and why?
Probably Twitter or Facebook. I think it’s the most personal out of them all and can also get quick replies.
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