Every raver loves a mission – especially after the last year+ of total mission denial – but for the next 9 days Bad Habitz and MC Frost will be taking the art of missioning to a whole new level as they walk from Bloc2Bloc HQ in their home town Manchester all the way to Kool FM in London to raise money for MIND.
Aimed at raising awareness about mental health in the D&B scene, with a very clear message of unity and how we should be much more empathetic to each other, Mission4MIND is a project planned with military-style detail. Over the course of this week and a half they’ll be walking almost 200 miles south along the UK’s canal networks, averaging around 22 miles per day. So far the artists – who are also a couple – have raised £1800 with their live streams (sometimes held while cooking their Sunday roasts) and they hope to raise a lot more as their trek progresses.
By the time you read this, they’d have launched the trek with a set at Bloc2Bloc and on Weds June 30 they’ll be shutting the mission down with a six hour takeover set on Kool FM from 1-6pm. They’ve plotted and posted their full route so anyone can join them and support them along the way.
“We will be documenting the journey through our Mission4Mind Page on Facebook via live streams to keep everyone up to date with how it is all going. The good, the bad, the ugly, whatever the weather, however we feel, we are sharing the lot!
Donations for such a vital cause – which hugely affects at least one in four of us – are always welcome throughout their mission and can be made here via Justgiving. We called them last week to see how their preparations are going…
All prepped and ready for your mission?
Bad Habitz: We got everything, water proofs, thermals…
MC Frost: But the forecast is looking hot now so we’ll probably just need shorts!
Fingers crossed! Are you big walkers anyway?
MC Frost: Yeah we have a big walk at least once a week. Things have been hectic recently with live streams and doing promotional things so the training has dropped off a bit but this week we’re back into the training.
The route has changed a bit, hasn’t it?
MC Frost: Yeah we’ve changed the route and it’s added an extra day.
Bad Habitz: We’ll be cycling the first day from Manchester back to our home, and then the canal is opposite our house so we’ll be on foot from then for the remaining 178miles!
Are you big campers too?
MC Frost: We love it!
Bad Habitz: Yeah we love it but haven’t managed to do much through lockdown with all the restrictions so we are really excited to get back to it on this walk.
MC Frost: That’s where the idea came from. Because of lockdown and travel restrictions, we thought about things we could for holiday and it was like ‘Well why don’t we get the backpack on, walk out of the front door and see where it takes us?’ That’s where the idea came from.
Lockdown has definitely given us appreciation of what’s on our doorstep in the UK!
Bad Habitz: Yeah, England’s alright you know!
MC Frost: There are some beautiful places just minutes away from our front door. We had lunch in a cave once, in the middle of nowhere. It’s important to do that, especially if you’re in the rat race, it gives you some space and time to sort your head out and untangle your thoughts.
Bad Habitz: I’m not a city girl at all, I find it far too stressful, so this walk is going to be mint.
MC Frost: We need to stretch our legs, we need to get oxygen in our brains.
Bad Habitz: Get that oxygen straight from leaf!
Ha! There’s a lot to be said for therapy and walking and talking because you’re beside each other and not face to face.
Bad Habitz: You’re right, you can lose yourself in the conversation as you take in the scenery. I struggle with eye contact sometimes so that’ll be good with the walk. Obviously not with Brian, but with people we meet along the way. You do feel much more comfortable walking beside people don’t you?
Yeah. You’ve got people joining you along the way haven’t you?
Bad Habitz: Yeah quite a few people have said they’ll join us, especially towards the end. I hope they do and they’ll benefit from it.
MC Frost: It’ll be good for the camaraderie as well. We’ve called upon the drum & bass scene to help us because we know so many people in this scene who have experienced bad mental health because of the current situations in the world and how hard it is right now. I’ve said before on videos, we use this scene to promote our music to each other, but we could use this scene for so much more. We can help each other in areas other than just music. That’s the idea of why we’ve based it all around the D&B scene.
That’s indicative of where the scene is at right now. I’m really proud to be supporting, or part of, events that are raising money and awareness.
MC Frost: Yeah mate, it’s all about solidarity! That’s what we need to push. A lot of people on the internet don’t think about how their comments might be received by the people they’re talking about. People say a lot of bad things to people who are into the same stuff as them and I think that’s wrong. So I’m all up for pushing for real solidarity in the scene because this is people’s lives. It’s not just a job or a hobby, it’s something that takes over your whole life. To ostracise anyone is wrong, it can – and has – ended lives. We need to be a lot kinder to each other and bring each other together.
Yes! You’ve been bringing people together on live streams to help raise money with this project haven’t you?
MC Frost: Yeah we’ve had some great donations and we’ve been sponsored by people like Regatta, Human Food nutrition bars, we got Bloc2Bloc behind us, we got Kool behind so that’s incredible.
Bad Habitz: A friend called Shaun in America has sponsored me a pair of walking boots so he’s a massive G. And Kev, the founder of a charity called Angling & Anxiety, has given us a tent and some personalised fishing jackets. Absolute DNB have sorted us out with t-shirts, too.
MC Frost: Everyone we’ve come across have been amazing, guys like DNB Politics, Rough Tempo, yourself, the Mental Health Still Matters crew, everyone.
That’s amazing. You’ve got quite an infrastructure haven’t you? Someone’s running stuff and driving your kit ahead aren’t they? Like a military operation!
Bad Habitz: It’s a Jody and Jake and they actually have been in the army! They did this walk when they were in the army, so they know how much of a slog it is. So yeah, they’re taking some of the gear for us and setting up the tents in advance. They’ll also be picking us up from the canal at set points to drive us to the campsite. Some of the campsites are quite far off the route.
MC Frost: One is 20 miles from the canal so that would be two extra days to walk there and back. It would be nice to pitch the tent where we stop for the day, but you can’t do that at the moment.
True. Do you have any essentials you have to take with you? And what things can you not go without?
MC Frost: Good socks! I can’t stress this enough; you need good socks! I’ve invested in some wicked ones and walked up Snowdon in them no problem.
Bad Habitz: Good underwear too! None of them uncomfortable wires, no no no!
MC Frost: It’s funny, you think about things you can’t go without before you start training. Then you train and you realise it’s about what you need, not what you can’t do without! What can we carry? What can we get away without carrying?
Bad Habitz: We’re taking a solar charger and speaker so we can do streams as we walk and playing music is essential of course.
Oh yes! So let’s get your musical story. The walk starts with a set, it ends with a set. You smash it together as a DJ and MC. I wonder did you start working together before you became a couple or after?
MC Frost: We’ve worked off and on for years haven’t we?
Bad Habitz: We were friends for a good couple of years first. We met through a friend, Skazmode, Camper Jamz founder and a close friend of us both!
MC Frost: The music is more of a focus now we’re both together. But at first Jade was skyrocketing and I didn’t want to get in the way of that. She’s signed up with labels and agencies so I said ‘Do your thing.’ But we’ve worked together more and more and often we’re booked together.
Bad Habitz: It makes sense. We got decks here, we got the mic, we’re always having a mixing session or a stream, I’m also moving towards production and working on that so it’s all going in the right direction.
MC Frost: Musically we’re on the same page, too
Bad Habitz: Yeah the way I mix suits him perfectly.
MC Frost: 182 and 8 bars. Just super fast.
Both: Oh yeah! (laughs)
MC Frost: If I’m on set now and someone’s playing 174 it feels like I’m going backwards. You don’t notice it getting faster but you definitely notice it getting slower.
Bad Habitz: Even if it’s 180, because I’m doing a b2b with someone, he’ll be like ‘Nudge it up a bit!’
MC Frost: The tempo change is really noticeable!
You do seem very natural when you’re playing together. Some of your streams have been in your dressing gowns!
MC Frost: Yeah we’ve just been having fun, you know. We might be in our comfies, there might be a roast on, even. You engage a lot more with the audience when you’re just being chilled and natural.
Bad Habitz: Yeah when you’re in your natural environment, people can identify with that. It’s the best vibe we get on streams.
Frost: It helps from an MC perspective. I vibe off feedback from the crowd and seeing people going nuts, but it can be very sterile on streams.
Bad Habitz: You have to make the vibe yourself in a way…
MC Frost: You do. So I get in the chat on a Sunday. There’s no structure, I just say ‘Play some music’ and Jade spins while I talk to people and do what I’m doing. Just being real with people and chatting to them on a level, you know?
I do! I think Manchester MCs are the best at doing that. Skittles, Strategy, DRS, Fox, Harbio – they all do that really well. Getting people involved. Dropping airs and graces and being one of the crowd.
MC Frost: Yeah for sure. It’s a community thing. If you’re in the music scene here in Manchester, then it’s family. You might not get along with everyone in the family but you all support each other and we do all push that vibe. It’s a big old city but I’m glad we’ve been able to keep that spirit. We’re close to our neighbours if you know what I mean. But the thing is, we haven’t been anywhere in the UK where that’s not the case. We come to London, Essex, Kent and Bristol a lot and always get welcomed with open arms, the hospitality has always been so humbling.
Bad Habitz: We do hear that a lot about Manchester, but we see it the other way and every city or region has got great local scenes full of nice people doing exciting and thoughtful things and looking to collaborate.
That’s what it’s all about – uniting the UK, reminding us what we have in common!
MC Frost: Yeah totally. We want to give back to something that’s given us so much. We’re raising money for MIND because that’s what we can achieve – we wanted a goal. But the main thing is raising awareness and reminding people we’re all in it together.
Bad Habitz: People lost their lives during lockdown and that’s so so sad. It’s okay not to be okay Don’t feel ashamed to talk about your mental health. I struggle with mine big time but it makes things slightly less intense when you talk about.
More importantly, if you know people are comfortable with it – like employers, colleagues, relatives. They need to understand it’s not just pain or illness that you can see. People put on a good front and hide things…
Bad Habitz: My mum said that to me the other day; People can see a broken leg but they can’t see a broken head and I love her for that. Some people hide it really well. You can say something to someone and they don’t show their emotion to that but they go home and tear their mind apart so it’s about being aware with how people are feeling and what they are sensitive to. If we all spoke about it honestly and took it seriously, we could help each other so much more. Hopefully we’re all starting to understand that more…