WORDS

4 Cool Things We Learnt About: Spag Heddy

Born in Holland, based in Spain, sights set on America: Spag Heddy is as international as he is prolific. And he’s amped for his forthcoming US tour…

“I’m crazy excited,” he laughs. “I’m already feeling super nervous as I prepare for it. Most my fanbase seems to be in America and for years I’ve been asked to come over and play so it’s dream come true for me and my fans.”

With such a hard hitting bass sound that’s directly inspired (and supported) by the likes of Datsik and Skrillex it’s crazy to think he’s not explored America yet.

“Totally inspired by American music!” says the Dutchman. “All those guys the rougher, growly side of dubstep. That’s what I’ve been making and what I started with. Since the beginning it’s been my ultimate dream to tour America. That’s where my stuff is at!”

For a concise reminder of exactly where he’s at, check his jaw-denting six tracker on Never Say Die: Oh My EP. Released this week, we copped the title track earlier this month:

Big synth riff + epic gutter-chomping sandpaper bass hook = instant win.

“I’ve always made tracks that are full of layers. I love the combination of in your face, aggressive bass and big almost cheesy hooks. I love that,” explains the man who cites 501, Feed Me and Seven Lions as his biggest melodic influences.

Influences aren’t the only thing we learnt about Spag Heddy during our conversation, here are four more things we found out…

Spag Heddy: Free agent and proud

There’s a growing trend towards exclusive signings right now with labels jumping on artists as they hit the cusp of next levelism. It makes sense; making a strong link at the beginning of a career can pay off hugely when they eventually hit the bigger leagues. But there’s also a lot to say for the free agent who roams from label to label, making friends, learning lessons and leaving chaos in their wake…

“I’ve been working with so many cool labels but I’m not exclusive to any of them,” says Spag Heddy. “I love being a free agent. I want to see what all the possibilities are. I’ve worked with some dream-come-true labels already but who knows what the future holds? I love how I’m working with everyone right now.”

If he ever writes an album it will be a big deal…

The album question: a standard poser during any interview with a DJ. Even at Spag Heddy’s relatively early chapters, it’s good to know what an artist thinks about albums (some, like Doctor P, have said categorically they don’t like them and are not likely to do them) and when that is likely to be. Spag Heddy’s definitely thought about it. But don’t hold your breath quite yet.

“I’ve definitely thought about an album for sure! I can make enough tracks to create an album’s worth all the time. That’s how I got popular a few years ago; banging out tracks so fast! I make tracks in a day. I still do. I’m not very patient! But an album is more of a story with connections between the tracks. I’m not ready for that depth. One day I’m in one mood so I’ll make that particular track really fast. The next day I’ll be in another mood and make that particular track really fast. And so on. They’re all very different with no link between them. I haven’t had one story I wanted to tell for an album. An album needs to be more than a collection of bangers! So yes I’ve thought about it. But no I’m not writing one yet.”

Those mad bass sounds and layers in his tracks? All done on headphones…

Sennheiser HD 25-1 II’s to be precise. We found this out as we wondered if he’d be writing on the road. Explaining how he’s often neck-deep in over 10 projects, it seems like he might have to write on the road to keep up with himself and demands from labels…

“It’s funny how some guys can create on the road. I know Barely Alive can write wherever they are in the world. I don’t know if I can do that but I might have to try more! I don’t have a studio at home anyway, all I have is my laptop and my headphones but I do need to sit down and have the mouse and have that space.

“I don’t own any monitors. I wish my sound design and mixdowns were better but this is my option and I’m really comfortable with it; my Sennheisers are great for producing and DJing. I use them for both so I know what the track will sound like. I did use monitors back in Holland but it was a student house so I couldn’t’ have them playing loud all the time. I just got used to headphones. I know a lot of producers who work in this way. It’s not unique, it’s how you’re comfortable. The most important thing is knowing your shit and your set-up.”

And yeah we asked about his name…

Probably been asked a whole bunch of times before. But not by us.

“Well I was already making music – hip-hop beats for Dutch rappers to buy – but when dubstep got the Holland hype around 2011 I found myself most comfortable and inspired in the studio to make that sound. My earliest of that sound was on Partyscratch. Kypski, the label owner, asked for an artist name as he didn’t think my real name was cool enough.  I’d already been joking around with my housemates that I was going to be Spag Heddy because I was always making pasta and noodles and cheap food and my friend was going to be MC Roni. Like macaroni. I thought it was funny so I stuck with it.”

Pasta la vista! Catch Spag Heddy on tour:

March 16 – Foundation Nightclub – Seattle, WA

March 17 – The Intersection – Grand Rapids, MA

March 18 – TBA – Chicago, IL

March 19 – Beyond Wonderland – San Bernardino, CA

March 20 – WMC – Miami, FL

March 24 – The Loft, Minneapolis, MN

March 25 – Crafti Bar – Ft. Lauderdale, FL

March 26 – Webster Hall – New York, NY

March 31 – TBA – TBA

April 1 – Le Belmont – Montreal, QC

April 2 – Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO

April 14 – 1UP – Reno, NV

April 15 – Rawkus – Colorado Springs, CO

April 16 – Rush Lounge – Atlanta, GA

April 20 – TBA – TBA

April 21 – 2720 – St. Louis, MO

April 22 – Miramar Theatre – Milwaukee, WI