The Prototypes, formed of Nick White and Chris Garvey, first met on a drum & bass radio station in London where the Olympic Park now lies. Although the promised legacy of the Olympics hasn’t quite delivered, it’s safe to say that the legacy of The Prototypes has lived on and developed ever since their paths crossed.
Renowned for producing hard-hitting dancefloor rollers and loved for their energetic live shows, the duo’s reputation has been clear since their debut release Cascade. Established on Shogun Audio, and now a key member of Futurebound’s Viper family, their unique fusion of full-flavoured electro influences, epic dynamics and balls-out bass has led to love from way beyond the genre they galvanised their name in: drum & bass.
As the release of their highly anticipated debut album City Of Gold looms closer and closer, we thought it was a good time to call the boys to find out exactly what to expect…
It doesn’t feel like we’re forcing a path anymore, it’s a clear one and we know where we’re going with our sound a lot more.
Word on the street is that your album might not be 100 per cent drum & bass….
Nick: You heard right… We’re basically producing everything we feel comfortable producing. Which doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be all drum & bass.
Chris: Yeah we’ve got a few house tracks we’re working on, a kind of 140bpm Amen break vocal tune and a few other tunes people probably wouldn’t associate with us too. So yeah, there’s gonna be a lot of different sounds going on.
Nick: It’s just tunes we’re into making and what we feel like. We’ve mixed it up with different tunes before, for example Take Me Over, which came out on Shogun.
Chris: I think the album is allowing us to really put this spectrum of Prototypes out there – if we put a single out with a house vibe or Amen break vibe it wouldn’t really work, so it’s nice to have this opportunity to experiment with different sounds.
How do you think your sound has developed over the years?
Nick: It’s definitely developed in some ways but if you compare Don’t Let Me go to Cascade, which was one of our earliest releases, you can definitely hear the similarities in that they’re both quite euphoric and designed as a summer festival track. We’ve started making more dark rolling bangers like Abyss over the years, too.
Chris: We didn’t want to shock people too much by changing our sound, which is why we put Humanoid on the flip to this single to sort of ease it in a little bit!
Is it hard juggling producing the album with playing out live all the time?
Chris: Yeah mainly because it takes us a few days to recover after a gig! But when we’re back in the studio and it starts to click again it usually goes pretty smoothly.
Nick: We’re definitely busier now than we’ve ever been and it can be frustrating at times when we can’t get a solid amount of time in the studio but we’re not complaining – we still love it.
Are there any major influences behind how you’re producing the album?
Chris: I wouldn’t say we’re being influenced by anything; we just want to put a really electronic side over whilst still coming back to our original roots. There’s still gonna be some dark ripping stuff but we’re focussing a lot on the musical side too.
Nick: It’s been like nearly two years since we released a vocal tune so we want to do a lot more of that stuff and we originally stopped doing the vocal thing because it got too rinsed but when you get the tune that’s right you just know it’s right.
Has life on Viper been different to life on Shogun at all?
Nick: We loved being signed to Shogun and we’re still mates with everyone there but it’s been totally different on Viper because it’s pushing a totally different sound which is far more catered to the music that we make. People are less confused about which direction we’re going in now, and that probably explains why we’re so busy at the moment.
Chris: It doesn’t feel like we’re forcing a path anymore, it’s a clear one and we know where we’re going with our sound a lot more, which means we can write what we want to write. Viper are so supportive; it feels like we can write anything now and if they think it’s sick they’ll support it which is really cool.
Why should people get excited about the album?
Nick: We’re putting in a lot of work and hopefully over the years we’ve proved that our tracks do stand up for themselves and that’s why people are getting excited about having a record with twelve of our tracks on. All we can do is work our hardest and see what we come up with.
Chris: I think it’s up to whoever listens to it and how good we can make it to stand above any other drum & bass albums around.
What was the idea behind the video for Don’t Let Me Go?
Chris: What we really wanted to go for was the sunny, warm vibe. When the producer came to us with this idea it made sense because it was a picture of the kid’s imagination and how wild it can run.
How do you find it working as a duo?
Nick: After years of working together we work pretty well with each other, obviously we’re not gonna agree on every idea and if we don’t both agree on a tune it usually gets put to one side
Chris: Maybe as we get to the latter stages of producing the album it’ll start to kick off a bit more!
I think it’s quite short-sighted to think a tune is shit just because it’s on the radio.
Do you think drum & bass getting into the charts is healthy for the genre?
Nick: Definitely, I don’t understand the hate against it at all to be honest; what would you rather listen to in the daytime!? I think it’s quite short-sighted to think a tune is shit just because it’s on the radio. In the grand scheme of things, people pushing the genre into the mainstream is going to help it.
Chris: I do see where people are coming from though, it’s an underground genre and that’s where it should stay in some people’s opinion, but at the end of the day it’s just music and if you love it you love it, that’s all that matters really.
We’ve heard you’ve been organising a few of your own nights?
Nick: Yeah we’ve started up our own event called ‘Prototypes Present’, we’ve done a few in Brighton and they went really well and we’ve hired out a boat on The Thames for a party on August 16 which should be really good.
There you have it; early indications that The Prototypes’ debut album is going to be an LP packed with dancefloor-destructing tracks covering all genres from drum & bass to house – definitely one to get excited about.