Last Friday we uploaded a collaboration of celestial proportions: Virtual Riot & Funtcase’s Borg.
A track in high demand since Disciple teased it on a festival video last year, until last week it was the sole preserve of Virtual Riot, Funtcase, Skrillex, Snails, SKisM and Excision. The turbo-fuelled multi-bass freak-out, Borg is the lead track from Virtual Riot’s Chemistry EP which also sees him collaborating with 12th Planet, Shockone and Dubloadz.
“Borg was the first track of the EP I started and the last one I finished,” says Virtual Riot, aka Valentin. “It was worth it, though. James (Funtcase) taught me something on this track… Your cymbals can never be loud enough.”
And, it seems, in the wild world of Funtcase, interview questions can never be silly enough. We caught the pair of them together and asked them to interview each other. Here’s how it went down. Read on for discussions on horses, cake and Taylor Swift….
Virtual Riot: How is the Neckbreaker Tour going?
Funtcase: We’re only on week two but it’s been sick so far though. All of us are playing different genres which is really good fun; I’m covering the dubstep, Habstrakt is covering the bass house side of things while Dirtyphonics deliver the drum & bass. Between us we cover so much ground, it’s a hell of a party.
V: Sounds sick!
F: If there was a fire in your house and all you could save from your possessions was your horse, a spade or a slice of cake what would you take?
V: Why would I want to save a spade?
UKF: More importantly, why have you got a horse in your house?
V: Ha! If there was a horse in my house and I had a fire, the horse would definitely be the first thing I’d save.
F: You’re too thoughtful and caring. I’d have taken the cake!
V: I’d have left it for you. If we lived together we’d get along just fine in this fire scenario. I’d save the horse, you eat the cake. Perfect.
F: If I get hungry after the cake can I eat the horse?
V: I guess so.
F: Thanks, you’re a true mate!
V: I always wanted to know if you weren’t doing music what would you be doing? What’s your back-up plan?
F: There isn’t one! I was just doing shitty jobs, earning money to spend on studio stuff. I guess if music hadn’t touched my world at all then I would have pursued football which is even harder to break into than music. I took it pretty seriously back in the day. Not in school – I was always the last to be picked for the teams! – but I played in Sunday and Saturday league teams for years.
UKF: Has Circus got its own five-aside or anything?
F: Ha! Can you even imagine Flux or Doctor P chasing a football. It’s a well known fact that Doctor P has never run anywhere in his life. Not even for a bus. Circus do sponsor a team though: Stevenage Borough Under 13s. Can I ask a question now?
F: What is your main focus when you’re making music?
V: That’s a hard one. It’s whatever stays in my head. Either a rhythmic pattern or a hooky melody or preferably both together. A melody where the tones are arranged in such an order it stays in your head, complete with a good rhythm is the main focus. Well, it should be… But then I get lost in 10 hours of sound design on one snare and totally lose focus on what I should be focusing on.
F: Same here! That and trying to get the mixdown right!
V: Do you have any mixdown techniques or sound design techniques that you wish you knew sooner?
F: I’d have taught myself to sidechain because I didn’t know that until two years ago. I’ve never been a guy who aims for a mixdown. I’ve always wanted my own mixdown sound so I’ve never referenced any tracks. As a result, all my mixdowns are different.
V: I’m totally the opposite. You’re doing each mixdown super independently while I’m sitting here with matching EQs and importing tonnes of other tracks to compare frequency spectrums. I’ve found that replicating sounds and mixdowns gives you your own sound because you can’t replicate something perfectly. It starts as your own twist from your inspiration and from there you try new stuff. So I refer to the other guys but then I add my own touch. Does that make sense?
F: Perfectly! There’s only so far you can go matching mixdowns. You can’t match something exactly so you have to finish it yourself. If it matches exactly then it is that actual tune!
V: Of course! So…. Are there any genres you’d secretly like to start making?
F: No secrets! I started a house thing for my own fun and to break out of any creative block. I gave tunes to three people and two of them wanted to sign them. I didn’t sign them though. I left them to rot on my computer instead.
V: If some big music industry guy came up to you and said ‘you can produce the next Taylor Swift album!’ would you do it? Not in terms of the big cash money but the style and creativity you could have?
F: I’d only do it for money, straight up. But I wouldn’t do it, not now anyway, because it would take the attention away from Funtcase which I’ve been developing so hard for years. Funtcase would disappear during that time and I’d have to start from scratch again. So sorry Taylor Swift, I’d love to make tracks for you but I can’t stop riding the Funtcase wave right now!
UKF: Would you produce Taylor Swift’s album Valentin?
V: Hells yeah! Absolutely. We’ve been doing stuff like that in university; band productions, pop productions and turning singer songwriter songs into whole tracks. I imagine that’s what producing Taylor Swift would be like but on a much much much bigger scale. I’ve been producing some Japanese pop songs actually. If any of them make it I’ll be posting it, it’s so far away from what you know me for but it’s great fun.
F: Okay last question from me… What are the three tracks in bass music you wish you made?
V: Oh wow. Let me think…. Meanwhile In The Future but KOAN Sound is perfect. Every element in the mix is perfect and so heavy.
Noisia – Stigma has been my favourite drum & bass track since I heard it. I double drop it with Sub Focus Follow The Light every set. I can’t get enough of it!
Finally, Skrillex – First Of The Year because it’s such a brostep anthem!
V: What are yours?
F: Oh shit, wasn’t expecting you to ask me this too! Okay…. My drum & bass tune would be Dillinja – Grimy. Imagine being responsible for such an insane track!
There are too many to choose from in dubstep-wise so it’s either When I Look At You by Emalkay, I Can’t Stop by Flux or Cockney Thug by Caspa & Rusko because they’re all such benchmark-setting incredible tunes. Okay hit me with the last question!
V: How are you finding your new studio and how much do I have to pay if I wanted to use it for a day?
F: I’m loving it and nothing… Just come over and visit when I’m back home from tour. I’ve been investing every penny I make from dubstep on this place, building it systematically for years and years. When a unit at a studio complex in my hometown became free I snapped it up. It’s my own proper space I can do anything in. The acoustics are all perfect and it’s a luxury. So yeah, come over and collaborate, I’ll bring the cake if you bring your horse….