Disciple’s Round Table continues to gain favour and develop its own momentum and character since its inception just two years ago. Headed by 12th Planet, the label has been home to some of dubstep’s best and brightest up-and-comers, including recent signees Samplifire, MVRDA, and Infekt. After the three of them played b2b2b at the iconic EDC Las Vegas earlier this year, the European producers have since teamed up for a full US Disciple Round Table tour. Right now they’re neck-deep into phase one and still have many dates left to go. It’s high time we sat down with these three murky musketeers about their tour, classical music, pillow fights, vegetables and the future of dubstep…
So how did this all come about?
Samplifire: The boys Tommy (MVRDA) and Christian (INFEKT) were already touring the USA and have been members of Disciple for more than a year. I joined a few months ago and we played at EDC together B2B2B. It was an insane experience, especially being my US Debut! Then the Disciple Round Table team naturally decided to keep going forward and work on a tour. This year went by so quickly, all the experiences have been inspiring… I’m so motivated to get the project further and greater than ever!
INFEKT: Me and Tommy did the Triple Threat tour last year and then since Samy got his US visa he was the perfect addition to form the Round Table tour. We played EDC Las Vegas together and I think it was clear that our styles would work really well when placed on the same line-ups!
Were you close before setting off on tour together?
Samplifire: I’ve played B2B with MVRDA at his first show ever in Amsterdam for Ignition. We played on the second stage to 50-100 people, insane energy! A few weeks later we were playing Animalz in Paris B2B2B with Oolacile. That was a legendary experience and a very important moment in my career. It was my first time playing to a huge crowd of 5000 people! We’ve also worked on different collaborations under different aliases (Toog N Goot) during the last few years. I didn’t personally know Infekt before the EDC show, however I’ve always been impressed by his unique take on dubstep and the way he can play with flows in his tracks. It’s insane! Stoked to get to know him more during the tour.
MVRDA: I was close with both Chris and Samy before this tour! Me and Samy used to work together a lot back in Europe, we’d write a lot of music and do a lot of B2B sets together. My first ever set was with Samy actually haha! I knew Chris in Europe but we were never too close, ever since I’ve toured in the states me and him have become great pals. Happy to call them all brothers of mine.
Of the three of you, who’s the first to fall asleep after a show and what’s the penalty?
Samplifire: On the first shows I think Christian (Infekt) but it’s because he’s had earlier flights too. Last weekend shows’ flights were so early we barely slept anyway aha! No penalty, it’s all love in riddim.
MVRDA: Oh, thats a no brainer, Chris! There is definitely no penalty though as there is no human that is on top with their shit as much as him!
INFEKT: Admittedly probably me. I try to take sleep seriously, because I feel like it has a big impact on my mood. So far, the boys have been going to sleep at a reasonable time too, I think we’re all making a good effort to be wide awake and ready for every one of the tour stops!
Have you been to the US before? Where are you most looking forward to playing?
Samplifire: It’s the first tour for me. I’m hyped to get to meet everyone, play the best sets I can every show, just make the most of it you know! Each city has its own vibe and unique venues so far.
MVRDA: Well before I did my first US tour last year in June, I actually never stepped foot in America! I moved to Hollywood officially at the beginning of the year (2019). Hmmm… I’d say Denver. They always go hard!
INFEKT: I’m really excited to come back to all the dubstep “hubs”, but also for surprises like recently in Columbus, Ohio where we had a show at an incredibly interesting venue, Otherworld.
And what kinds of things do you hope to be doing on your days off?
Samplifire: Explore, get to know the cities, taste the beer they have, make some silly content, ride some Birds scooter, get my girlfriend here too to go on tour with me for a couple weeks…
MVRDA: Well I’d love to have my lady come to a few of the tour stops, so she can experience the tour life! Oh and to also explore each state and catch a lot of pokémon.
INFEKT: I’m hoping to show my wife some cities while I’m on tour. Spending time with her, Tommy and Samy exploring new places is really exciting. I also really love coffee and I try to go to some local coffee roasters.
Have you got any weird pre-show rituals or traditions?
Samplifire: Take a piss! I get nervous like 10 minutes before any show no matter what, that’s my way to de-stress haha.
MVRDA: I take my USB out and I caress him too show that I love him but if he fucks with me and corrupts during my set, he is gonna get his ass beat! I also often like to drink a beer to help kill off the nerves!
INFEKT: I think most people know that I like to eat a lot of fruit to stay energized. One time I caught Tommy eating some raw broccoli and spinach to prepare for the show. Weird.
Hailing from three different European nations, what has it been like playing at venues in the States? What have been the most obvious differences?
INFEKT: I think the biggest difference is not so much the venues, but the crowds! It’s interesting to see from country to country and even city to city how every crowd enjoys a slightly different style of dubstep, some enjoy my deep sections more, some are really all about the heavy stuff, so I try to adjust my set accordingly.
Samplifire: Yeah like Infekt says, you might be surprised by how different the crowds are state to state, venue to venue. I like to follow my style I usually prefer guiding the crowd into my world than following their own taste too much. But compromise is often best. I want to build an even more personal set though; hopefully I get the time to that while on tour, it’s a LOT of work, but I feel like it’s the next move!
MVRDA: Every one of us will say the same thing and say it’s more the crowds! We’ve noticed in the states, there are different crowds for different styles so I tend to try and change my set accordingly! Also In Europe, I feel everyone just wants heavy bass no matter what it is, haha! I have noticed the venues in the states can often be small bars or not the standard looking venue which can definitely bring a different vibe!
You all have some massive collaborations on the new Alliance album. If war broke out at Disciple HQ, who would you want as an ally and why?
Samplifire: French gang! The Dirtyphonics!
MVRDA: If anyone, I’d pick the Modestep badboys! We English stick together! Oh and Chris won’t even pick anyone as an ally, he’ll find the nearest vegetable farm to hide in!
INFEKT: That’s really tough to answer, because they’re all family! That’s like making me choose between spinach and broccoli!
just out of the three of you, who would win in a fight?
Samplifire: We had a pillow fight the other day, I lost so I guess not me… But lowkey I’d fight them all two to one easy haha.
MVRDA: I’ll deck ‘em both, not even a question my G!
INFEKT: I’ve been working out on a regular basis, so don’t even try!! Actually probably Samy.
Samplifire, you signed to Round Table with your Infection EP with them; was the name inspired in any way by someone in the room?
Samplifire: No sorry! The infection EP is named after the track called Infection which is a name from a sample saying ‘Infected’ every 8 bars throughout the whole song aha.
MVRDA: The EP is too sick!
Infekt, you have an EP out soon. Can you tell us anything about that?
INFEKT: Being surrounded by amazing artists all the time, I’ve been feeling super inspired to take my sound to a new direction while still in a lot of ways staying true to my own sound. I hope everyone will enjoy the change and be open to it! So far I’ve gotten some amazing feedback on these tracks and I’m personally really proud of how much I’ve learned since the last release.
Samplifire: It’s amazing, yo.
MVRDA: It’s next level business!
We’ve heard rumours of new MVRDA on the way, too. Whose EP slaps the hardest?
MVRDA: Rumours are correct, I’m super self-critical about what I release now and it’s actually taken me way too long to write something that I’m really happy with. But I’d say this new EP is almost ready and has a new flavour to it! Samplifire and INFEKT’s EP’s are definitely slapping hard though!
INFEKT: Mvrda is an absolute beast! I wouldn’t say there’s one EP that slaps the hardest, since we all have our own flavours of dubstep that we’ve worked on and improved over the years. I’m just excited to see all of us pushing our own sound further and growing!
How has life changed since working with Disciple?
MVRDA: Life has changed dramatically! I’m living a totally new life. Working with Disciple has given me the opportunity to work in the States and I’m currently living out here pursuing the dream! Also getting to work with some amazing artists on Disciple such as Barely Alive and Modestep! Definitely getting opportunities that I thought I’d never get so I thank the Disciple team for turning my hobby into a career! Saying that, I’d like to mention that this new life comes with some downsides that doesn’t involve Disciple. At this point I am very homesick, I’m missing my family and friends back in England. America is great but England will always be home to me and, in the future, I’ll most likely move back there. Also the pressure to produce dubstep has increased as it’s now a ‘job’ and I’m sure this is an issue that will be resolved with time!
Samplifire: What Chris said basically! Getting my visa was such a relief and I feel lucky to be able to live from my passion, play shows all over the country, release music every now and then, doing tutoring too… I didn’t know I could get this busy with music and I love it.
INFEKT: I can’t stress it enough how good it feels to be part of a group of people that are all active and buzzing to make music and improve their game day by day!
Where do you see the future of dubstep?
Samplifire: Personally I think dubstep will rise from individualities, some artists and friends are already paving the way to a new era of next gen dubstep infused with many other influences. I think the future is in the vision of the artists so it’s impossible to say where it’s going. It’s going everywhere at the same time, that’s why I find it exciting!
INFEKT: I think we’re slowly seeing a shift towards deeper Dubstep again and I absolutely love that! Eerie atmospheres, heavy sub-bass and reverberated percussion make for a really amazing vibe.
MVRDA: Before I get in the future, I do happen to think in the present day, dubstep is not as innovative as it once was! Most of the time I cannot tell the difference between most tracks I hear being released. I get it though, the amount of dubstep tracks that have been released in total is countless and it’s so hard to write something that’s totally your own. This is part of the reason I am very self-critical because being unique in your sound is key, especially for this genre anyway. Obviously there are a select few artists that do change it up, Space Laces for example!
So where do I see the future of dubstep? I don’t quite know. If people start to look past the brand and actually dig deep to find the gold talented artists that deserve the support, it could potentially have a great future! But If they continue to support the producers that are in it for a paycheck with subpar music rather than the producers that treat it as an artform, then it’ll for sure go down hill. Apologies for the rant, many will probably disagree but this is what I feel is starting to happen! I hate to speak negatively, but it’s important to me!
I totally hear you! So finally, what are your ultimate guilty pleasure tunes to listen to on tour?
Samplifire: It’s not a guilty pleasure, but to keep my mind focused and refreshed I listen to a LOT of classical pieces, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Nils Frahm, Satie. A bit of everything that put me in my zone you know, I miss playing the piano…
MVRDA: Not exactly a guilty pleasure but I listen to a lot IDM and stuff that hits the heart! Lorn for example, All of his music gives different vibes and helps me get through a lot. Makes me think hard about life and I often just stick him on during a flight. In case you want to have a look for yourself, Perfekt Dark, I Am A Dagger, There Is Still Time and Acid Rain are some of my favourites. It’s not for everyone but it’s beautiful to me.
INFEKT: Ohhhh that’s a good question. Most of the time I listen to German audiobooks that Virtual Riot recommended to me and especially on planes I fall asleep to them all the time and then spend ages to try to find the place in the book where I fell asleep.
Thanks so much for your time guys, hope you have a wicked time on the rest of the tour!
All: Thank you UKF, was an honour to do this!