Amid the barrage of disheartening news and daily updates of pandemic chaos, one thing is absolutely certain: The drum and bass community comprises a strong ratio of exceptional human beings among its fans and artists.
The Prototypes Nick White and Chris Garvey are two of those exceptional individuals. Everyone who tuned into their 24 hour D&BTV Locked In stream and supported them two weeks ago is too.
The show, which Nick and Chris are still buzzing from now, was launched when the UK needed it the most and the country’s health service seemed pushed to its absolute limits. Put together and organized over the course of two weeks, it happened April 17, just months ahead of their anticipated second album Ten Thousand Feet & Rising and raised almost £14,000 for the NHS.
Putting their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing on the line for an indubitably necessary cause, the mix marathon showed what the drum & bass community is truly made of; how we can come together, how supportive and generous the scene is… And how much people seem to love Dillinja’s Fast Car.
With medical staff working tirelessly on the front lines across the world to combat this deadly virus, it’s increasingly important that they feel appreciated and cared for. The Prototypes and everyone who was involved in the stream did just that. Two weeks later, the dust settled but our lockdowns still very much in full effect, we caught up with Nick and Chris to see how the fundraising went from their perspective and how they feel about their incredible achievement…
Wow… 24 hours straight. How much money overall was raised over this period of time?
Nick: The final total was £11,600 raised all together at 7PM. It’s gone up quite a bit since then, it’s currently over £13,946 including t-shirt sales, which is incredible.
That’s insane. Tell us about the process. How long did it take you guys to sort through 24 hours worth of tunes?
Chris: I’ve never been under so much stress in my entire life. The amount of tunes was insane.
Nick: We originally set the date to be April 10. Thank god we didn’t do it on that date but we ended up switching it around because we would’ve been seriously off the mark. It was a case of us hitting up all the record labels and artists that we wanted to represent and we asked them for back catalogues. It was a case of us having so much music that we would just flick through and be like ‘yep that works.’ It was a solid 14 hours a day.
Chris: 14 hours a day for a couple of weeks. Personally it was the first time I’d used the Rekordbox Cues or Hot Cues, we normally make hard edits of intros instead of relying on software, for me it is one less worry of something to go wrong, but in this case and with the amount of tunes it made sense to go with it, but as we got closer to the event, it started to really stress me out because I began to think ‘man, I’ve never even used hot cues before or played a lot of these tunes out for 10+ years and we are now going in for 24 hours LIVE to the world.’
The first few sets were what got me into D&B and what I was listening to when I was going out. One of the sets was from when I was playing at residencies for Shogun Audio in Brighton and London back in the day. I loved the liquid and ‘sun vibes’ set really helped break it up for me and the two at the end was bringing it all together. Especially the last one, it was a current day set with the influences we had just been playing from the late 90s and up thrown in.
A lot of people went a bit crazy requesting Fast Car in the chat. Did you ever get round to playing it? I can’t remember you playing it…
Chris: Unfortunately not, no. It wasn’t on my sticks and my laptop was being used to broadcast the stream.
Nick: I have the tune on vinyl, when Chris was on I went and downloaded it. But because I was probably so tired, I may not have downloaded it properly. I was scrolling and scrolling and scrolling but couldn’t find it anywhere. We tried but at that moment it wasn’t meant to be.
Was there any moment in which you felt you wouldn’t be able to finish off?
Nick: Obviously we’ve played a lot of gigs but to DJ like we DJ when we normally play out was just something that was an impossibility, also we haven’t heard a lot of these tunes in a long time and a large amount of people listening may not have ever heard them so we thought, why rush? Let the music play and select as we go. While we weren’t playing one of us would be editing tunes or on social media in the other room. We really underestimated how physically demanding it would be on our bodies.
Chris: By the end my back and knees were totally gone. I could hardly stand. But when that mix was in I still had to rave behind the decks. I felt like an old man with a walking stick by the end and couldn’t straighten my back. The last few tunes, I was so tired. I didn’t know what I was doing anymore but felt so happy we had done it and enjoyed it and the chat room was going MENTAL and it felt like real team work.
Nick: Without a doubt, it was the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do, but also the best thing we’ve ever done.
Beautiful. What’s new for The Prototypes / Get Hype after this?
Nick: The album is finished now and set to release at the end of July. We have another few singles in front of it.
What will you say to people that may be feeling down/depressed or uncreative during a time like this?
Nick: I think we’ve both felt like that as well. We’re in the same boat. I think what’s helped us is to just try and keep working on projects. Things will go back to normal. You don’t wanna get stuck in a cycle. Keep looking forward. Keep your mind occupied with something positive and we will get out of this.
Chris: I’d agree. Especially when this all started kicking off, I was in Canada. I’ve never felt anxiety like that before. I’d just seen my 90 year old uncle the day before they said not to see anyone over 50 or 60, he is totally fine thankfully, but that worry was insane. I’d been to raves, seen so many people, and it’s always a pleasure to do that, but everyone starts getting paranoid and the more we were traveling the more apparent it became we had to go home.
When this all kicked off it was unsettling, and I found accepting a new reality is key to your mental health. Before I did that, my head was a complete mess that was just screaming all the time, so much going on. Just chill, take a step back. Is this actually happening? Or is this your head running away with itself? How many coffees have I had today? Or beers? Coffee and alcohol is a recipe for anxiety in my experience day-to-day. Take a break sometimes and remember everything is fine, also check out an app called Headspace if you haven’t already.
Anything else to add right now?
Nick: Massive thank you to everyone who stayed with us for the 24 hours, and everyone who donated. Thank you if you watched for one tune or through the whole thing, if you donated a pound or a large amount, this wouldn’t have been possible without you guys. This wouldn’t have been possible without the love for the NHS.