Three Things You Didn’t Know About: Variations


Belly-busting bass from the Dub Police quarters… Variations return with another chop-walloping four-track EP this month. We copped the title track:


With the remaining EP exploring their broad sound in multifarious directions – from the Empire-esque Leaving The Lights to the filthy, snub-nosed bass razors of Have Some Death – the EP is yet another notch in the UK duo’s badman bedpost. It also features Thom (the bearded one) on vocals and develops a cool imaginary character plot riff they started on their last EP.

Intrigued? Read on to find out how they found the MC Travis Kaye, how these weird characters have come about and how Thom and Nick reckon new producers uploading unmastered, unfinished clips online could potentially be ruining the dubstep scene.

Get to know…  

They found Travis Kaye on a shop counter

Thom: “We found Travis via a demo CD. I went to buy an old album from HMV that I’d played to death and needed to replace – Deftones – Self Titled if you’re interested – and on the counter there was a stack of free demos that HMV had let Travis leave there. I picked one up, we checked it out in the studio and it was wicked.” 

Nick: “We’d tried to work a few vocalists before but it hadn’t really worked out. We called him up, he came down and we all clicked. It was great to discover we’ve got such an awesome talent on our doorstep. He’s a proper hip-hop MC and really understood the vibe we were trying to do. The mistakes we’ve made in the past is that we’d get MCs who were too into the rave hype and less into the emotion and lyrics. Travis is a real artist and it’s amazing to work with him.”

They make up weird characters for their releases

Thom: “So it started with the first EP; Thanks For Coming. The artwork had these mad characters on it and we thought it would be cool to develop these and create more. So on our last EP – Be Seeing You – we created Lord Subbington, a posh subwoofer guy.”


Nick: “We sent a brief description of who Lord Subbington might be to Arezz. He’s such a talented guy. He smashed it. So for this release we’ve Diesel Boi who’s this mad character with a really deep voice.”

Thom: “The chopped up vocal on Diesel Boi is me! We’d written the tune and it needed a vocal so I just jumped on the mic. I had the name Diesel Boi in my head and it just came together.”

They aren’t ashamed to say their early, pre-Dub Police work was really really bad…

Nick: “When we started out many years ago we were so keen to get out there that we started our own digital label and a basic distribution platform called Mutual Party Digital. It was named after a party we’d been running for years here called Mutual Party. It was a few years before Soundcloud, so we built our own. But our tunes were massively rushed. They were shit!”

Thom: “When we first signed to Dub Police we went back and listened to those tunes and they’re embarrassing. It taught us to learn our craft and not throw any old crap out there. This is our point because we’re seeing it all the time with new producers. They’re putting work in progress up or clips and they’re all really badly done. It’s much more important getting it done and getting it finished and making sure it’s as good as it could be rather than shoving it up far too early on Soundcloud.

Nick: “All these clips and works in progress just serve to dilute the dubstep scene as a whole. We’re not hearing finished projects enough!”

Variations – Big Belly EP is out monday on Dub Police: Buy Now

Image credit: James Williams