Finishing of December's interviews we have none other then NRG madman,Riggsy.With releases on Madcow, Flashpoint, Twisted Traxx (just to name a few) and of course his own label, Scum and XTentsion, Riggsy has really made a name for himself in the hard house scene, not just as a producer but as a hard hitting DJ as well!
The Beat Ranch proudly presents, Riggsy
Thanks Riggsy for taking the time out to do this mix and interview. You have made quite the name for yourself with releases on Madcow, Flashpoint, Twisted Traxx, XTension, and soon to be The Beat Ranch Digital, what got you into the hard house scene and when did you start producing?
Ive always been into making music since I was a nipper. More band orientated stuff during school , but after my band split up in 1997 , I ended up buying some decks and learnt how to mix. Going out to places like Godskitchen and sundissential and seeing the djs playing to massive crowds week in week out, made me want to push myself further in the scene. I’d hammer promoters with tapes until they got that sick of me they let me play haha. I discovered after a while I needed to be making my own material so I could have more original sets, instead of just playing other peoples tracks. So ,I got myself a copy of music 2000 on the playstation 1 ( stop laughing :p ) and got well into the basics of how it all worked. My mate graham was just setting up a studio at this point and asked me if I wanted to jump on board as an engineer. That’s when I started to use real production programs like Cubase and Reason. After being there six months or so , the tracks started getting signed to labels like Passion Records and Twisted Traxx, so myself and Grahams son baz decided to start our own label , Tension Records. The Tension stuff was a lot more hard trancey than the stuff ive been doing in recent years, but the label went quite well for a while. Xtension Records was the next step up really, taking things a lot harder and faster,and ive stuck with that sound ever since.
Its our understanding that you run the labels Xtension , Nil By Mouth ( with Michael James ) & Scum Records (with Ugly Dave). what has been some of the challenges in running a vinyl label compared to a digital label, and what can we expect to hear from them in 2008.
Running a vinyl label has got a lot harder these last couple of years, as everything has gone digital now. They still sell but not as much as they did before. Digital is a lot more convenient for djs as it is cheaper , and you dont have to go record shopping. But also it isn’t as rewarding because they mp3s are sold so cheaply. There is some awesome tracks due for release in 2008 , some proper filthy stuff and some groovey aswell, so watch this space…..
You played guitar in the tracks "Exorcism" and "Thrash", is this something we can expect more of in the future?
Oh yeah defiantly. Its all about trying out new sounds and fusing styles together. The only way forward ;-)
Do you play any other instruments than guitar? its our understanding that you play in a band, is that true?
I am in a band at the moment called “A Beautiful Retribution” on guitar and vocals. I also play Drums , Bass , Keys , Trumpet and bit of Trombone , and im a dab hand with a triangle!!
What style does your band play?
METAL!!!! Ive been into metal since I was about 11. I had about a 5 year break from it doing my production and djing , but now im back in full swing with the writing and playing again. Most of the stuff is really heavy but there is a few melodic sections here and there. Imagine a mix between metallica , slipknot , as I lay dying , and pantera , and it’s a bit like that lol.Next year we plan to get in the studio and record and E.P and start playing some gigs!The band consists of : Myself on Vocals and Guitar , Jimm on Guitar , Nick on Drums and Daz on Bass. For all you metal lovers out there , check out the demos on our myspace page and let us know what you think
You started you career playing trance. What progressed your sound into the hard Nrg sound we here today?
It was at Godskitchen where I heard Tony De Vit ( RIP ) – Are You All ready, for the first time. Id never heard any thing like it before and was converted straight away. The Monday after , I went record shopping and bought all the hardhouse I could find.
You've also produced and engineered House, Trance, Nrg and every other genre under the sun. Is it safe to say that you love all music ?
Pretty much yeh,as long as its not RnB or any of that sorta rubbish. As long as its well produced and cleverly structured, ill give it a bash
How do you go about creating a track? Do you have set rules, or do you just go nuts and see what comes out?
I try not to stick to too many rules now if I can. I keep certain elements the same in my tracks , but also experiment as much as possible. Being in studio everyday, id get stupidly bored just doing the same thing over and over, so I like to keep it as interesting as I can.
Can you give us a run down of your studio?
Rite , how long have you got haha. My main tools are my mackie 32.4 desk , behringer truth b2031 moniters ( I dont care what any one says about behringer , these things THUMP!! )nord rack 2 , midiman controller keyboard , shure sm58 mics , my pc ( dual core , 2 gig ram , 600g harddrive , maudio delta 1010lt sound card , kitted out with cubase sx 3 and all the trimmings , all linked up to my 26inch widescreen moniter :-) various compressers , reverb and delay fx units,roland td3 electric drumkit , marshall avt 150 half stack amplifier , boss ME50 fx unit , zoom G21.u fx unit and my guitars – Black Jackson Rhodes , Aria Pro 2 , Flying V , Encore Bass and my most priceless one of all , Dimebag Darrell ( RIP ) Signature Dean ML with lightening bolt artwork J That’s about it I think..
Who has been your favorite dj/artist to work with?
Out of everyone ive worked with , id say the people I work best with are Alex Calver , Michael James , Dynamic Intervention , Frank Farrell and Steve NRG. Ive been producing with those boys since the dinosaurs ruled the planet,and I dont think ive been unhappy with how any of the tracks have turned out. Our ideas all seem to click into place on everything we work on , and we all have similar ways or thinking when it comes to writing music.
Who would like to work with in the future?
Id like to work with Andy farley and Paul Glazby the most . ive always been into their sounds and think it would be awesome to get our ideas together and make a monster.
What producers/djs have really impressed you in 2007?
On the production side –Frank Farrell , Kye Shand , Alex Calver , Dave Owens , Dom Sweeten , Amber D ,Tinrib and Ultra
Dj wise – Carl Cox , Andy Farley ,Dion (fellow resident at E:volve) Dave the Elf , Steve NRG , DJ FKM , LT1 , Strange Dave , Livewire , Lucy Fur , Karl Davies ,Miniminx , Breakfast Brothers , Si Griffiths , Kirsty Lee James , Shenton , Justin Bourne , P.A.S , and all the other Shine , E:volve , B2T and Cyberkitten residents and regulars
How was Ibiza this past summer?
Proper AMAZING!!! Apart from being stupidly ill for 4 days of it , definatly the best experience of my life. The place is crazy! It was mine and the mrs’s first time over there this year , and we smashed the place silly for 2 weeks. Im defiantly going every year from now on. Space is by far the best club ive ever seen. Carl cox is a absolute legend , one of the best sets ive ever heard , ever!! All 5 hours of it haha
What have you been doing to prepare yourself for coming to Toronto in the typically coldest, snowiest, shittiest month on the calendar?
Theres plenty of new productions to be unleashing while im there. Really looking forward to it. It will be great to be able to catch up with a few friends like Tim ( dj opel ) and Rodi Stlye while im there, and to drag the beat ranch crew out for a party haha
Whats the best joke you've heard from the old man at the Liquor store recently?
Riggsy , You’re tab needs paying off !!
Any last words?
Watch out for flying cows. METAL!!!!!
Scott Fo Shaw
JP & Jukesy