So as a start to the summer season we headed on over to FOUND Festival in London. Due to FOUND being one of the few remaining underground festivals running in the UK after the electronic music scene has slowly commercialised, there is a special kind of energy there that is exclusive to the festival. Despite the rain pouring down towards the beginning of the day, the dancing continued until Lee Foss B2B with MK dropped Shadow Child's remix of Reverse Skydiving, giving the sun an excuse to flood onto the festival ground where it remained for the rest of the day. We were lucky enough to grab some backstage passes and we spent the day talking to the artists as they came off stage, snapping pictures of you guys and just generally enjoying that festival madness. To all of you who had pictures taken they are now up on our Facebook so feel free to go and tag yourselves.
One of the artist that we managed to catch up with was the incredible talent that is Shadow Child. We sat down with Mr Child and asked him a few questions about his journey to fame, and also fit in a few questions from you, our Daily Beaters. Here's the interview:
1. So firstly can I just start off by asking "why so many different names?" What happened to Dave Spoon?
Haha its only two. Well my mum calls me Simon and the Dave Spoon thing was kind of a joke before it blew up. For me though I wanted to do something new and I saw Dave Spoon as a name as a boundary for what I wanted to do, so I ditched Dave Spoon. I felt like doing something completely new and so with the name Shadow Child I didn't want to go around shouting about it, I just wanted people to find out for themselves .
2. From the start how did everything come about? When and why did you start producing?
I was very fortunate. I went to school years ago, shall we say. I'm 36 now so about 20 years ago I was in my final four years of school. I was lucky enough to be at a place with a amazing studio, fitted with lots of old gear, synths, a drum machine, and the music teacher there was just different. This was on the south coast as well, it wasn't as though I was somewhere somewhere like London or Birmingham where there is a big music culture. I didn't really realise how lucky I was when I left school, especially due to the fact that electronic music was really starting to grow in the early 90's. I didn't really realise how privileged I was at the time but now that I get asked about it quite a lot in interviews and similar, I start to think about it a lot more. I'm very fortunate.
3. Moving onto some music, can you tell us a little bit about your track 23?
Yeh, yeh, well for me it was a completely different kind of record. It was a Dave Spoon record, and for me it was never really finished. I never really had any love for it at the beginning and then I looked at adding in a different bass line to it, after leaving it for a while. The new bassline only took about 2 hours to add in actually. For me though, 23 as a track feels really under-produced. If I could I kind of wish I could go back and do a little more to it, but to be honest it works really well as it is, and people seem to like the track, so what more can I ask for haha.
4. Which producers do you feel influenced you the most during that 90's period?
Oh one of them is actually here today: MK! Yeh I just started getting friendly with him. I think he's only just got back to Djing again in the last year or something, I'm not actually sure, maybe a little longer than that. Its just amazing to have someone like that who I'm on the same circuit with. Another guy who influenced me would be Todd Terry. In the commercial world he's pretty unknown but he is a man of incredible talent and i'm sure he has had a lot of influence on many here today. I was also influenced a lot by Drum 'n' Bass, so all those metal head guys as well. That was when I started to leave Drum 'n' Bass alone really, so around 95 or something. I then started going back into house again, which was slightly different from what I had been into before. I'd been into a lot of rave and hardcore really, well that's what I had been making at school anyway. I had a number of head teachers actually ask me to go into assembly and play some of my tracks to the rest of the school. I love all that early RAM stuff so a lot of Andy C and similar.
5. We've see you with quite a few of the Dirtybird Records crew. How did that come about?
Just through the track String Thing to be honest. String thing was already a record that I'd done, and I just didn't know what it was gonna be. I got hold of Eats everything, and I just messaged him saying that I loved what he was doing, maybe he liked was I was doing. I sent him through the track and he said that he loved it. He was actually on tour with Claude von Stroke at the time, so they took it as a chance to pick up the track and show some people a new Shadow Child track.
Oh yeh definitely. I think its just because so many came in, and on a creative side I love it. I love reworking tracks. For me to remix a track though, I really have to love the track. When a remix comes in there is always a date that the remix has to be done, and unless you love the original then there is not much point in putting in the time and effort. There are also a number of remixes I've done where I'll be driving in the car and hear a track on my iPod which I really want to rework. That happened with the Alix Perez track. I heard it driving along and loved it, so I asked him for the track and said I'd do the best I can and that's how that remix came about. I've been so much on the road at the moment that it's hard for me to sit down and make as many original tracks as i'd like to, but along with one of my close friends I've now got a lot more use of a great studio and I'm planning to get back in there next week. I've already got a few tracks ready to go, but for me the way to draw a following is to keep the release of tracks at a steady momentum so that there is always a new song being released whether its a remix or an original track.
7. What can expect from you this summer? Where are you heading off to?
Well quite a few festivals, especially in the UK, which is good. I also have a few abroad. In Ibiza I'm doing quite a few Dirtybird nights, and then the others are just single gigs that are dotted around, some in the UK and some abroad. I love playing on stages like today, but I also love playing in small venues too , so there will be a few smaller venues announced closer to the time.
8. From a personal point of view, what's your opinion on the huge commercialisation of the EDM scene in the past year?
Its just what happens really. You can either ride with or try and stay out of the mainstream flow. Even the underground scene has had a few emerge close to that mainstream flow. We've had disclosure, Duke Dumont and a number of others. To be honest it's all about what an artist wants from a career. I prefer to stay out of that spotlight and stay true to the music that I enjoy, rather than commercialise it. What I am to do it just try and stay ahead of that mainstream flow so that I'm always one move in front of the commercial side to music. Hopefully I can continue to do that.
9. With the rising use of illegal drugs such as MDMA becoming common amoung the EDM scene, what's your opinion on such matters and do you see it as a good or bad thing?
Well to be honest I can only speak about what I've done in regard to that subject. I've never bothered with any of the rave drugs or anything hard. I used to smoke a bit of weed when I was younger and into my Drum 'n' Bass, but not any more. You know what, I get it, but I kind of see it as biting the hand that feeds you. You've gotta be careful about what you say about this subject and I'm not really being careful here haha. You've got to careful about voicing your opinion, because it is a strong parallel world with the music industry and its been involved in that scene since the early 60's. People used to go to bands such as the Beatles, and everyone was off their heads there. Its peoples personal choice and you've gotta leave it up to their decision. You can be clever with it, or you can be silly with it. I've seen people that have been silly with it and it ain't always pretty. I get a buzz from my music and I see people at my shows who are just into the music, and people like that just don't need to do any drugs. Its a matter of choice, and not one that I'd follow. Music is enough for me.
10. If you had to pick one song, and one place to play it in a gig, where would it be?
Wow. Hard question. I don't know. I've played quite a lot of my tracks in quite a few different places this year, but as a result I haven't had the chance to get really friendly with a venue. This is hard, but I am going to answer this. I guess I'll have to go back to 23, and I'd play it at The Rainbow in Birmingham. Its a great little venue and I've had some great times there.
Thanks very much for your time and maybe we'll grab a talk with you at Eastern Electrics.
So that concluded our day at FOUND. We had an incredible time and all the pictures that were taken you can find HERE. The next underground event we'll be heading to will be the HUGE Eastern Electrics. Moe interviews will follow. Stay tuned and enjoy the official after movie below. Enjoy!
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