Alex Metric Tells about his “Bat Cave” and More
Alex Metric is not just another Brit with some software and fancy equipment. His ability to create songs that really connect with the listener is something that many producers aren’t able to do. Take his single with Jacques Lu Cont, ‘Safe With You’ for example. It’s an incredibly complex track for how simple it may sound at first play, and Metric’s Nu Disco and French Electro-type vibes make his tracks a blast to listen to, and you’ll want them on repeat. His latest EP, ‘Hope’, featuring names like funky LA duo Oliver is no exception.
This talented producer (born Alex Drury) has had his fair share of time on the turntables over the years, and his releases continue to remind us that there is a lot of amazing sound that we can keep pulling from traditional house music’s glory days decades ago (take the EP above, for example). He also boasts an arsenal of pop/electro remixes and bootlegs of some of music’s most well-known artists including Miike Snow, Empire of the Sun, Beastie Boys, Ellie Goulding and many more. His latest tour was with none other than Mr. HARD, Mr. Gary Richards, aka Destructo for the UK to LA Tour a few months ago. We were lucky enough to catch Alex in action going B2B with Richards at the Seattle leg of the tour, and sat down to chat prior to his set.
OTB: If you had to put your own music into a genre, what would it be?
AM: Actually, there’s a magazine that I used to read when I was a teenager growing up in England called Jockey Slut magazine, and their tagline was “Disco pogo for punks in pumps.” When I did a mix recently, I used that as the description for the mix, because my music is such a mish-mash of different things. I love disco shit, I love house, I love techno, I love indie I love electro…for me, I hate saying that I’m one of those things. My tracks speak for themselves. So, “disco pogo for punks in pumps” is what I describe my music as.
OTB: How did you and Destructo get involved?
AM: We first met when he first set me to play at HARD; when I released ‘Rave Weapon’ he loved the track and as soon as he heard it, I got the call to see if I wanted to do HARD. We first met there, and since that one two years ago, I’ve done loads of events with him; we’ve become friends and have lots of mutual friends in LA. I’ve just been part of the HARD crew ever since.
OTB: What has been your most memorable show?
AM: God, there’s been a few great ones. I think, one of my most memorable shows ever was Exit Festival in Serbia; I did it like 3 of 4 years ago. It always stands out as one of those gigs that I just couldn’t believe what was in front of me. It’s in an old fortress in Serbia. The dance stage is in the moat, so you’ve got the castle up behind you and you’re playing down in the moat and the crowd goes all the way up in this amphitheater and with 20,000 people it was fucking amazing. I’ll always remember that. More recently, anytime I play [the club] XOYO London it’s always an amazing gig. Any of those shows, I really love.
OTB: You say that a few of your records and mixes are produced from “The Bat Cave”…tell us what The Bat Cave is like.
AM: *laughs* It’s a cave of dusty synths, lost of wires everywhere and very loud speakers. It’s where I spend 90% of my time; it’s kind of a bit chaotic in The Bat Cave. It’s not one of those studios that you walk in and everything is clean and in its place and everything’s super pristine…I just go there to be creative. It’s a mess in there but I love it; it’s my space. Someone once said to me “Never trust someone with a clean studio” so I’ve adhered to that ever since I heard it. I actually need a bigger studio though…I’ve got too much gear to fit in it but I’m not going to move just yet.
OTB: Where would you move?
AM: LA. It’s formulating a plan as we speak to do that but I think I’d still keep The Bat Cave in London and just relocate for a few months.
OTB: Anyone who’s across the pond will usually relocate to LA.
AM: Yeah and I’ve been saying it for years and years…in like 2007 when I was working on an album for an artist. It was one of my first times visiting America and I just loved living there; creatively it was amazing. Since then I’ve always bored my friends by saving “I’m going to move to LA” and I’ve just never gotten around to it. Now I’m getting to an age where I’m like “When am I going to sort my shit out and do it”, and now feels like a good time for me now, so I’m formulating a plan at the moment.
OTB: You had your collab with Jacques Lu Cont, ‘Safe with You’. Who would be your dream to collaborate with, and if you really want to get creative you can choose living or dead.
AM: In terms of producers, there are not a lot that I dream of working with anymore. As a teenager, Jacques Lu Cont for me was one; that was one of the main goals for my career. Now that I’ve done that, sure there are producers that I’d like to do tracks and work with and will work with, but there’s nobody that I’m actually like, “fucking hell, I have to work with this guy”. More now, it’d be like vocalists or some other artists…someone who can bring something different to the table.
OTB: So who’d be at the top of that list?
AM: Bands I used to like as a kid, like Noel Gallagher would be amazing…or Richard Ashcroft from the Verve. Guys like that who are just different from my world and played such an important part in my musical upbringing. Of course working with Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk, obviously that would be amazing but I think the chances of that happening are a little slim. Also, Andrew Wyatt from Miike Snow is pretty high up there on who I want to work with at the moment…I’d love to do a track with him, I told him that. Hopefully something will come from that, he’s amazing.
OTB: What is the OWSLA After Dark series all about and what did you like best about doing that set?
AM: What’s it all about? I have no idea!
OTB: Did they want you to get deep and funky?
AM: Presumably you would think so, but that mix just really represents what I like playing at the moment in a club scenario. It’s a good representation of where my head’s at. I didn’t tailor it to be an off-the-dock mix; those are the records I like at the moment worked into an hour-long mix, rather than being a certain way.
OTB: What ways is this tour different from your last one with Zedd and Oliver?
AM: Massively different. Both [Zedd and Destructo] have been amazing for different reasons, but the Zedd tour was so intense. We did like 38 shows in 7 weeks on tour buses, doing like 2 to 5 thousand capacity venues every night. A lot of production…it was a whole different ball game. This is exciting because I’ve toured America a lot before, but this is the first one where it’s a headline tour that’s branded as something that’s all on Gary and I to do together. Every show has been sold out, the response has been amazing and it has a lot to do with exactly what we want to do and we have fun. Both tours have been amazing, but completely different.
OTB: Ok, last question…the fun one. When you work with Gary, do you like working with him as Gary Richards or Destructo better?
AM: *laughs* They’re all one in the same! Well…maybe not. In the evening, he’s Destructo when we’re playing in clubs and during the day he’s constantly on the phone, organizing shit, getting deals done, booking people, arranging festivals…there’s always something going on. The guy works 24/7, you’ve got to give him credit for how hard he works. Now he’s Destructo, when we’re getting drunk in the club. Props to Gary, he works like a madman and that’s why his events are so awesome.
Want even more Alex Metric? Be sure to catch him this summer at HARD Summer in LA!
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