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:: Spotlight :: Interview with Evil Nine

By: Nina Bertok

If recording their 2005 debut album ‘You Can Be Special Too’ taught Evil Nine anything, it was the importance of being ruthless when it comes to the final cut. As the producer/DJ duo’s Tom Beaufoy explained, when it comes to your sophomore record sometimes it’s better to start again from scratch rather than beat your head against a brick wall.
… Oh, and no, there aren’t nine of them.

“You have to be ruthless. I mean, if it’s not working then get rid of it, even if you spend a week on it. Sometimes it’s better to start again as opposed to trying to force something to work. Also, when recording vocals, we’ve learned it’s good to just record everything – even the rehearsals – because sometimes people do their best stuff when the pressure’s not on. I’m sure we’ve learned some other stuff but probably forgot it again.”

One thing that fans of electro-dance won’t be forgetting anytime soon is the synth-driven, punky, hip-hop dance explosion that is the Brighton boys’ second album ‘They Live!’. A mixed bag, no doubt.

“We would have been so bored if we hadn’t shaken things up a bit and tried something different,” Pat Pardy claimed. “If we’d made a similar album as the first it probably would have also sounded dated. The first album was very much a reaction to the lack of good dance music and albums out there but there is so much good s**t around these days. We’re loving the energy, musicality and creativity of dance music at the moment and we wanted to include it in our influences without just copying what’s hot right now.”

Beaufoy adds that it is an exceptionally exciting time for the UK electronic music scene in particular. “The grime scene is very healthy with some amazing young MCs and producers. Erol Alkan is involved in some great new projects. Shadow Dancer is doing good s**t as is Boy 8 Bit, Fake Blood and our lad Mumdance. Also the Filthy Dukes are about to bring out an album that is something special. Yeah, there’s quite a bit to get hotted up about!”

Speaking of ‘hot’ things, Pardy lists an array of Australian dance maestros among those he’s kept an eye on.
“We’re big fans of Midnight Juggernauts, The Presets and we’re very good friends with the Infusion boys. Though, Frank [Xavier] does look like a chick and a hot one at that. There’s probably loads of others. From the general dance scene we love Digitalism, Mr Oizo, Sebastian, Tiga, Zombie Nation and producers that are pushing s**t forward in their own special way. As for everything else, well, it ranges from ‘70s psych like The Zombies, Love, old school hip-hop like Run DMC, post-punk like Wire and The Cure, and all through to weird folk, country music and death metal.”

You heard it right: death metal.

“Both of us played bass in rock bands when we were younger,” Pardy explains. “But we also had a keen interest in electronic music and experimentation. I’d been producing on my own for about six years on and off with no particular direction and Tom was keen to start. I moved to Brighton where Tom was at university and we were introduced to each other by some old friends of mine. We talked about maybe writing some music together for a long time but didn’t really sort it out for a while.”

Once they did, however, Pardy and Beaufoy never looked back, quickly emerging on the UK dance scene as one of the most unique duos to come out in a long time. Beaufoy stated it’s all about the unity.

“We pretty much work together all the time, although we do occasionally have a long night in the studio alone. Some pretty crazy s**t can come from being locked in a small room on your own until the early hours and it can give you freedom to explore some of the ideas the other might not be so keen on. We find it strange when you get duos or whatever that never cross paths in the studio, it’s very much our music and we enjoy making it together. I would imagine we would be pulling against each other a bit if we worked separately. One of us would probably spend all night working on something to only have the other come in the next day and hate it.”

Both Beaufoy and Pardy agreed on the must-haves of a killer track: “Individuality, a memorable hook and great beats,”

Beaufoy said, “For us it comes from having a lot of different influences and trying to include them in our music wherever we can. We don’t ever think, ‘let’s do a house track’ or ‘let’s write a mellow track’ or ‘let’s do a hip-hop track’ or ‘let’s do a rock track’. We just get in the studio and f**k about. We just get a feel going whether it’s fast, slow, mellow, rocky, synthy or whatever and see where it takes us. It’s all very organic. We are also not keen on writing albums that are just the same track over and over like a lot of dance acts do. It makes for a much more dynamic listening experience when things are a little more mixed up.”

They Live is out now through Marine Parade/Inertia

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