Interview with ROBBIE LONG
1. How do you see 2006 looking for hardcore?
Great! I predict that 2006 will be the biggest year Hardcore has had for a quite some time. The major promoters will continue to pack out the Raves, the major record companies will continue to sell shed loads of compilations and more majors will dabble in the Hardcore market. A few new Hardcore labels will appear expanding both the vinyl and mp3 market and hopefully UK Hardcores popularity will start to grow globally as well, so yeah - 2006 is set to be huge.
2. Do you feel the scene's heading in the right direction at the moment?
I don't think the scene has been heading in the right direction for years! So you are probably asking the wrong person! I do however like the direction TNC is heading at the moment. We have cut back on the ĎDoom-Coreí because it really didnít sell and pressing vinyl is not cheap.
I have always been a bit of a Ďcheeserí and the Rave gear that we have been writing is starting to come into itís own. Itís taken a while, but I believe that TNC has developed itís own sound / style in the spectrum of Hardcore.
3. With vinyl sales decreasing and the popularity of online downloads increasing, would you be sad to see vinyl's demise?
I will be sad to see the inevitable demise of vinyl. But I will fight it to the bitter end!
From a fun and 'hands on' point of view, you canít beat vinyl. I have heard the view points over the years on this debate and there are pros and cons for using CD's, or whatever format the future holds.
I used to enjoy going into London cutting dubplates. The DJ's would meet up and usually cut together in the same session. It was great to talk to your peers outside of a rave. We all used to swap tracks too. If someone had a track I liked (always been a fussy git with Hardcore!!) and they liked a track I had, we would trade. With CD's people free load, in my opinion. Peolpe want something for nothing! 'Can I have a CD' , I'm like OK, give me a track of yours that I like!!! Back in the day I knew that if I didn't have tracks to trade then I wouldn't get anyone elseís tracks that I liked and that made me work harder on my music, and gave me encouragement to make the stuff I wrote better.
Also, with CD's, it's risky business! So I give an up and coming a CD, whatís to say they are not gonna leave that CD in the CDJ at a Rave?? I know I've done it before!! Also, you hear stories of records / CD's getting nicked! And another thing - someone has some exclusive gear on CD, they have a mad after party and end up on some 'personal visit from God type shit' and end up sharing everything with everyone, including there wife / girlfriend!!! Next thing you know your exclusive unreleased stuff is all over the net!!
Just a few variables I can't control and it makes me slightly paranoid - can you tell??!!!!! CD's are cheap and a great way of testing new gear but do they sound better?? Depends how you like your music to sound I suppose. Unfortunately, the way most Raves are set up these days, CD's sound louder than vinyl! But for me, I prefer the feel of vinyl - much more fun!!
Make no mistake about it though, technology changes things. Period. (sound like Mr T!!!) Except it, or get consumed by it. Thatís why I sell mp3's on the TNC website (www.tncrecordings.com). Plug Plug Plug!!!! But I try to keep the vinyl exclusive for a few months to help the sales.
4. Which styles of music are you most into, other than hardcore?
Breaks, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Drum & Bass, House, Pop, Rock, - I love music full stop!
For years and years I hated the sound of guitars. I think it was more a rebellious thing than actually hating them and I knew that I wanted something different. I have learnt however that as you get older, your tastes change, well mine have anyway!! And all of a sudden Iím listening to all this great music that I automatically shut out of my life when I was growing up! People like The Chilli Peppers, Nirvana, Status Quo (only kidding!!! - actually you gotta love the Quo - right??!!!) even U2!!
5. Have you any plans to produce any other styles?
I do produce other styles.
6. Do you think the breakbeat side of hardcore will get bigger in 2006?
No - hardcore is kick drum led and it has been for 10 years - except it!!! You want fast breakbeats then listen to Drum & Bass!
7. Who is your musical hero?
8. What's your favourite track of all time? (If you could narrow it down that far).
Forget it!! mmm perhaps 'Sound of Eden' by Shades of Rhythm.
9. And your least favourite track? (Again, if you could narrow it down ;))
10. Do you prefer today's music to the older styles?
11. What's your earliest memory of hardcore?
Round my mates house when I was about 11. He showed me some videos that he had found under his parents bed!
12. Anything embarrassing ever happen to you when playing out?
I was recently playing in Swansea - bit of a trek for me that and I managed to drag out my brother for some company. We were in this club 5 minutes when this nipper puked right in front of us and we got sprayed!! He went into the toilet, followed by my rather disgruntled brother. Luckily for the young lad my bruv didn't recognise him and the toilets were full! The 3 hour drive home that night wasn't very pleasant and I have not been able to drag my brother out since!!! Now I take a spare set of clothes with me!
13. What's been your favourite event or club to play?
Helter Skelter or Club Kinetic. But I think the best is yet to come.
14. Finally...tell us a joke!
I went round my mates the other night and he said he had bird flew. I asked him how he knew it was bird flew and he said that he had started to wear make up, was talking a load of bollox and he couldn't park his fooookin car!!!!
Interview by Traffic Cone, February 2006
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