Well im pleased to introduce our interview with Eufex …..without this guy and a few others our music might not be here. This is one of the most in depth interviews we have had and a damn good read…so keep reading.
What got you into music? And how come Hard NRG / Hardhouse? I don’t know exactly what got me into music, it’s just something that was always there. As a child I was a very good organ player and also an excellent boy soprano. Later on I got into synths etc. dabbled a bit with bands, which didn’t really work as I wanted to run the show and get more serious with it and I took it from there all on my lonesome, no pals, no scene, no help, no supporters, just me in a bedroom in my parents house in a tiny village in South Derbyshire, locked away on my own for years learning how to get all this stuff out of my head. When house first hit the UK I didn’t really understand it, it wasn’t until I was in a club in around 1987 or so that I really got it. But it wasn’t until a couple of years later that I started making anything resembling it. I then got into rave, early drum and bass, Goa… anything and everything really. It wasn’t like it is now, there was no internet, knowledge wasn’t so easily available and equipment was very expensive. The nearest record shop to me was 12 miles away. The journey took me until 1997 before I got a record released. The equipment and development of the music went hand in hand and you bought what you could afford, when you could afford it. Often lack of knowledge would lead to buying the wrong thing. For example, my first sequencer was a second hand Yamaha QX7 that had 2, yes 2, tracks, cost £50 and I was stuck with it for 4 years before I could afford the £300 to upgrade to a second hand QX1 which was Yamaha’s flagship model originally costing about £2000, had 8 tracks and a floppy drive. Another expensive mistake because I should have got an Atari but believed what people like Derrik May were saying in the mags re hardware vs software. I’d drive all over the country to get what I thought was the right bit of kit at the right price. I could only learn and improve at the pace I could afford to upgrade equipment, assuming I’d bought the right equipment. Nowadays it’s have computer, get software and away you go. Would one of today’s kids drive up to Glasgow to pick up a synth? Do they have that desire, that need to make music? Why did I start making hard house? Well I think what has to be understood is that I was just making music. There was no such thing as hard house then, no such thing as NRG, there were no rules, no template. What I was making evolved. Influences were coming from London, Belgium, Germany, Prince, James Brown, Pink Floyd all over. I had no idea what I was making. It wasn’t until I’d had my first record signed that I was told what I was making by other people. The first time I heard the term nu-nrg was when someone in a record shop told me my stuff was nu-nrg and asked why I didn’t make some ‘proper stuff’. All I’ve ever done is experiment and make music. It’s for others to stick labels on it.
Tell us a bit about yourself for people who don’t know.
Life and other people have taught me that I don’t fit in.
Fitting in is boring. Least you arnt a sheep What d.a.w are you using?
It’s a common question but it’s about THE least important aspect of production. I’ve used virtually every mainstream sequencer over the years, they’re all basically the same.
What’s your view on the quality of the music these days, any way it could be improved?
My main concern is that when people are talking about quality what they’re mainly discussing is audio quality, which, maybe while important is not THAT important. There’s too much great sounding stuff that musically is fairly devoid of content, cookie cutter, painting by numbers stuff. It’s so easy now to make music that sounds great and while it can still be a long journey to get to a certain standard it’s a walk in the park compared to learning how to be genuinely creative. The internet has been both a great lift for people in the spread of knowledge but also it’s the death of creativity. Internet message board: New producer asks ‘How do I make a hard house bass line??’ Four people who don’t know any better answer ‘THIS is how you make a hard house bass line’ New producer asks ‘How do I arrange my track’ Ten people who should know better answer ‘THIS is how you should arrange your track’ We then gain yet one more technically excellent yet artistically barren copyist. It’s absolutely dreadful. An increase in available knowledge can make you technically better faster, unfortunately it’s often lack of knowledge that leads to creativity. How can we improve this? I have no idea. I have mentioned my point of view a few times on the only music message board I frequent and while the odd person will agree, I think the majority perhaps hold the view I’m just a boring old fart banging on my drum with nothing relevant to say, invariably this will be followed by 3 threads on why people think hard house is dead, that the music is rubbish, that it’s all the same. It’s been like this for getting on for a decade! If you then go away and create music that IS different , like I did, whether consciously or unconsciously for years, the consensus opinion on your stuff will be that it’s too different and not like everything else. You can’t win! I find the circular argument hugely frustrating. Maybe there’s not enough people in this little clique , where music is concerned, with brains larger than a pea? LOL. I really don’t know. Constant change takes a huge effort. Imagine going into the studio each and every time with a blank canvas, no favourite sounds already set up, no skeleton arrangement, nothing, and creating from scratch. Then when you come up with an idea playing with it, altering it 5-6 times then binning it, never to be heard again before trying something else, thinking “that sounds great but I’ve already done it, or such and such has already done it” and binning it for that reason, carrying on until something relatively original comes up. Sometimes you end up creating an absolute turd, sometimes you create a diamond. After all that can you imagine the reaction of someone who’s gone through that when passing it on to someone else after one cursory 2 minute listen then says “Can you get rid of that bit and maker that bit more like such and such?” What’s the response? No I bloody can’t! At the end of the day it’s either good or bad but for goodness sake don’t then compromise and mould it into someone elses ‘idea’, which most of the time isn’t really an idea but what is done as standard. People want ‘same’, it’s easy and makes them feel comfortable. It’s a long time ago now but the number of times I was asked by labels ‘Can you make us something like Vacuum Packed for us?’. My answer was always “No. Me and Jay have already made it, why would we make it again??”. By no means am I saying that by doing any of this you are going to have an easy life, in fact it’s going to be very difficult getting people to understand and take it on board. Do most people realise that when most of my stuff was released back then it was getting on for 2 to 4 years old? That’s how difficult is was to get it signed and out there. It seems to me that people are scared of trying something different in case it hurts, I don’t know what, sales? In an underground scene where the costs of release are now zero and there are no sales to speak of to hurt it is absolutely ridiculous. Too many kids trying to play at being a record company mogul. Try doing something different and take a risk it’s not going to kill you for God’s sake!
What’s the one item you can’t do without?
What’s your favourite thing to do when you arnt making tracks?
The usual I guess, good wine, good food and talking nonsense with my good lady.
Any music you can’t stand? Why?
In terms of styles, genres etc.? None, nothing. There’s something to appreciate and learn in everything. I really don’t understand someone who professes to love music who then listens to something and as a comment on it simply say “it’s shit” and actually mean it. To me that is moronic stupidity of the worst kind. Don’t get me wrong, I might say for effect or to someone to wind them up or when I’m larking about but it won’t be my real opinion. I might much prefer one type of music to another, I might not understand a certain type of music yet, not ‘get it’ but there’s always something to learn. How boring it would be to just listen to the same thing over and over and over and over.
Any tips for up and coming producers?
If you don’t love doing it, if it’s not part of your soul, something you can’t live without doing, don’t do it. Try spending more than 8 hours making a track, a hell of a lot more than 8 hours. Stop listening to the music of your peers and those you wish to emulate and start making the music that’s in your head. I read someone’s comment about my most recent release ‘Resurrection’ on the internet recently and while quite true it was a laugh out loud moment. The comment was that the person thought that, while the track was good, it didn’t have the level of originality and innovation expected of me. Here’s a secret…………..the track was meant to be derivative from the off as it started out as a demonstration to someone I’ve been teaching. He’d brought in a few records by his influences, that was the direction he wanted to start out in and take it from there, so I made a bed track, derivative of those styles. I then thought ‘why not finish it?’ so I did and followed the release. BUT, what made me really laugh is two things, one is that I seem to remember lots of people complaining in the past that my stuff was too different, not the same as everything else. The other is that while I’m perfectly capable of being far more innovative, innovation from a personal perspective is something that gets harder and harder and more time consuming to do. I don’t believe I have anything to prove. I’m an old man in the scene, I was an old man in the scene when I was supposedly an up and comer and being touted as one of the next ‘big’ things, I’d been around for years! Now, who should be the major innovators in any music scene, is it likely to be the people that nigh on were there at the beginning and helped mould it in some small way into what it became, or should it be the new up and comers with fresh ideas? Something has gone seriously wrong if the up and comers are still producing the same old thing and the innovation is being expected of their predecessors.
Have you any new tracks out? Tell us more, and where can we buy them from?
The most recent track I had out was “Resurrection” on NuFunk as I’ve already mentioned which is available directly from NuFunk at nuwave-digital.co.uk and from all of the main mp3 download stores. There’s other stuff in the pipeline, the next release is lined up and I assume it’s going out on NuFunk, though things seem to have gone very quiet. Then there’s a remix I’ve just completed for Twist I think (is that the label?), which I assume is going out, don’t know. Apart from that I’m planning on putting out a few things I produced around 2003 time for a USA trip which didn’t get played there as there were no CD decks but have been road tested a few times in the UK since and went down well. It’ll be good to put them out I think, also making it clear that they are indeed nearly 8 years old.
Thanks from us at Hard As Nails EUFEX , been good hearing from you after so long.