Friday, June 18, 2010

Nick Thayer Interview And Exclusive Free Track For Members ONLY!

The ‘hardest working man in showbusiness’ cliché gets thrown around a lot, but Australia’s Mr Dynamite, Nick Thayer must be at least in the top three. With a globe-trotting DJ schedule, releases on Passenger, Bombstrikes, Insane Bangers and more, as well as a raft of remix work, it’s surprising that Nick has time to catch his breath. Despite all this, he took time to talk to and offer our lucky readers a cheeky exclusive into the bargain.

How did your relationship with music begin? What music did you listen to growing up?
I was fortunate to grow up in a very musical household. My parents listened to everything. Two albums I remember listening to a great deal when I was young are Paul Simon's 'Graceland' and also Talk Talk.
There was lots of classical music too, and I learnt piano and then violin from a very young age. The first album I ever bought myself was Queen's Greatest Hits. I still love all of these.
And when/how did you start DJing? And producing?
I started DJing when a mate of mine asked me to play at his birthday party. I had been collecting records for a little while, but didn't really know how to DJ. I borrowed some decks in the morning, figured out what was going on in the afternoon, and played the party that night. I'm sure it wasn't the smoothest gig in the world, but I loved it. I started producing pretty soon after that. I would buy some records and think 'man, I can make this'. Turns out that, like most things, it's harder than it seems.
What do you look for in the records you play, is there a ‘Nick Thayer sound’?
The two things I really look for are great ideas and great production. For me, essentially anything that ticks those two boxes will get plays.
Tell us about your album, ‘Just Let It Go’.
It took a hell of a long time to get together, and went through so many revisions and versions. The bottom line is that it is a club album. The tunes are club tunes. I was stoked to be able to include guests like Black Noise, Mike & Lex from Wizard Sleeve, N'FA, Sporty O and of course Sway on there too.
I'm really proud of the album as it makes a clear statement about where I've come from musically, where I'm at now, and where I'm heading.
Have you got any forthcoming releases on the horizon that we should keep an ear out for?
Aside from the album there will be another EP too, and also I've done remixes for HeavyFeet, Yolanda Be Cool & DCup, Adam Tensta, and Fort Knox 5.
I've been in the studio with DJ Yoda and HeavyFeet whilst I was over in the UK recently so those things will no doubt see the light of day soon enough.
Which bands/DJs/producers do you enjoy the most?
I love bands like Elbow, and Muse. I can't stop listening to Jay Z at the moment. Swizz Beats' production always kills it.
In terms of DJs I always love Andy C, A Skillz, Smalltown DJs, and Mark Ronson.
Some people talk down about bootleg breaks, saying ‘we need originality to push the scene forward’ but it seems like everyone still wants to play big bootleg records – what’s your take on this debate?
A tough question, and one I have to answer carefully. As a DJ, I am always going to reach for the record that is going to have the greatest impact on the dancefloor. If this means playing a bootleg instead of an original that is what I'm going to do.
It seems that in this scene that has been branded 'nu-funk', that is nearly always the case, whereas it is not so in other styles. For instance my biggest drum and bass record at the moment is probably the Sub Focus remix of Rusko. For club music things like Will Bailey and Punk Rolla's 'Kata', or the HeavyFeet stuff and Black Noise always kills it just as much as any bootleg.
Why is this so? Perhaps it is because the majority of original 'nu-funk' records try and emulate the original funk groups, and that brings you back to the initial question: "Why would I play a track of someone pretending to sound like James Brown instead of a James Brown track?"
I think in order for the scene to move forward there needs to be producers pushing new sounds. Guys like J-Roc and Audit are doing this. Really bringing sounds and production techniques from other genres and applying them to what they're doing here.
Obviously you need look no further than A Skillz for someone who transcends the scene by doing just that.
How do you feel about new developments in production and DJ technology – Ableton, digital vinyl etc?
Anything that enables people to take DJing a step further is a great thing. I have been using Serato for a few years now, and it has totally changed the way I DJ. Having every part of every tune at my fingertips is such an amazing thing.
It is also the backbone of our DJ vs AV live show too. I think if you're using these programs you need to be spending a good chunk of time finding out just how powerful they can be.
And can you reveal a killer production tip to our readers?
Always make your drums work WITH the groove. To make a record that sounds great and moves properly, all the parts need to be working together. Don't just put kicks and snares in randomly, or in a pre-determined pattern. Make sure they work with the bassline and the melody parts.
The drums and the bass are generally going to be the most important part of any track you're making, so take the time to make them sound tight.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I'm a big advocate of responsible consumerism. Find out where your food and your clothes and all your other shit comes from, and decide whether you want to be supporting those practices and companies.
What do you think about animal testing? Do you know if your shampoo is from a company that tests on animals? What about sustainable agriculture? Do you go for the cheap mass produced food or spend that bit extra for something grown in a sustainable manner?
I'm not saying 'do this' or 'do that'. I'm saying BE AWARE of the things you are saying and supporting with your lifestyle.
Some quick-fire questions to finish with:
What’s the last tune/album/podcast you put on your MP3 player?
Peter Gabriel 'Scratch My Back'
What is your proudest achievement in life?
Hitting a royal flush in our weekly poker game and actually getting paid off (three other people went all in).
And your biggest regret?
Not buying all three Banksy prints that the store had when I bought my first one (for a grand total of £95).
What do you think about the launch of
The site is very cool. Perhaps you could have an airhorn button though? That way I can play lead airhorn along with whatever jams are up there.
And finally, can you tell us about the exclusive free track/mix that you are offering our readers?
This is a jam I did a little while back. It has been siting on my computer for a while now and doesn't really fit in with anything I'm doing at the moment, so this seems like the perfect place to give it out. There are no samples in there (apart from the vocal bits which are from an old Western I think).
The horns are real horn stabs from a sample pack put into a sampler.
And whoop, here it is: Nick Thayer's 'I Can't Take It'. To get your hands on this awesome tune, as well as a whole bunch of other goodies, head over to our exclusive Member's Vault and download the 'Megabundle'. This is a members-only forum, so if you're not a member yet, join up HERE.
Nick Thayer - I Can t Take It by
You can preview Nick's album 'Just Let It Go', below, buy it on Junodownload and check out a host of other releases by him here.

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