For my first interview on behalf of Chain D.L.K. i chose to travel virtually to one of my favourite cities on earth, London, to have a little chat with one of my favourite electro producers on… galaxy: mr. Pip Williams. The last couple of years Phil Ventre (that’s his real name) took by storm the electro scene with a series of top quality releases on various labels and, of course, on his own brand Shameless Toady, which is celebrating its first year of existence (pretty good timing for a conversation i think ;)). So let’s not waste time, let’s go find more about this exceptional artist.
CHAIN D.L.K.: Very glad to speak with you my friend, thank you very much for accepting my call to do this little interview! Let me start by asking you to tell us about your musical background.
Pip Williams: Pleasure is all mine Evan! Well, about my background, I’ve played the drums since I was about 9. Set up bands, 3-piece mainly, and gigged around. We did some in Europe supporting Sting on one of his tours. There were some pretty big arenas in Paris and Vienna where we played in front of 20,000+ people. Pretty amazing stuff. I get cold sweats just thinking about it now, but at the time it was so surreal and dream-like, I don’t think any of us really noticed! We were only 16 then… ah, the innocence of youth.
I sold my kit a few years ago to create space in the studio. Weirdly it also coincided with me losing all sense of rhythm on the dancefloor! You’ll only see my cut a rug when i’m proper pissed up, trust me, it’s not a pretty sight 🙂
CHAIN D.L.K.: LOL Phil! So you were close to be a… pop star, wow that’s a really amazing experience!
Pip Williams: Yes, but I was never really into rock/indie music. When the band split up it gave me a good excuse to get more into the electronic side of things. That was what I always found more interesting.
I had a bit of an unhealthy obsession with early Oldskool Rave. That developed into Jungle then Drum n Bass. My love of electro came about through Kraftwerk, Cybotron/Model 500, those sorts of dudes. Timeless music. To be honest though, I draw influence from so many areas, there’s so much good stuff out there.
The label that’s been my biggest influence is Warp. I really admire their philosophy. They’ve consistently been at the forefront for so long. They never waver from what they believe in. If it’s quality material, they release it regardless of the style. And they also produce awesome cover art as well. It’s crazy to try and emulate something as big as them that but I’m trying to set up Shameless Toady with a similar mindset.
CHAIN D.L.K.: Tell us how did you start writing and producing music.
Pip Williams: I started off sampling on an Akai with a friend who had an Atari ST with one of the first versions of Logic. We just recreated edits of tracks we liked. Things progressed naturally from there, really. I began to buy my own kit, sound modules, keyboards etc. I sold a chunk of it some years ago and have regretted it ever since!
CHAIN D.L.K.: But i know that you are definitely an analogue guy, so i’m pretty sure you moved on to some other equipment, right? Could you make us a list of the gear you are using now?
Pip Williams: Well my current set up is:
Macbook Pro running Logic & Ableton
Doepfer Modular system
Doepfer Dark Energy
CHAIN D.L.K.: Wow you definitely got some gear dude! Next i’d like to ask you about how do you see the current electro scene. In your opinion is there any chance for it to “escape” from the underground and become the “next big thing”? And what’s the “next big thing” for you, at least on electronic music?
Pip Williams: The music industry as a whole is messed up, but I think the electro scene is doing pretty well. It has a good, loyal community which helps massively.
More and more producers are pushing boundaries, borrowing from other genres and creating new styles. Personally, I think this is the most exciting stuff coming out. It has the potential to be ‘less’ underground as new markets open up to this, while still retaining the original electro backbone and not feeling contrived. Being authentic is very important. Not just jumping on a bandwagon to make a quick buck. People can smell that shit a mile off!
As for the next big thing, I don’t know what it’ll be. Doubtful it will be electro, at least, electro as we know it! I guess you need to ask the music press, they seem to decide what bollocks to drip feed the public.
CHAIN D.L.K.: Your favourite artists at the moment?
Pip Williams: Hmmm… let me think… Ok obviously they are too many to mention, but outside electro Sbtrkt, Instra:mental, Breakage, Nightslugs spring to mind.
CHAIN D.L.K.: To close this little interview i’d like to ask you to tell people about your future plans both as an artist & label owner.
Pip Williams: Carry on pushing Shameless Toady and try and actually run it properly next year! Keep my head down to make the odd tune and maybe do some live bits where I can. Oh, and try not to lust after too much music gear 🙂
CHAIN D.L.K.: Thank you very much Phil!
Pip Williams: You’re welcome Evan!
Visit Pip Williams on the web at:
[Interview: Evangelos Zacharopoulos]