The Bluefoot Project

Scris pe 04.08.2003 de Hazee

The Bluefoot Project (UK) este conceptul creat de Matt Bradley (chitara/bass/programming) alaturi de alti muzicieni: Rachel Modest (lead vocal), Ilana (vocals), Oova (MC), Chris Stephenson (drums), Ian Hawkins (chitara/bass) si DJ-ul James Reiss. Venind din diferite arii muzicale, amalgamul de "urban heads" imbina mai multe stiluri: de la reggae, hiphop sau gospel pana la leftfield care rezulta dintr-un sound unic, vocal si ritmat de "21st century funk". Anul trecut au lansat un EP cu 7 piese ("Observations") cotat la 5/5 stele de diferite reviste, unde a ajuns pe locul 31 in "Beats Chart". In 2003 au lansat LP-ul "Brave", ce a impus definitiv soundul Bluefoot. Remixurile realizate de artistii de la Botchit & Scarper si Emotif au contribuit si ele la promovarea trupei. Am stat de vorba cu Matt; am discutat despre formatie, concerte live si planuri de viitor.

I guess Matt is the "mastermind" of the project, so i'm curios if he already had before The Bluefoot Project a producer/DJ experience?
My background is in live music. Before The Bluefoot Project I'd been working in various bands. It was while working in another band with our bass player Ian, that the idea for the Bluefoot Project started. We began jamming out ideas together, and recorded some demo material which eventually turned into one of the songs on our current album, "Brave".

How do you got to work with the other members of the band?
Most of the people in the band have worked together in different bands at some time or other - Myself and Chris were often jamming together in different bands, and I've already told how Ian and I did some of the early groundwork for The Bluefoot Project before the band finally got together. In music, you work with people who you love being with, so you end up gathering the same people around you whenever you can.

What's your position on the british dance scene, in your opinion?
We still want to keep it original, and keep it live. We like being seen as a little bit leftfield, and it's nice to know that we're still one of the few bands that can genuinely pull it off live as well. So much of dance music is based on sampling of other people's work, and we always try to come up with original stuff. We sample ourselves playing a groove, or cut up a live breakbeat played by Chris, then we build stuff from that. We want to keep the music 100% our own - no recycled parts!

What's the percentage of contribution of each member for the "Bluefoot" experience (what are the ingredients everybody brings)?
Everybody in The Bluefoot Project has made their own mark on "Brave". We all put our energy into making this music happen, and that's what we hope comes out when you listen to the record. Often, I'll turn up with the basics of a new song on the computer (loops and samples, maybe even some structure), and a very specific idea of what I expect the song to sound like. After about half an hour jamming it with the rest of the band, I'll be thinking "Wow - I'd never thought of that", and most of my expectations have gone right out of the window! Other times, we might start with live drums and bass groove, which grows from the ground up. We're learning every day about different ways of writing, and getting the most from ourselves creatively.

Do you want to collaborate with another artists?
Well, we've already had some remixes done by a few people, like Germander Speedwell from Zion Train, who mixed "I Don't Need U" on the 12" promo for the 'Brave', and the Cienna mix of 'Observations' that appeared on the previous 12" - We're also working on a remix album at the moment with various people (can't mention any names yet). Rachel's done some work with Jason Sparks which we should be released soon, so yes, we do collaborate lots, and we'd always like more. I'd quite like to have few guest vocals on the next Bluefoot Project album. It would also be kind of cool to work with a gospel choir, or maybe an african choir.

How do you see the live experiences as compared to DJ-ing nights?
I think its a much more genuine experience - more emotionally revealing, if you like. Live music is partly a battle with instrument and your environment to get your audience to understand you. There's also the team thing - you are a small gang of people from another town, who all working together to get your music out to the audience. It's a more absorbing audience experience, because it fulfills you in a lot of ways that a DJ set can't. For example - after our set at Glastonbury, a few of the guys went down to see The Roots play. For me it was really special, because things went wrong with the sound and they had a difficult time on stage, but they just dug deeper and gave the audience more. Often it is the shows where things are less than perfect that are most exciting ones - it just forces the performer in directions that they might otherwise not have explored on stage.

Do you think you can appeal to audiences bigger than tour target?
We all believe in what we do, so to some extent, it doesn't matter how many or how few people "get it", because know we're right. At the moment, we're seeing live audiences growing, and we've had quite a few festival dates this summer, so it's all good. We're hoping to do some touring early next year, after a writing break towards the end of this year.

As drumandbass and breaks are going quite global, do you think it is a good thing for the movement?
The more people there are listening, buying and making music, the more energy it has. It's nice to be part of small "underground" scene, but it's better to be part of global phenomenon. More power to the breaks!

What are your plans for this year?
Do as much as we can! We've got a "Brave" remix album underway, which will have a couple of new Bluefoot recordings on it, we're organising some touring, and we're already demoing and writing stuff for the next album. By early next year, we should be editing down the demo'ed stuff to work out what's going to be on the next album, and then we'll be into recording it. In the meantime, we could have another 12" later this year, or early next, so there'll plenty to keep people interested.