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Loadstar Interview

We catch up with the boys from Ram

This week we have been speaking to Bristol based Drum & Bass dons Loadstar, you may already be familiar with their solo works as Xample & Lomax but the Ram Records boys have now joined forces officially and are set to release their debut album early next year and that's not all they also have a exciting live show in the works.

Hey guys how are you both? 

Well thanks.

Let’s start with the name change how did it come about?

Lomax – “We had been working together as Xample & Lomax for a couple years and we had an album scheduled in with Ram, we had started to make a new sound together and we wanted to start to cross over a bit more and work towards a different audience rather than just pure Drum & Bass fans. That was the long term plan, we basically wanted one name for both of us that kind of sealed the new direction and wasn’t associated with an Xample sound or a Lomax sound”.

What does the name Loadstar mean?

Xample - “We had an old sampler that used to take ages to load up and when it finally booted up the display came up with a star icon, it's basically as simple as that, we didn’t have a very long time to think one up, before Links To The Past came out we spoke to the label before about a name change and it was like panic stations let's do it in a week. It wasn’t one of those names where there was a massive meaning behind it. We looked at a few things and we liked that one”.

You guys are currently working on your debut album, what can you tell us about it?

Lomax - “We basically decided when the thought of album came up that we never wanted to do it 100% Drum and Bass, we wanted it about 75% DnB and 25% other styles, we have a downbeat tune on it and also a couple Dubstep tracks, but we didn't want to do Dubstep just for the sake of it we wanted to come up with an interesting direction and to be able to do some vocal stuff as well, I think things are changing in dance music drastically, for us to release just a purely underground Drum & Bass album these days is not something we wanted to do. You have to show how diverse you can be.

What kind of music are you guys into outside of dance music?  

Xample -  “We both listen to a bit of everything, obviously a lot of dance music but outside off that at the moment I like 2 Door Cinema Club, anything really that grabs us from the radio or of the blogs or recommendations from friends, we try and soak up as much music as possible, we love all types of music really and we try to reflect that in our music which is going back to the point that Nick(Lomax) made earlier in terms of not just writing a soulful Drum & Bass album. By crossing into other genres it's been easier for us to incorporate some of our other influences from outside of Drum and Bass and hopefully that will start to show with the more music we release. A few other names we are fans of include Metronomy, Brothers and James Blake”.

Your Latest releases Links To The Past, Space Between and Berlin are buy on site records, how do you feel about the support you have been receiving for these tracks?

Lomax - “We feel really fortunate to be in the position we are in because we worked really hard as Xample & Lomax and we have always had good support for our names individually but the way people have embraced the Loadstar name is incredible, we have only been Loadstar since Links To The Past came out which is has been about 9 months and that’s not a very long time to have a brand new name, with only 2-3 release in that time we feel very greatful to our fans for embracing it, I think this is an exciting time for dance music”.

You have been doing a lot of remixing this year for the likes of Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Wolfgang Gartner and label mates Chase & Status with all receiving a lot or airplay.  Do you have anymore remix’s coming up and how do you feel about the ones that have been released?  

Xample - “Yeah we were really lucky with those remix’s, it kind of started off with Chase & Status’s Blind Faith, the way that track had blown up itself helped with the success of our remix, we also did the Breakage Fighting Fire remix at the same time and it seemed to capture people's ears and the radio support of those tracks really helped us around the turn of the year”.

“We have been quite selective about the remix’s we've taken on, we have got to be in to the original track and that’s why something like Wolf Gang Gartner or Ed Sheeran were just obvious ones to do, because they're such great tracks in their own right that we really enjoyed remixing them and we were really chuffed with the feedback especially for the Ed Sheeran one with Radio 1's Zane Lowe making it his hottest track of the week”!

You have extended your DJ set with your very own Mc Texas and Singer IKAY how does that work and is it going well?

Xample – “It's been going really good thanks we did some of the festivals over the summer to try and add something different rather than just a bog standard DJ set, it's clearly something we wanted to do and the plan is to go “Live” in the future so it was kind of a forerun for that, we are going to do more but we want to save that project for the festivals as we feel it translates better”.

Can you describe your guys production process?

Lomax – “It can differ for every track we make, we start by putting a bunch of sounds and samples that we like into a folder so when we have a writing session we can just dip into it and then come up with other ideas, Gav’s(Xample) much more technical then I am so he does the sounds and mix downs and I come up with a musical idea, for example Gav will work on the intro and I will work on the drop then we will put it together, maybe even at different times. Due to busy work schedules we might be working on it separately to split the work load but we always finish the tracks together in the studio but generally Gav’s the technical guy and I am the musical guy and that’s kinda why it works when we put it together “.

With Ram recently having its 100th record release, what are your guy’s feelings on Ram’s Nu School sound & artists like Basher, Wilkinson, Delta Heavy and Hamilton? 

Xample – “We are really into them man. It’s a very interesting time for Ram after bringing through Sub Focus and Chase & Status into the public eye and they have all gone on to big things, so it's great that they are bringing in new artists and nurturing them while looking to the future because it's easy to sort of get left behind. If you look at some of the big labels out there from the late 90’s have died out because they haven’t nurtured talent and I think that’s what Andy’s great at. He knows what works on the dance floor, we love all the new artists on Ram it's great have a pool of people to get new music from”.

Lomax – “But not only that, I think Andy’s partially good at signing artists that kind of capitulate the Ram sound, like Hamilton for example, for someone who’s coming through still. But you can really tell he gets that Ram sound and you can hear that in his music, it's like that old Ram sound meets the new school thing and the same goes for Wilkinson”  

You guys both reside in Bristol where the dance music scene is huge, why do you think that is?   

Xample – “It's been a great place for me growing up, Nick's from near London originally,As kid I was always surrounded by Drum & Bass with the likes of Roni Size blowing up in the 90s and that was when I first started getting into dance music, it was hard to ignore. There has been a steady stream of artists coming of the back off that like TC and more recently the Dubstep explosion in Bristol which has been massive with the likes of H.E.N.C.H and Joker and people like that, it’s has a really vibrant music scene for bass music”.

You have both been across the world. What’s one of the funniest things you guys have seen happen in a club?

Lomax – “We were playing on a tour last year in New Zealand, it was getting a bit crazy and some girls were trying to climb up on stage and they were getting closer and closer to the front of the decks and one of the girls finally climbed over and kind of lost her balance. She knocked all these drinks of the DJ’s table then she fell into the monitor and then the monitor fell off and on top of her! I looked over thinking she had done some serious damage to herself but she was up and dancing around!”.

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Latest tracks by Loadstar