We’ve got to thank Wolf + Lamb for bringing something upfront and new to the table. When they introduced us to NYC’s No Regular Play, aka Greg and Nick back in 2009, we knew in a sheer twist of fate they’d found a new generation of music-makers, intuitive and intelligent with an envious amount of talent to show off. Inventing themselves as artists to trip you in your step, NRP's background in music training too and fro's between playing at local jazz clubs, studying Afro-Cuban rhythm in Cuba, working with hip-hop musicians in New York and touring with indie bands so it's no guessing Zev and Gadi of Wolf and Lamb saw a real eye opener with these two talents. On the label, we can never tire of the deep, driving techno “Owe Me EP” with its glistening vocals, remixed by Deniz Kurtel and Nicholas Jaar, as well as bold releases on No.19 Music and Supplement Facts.
Forever pursuing their passion for live instrumentation, next Saturday night we’re lucky enough to get No Regular Plays live show in our disco for Mr C’s legendary Superfreq night and in anticipation, we pinned down the pair to speak on the dynamic of their partnership, their live gear set-up, why they love working with MC's and their debut artist album coming out in October.
We’ve also dug out our favourite No Regular Play mix taken from the Beats In Space Radio show last year and you can listen to an extension of their talents here: No Regular Play: BIS Radio Show #555
Next Saturday, Mr C’s Superfreq night takes over Room One with 2020 Soundsystem (live) and Richy Ahmed in Room Two and Haunt Music in Room Three.
Great to meet you Greg and Nick. Can you introduce yourselves to our readers and tell us a couple of interesting facts no one else knows about you both yet?
Greg:I used to be an avid cigar smoker. My passion for cigars culminated in a trip to the legendary Fox & Lewis Cigar shop on St. James street in London when I was sixteen. It was all downhill from there.
Nick: I'm pretty good at most racket sports, I’m the undefeated ping pong champ out of the whole Wolf + Lamb crew.
There’s been little interview press with you guys from what we can see. Is there a particular reason for it?
Nick: Maybe people aren't that interested, haha! No, we've never made a conscious decision to remain mysterious or anything. I think for some people having some mystery can work, but also can't fault artists for wanting to expose more people to their music by doing more press.
We know you share similar musical influences from your childhood growing up listening to Tribe, J Dilla and Miles Davis. What are your current music tastes and do they differ in any way from each other?
Nick: We still listen to a lot of our old favourites for inspiration but also listen to tons of new experimental/dance electronic music. Greg is maybe a little more focused on jazz, hip-hop, and classical, and I try to keep up more on what's coming out in the electronic dance and indie music scenes.
How has your varied musical training helped you become the artists that you are today?
Greg: All of these experiences have shaped our musical landscape in a way that keeps our music diverse in style and format. We've learned so much from this in composition and also performance. We never really left jazz and hip hop behind, the focus merely shifted and this happened in a slow organic way.
When we interviewed Wolf and Lamb back in 2010 they showed some amazing support for you both and the love still remains strong today. Do you look at W & L as your personal mentors and what lessons did you learn at the beginning that you carry with you today?
Zev and Gadi have been super supportive of us since day one and we've always looked to them as mentors. They've really fostered our growth over the past few years and couldn't be more grateful. I think one important thing we learned from them at the beginning was to never get too comfortable with your production, always try to push yourself to stay creative without jeopardizing your own style and voice.
You’re currently touring with your new live show which you’ll be bringing to Room One next Saturday. Can you tell us more about your gear set up and in what ways you like to surprise the crowd on stage?
Nick: Greg sings live vocals and trumpet through a memory man delay and a couple of TC helicon pedals for doubling and compression. I mix down all the elements of our original material with ableton live using an APC40 controller, creating the arrangements of the tracks as we go along. All the elements of the tracks are broken down onto different channels ie. Channel one is kick, two is bass, three is snares/claps etc.
You have an excellent mix of soul, R&B and techno in your productions. Are there any new sounds & styles you want to explore that you haven’t yet?
We've always wanted to work with an MC, and we just got the chance to work with 2 amazing ones from NYC that Greg met years ago when sitting in playing trumpet at their live show/jam sessions. They're called The Real Live Show and they are just amazing! They added their skills to a song on our album and we are thrilled with the results.
We’re really excited to hear your working on a debut full length album. Can you tell us more about the album making process and the concept behind it?
Yeah we've had some time to work in the studio the past couple of months and the album is finally coming together. Most of the material is brand new, and is quite eclectic in terms of tempo and styles. We have a couple tracks that are somewhat pop/funk influenced, and a couple proper house jams. We also did a more loose, ambient tune that includes some very special female vocalists, and the track with the aforementioned MC's. If all goes to plan the album should be out sometime in October.
How are you looking forward to playing alongside Craig Richards and the Superfreq crew night next Saturday? Can you tell us a couple of the tracks you can’t wait to let loose on the system?
We're super honoured to be playing alongside those guys, we’ve always loved Craig's DJing and Mr. C is a total legend, very happy to be part of the party. We're really looking forward to playing our title track from the album, “Endangered Species”, which is the most dance forward track on the album.
Finally, what else are you looking forward to most about this year both in your new music projects and personal life goals?
We just can't wait to have the album finished and get it out. It's really been a long time goal of ours to put a full length album together and can't believe it's almost there. We're also hoping we can expand the project to include some other friends who are amazing musicians and get them involved.