DBN Talks Touring, Axwell, Upcoming Music + More [Exclusive Interview]
German trio DBN has been touring around Europe and Asia for the past 3 years while dropping some huge animal themed hits on Ones To Watch Records – “Gorilla” & “Mosquito” to name a few. We at FITA spoke with the three talented house producers about their first meeting, future plans, Germany’s music scene and more in this exclusive interview.
MUSIC + INTERVIEW:
1) Who is DBN? How did you all meet?
We are three artists/ producers & DJs – Djani, Patrick & Tobias. We all met a few years ago at a studio that belonged to a mutual friend of ours and spent two whole days & nights producing a track together with no idea that it would be the beginning of something very special. It was definitely love at first sight and after signing a record deal a few months later for the track we made on that day, we decided to call ourselves DBN!
2) What’s the collaborative process like working with a trio?
Of course we don’t always agree on everything but we all have a very similar taste in music. So for us working as a trio is more like pushing things in the same direction rather than fighting against each other. You could call this process a kind of ‘natural quality control’. Another good thing is that we always get a working majority when it comes to making decisions!
3) What are your Top 5 songs right now?
- DBN – Mosquito – We are loving it right now and playing it in every set.
- Madison Mars – Theme 0 – What a tune!
- Vol2Cat & Oni Sky – You – The latest release on our imprint “RUN DBN Records” – it’s a big one.
- Damien N-Drix – Ghetto Funk – We are real fans of this French producer.
- The Drill – The Drill – Next Monday two new remixes, one by us and the other by NERVO will come out – you will have to check them out.
4) Who has been your biggest inspiration/motivation?
Our biggest inspiration in EDM is definitely Axwell! It was a huge honour for us to remix his amazing track “Heart is King” a few years ago. He is THE king: Such a talent, always true to himself and always reinventing himself, so he’s both our inspiration and motivation all in one go. Also we are huge fans of Laidback Luke, in the same way as Axwell he’s been in the game for a while but is always fresh & fascinating. Dipping into the past – Earth, Wind & Fire, Quincy Jones or Herbie Hancock are guys who have inspired us a lot and continue to inspire us even today.
5) If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Probably Quincy Jones because he is the boss! A real talent who is responsible for countless huge hits over the last 30 years and is absolutely phenomenal.
6) You’ve released originals as well as countless remixes for big names – which is your favourite to work with and why?
Hard to say – both are cool. If we listen to a great track for the first time and immediately have an idea of how we could remix it, then it’s fun to see it come to life as we work on it in the studio. It can also be great working on something new as you start with a completely blank slate. You choose the kicks, drums, percussion, a (hopefully catchy) melody, work on vocals with a singer/songwriter and then at the end of it all you have this finished product that came from nothing! It’s hard to define which is our favourite because we love them both.
7) How do you feel about the current state of EDM and where do you see it going?
We think and already feel that there’s becoming more focus on groove – Not the really hard, punchy, in your face progressive sounds that are big right now but much more groovy stuff.
However, it always depends on the situation, if you play smaller club shows we think Future House, Bass House (lets just call it House) is quite popular but bigger festival shows with thousands of people in front of a stage definitely call for more progressive sounds.
8) You play a lot of shows in Germany – how would you compare the local dance music scene to other countries you’ve played?
Even though Germany has a long history in electronic dance music, nowadays people sometimes aren’t that interested in listening to club music all night long. Moreover, there are a lot of clubs and events where it’s more about buying bottles than listening to a particular DJ. So that’s one big difference in comparison to many other countries. Thinking about shows in places like India or Brazil, the people are much more enthusiastic and it’s definitely easier to take them on a musical journey. Although, please don’t get us wrong, we’re still in love with and always ready to party hard with the German crowd :)
9) How do you prepare for a performance and what gets you most amped during a set?
First of all we listen to a lot of music so we can select fresh tunes for our shows. If we only like a special part of a track, then we do our own edits and/or mash ups. We always have a rough idea which tracks we want to play at a show but there is no fixed playlist or pre-recorded set as we are always trying to interact with the crowd. Sometimes the biggest track of the night is a dance floor killer at a different show. The reaction of the crowd to your own productions is probably the best thing as you never know how people are going to react to the next track you play!
10) You’ve been playing shows across Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands – do you have any plans to tour the US?
We’ve played a lot in Asia (India, China, Korea, Indonesia, Singapore) over the last 3 years and have been going regularly to South America as well as playing often all over Europe (Sweden, France, Italy, Austria, Poland, Croatia and so on) but sadly not yet in the US! We’re working hard to achieve this because playing in the US sounds amazing: great spots, great audience & of course a great country! So we will be trying our very best to play there soon – fingers crossed.
11) What’s the craziest tour story you’ve had since you began touring?
It’s really hard to pick the craziest story as so many funny things have happened already! A few days ago the following story came up in another interview and we’re still laughing about it now… so here we go again: A few years ago we had a show in Lyon (France) and 5 minutes before our set time there was a complete power blackout. As they couldn’t fix the problem, the club owner decided to move to a small bar nearby (probably without asking the bar owner!), so we took 2 CD players and went by foot through the streets of Lyon, followed by some guests from the night and played a very special 3-hour set to a crowd of about 30 people!
12) What are you currently working on?
We’re just working on a remix for one of our all time heroes (unfortunately we can’t tell you the artist’s at the moment), a collaboration track which will come out soon on a well-known label and also some new DBN singles for 2016 – we’re pretty busy at the moment.
13) What are your future plans?
Wow, it’s hard to say but we hope to release lots of new music in the future, we are trying to expand the work on our 2 labels ”RUN DBN Records“ and ”RUN DEEP Records“ and hope to be out on the road to play many more cool shows all around the globe.
14) Would you rather be a dragon or have a dragon?
We would like to have a dragon with 3 heads that can fly us from show to show without waiting at any security checks or immigration and loosing our luggage! Who needs a private jet when you can have your own dragon? :)