DC Breaks' Dan Havers: U.S. rave culture is more fun and quirky than Europe

Categories: Q&A
Courtesy of the artist
Chris Page and Dan Havers of DC Breaks

DC Breaks is the British drum and bass production and DJ team of Dan Havers and Chris Page. Since 2006 they have been tearing up international dance floors with breakbeats and heavy basslines. Most often noted for their remix work, the two are currently writing their debut album after signing a record deal with RAM Records.

Havers and Page have an interesting creative relationship, considering that they live in two different European cities and write the majority of their songs over e-mail. Yet when the two meet, drum and bass magic is made. Gimme Noise spoke with Havers about DC Breaks, rave culture and their evolution as artists before they touch down in Minneapolis this Friday at Ground Zero Nightclub.

Gimme Noise: How did the two of you meet and begin working together?

We were both studying at Edinburgh Uni and I'd heard that there was this other kid producing drum and bass. That kid turned out to be Chris, and as we had some friends in common it wasn't long before we met. After a while of hearing each other's beats we realized it would be a great idea to start working together. We played the Edinburgh circuit frequently and began releasing records on a local label called Restless Natives. After that our music found its way to Andy C. and another chapter in our musical careers began.

How does living in different cities this affect your creative process? Can you describe your creative dynamic with one another?

It helps and hinders in equal amounts, but you get used to it. We e-mail each other projects and ideas that we've started independently, then once we've both worked on an idea that we both feel has the legs to be a finished product, we usually get together to finish it off. Then if we manage to do that we'll start another one or two ideas together. Sometimes however it would be good to have someone else's perspective when you're making ideas on your own! But at the same time, we're both being productive at the same time, making new bass sounds, new drum sounds that we give to each other and when you're finding the creative process difficult that can be just the lift you need.

You're a big Etta James fan. What is special to you about her music?

Well, her vocals were always killer; she delivers such a performance in every track. On top of that they're incredibly good to resample, as the world has found out thanks to Avicii and Flo Rida! We got there first, however. We're looking for our own Etta James at the moment!

How is playing in the U.S. different than playing in Europe? What differences in the culture of electronic music do you notice between the states and elsewhere?

I think the U.S. has quite a 'fluffy' rave culture, much more fun and quirky than European raves. More glowsticks and weird stuff going on! Those tend to be the larger events however, and the nights that have been going a while in the states, and are in urban clubs tend to have a more familiar feel for us. Dark sweaty clubs with loads of bass and tons of energy!

Of course the U.K. is a drum and bass hotspot and to DJ there means you can play more old classic tunes that the crowd will recognize as they've had that historic connection with DnB over the generations. Playing in Europe, America etc., we tend to play fresher, newer stuff, as the kids are younger and more tuned into the current sound.

What is it about particular songs that convinces you to choose to remix them? What do you hope to achieve my reworking original material?

It normally revolves around the vocal parts as that's often the hook, but if there are generally some great original sounds to work with and give you inspiration then that encourages us to take the remix on. But fundamentally we have to really like the original track, and need to hear exactly where we can take it, whether we make a more chilled out roller from it, or go the banger route. It needs to fit in with what we're doing that point in time and connect with our releases surrounding any remix we touch.

What are a few of your favorite remixes that you've done over the years?

Tinie Tempah's "Pass Out" was a lot of fun, "No Going Back" by Rox was always a great mix, and I've just started playing again on this tour actually, three years later!! Currently our remix of Loadstar's has been going down really well, and we often hear other DJs spinning it when we're out and about.

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