Well we promised you entertainment galore this summer, as that is most certainly what we have for you here at Young Academic. The Ultimate Festival Guide has been churning out event after event and following yesterday’s great interview with dubstep sensation True Tiger, we now have an intriguing interview with Johnny from Gentleman’s Dub Club.
So how did it all start?
Well we all met at Uni actually, we were all really fortunate that we were all studying some sort of music course at Leeds. Some of us were mates before, but the group really formed when we used to go to this night, the Sub Dub Club and got involved with it after finding out about music club. That’s really how we came together.
What made you want to get into music?
Music is what bound us; most of us came from musical backgrounds so it was drilled into us from the start. My dad is actually a composer of choirs and orchestras and it’s a similar story for everyone.
So who are your musical influences, what inspires you?
Because it all kicked off with the Sub Dub Club that was our real inspiration as a group. The concept behind the band was influenced by a group called the Irritation Steppers and of course just growing up with and listening to a load of jazz, dub reggae, soul and funk and drum ‘n’ bass, we find inspiration in that. Our style relates a lot to artists like The Specials, Madness, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley and Kenny Garrett.
What inspires your performances?
I think what separates us from other bands is our live performance. It really drives us to go crazy at a gig. We bring such an energy to the crowds you know? We’ve got the ability to wind people up. That ability influences the performance…Just make sure you’ve done your stretches before you come watch us man!
So you’ve played a few festivals, how did you find it? What was your favourite?
We played 30 festivals last year including Secret Garden Party, Shambala and Latitude. We’ve just done Glasto and that was incredible. We played in Arcadia and the atmosphere was electric. There was a sick part of the gig when we were performing one of our new tunes ‘Fire’, we had the crowd going off it and flames shooting out everywhere, it just made the gig.
Do you ever get nervous before a gig?
Yeah I mean I think it’s more excitement and adrenaline more than nerves, but we’ve got such a tight unit we just bring it in and it helps our performance.
So you’re coming into fame now, do you ever get recognised?
In certain places yeah we do. In Leeds I guess we experience what it’s like to be famous, just because people know us there and that’s where it all started. But you know things are moving very fast, everything’s changing, things are happening. We’ve just signed up to Metropolis Music who run V festival as well so we’re recording with them at the moment and it’s a wicked album, after the releases maybe then we’ll experience more of that.
Do you ever have tiffs and clashes of opinion given you’re such a big group?
I mean I’d love to dish you dirt but not really, we’re pretty tight. If any arguments they are more like healthy constructive arguments. Sometimes we’ll end up scrapping songs we’ve spent a load of time on because some of the guys won’t like them but that’s just the way it is. We’re cool.
Are you family and friends supportive?
Yeah they are all behind us 100%. It’s amazing seeing your mate’s faces in the crowds, screaming and skankin.
Have you guys got a musical process you go through to get to a finished tune?
Well there are four out of the nine of us that write the tunes so it’s a case of the rest of the group liking it and then t goes from there. As I said a lot get scrapped but once we have a tune everyone likes we start with the chorus then the melodies kick in. Whether it’s slow or big and upbeat it will just evolve into whatever we are all happy with.
What is your favourite song to perform?
The newest tunes are always the best to perform because it’s all on the edge. You never know how it’s going to go down.
Do you have a group motto or ritual before gigs?
We have a group huddle before we go out yeah. Some of us have our little traditions I guess, like Tommy, he spends like 15 to 20 minutes in the toilet before a gig…No one knows what he does in there but that’s his ritual. We all just go a bit stupid really, you know just do stupid stuff and it gets us going.
How would you describe your style as a group?
We kind of match the name and genre of our band in style. We’ve got that gentlemanly swagger, the three piece suit but then a bit of dub influence shows through our attire as well.
What would you say to aspiring music students trying to break into the same industry?
I would say just find the right people to work with and then just do what you wanna do. I mean you’ve got to love what you’re doing otherwise it will never work. Just know that its hard work!
Who would you most like to collaborate with alive or dead?
Artists like Bernie Spear or Euroy I reckon. We are collaborating with a rapper called P Money at the moment. He’s proper grime; he’s got a fresh energy about him.
Great stuff and Young Academic simply can’t wait to catch GDC at their next performance. Check out their itinerary right here:
9th July–Peterborough–Central Park Festival–UK
30th July –Dorset–Camp Bestival–UK
5th August –Isle of Man–Manifest –UK
6th August –Herefordshire–Big Chill –UK
13th August–Newbury –Boomtown Fair –UK
20th August–Devon –Beautiful Days–UK
27th August –Cheltenham –Greenbelt Festival –UK
1st-4th September –Croatia –Outlook Festival –UK
10th September–Isle of Wight–Bestival–UK
For any more information on Gentleman’s Dub Club, just click here.