After fourteen years of touring around the globe, countless productions including numerous remixes, features in Hollywood movies, and a Fabric Live compilation and residency you would be excused for thinking that Pat Pardy and Tom Beaufoy have seen and done it all. However the pair continue to do what they do best which is creating genre defining music that has a soulful rough edge that keeps their followers coming back for more.
From their early days on Marine Parade until the present, Evil Nine have included post punk, italo-disco, hip hop, old-school electro, jungle, vintage electronica, early house, drum & bass, techno, krautrock, R&B, and 80’s electronic horror movie soundtrack influences in their music which has always given them a unique sound that sees them continue to stand out from the crowd.
Rumour has it that Pat and Tom are currently working on their third album but as yet, we are unsure when it is going to be released. We caught up with the pair over Easter to talk touring, the breaks scene, their many achievements, and what they have in store for 2015.
Hi Pat and Tom, how have you been, and what have you got planned for today (besides completing this interview)?
Pat: We’re super good thanks. It’s Easter Sunday so I’m relaxing on the sofa with a hangover eating chocolate eggs, drinking the occasional whisky sour and watching The Goonies with the family (and now doing an interview). The Sun’s out here so I’m thinking of actually going outside but that’s not very likely to be honest, I could be coaxed into going to the pub for a roast dinner and some Guinness though.
Tom: Generally super good but today not so much haha! I’m doing my bit of this interview on Easter Monday having played a Punks family show with Stanton Warriors , Deekline and Mafia kiss last night at Brixton Jamm. It was really fun and some dope music was played, and maybe a few drinks were had. I then got a train home to brighton, hitting my bed at last mid morning. Been spending the day tweaking the mix for you guys because I want it to be tight. My head is mad sore tho and its only coffee, weed and paracetamol that’s getting me through these questions. Apologies if these answers are vague!
Can you tell us a little about your upbringing and how you first became exposed to music?
Pat: I was a skateboarder from a very working class background with parents who literally didn’t like music at all so my early exposure was through my older brother Ian’s record collection, he was into anything from The Sex Pistols to Donna Summer so I was exposed to a pretty broad selection. I started playing the bass guitar at school, formed a band with friends playing Happy Mondays & Stone Roses covers during music class. We were the ‘naughty kids’ and didn’t do the practical work we were supposed to, the teacher realised we just needed to learn differently so she allowed us the freedom to experiment (Shouts to Miss Jackson Smith and I’m sorry I stole that Yamaha DX7 from school). I got into music production because I hadn’t finished any practical work for my GCSE’s with only two weeks until the deadline, I was into a lot of hardcore and bleep at the time I so knocked out about four tracks on a Commodore Amiga using Octatrack tracking software and the teacher loved them.
Tom: I was brought up in the countryside in Wales, by the sea, not many rad spots to skate round there so I never skated. Instead I made dens and hit nettles with sticks. My Dad had a limited Dad interest in music. He liked Dire Straits, Jazz and Yello, maybe my first exposure to electronic music actually. My mum was a massive music lover, it was The Beatles, Roxy Music, Simon and Garfunkel, 10cc, Abba and that plus lots of Opera and Classical stuff; there was always something playing. The first tape I owned was a C90 with Adam and The Ants – kings of the wild frontier on one side and the soundtrack to Oklahoma on the other. Pretty eclectic i guess. Unlike naughty Pat I was quite a good kid at primary school and I played the recorder then a tenor recorder and when I’d run out of recorders, I started playing flute. Moving to the city when i was 14, I soon realised that flute was not cool so changed up for a bass guitar and joined a goth band “The Fetish”. We did Cure and Sisters of Mercy covers, some originals and there was a lot of backcombing and hair spray. I was in bands then for the rest of my teens. The longest time spent in “The Burning Whickermen”, which i sang in too. We were sort of Grunge/American Hardcore style, Fugazi, Melvins, Jesus Lizard and that, and our drummer went on to drum for John Squire’s Stone Roses spin off band the Seahorses.
Who were some of your biggest influences when growing up?
Pat: When I was about 10 I loved anything that used obvious sampling, y’know 80’s shit that had that cheesy stuttering vocal sample effect like Paul Hardcastle’s ’19’ or Falco’s ‘Amadeus’, then I got into people like Prince and Michael Jackson for a while. The last few years of school I was big into all the 90’s baggy bands (and later Shoegaze, dub & electronica) and started going to warehouse parties which lead to my discovery of Hardcore and Jungle. After a few years of that I realised the drugs (acid mainly) weren’t doing me any good so decided to get back into skateboarding and fell in love with hip hop, Run DMC’s ‘Runs House’, Beastie Boys ‘Licence To Ill’ & LL Cool J’s ‘BAD’ had a massive impact on me when I was younger but hip hop was now the love of my life. I got back into partying again but this time it was all about Drum and Bass and jump-up on the club side of things and anything on Mo’ Wax when chilling. Not long after that I moved to Brighton and got into pretty much everything, Tom introduced me to breakbeat which was the perfect continuation of hardcore for me and we started making music together.
Tom: Prince! When I taped “When Dove’s Cry” off the top 40, it blew my tiny 11 year old mind, i used to listen to it over and over. Loved him ever since! Adam and The Ants. I think it was the mad rythmns and heaviness of the two drummer thing plus the weird theatricality of the songs . Robert Smith from the cure, ruled my early teens, I used to rock the same haircut, wear the same shit, I’m a sucker for a depressing tune. Then I discovered the Sex Pistols, Public Image and Dead Kennedys and got more into the Punk aggressive angry thing. John Lydon, Jello Biafra, Ian Mackaye, I rated them massively. It was all guitars really when I was young with a touch of hip hop on the side, Run dmc and Public Enemy until the Beastie Boys “Check Your Head” opened me up to new possibilities , introduced me to funk and soul and Mo Wax then became important to me too. So it was doubly cool when we got to hang with Lavelle later and do remixes for UNKLE. Outside music I was into american comics and 2000ad , sci fi and fantasy like Michael Moorcock and Ballard and artists like Keith Haring, Warhol and Basquiat.
When did you both begin DJing?
Tom: I did Graphics at Brighton University, my buddy Al had some decks and me, him and another friend used to bunk off afternoons, go round his to smoke weed and mix Slick Rick and Wu Tang records. It was mad fun and I got the knack real quick. That was the start. Another friend of mine was pretty wealthy and he used to buy tons of techno and old style electro vinyl each week and it was quality too, he had good taste but never played them really, so he used to just give me his keys and I’d just let myself in and mix all day. Then a bunch of my friends started a mid week night “Gogglez” which was a Brighton institution for a few years, it was a quid in and always super rammed and it would be everything from 80s slow jams through to LFO style bleep and jump up drum and bass. That’s where I cut my teeth. At that time in Brighton there was always a rave on the weekend, on the beach or in the countryside . We used to go to them all and eventually I managed to blag some slots. Still remain some of the funnest best parties I’ve played at.
Pat: It’s ridiculous but I’ve never learn’t to DJ, I’m totally capable of beat mixing but it’s more about the selection. I’m the sort of guy that will selfishly put on The Jesus and Mary Chain at house party and it bums everyone out apart from me who’s totally getting off on it. Maybe it’s their problem and not mine? Probably not.
In 2006 you were asked to compile a mix for the Fabric Live series. How did you approach the mix? Did you come across any issues when compiling the tracks?
Tom: I guess we wanted it to be a true representation of where our heads were at musically in that moment. It had to hit hard on the floor but have enough interest and diversity for the head with a touch of dirt and a sprinkle of hands up euphoric moments. We just got a massive list of the dopest stuff that was around and saw what fabric could clear and unlike the Y4K dudes they got mad clearing power , we ended up being able to use most of them except Erol Alkan didn’t want us to use his Franz Ferdinand remix and a Vybez Cartel was stupid expensive. They even managed to get us the clash tho we weren’t allowed to fuck with it in the slightest. The record company, I think it was Virgin, were wise to the edit. From that pot we just fucked around with them until we got our mix .
Your Fabric Live mix was your last commercially available DJ mix. Do you have any plans to release another compilation in the near future?
Pat: Yeah, it’s been a while for sure. We’re probably releasing a DJ mix for the Stanton Warriors label ‘Punks’ soon, we released the ’Solar Black Rays’ EP with them late last year and they’ve asked us to do one so hopefully that works out. We’ve always been keen on taking music from different genre’s and combining it to make it sound like something fresh and new, there’s some amazing music around at the moment so it’s a great time to do that again.
Can you tell us a little about your Fabric residency, and how the opportunity came about?
Pat: We were hanging out at the club regularly when our friend and label boss Adam Freeland had a residency there, he did a few Marine Parade label nights there and we played as part of the family each time. As our name grew they eventually asked us to become residents which lead to our Fabric Live compilation, it’s such a great club to play and it set the standard for clubs worldwide.
Your latest release was the “Solar Black Rays EP” on Stanton Warriors’ Punks label. Can you tell us a little about the EP and how the release came about?
Pat: As Marine Parade was winding down we started releasing music on our own label ‘For Lovers’ as we were going in a different direction, our intention was to keep releasing on MP but Adam decided to put the label on hold in the meantime. Starting a label wasn’t something we’d intended on doing, especially as sales were declining and a lot of people didn’t know where the music industry was heading. We’ve known Mark and Dom for a long time and have always talked about releasing on Punks at some point, when it happened the timing couldn’t of been better as we’d probably taken ‘For Lovers’ as far as we could.
If we can turn our attention to your studio for a few moments. Where is your current studio, and what are some of your favourite gadgets?
Pat: We got a dope studio space with a live room in Brighton but we’ve had some pretty shit studios in the past like squatted pub basements and sub-let rooms in noisy industrial workshops but with the last few studios we’ve gone pro. Our working methods are constantly changing but we couldn’t be without a bass guitar, Roland D50, Moog Voyager, Roland Juno 106, Yamaha DX7, Roland JD800 and a large sample collection. We try to stay away from the computer as much as possible but Ableton Live and Push are incredibly inspirational as well as flexible and the UAD plugins are also great.
When producing an original track or remix do you have a particular work flow you follow or is the process more fluid?
Pat: We pretty much just let it flow and rarely have a plan to be honest, some people are very methodical when it comes to building track and thats great if it works for them but we’d rather be surprised by what comes out of us and feed of our emotions. The way we work together has been a constant though I guess, for example Tom tends to fill a track up with lots of elements and I like to strip things back and delete things. I always try to avoid putting in hi-hats but Tom loves them, at some point I wonder what the track is missing as as Tom’s been kindly pointing out all day it’s hi-hats. We balance each other out, we complete each other musically.
Do you always turn to hardware, software, or a combination of both when working on a track?
Pat: Both, they each have their own benefits. Software emulations of analog synths sound terrible and nothing like their analog counterparts to us but there are some really deep and original digital software synths and samplers that do things analog and digital hardware synths can’t do. Analog and digital hardware synths sound heavy as fuck, are great to edit and feel like an instrument but you have to record them into your DAW and it’s difficult to make changes later where as soft synths are running in realtime throughout the track and you can tweak them and make changes easily. It’s a bit simple minded to stick to just one of them I think, your limiting your sound pallet and options. That being said software is far cheaper than hardware and if that’s what you can afford or prefer then use it, there’s no right or wrong and you have an amazing amount of tools people only dreamt of 20 years ago.
OK lets talk about your DJ setup. When you are DJing live, what is your preferred setup?
Pat: As I said before I’ve never learnt to DJ so most of it’s down to Tom playing on Pioneers with USB sticks. Tom does most of the gigs alone these days and I concentrate more on the studio side of things, when I do gigs with him I use a Elektron Octatrack performance sample alongside Tom and we build up tracks together on the fly between other peoples music.
Tom: Yeah as pat says its Pioneers all the way. Used to use the old Allen and Heath when we were at Fabric and it was fine but the pioneer these days is way more versatile and sounds dope too.
When you are DJing do you plan your sets beforehand or do you select your tracks on the fly?
Tom: A mixture of both really. I like some tracks which are kinda weird and non linear and hard to mix so you have to practice a bit with them sometimes to find out what will fit together. I guess I generally know of a few combinations that sound great that I might drop but I think its important to read your audience and react to what they’re feeling or not. There’s always some key tracks that I’m scheming to play but in between them I just want to get in the zone and see what happens.
Whilst on the subject on Djing can you tell us a little about the exclusive mix you compiled for us?
Tom: I feel its an exciting time for broken beats again, I’m not talking about “breakbeat”, the stuff you find in the Beatport chart is still mad uninspiring but within a lot of other genres, producers are diversifying from the four four again. That’s the shit we’re into!!! So this mix represents that, there’s broken beats from a house/techno angle with the super prolific Kink’s “Pocket Piano” and the warp style “LYK LYK” from Bicep, US flavour with Nguzuzungzu and krueger, from the UK bass world, Woz, Mak & Pasteman and the amazing new Jakwob track, warehouse rave shit from Paul “Special Request” Woolford, and Mlla Dee plus minimal beats from Pearson Sound, and Tessela, a dash of hip hop cos you know we’re keen on that, plus some of ours. I hope it’ll make your head nod and you’ll be in a world of emotion.
The breaks scene has gone through many guises over the years. What are your thoughts on the current state of the scene, and where are some of your favourite places to DJ in the UK?
Pat: I’m gonna get a lot of hate for this but if I’m honest I’m not that keen, it seems to be going around in circles. One of the things that was so exciting and interesting about breakbeat for me was that it was incredibly open minded and took in many different influences, I think that’s been lost. It was starting to happen around the time we were writing our first album and that was a large driving force behind our music, we wanted to bring something new to the table and we’re ready to do that again.
Tom: I refer to my previous answer about the state of breaks; there’s good breaks not breaks about but as for “Breaks” meh. We love it here down south but The North has always been amazing to us. Our residencies in Sheffield were next level and every time we play in Manchester it’s bananas.
In todays music scene many artists treat themselves as more of a brand than a person. What are your thoughts on this, and how do you approach marketing yourself via social media?
Pat: I haven’t got a problem with it but I know it’s not for me these days, I just want to make music and pretty much be left alone really. Things have changed a lot since we were coming up though and you have to push it as much as possible to make a career for yourself, I don’t blame anyone for doing it and I’d do it in a heartbeat if I was just starting out. As for our approach to marketing ourselves via social media it’s pretty much us posting pictures of cats.
You have both been in the music industry for some time now. What have been some of your personal highlights over the years?
Pat: As much as I’ve loved travelling all over the world playing to thousands of people, having a residency at Fabric, winning awards, releasing albums and being featured in Hollywood movies I still think the highlight for me was releasing our first single.
Tom: Bus touring America with Carl Cox and the Crystal Method, Fuji Rock Festival, Glastonbury Arcadia live with the band, an outdoor festival in Montreal in minus 25 degrees “Igloofest”, never has a party been so hype , never have i been so cold! Doing tracks with our hereos Aesop Rock and El-p. Getting to sample the Zombi Soundtrack by Fabio Frizzi who turns out to be a don. Hearing our remix in AJ’s club on the last series of the Sopranos, that was up there ! thats some of them… Oh yeah plus countless Marine Parade nights with strong musical family.
Can you tell us what we might expect from Evil Nine in 2015?
Pat: More releases on Punks, a remix for OWSLA, our mix album and maybe even the third artist album we promise our fans constantly. We’ve been busy with other projects in recent years but want to give Evil Nine a big push in 2015 by releasing loads of stripped back club music. We’d love to write another artist album but before that we want to get the club side of things going again.
01. Glass Eye (Extended) – Pearson Sound
02. Azaelea Banks ft Drums of Death – Fierce
03. Break in – Nguzunguzu
04. Dirt Diggler – Mak & Pasteman
05. Work That – Krueger
06. I know – Lokiboi
07. Trust meh – Woz
08. Bugatti ( no tiga mo pusha edit ) – Tiga
09. Bottom out – Tessela
10. Naughty – Jakwob
11. Solar Black rays – Evil Nine
12. LYK LYK – Bicep
13. Pocket Piano – Kink
14. Busy earnin (Special Request VIP) – Jungle
15. Heaven – Mella Dee
16. Your Girl – Evil Nine