Opening up a whole new brightly coloured tunnel and delving us deeper into a mysteriously illuminating venture to bury all demons inside forever, UK-based EDM producer RICKY slams the door shut rather brilliantly and tells us all about it with an interview all about his 7th of July scheduled 8-track release, Dark Places.
Llewelyn: Welcome to A&R Factory and thank you for taking the time to chat with us today RICKY. Let’s start off with this. You were known previously for your work with the 2 piece electro-punk indie rave band called Battlecat! What’s the progression been like in your life to now being an alternative EDM producer?
RICKY: Thanks for having me! I’ve always been passionate about music having previously grown up living in an independent family-run music venue and watching and prompting hundreds of bands every year and then came Battlecat! Who was made up of me plus the sound man from our venue (we were very close friends and had been talking about trying to write some test icicles-inspired tunes for a while.
Battlecat’s sound mixed elements of techno, EDM and drum and bass with punk guitars and distorted vocals and was heavily influenced by the ‘Nu rave scene’ of the early 00s. Working on that particular project gave me an opportunity to explore a different side of music production (as I only really played guitar prior) and is where I cut my teeth using Daw’s and Vst’s and hardware units. I kept exploring and learning more about arrangement and production and it became my passion and so transitioning to alternative Electronic production felt like a natural progression.
Llewelyn: You rep Nottingham in the UK. What’s the scene like there (good and bad things) and where are the best spots to watch underground music in your area?
RICKY: The scene in the early 00s consisted of a lot of indie, punk and metal but it seems to have broadened over the years and it’s literally a melting pot of unique artists of every genre you can think of. Nottingham is home to many great venues but JT SOAR, The Chameleon and Bodega are great venues to catch upcoming artists.
Llewelyn: Dark Places. Goodness me. This will wake up anyone who has been sleeping. We love the high-tempo energy. What was the main motivation behind the project and are there any tracks in particular you’re most proud of? Also, was there anyone else involved in the creation?
RICKY: Dark Places is a follow-up to my ‘bedroom-produced Ep’ Pushing Buttons. I was fairly proud of Pushing Buttons but it was definitely a genre-hopping piece of work where as this next record feels a bit more coherent and uniform in terms of tone. I’m particularly proud of the debut single ‘Don’t say anything’ (which is released on 23rd June) and ‘Wreck’ which I suppose is my answer to Hudson Mohawke’s distorted brass, fidgety loveliness. The whole record was written, mixed and mastered by myself and the only contribution being that of ‘PLAEDO’ who is an activist, rapper and altogether great guy from Portland Oregon that pit some great lyrics to ‘I’m talking to you’
Llewelyn: 2020 was mad. Did you feel super refreshed after your hiatus and do you sense your creative process or sound changed at all?
RICKY: 2020 was definitely mad and full of negatives the only plus for me personally was the free time it gave me due to being furloughed and getting the last ep finished. When you have a family and full-time job it can be very difficult to find the time to work on your passion project because let’s face it family comes first.
Llewelyn: Do you have any funny stories about the music business you’re allowed to share? Perhaps an interaction with a fan, or a wild moment at a party/festival or a realisation which made you laugh?
RICKY: I can remember when the Eighties Matchbox B line disaster played our venue and after they played we had a lock-in with around 50 folks where we drank the bar dry to lots of The Cramps and QOTSA blasting out the PA and then around 3 am we took the party to their tour bus (they came it a massive double-decker tour bus complete with leather sofas and flat screens tvs) and invited a few of us on to indulge in some mushrooms and various other ‘vegetables’ that was a very epic and hilarious night. It wasn’t hilarious when I woke up with my head in a pizza box covered in filth and vomit though.
Llewelyn: Who are the OG’s of your local scene and who do you look up to the most?
RICKY: There’s always been Lots of great Nottingham bands but back in the day for me, it was probably ‘Late of the pier’ ‘I was a Cub Scout’ and Swound! There’s obviously been a good few Notts acts break in the last decade such as Sleaford mods and Jake Bugg.
Llewelyn: Lastly, where can we catch you live over the summer?
RICKY: I’m looking at getting the live show up and running for late August and I’m hoping to gig as much as physically possible (in between work and family commitments) through the back end of this year through next year onwards so hit me up if you’re a promoter and have any slots going free. I’ll sweat and make noise for beers and fuel.
Listen up to Don’t Say Anything on Spotify.
Find out more on IG.
Interviewed by Llewelyn Screen