Interview: Laurence Guy

With records out on Mule Musiq & Church, things are moving from strength to strength for Laurence Guy. We were lucky enough to speak with UK DJ and all round dawg as part of his continuing tour of Oz. 

Tell us a bit about where you grew up in the UK. What was the music scene like there? What were your earliest experiences with music?

I grew up in a small town just outside of London. The scene was super small, but the nature of it being a small place meant that there was a lot of passionate and talented people trying to push things forward. My early experiences there revolved mainly around drum & bass and, a bit later, dubstep. This basically involved years of honing my DJ chops at house parties and small clubs around town. I also spent some time going to local hardcore and metal shows and always kinda felt there wasn’t much difference between those and the drum & bass parties as they were both just about pure energy (and also aggression to a certain degree). It wasn’t until I started to travel to clubs in London more frequently that I found myself wanting to slow the tempo down and engage with house and techno. I think one of the main attractions was that the DJs played music from lot’s of different eras and there was an openness there that I found drum & bass nights to lack. A couple of key gigs that I can remember off the top of my head were – Soul Clap at Plan B, Brixton and Jamie Jones filling in for MCDE at Plastic People.

Do you recall the first 12” you owned?

I actually found this the other day. “DJ Luck & MC Neat – Do You Really Like It?” a bonafide UK classic if there ever was one!

Where did you take inspiration from in your formative years? (Musically and non-musically!)

I took inspiration from all over really. Skate videos, my older brother, friends, the internet etc etc. I really was just on a mission to find new music and that’s what I spent all my time doing, especially the time that should have been spent doing other things.

Where do you take inspiration from now? Is there any way in particular you like to spend your spare time?

Again just from everywhere! I’ve still got the same attitude to finding music as I always have. It’s even easier to find stuff now with the advent of youtube etc which is amazing! If I’m not doing something music related, I like to spend my time rock climbing (something I’ve also done from a young age) relaxing or at a club maybe.

What does music mean to you?

Big question eh! Pretty hard to put in to words to be honest. It’s just something I’ve always been obsessed with, a form of escapism, an identity and a cause of extreme joy and frustration. One of the byproducts of starting to make music from a young age is that the question of “why do I do this” gets forgotten and is sometimes hard to answer. It’s just what I do and who I am etc. It’s something that occupies my mind more frequently now that I’ve become more involved in the industry. It’s difficult not to get bogged down in chasing the next thing and focus too much on “making it” and not on what “it” actually means to you. Right now I feel fortunate that I can freely write whatever comes to me musically and sustain myself doing so.

What do you see as the strengths of the scene? What have you enjoyed about Australia previously?

What I loved about Australia was the complete enthusiasm everyone had for the music and the parties. It was pretty special to be such a long way from home but feel completely at ease with lot’s of like minded people. I felt a special affinity with Perth as it reminded me of the scene in my home town, lot’s of local DJs and parties alongside international acts coming through and a general passion shining through from people that I spoke to.

Also, the “record scene”, for want of a better word, in Melbourne was something quite special too. There’s enough differently vibe shops to keep you interested for a long time.

You’ve recently had a record come out on Mule Musiq (big fans at 6am), how did that come about? Was there any particular mindset or feeling that influenced how the record ended up sounding?

I’d just been through a break up maybe a day or two before I wrote the EP, so it was made in the ensuing period of self pity! Hence the over dramatic track titles and general “woe is me” theme. Having said that it is one of my favourite records and actually the only record I released in 2018.

On that note, talk us briefly through your studio setup! Any rituals? Any rules you won’t break?

Set up is (relatively) simple – Logic 9, Moog Sub Phatty, Casio Cz5000 and a turntable for sampling. As far as rituals go, I usually watch two episodes of Frasier over breakfast (which is always eggs) then I get started in the studio. I think having a weird routine like that is actually pretty conducive to being creative. If I feel I’m getting bogged down or the ideas aren’t flowing, I’ll go climbing or watch a bit of TV or go to the record shop and take my brain away then come back. The music I’m working on becomes more of a constant thing in the background that I go back and forth to all day, I’m not one for sitting in the studio for 10 hours straight, plus my studio is just my bedroom so that would be a bit weird anyway.

What’s on the horizon for 2019?

I have a record coming early out next year that I’m reaaaaally excited about. It’s a 6 track mini LP kinda thing coming on one of my favourite labels. Other than that I’ll be touring as much as possible, writing more music and generally having a good time.

Laurence Guy Facebook / SoundCloud