The Deadbeats are back releasing material at their new home, Wax On Records after nearly a decade hiatus since their last full length release “Lounging”. Damian Stanley and Ged Day have been busy, traveling, working in television and the online music industry. Now, we find the two joining forces once again with Emma Hyde to create more downbeat vibes for their upcoming release, “Made in the Shade”, due out later this year. Slackline Radio caught up with the two to ask questions about their past, present, and future, and what may be for dinner.
Slackline Radio: It has been a little while since the last full length release of the Deadbeats. Where have you been and what have you done?
Damian Stanley: After taking a break from recording studios I began working in television stations worldwide including BBC, MTV and ABC NEWS. After a while, the constant traveling became too much so I returned to England to settle down and start writing “Made In The Shade” drawing from my travels for inspiration.
Ged Day: I moved to London shortly after we’d finished recording our debut album “Lounging”, to work for Ideal Distribution. They were distributing 2020Vision at the time so I got to see “Lounging” flying out the doors like the proverbial ‘hot cakes’ (much to our relief!). After that I joined Warp Records in 1999 and became involved in a whole bunch of good stuff including helping to set up Warp Films and founding music download service Bleep.com. After 7 years I left Warp in 2006 to do my own thing and created People’s Music Store.
Slackline Radio: What brought you over to the WaxOn label to work with Nightmares on Wax and produce your latest tracks?
Damian Stanley: We’ve been fans of Nightmares On Wax for years and so the move to his label seemed the right thing to do. With George being signed to Warp, Ged decided to give him a copy of some of our new material. George loved it and suddenly we found a new home with the guys at WAX ON.
Slackline Radio: Tell us a little about the relationship between Ged, DJ Emma and yourself and how you came back together to put music down for your new release as the Deadbeats?
Damian Stanley: Originally, we were all members of a sound system called DIY back in the early 90′s organizing free parties and club nights. Ged managed the DiY record label Strictly 4 Groovers and I was the studio manager and sound engineer. I was working for various other labels at that time too, including Strictly Rhythm and UMM. Emma was in charge of running the DJ booking agency and had a couple of releases under her belt including an E.P. for Back to Basics own label and a number of remixes too.
Ged Day: Yeah, we spent a lot of time partying together at some amazing events and with us sharing so much in common it was only a matter of time before we worked on something together. Natural progression I guess.
Slackline Radio: Is the Deadbeats name an expression of a lifestyle or music style?
Damian Stanley: Its a bit of self derogation – it encapsulates the idea of the dope beat, something not too polished with a few rough edges here and there, so I’d say it reflects both our musical style and attitude, ‘no bling or hype’.
Slackline Radio: What is different now about the Deadbeats and what have you learned through your travels that might be causing you to discover a new sound on your upcoming release.
Damian Stanley: We’ve all matured and become more open musically. We aren’t afraid to show our various influences now we’re a little older – trying things that years ago we wouldn’t have dared for fear of being ‘uncool’… Also stepping outside the business for a while has allowed me to focus purely on the music, avoiding all the politics and distractions of the music industry.
Ged Day: Absolutely agree with Damian on that one. The range of music we listen to these days pretty much covers all styles of music and this is definitely reflected in our sound.
Slackline Radio: Can we expect any remix or collaborative work in the near future for the Deadbeats?
Damian Stanley: We’ve just remixed a beautiful track by Gelka called “Soon”, which was a real pleasure to work on – what a voice, what a great tune…..
Ged Day: I think in the past, we would have remixed or collaborated with most artists without really questioning it too much. These days we only work with music and people we really vibe off. Our output is less, but I think the end result is always much better that way.
Slackline Radio: Dogs or cats?
Ged Day: That’s a tricky one. I like both, but wouldn’t choose either as a pet – I’m just not a pet kind of person. A gold fish would be about as far as I’d be prepared to go.
Slackline Radio: So, what did happen to the Space Hopper label anyway?
Ged Day: We had a production and distribution deal with Network Records (pioneering Birmingham based label who introduced Detroit techno to the UK in the late 80′s) and released 5 EPs on Space Hopper before the unthinkable happened. Network were sued over the KWS hit “Please Don’t Go” and then they went (into administration) .. shit happens
Slackline Radio: What are some like-minded artists that you feel our listeners should know about?
Damian Stanley: Red on Dealmaker Records is great, obviously the WAX ON crew, Fat Jon The Ample Soul Purveyor is great if you like minimal hip hop instrumentals and check out The Waxolutionists.
Ged Day: I can’t say these are necessarily like-minded artists, but they’re hogging my playlist right now – Martyn (on 3024), Bullion (on One-handed Music), Heartbreak (on Lex), Runaway (on Rekids) and at this exact moment I’m listening to Lack Of Afro ‘Press On’ (on Freestyle Records) – it’s a couple of years old but still sounds great.
Slackline Radio: Meat or vegetables, what may you be chomping on this evening?
Damian Stanley: Grilled Sea Bass fillet covered in lemon juice on a bed of Samphire (well you asked).
Ged Day: I’m not sure what just yet, but I’m betting it’ll involve cheese (in one of it’s many disguises).