Interview: Gentleman’s Dub Club
Tab’s resident interviewer OLIVIA ATKINS caught up with Gentlemen’s Dub Club before their gig at the Union
The Tab: Hello boys! So to get straight into the thick of it… tonight you’re playing here at the Union, but the night itself is being promoted as a gig rather than a night out. Is this because you’re promoting a new album?
Toby: Yes… currently working on our first proper album which we’ve been writing and recording before this tour. We’re releasing 11-12 new tracks, but the tour is really designed to get us back on the road, so that we’re ready to release the album by next year. We’ve been previewing our new songs, all of which have been quite well-received, and we should be releasing the first single off the album very soon; it’s called ‘Feels Like’.
T: Johnny sounds fantastic on the track, and it is a collaboration with Tim Hutton, who’s recorded 2 or 3 other songs with us on the album. He’s done a lot of work with Prodigy, Dub Pistols and Groove Armada, and it’s been a really refreshing opportunity to work together, though we wrote the songs about a year and a half ago now. Most of the songs on tour are off the new album.
The Tab: So is it nice to be able to play something new? Were you getting a bit bored of the old stuff?
Kieran: Basically … yes! (haha) You’ve got to evolve; you can’t just keep playing what you’re used to.
The Tab: Is the new album in keeping with the old sound?
T: It’s definitely got the same energy. Most of the old stuff was in fact written whilst we were gigging.
K: We didn’t think about it too much, it just sort of happened! But then recently there’s been a real conscious effort to write songs….
T: I think this album takes advantage of the strong points of the band much more than our previous music and don’t get me wrong, we still love the old stuff, and we still play it… But we really want to push the sound of the band forward as much as possible. And from my point of view (Toby is also producing the album) I wanted to go really hard on the production and give it an up-to-date sound. I think people are going to be surprised but very satisfied… hopefully.
K: Yes, we met when we were at Uni here. Originally it started quite small with only 2 or 3 of us, but we wanted the sound to be bigger… here we are six years down the line performing at the Union! (Chuckles) We’re all really good friends and it’s worked out really well. Leeds is a great place for music… In a lot of other towns, like London perhaps, people are slightly guilty of following the crowd, whereas in Leeds everyone has their own niche.
The Tab: And so there’s 9 of you in the band, each of you playing different instruments, do any of you do your own projects alongside the band stuff?
T: Ye, ye. A few of us do; Matt our trumpet player has his another band and he teaches at Trinity Music college in London; Nick the guitarist has a jazz string quartet who have recently just come off tour; Tommy Evans also drums for Submotion Orchestra, who are great friends of ours and also amazing; Johnny the singer runs Outlook festival and then I produce mainly Bass music as well, under the name of Planus, as well as song-writing here and there, and Kieran does song sessions, sax sessions with producers and song-writers
The Tab: How was the festival scene for you this year?
K: We hardly played any festivals this year as we wanted to get some writing done. We only did V festival and Outlook – because we fucking love Outlook, that’s the 5th year we’ve done that!
The Tab: And just to clarify where did the name GDC come from?
K: It was written in the stars! We just looked up and it was there….
The Tab: So nothing to do with gentlemanly qualities…? (Laughter)
K: No, no, none of that!
T: It vaguely references the fact that we’re playing music from a poor area of the world, but we’re not necessarily from that background, but that we do have massive respect for it.
The Tab: You also perform more often than not in suits … so is being a gentleman part of your image as well?
T: Ye, I guess, it just kind of happened really. We don’t really think too much about it, it just sounded good and felt good to be in suits.
The Tab: And if not, there’s always the manager, the groupies or any other crew members… (Laughter) well thank you very much boys, and good luck with the gig. The gig was a fantastic night, and the new album was very well received. Keep an eye out for album release date early next year!