10 minutes with Mark Wilkinson at LET IT ROLL Festival 2013 – Benešov, CZ

How was your show tonight?

My show, it’s crazy man, I came here an hour before my set and Ed Rush & Optical came on before me, filling in for MindVortex which is a nice surprise for the crowds.

And it’s just amazing, this thing I love about Czech Republic, like they love their Drum and Bass you know. You’ve got a Festival right now, and we’ve got Ram Records take over a stage, and you’ve got Virus stage, so it’s all Drum and Bass.

You know what I mean, it’s just great, for me, to be involved in the scene and come out here, and just everyone just wanna hear Drum and Bass, nothing else but Drum and Bass.

And that’s great, it’s an amazing experience. It’s wicked, it’s refreshing.

Let It Roll 2013

I’ve always known that Czech Republic was gonna be wicked. The only club I’ve played at is Roxy (www.roxy.cz) and that was massive, it was sold out, and that was probably about over a year ago. When I only had a few tunes out, and the reaction here was amazing.

Actually I came here three or four years ago, on a stag do, and the best man of the guy who was getting married was Cyantific, he was booked to do the festival Hospitality night. I wasn’t even signed to Ram by then, it was so good, it was just one of those nights when everyone was drinking. We party pretty hard.

So that was my first time, and I remember saying to the promoter like, book me next year, book me next year. So a couple of years ago they booked me. And I came here and had my first experience which is awesome.

And then this year you like, to sort of be near the headlinings, it’s just amazing, it’s just great man, it’s a great thing.

Do you know how many countries you’ve been to, I mean just as a DJ?

No, well I mean like this year, I’ve probably done the whole world. I mean I haven’t played in Asia, which is somewhere I really wanna play.

Dubai maybe?

No, well I’ve flow through there. Apparently, the promoter of the big club scene in Dubai is here tonight, so asking me is interesting. So yeah I haven’t done Asia, I haven’t done Dubai, I haven’t done Africa, but, I’ve done America, I’ve done the whole of America this year, I played the West coast last year.

It’s just an amazing opportunity, do you know what I mean like, I’ve done the EXIT Festival (Serbia), I’m doing Pukkelpop (Belgium), I’m doing Outlook Festival (Croatia), a lot of festivals in England. I mean it’s just an amazing opportunity you know.

I used to be a gardener. So you know what I mean like before I did this, I used to be a gardener, I used to earn 45 pound a day. I used to love that. And I used to do some of tunes after my work. I used to go home, 5 o’clock, start my computer up and start making tunes.

And so now to be able to travel the world and DJ in front of different crowds, see the different reactions to different tunes, and actually you get an interpretation of like what sort of music do America like, what sort of Drum and bass they like.

Czech Republic, and like France, where you guys are from, Europe is the central hub for Drum and Bass, that’s what I find. The UK predominantly obviously, it’s from there but Europe, like your legislation, your governments legislation allows bigger party.


You know like tonight, you’re firing fireworks off the main stage, raining fire down onto the crowd. If that was in the UK, you know the fire department would shut that down, but because it’s in Czech Republic, it’s allowed and actually it was just amazing do you know what I mean, and the opening scene was amazing, and spectacular.

And that’s the thing with Europe you know, everyone is a little bit more chilled out, they wanna come out and have a good time, the police don’t bother you too much, like in the UK that’s very predominant, and in the US it is an amazing scene like everywhere around Europe.

So I heard Hearbeat tonight, which was just released, how did the crowd respond and is it an appetizer for a LP coming out really soon?

The thing with Heartbeat is like, it’s technically half time Drum and Bass. You know I’ve been putting out Drum and Bass records for three years now, and you know, it’s just one of those records that I wrote a while ago, and I didn’t mean to write it to put out, I wrote it to give to someone else to sort of sing on.

But then everyone was like why don’t you put it out yourself, you know, something different. You know I don’t wanna be confined to Drum and Bass through my whole career, because you know after a while, you just wanna explore things.

So I’ve put it out and I made sure that we had remixes to support it, because for me, it’s half time, so you know, Calyx and Teebe I love those guys, they smashed the remix, MindVortex aswell. It is like a more commercial record, I mean I’ve always loved P. Money and I wanted to work with him, and that’s been a personal thing that I wanted to do.

You know I’ve never been dictated to by a label or my fans, I put out what I wanna put out. At the end of the day, obviously if it’s shit, then no one’s gonna put it out. But if they like it, you know, I’ll put it out.

My next record before the album is gonna be a Drum and Bass record, and my album is like 70 percent Drum and Bass anyway, do you know what I mean, so well 80 percent Drum and Bass, so for me, to listen to an album, you have to have your breaks in the album. You have to have your moments where it slows down, it’s something a bit different.

Let It Roll 2013

That’s really what I did with Heartbeat, you know, I’ve put out Drum and Bass records after Drum and Bass records, I wanna show people that I can make this sort of stuff. Then I’m gonna come back with another Drum and Bass record, I wanna keep making Drum and Bass, I mean that’s what I love, that’s what I DJ out tonight, that’s what I travel the world trying to educate people to do, you know what I mean.

You go some places, and they’re like what is Drum and Bass? You know I do these festivals, because I’m seen now as a more commercial act, it actually gives me the opportunity. Where some people might say, oh yeah you know you’re making this commercial music. Well my point of view is actually, what I’m doing is I’m introducing people.

When I go and play out, I might play Heartbeat, and that’s not Drum and Bass. By mixing it with the remix, then it’s like OK what’s this? It’s Drum and Bass, and then I mix it in with another hour worth of Drum and Bass and people are like OK, I like Drum and Bass. That’s how I got introduced to it.

You’re taking part in something so that like Drum and Bass does not just remain a subculture, right?

Yes I think people have done it before like Chase and Status, Subfocus, DJ Fresh, you know what I mean. But it is about educating people, and it’s like the more people that love your music, the better the shows. And it’s better for the music on a whole.

Within Drum and Bass, there’s so many underground labels. Well not even underground labels, like Critical, like Virus, they’re taking over the stages, they’ve got their own stage tonight. You’ve got like Shogun, you know, even Ram, they can put out more commercial stuff, but they can put out hard music, and it’s just getting more people involved in it and it’s only a good thing, you know what I mean.

There’s no such thing as keeping something really small and just tight, because at the end of the day, people grow out of it. And you need to bring new people in, you need to introduce new people into music and that’s what I’m trying to do. And then my sets are predominantly Drum and Bass, so that’s my idea you know, and that’s what I live by basically.

Some people will wanna know how it is that you produce, make collabs, work, is it over the internet, together in the studio. How was this new LP Lazers Not Included made?

Personally, the thing with production is that it’s something that happens over time, and I always find that you need to develop an air. So my air developped over about, I mean I started making tunes when I was 14, and I got signed to Ram when I was 21 so that was seven years of sort of developing my production.

I generally produce my tunes on my own, and I just feature artists like vocalist, so I make a tune and then I’ll be like right, I love this vocalist, let’s go in the studio, let’s record some vocals for that track.

Let It Roll 2013

I’ve worked with a guy called Brad, who’s part of the Nextmen (thenextmen.com), they’re like a hiphop group and he’s musically amazing, do you know what I mean, so I’ve worked with him on like two tracks on my album. And it’s like it brings that different sort of musical heads, for me you need to take inspiration from other people to make an album really diverse, which is what I wanted to do.

As a producer, you need to get comfortable, you don’t need to spend loads of money on these ridiculous buggings, I saw some people spend loads of money on these buggins, because at the end of the day, you need to learn how to use the buggings before you start using them.

I use Logic, I use really basic Logic buggings, but I use Massive, I use Razor, and I use Predator, and I use EXS24, it’s a sampler. That’s pretty much what I do, and I think that’s al you need to do, you know, it’s getting your levels right.

My beats are all samples, so I sample breakbeats, classic, you know like, ‘think’ break, obviously the Amen break, by the Winstons brothers (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00hc8sf). It’s all samples really, and that’s fundamentally what Drum and Bass came from, samples.

I remember seeing you in Paris with Stamina MC, and he was not just doing the MC, he was singing, and it was awesome. Are you coming back to France?

Well you know what, I have to say this for the French people. Jungle Juice, Arnaud and Olivier, they’ve got me my first international booking, I remember it clearly. Charly from the Dirtyphonics, he told them, they were like we need to book someone, someone cheap, someone who’s new. So I remember getting my first booking 150 pounds and it was in 2010, and I remember getting on this Eurostar and I was like wow, I’m going to France, I’m gonna play to a bunch of people who don’t speak my language as well as I do.

And since then, those guys have been, I love them, they are the nicest people and they throw really good parties. I mean Cabaret Sauvage, I played there a couple of times, it’s just amazing. But it’s the fact that it’s a circus tent, and I’ve got love for those guys and I love France. I’ve done a few good shows there, I’ve played for other promoters but Arnaud and Olivier, they’re like really close friends of mine, and they throw great parties, probably the best times of my career in DJ have been with those guys.

Wilkinson will be at LET IT ROLL Open Air 2014



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Posted in BassJunkees, DrumnBass, Events, Gigs, Guest DJ, I Love Drum & Bass, Interview, Interview, Jegeor, Let It Roll 2013, Party Reviews, Pictures, UK, Wilkinson
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