Fabio & Grooverider reflect on 25 years at the top of the game

Drum and Bass | Tuesday 13th October 2015 | Osh

We finish our series on the godfathers of drum & bass by catching up with the legends themselves at their 25th anniversary blowout. Fabio and Grooverider reflect on a quarter of a century at the top of the game.

So how was it out there?
It was good, it was good to see everyone, everyone came through for us man. You know good to see Goldie and people like Fresh, you don’t see Fresh around, it was probably the last drum and bass set he’ll ever play, so you know.
Grooverider: We had to draw him back out.
Fabio: Yeah Adam F as well.
Grooverider: Yeah we’re chuffed that he come out for us man.
Fabio: Chuffed that everyone come out, Dillinja as well.
Grooverider: Rat Pack.
Fabio: Yeah Rat Pack, Brockie, Frost.
Grooverider: You’re never ever gonna see that, all these people together in one place again, it’s never gonna happen.
Fabio: It’s a special thing man.

It’s like a reunion you got going down there.
It’s like Music House bruv.

But it’s a different thing because it’s a 25 year party of you two. How does it feel that everyone came down to pay respect to you?
Do you know what I’m not even trying to think about that because if I do my head won’t go through the door [laughs]. I’m just trying to stay grounded. I’ll think about it when I get home tonight.

It’s a celebration of 25 years in the game, hitting that stretch has it got a certain feeling?
Do you know what, the rules are still the same man. Still looking for fresh music, still looking for the next high, the next party, nothing’s changed man.
F: Tomorrow’s another day.
G: I can’t say I feel any different from when I started. We’re like Peter Pan’s in this game right now.
F: Like tonight, we were nervous before we come here. It matters to us. We’re not one of them people that come down here, it means a lot. We’ve got a lot of passion for this game and we’re still keeping it fresh. That’s really important man.

This is what everyone’s saying, how they think you’ve remained iconic, and they’re saying it’s because you care so much. What would you say? What’s your take on it? Other people out there, they’re getting number ones in the charts and that but you’ve remained at the top of the game.
You know what, we don’t think about it to be honest with you.
G: It’s not something we focus on.
F: Honestly we just do it day by day.
G: If you go out chasing that shit, that’s when it’s all gonna crumble.
F: Exactly.
G: If you stay true to what you’re about, which is the music, it’s nothing else. It’s not about fame, it’s not about the money, it’s all about music, fresh music, and that’s what keeps us going. 25 years but we’re not playing the same music we were 25 years ago, we’ve gone through many different phases. It’s always the next cutting edge thing and that’s what we like to deal with.
F: You know the thing is as well, me and Groove, what’s good about me and Groove from other duos is that we’re kinda different and the same at the same time. We’ve got the same principles, same philosophy and it’s always been the same you know. I can honestly say that it ain’t really changed with me and Groove in 25 years. Not really, not the way we feel about the game.
G: We’re still waiting for our first argument.
F: We don’t argue, we don’t argue. 20 odd years and we’ve just got this thing down. We know our boundaries with each other.
G: He crosses it and I just say nothing [laughs].
F: [laughs] That’s kinda true actually.
G: That’s the way it rolls though man, it’s just perfect. He’s my best mate.
F: It’s a very perfect relationship. The good thing about this as well you know, we’ve done a lot of promotion together and that’s been good because we’re so busy half the time, we kinda live separate worlds a lot of the time, so it’s been good because we’ve really promoted this hard man. We’ve gone out there and done a lot of radio promotion for this because it’s a different game now. It’s not like it was before where you could just give out flyers and people would come to your party. It ain’t like that no more man. The work that we’ve put in this has been insane. Rinse FM, Capital Xtra, we’ve done Radio 1, we’ve done Kiss.

It paid off though, look at the venue!
Yeah it’s a venue that’s not used a lot as well, which is good.

So do you think your relationship has also helped people’s perception of the music? You guys said you never argue and you got your different sides of music and a lot of people got influenced by you, do you think it’s you two influencing each other?
Yeah, yeah.
G: Yeah we bounce off each other.
F: That is what it is. Sometimes we sit down and say, when I want to go out and hear tunes, I’ll go out and listen to Groove.
G: Vice versa.
F: More than anyone else really. When I really wanna hear tunes that I’m feeling, especially nowadays, it’s hard because I think me and Groove in a lot of ways are very separate from what other people are doing out there. And that’s the truth because if you really check it, no one’s played like me and Groove tonight, and that’s not a diss, everyone’s doing their own thing but no one really plays like me and Groove. It’s a very unique thing and it’s gone back from house music, from the very start. You gotta remember, we was around before house music was anything, when it was nothing. When everyone’s talking about these big house guys now, no disrespect, we was playing that stuff, we kinda progressed from that stuff.
G: 20 odd years ago.
F: We stopped playing it because we thought it kinda stopped progressing, and so we went with something that was fresh and new but respect to everyone that’s still doing the house thing. House went a certain way at a stage and we were just like “nah”.
G: They’re trying to get it back to what it was. I’m liking some of this house music right now.
F: Yeah, yeah there’s a lot of good house music out there but it’s been a while man, and we couldn’t have stuck around playing music that we weren’t feeling so drum & bass was what we were feeling at the time. Who’s to say something else won’t come along and we’re gonna be feeling that. We’re Fab and Groove, we do what we want.

Do you think that might have been one of your best decisions at that point to take it and leave this?
I don’t know if that is because maybe we could have been millionaires [laughs].
G: I could have had some money in my pocket [laughs]. But we keep it real, keep to the music. That’s why we’re broke, because we’re doing music we like. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea but it’s our cup of tea.

Does it mean a lot to you that you have influenced so many people?
To be honest with you we don’t even think about it.
G: We don’t see it because we don’t think about it. I’m worried about what I’m gonna play next week, I’m not worried about if I’m influencing anybody. If I am I’m doing it in a positive way rather than a negative way. It’s not something I sit and dwell about but now you say it, I’m gonna go and think “boy, what have I actually done?” [laughs].
F: [laughs] You’ve messed the game up dog!

We had Adam F here talking about when he was bringing this tune ‘Metropolis’, he’s bringing it to make you happy, something for you to play, and then I’m thinking about the impact of that tune on me.
I remember when I first played that tune, it got about five reloads.
F: I’ll never forget that day. I used to go down Metalheadz and Groove used to draw out tunes with me, he still does it now. We done Rinse FM and lots of people gave out shouts to us and it’s like…
G: I didn’t know you felt like that.
F: Not at all! We don’t sit down and think that people should worship us. I don’t know sometimes I think “really, are they talking about us? Like wow, is that the way you feel?” That’s the truth, we both feel like that.

There’s doing something and then there’s doing something consistently, and if you do something consistently for a long time, it stands out from what anyone else does.
Absolutely, that’s the thing.

So that 25 years must mean something?
It means we’re getting old [laughs].

So what’s next?
I don’t know.
G: We don’t plan that shit man.
F: Ever since we’ve started out, we’ve never sat down, we don’t plan anything. This is the only thing that we planned in 25 years! We kinda go with the flow, that’s the thing with me and Groove, we don’t sit around going “well you know what Fab, in six months”, we don’t. We’re DJing tomorrow, we don’t know what we’re gonna play, we don’t plan anything. Everything is like off the cuff man and it could be no other way.

You see the dilemma though, you stay at the top of the game, you just get older. Are we gonna be here in thirty years, the same people down there?
Bloody well hope not man! I’ll be so rich I won’t give a shit [laughs].
F: We don’t know if we’re gonna be around next week.
G: I’m just thankful for every day that I have man.
F: Yeah that’s the fear that keeps us going. There’s a lot of young kids out there now who think in a different way and you just never know what’s going to happen. People go “yeah you lot are gonna be around for another 25 years’, I don’t know, I’ve got no idea.
G: I doubt it very much.

Either way, you did a lot man.
We’ve got our legacy now and no one can ever take that away from me and Groove. It’s nice that it’s come to 25 years and people have made us realise how important we were because we don’t sit down and think about that. If you do that as well it will mess you up, it will mess up your game.
G: You start believing your own hype. You believe you’re somebody that you’re not.
F: Exactly.

It’s about history though, 25 years has passed.
But you can’t take too much off of that because tomorrow’s another day, it’s another gig.
G: You’re only as good as your last gig.
F: Exactly. And that’s the god’s honest truth, tomorrow you could play another set and it goes wrong and you just beat yourself up. You just never know man. We keep on our toes at all times because we know how fickle this game is, and no matter how much people got respect for you, the people out there they don’t really give a shit, they’re into what’s coming next. As long as we’re going to be in the next phase, Fabio & Grooverider’s still gonna be around but I can’t predict nothing man.

It’s just good that it got to the 25 years and the opportunity to celebrate this.
Absolutely. A lot of our soldiers are falling and shit but we’re still here fighting.
F: Yeah man, absolutely. It’s good to see man like Chase & Status here, they don’t go out. You are not going to find Chase & Status going out anywhere. There’s a lot of people out there that don’t go out, people came out for us tonight. It’s a beautiful thing man.
G: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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