Slamming them down, one by one | Calyx & TeeBee

Drum and Bass | Tuesday 19th April 2016 | Arren

The unstoppable duo that is Ram's Calyx & TeeBee have just dropped their third studio album. 

Both producers in their own right, the pair came together following some heavy collabs. Loving each other style they decided to work together on a more serious basis. Fast forward to now and they're a force to be reckoned with, their tight productions have been causing serious damage on the floors from day one.

Their third studio album, 1x1 and a touring schedule as long as your arm - this duo are on fire. We had a chat with them both to hear about the album, touring and how music takes over. 

Hey, how are you doing?
Calyx - Great thanks, we recently got back from an epic few weeks of touring and we’re buzzing about the release of our album and all the events and features we have scheduled around it.
TeeBee - I'm a little tired after Snowbombing but otherwise I'm good thanks.

What are you up to right now?
Calyx - This interview is a welcome break from my annual accounting / tax ‘hell-week’.

Firstly, how was your tour across the US & Canada with Delta Heavy?
Calyx - It was better than our already high expectations. The scene over there right now is as good as it’s been in many years - we had so many amazing gigs, laughs and experiences.
TeeBee - It was really good. Amazing shows in every city and overall a great tour. We did the first half of the dates with Culture Shock, then added Mefjus for the last half.

Any thing funny that happened or a personal highlight?
Calyx - We had so funny moments on the tour and especially on our few days off in Vegas - sadly for this interview, pacts were made to keep them between us. A relative break from the madness involved getting drunk on ‘sex on the beach’ cocktails with Mefjus and Teebs up the tallest tower in Las Vegas while looking out over the city and surrounding desert.
TeeBee - Too many to mention! It’s always great banter and lively on tour. Internal humour / episodes always occur when you spend time in a kind of close proximity like that, so we have stories, just unsure if it would be wise to print them! As far as the gig highlights, Calgary was very, very special. So was Vancouver.

You have an album coming April 22nd, 1x1, what was the inspiration for the title?
TeeBee - It's read out 'one by one'. It sums up the two of us individually really. I don't know how much more there is to elaborate on that.
Calyx - 1x1 has many meanings for us. Primarily it’s about us being two individuals united in what we do, but it’s also about how we make music - putting all of our focus and energy into one piece of music at a time, obsessing over it until it single-mindedly until we let go and move onto the next.

It's your 3rd studio album, how did writing this album go down?
Calyx - As always, we went full OCD mode in every aspect of each track over 3 years. We work both together and separately as our studios have identical setups, enabling us to send projects back and forth and work simultaneously. As time passed the track list evolved from a mountain of tracks down to our final selection.
TeeBee - We started the process shortly after All Or Nothing was released in 2012. It has been in the works for around 3.5 years.

Is there a track on their that you are very proud of, that stands out to you?
Calyx - There’s no one track as it’s more a case of different tracks for different reasons. Usually we’re most into whatever we’re currently working on or what we’ve finished recently as that’s where our passion and energy have just been focused. But having obsessed over this album so intensely and having only just finished, it feels more like a labour of love than something we’re proud of quite yet. It’s always many months or years after the album is out that we look back on it with fresh ears and know what stands out for us and remains music to be proud of.
TeeBee - This question is hard, because you obsess over every little detail so much that eventually it just becomes frequencies that hit right. At least for me. I guess the tracks we finish last I tend to favour, but nothing I've singled out at this moment.

What are you getting up to this summer, any big festivals you're looking forward to?
Calyx - Audio River is the festival I’m looking forward to most, but it’s often one of the festivals we least expected to be ‘the one’ that ends up being the highlight of the summer.
TeeBee - Yeah a few! Audio River in Poland is always amazing, and Tomorrow World in Belgium. Those are the two I look forward to the most.

How did you start working together?
Calyx - We were first introduced through Moving Shadow and Rugged Vinyl: two labels that signed our early DnB tracks. The first time I met Teebs was at Rugged Vinyl’s office in 1997. Over the years that followed, Teebs and I became really good friends but we didn’t start working on tracks together until several years later. After having written 'Follow The Leader', ‘Cyclone’ and ‘The Quest’ we had enjoyed the collaborative process so much and had built up so much mutual-respect and felt so like-minded about the sound we aspired to achieve in DnB. So the prospect of writing an album together really excited us. It wasn’t until we were about half way through writing the Anatomy album that we decided to become a permanent production duo beyond the album.
TeeBee - We met years ago in the office of now defunked Rugged Vinyl. I think it might have been in 97 or 98. We kept in touch and formed a great friendship over time that eventually led to us wanting to work together. We did tracks on and off between our solo stuff before we teamed up full time in 2007.

Aside from your album what else have you got planned?
Calyx - There’s a load of exciting album-related events and features around release time, but we never stop producing so it’s on to the next tracks and projects. Plus the touring never stops so it’ll be a golden period of gigs. The buzz in the air is especially intense at gigs when we’ve just dropped a new album.
TeeBee - We are always looking ahead at what is next. This album has taken a lot out of us, but we're already writing new stuff. Some of it is already scheduled in for release after the album. We have other projects going on too, but that is currently under wraps to focus on the album.

What do you like doing when you're not producing or touring?
Calyx - The little time we get not producing or touring, we’re usually thinking about producing! But anything that involves fresh air and natural light makes a nice change!
TeeBee - I wish there was time for anything else!!! To be completely honest, most successful producers/dj's has no life outside of that world. It takes up every waking or free hour of your day. I love skateboarding and I love skiing. I just don't have time to do any of it. But if I had, I'd be on my board a lot more and I'd spend every winter in the French alps or in Canada.
Calyx - Table Tennis, Skiing, Snooker, Football
TeeBee - Movies, on planes mostly!

If you had a superpower what would it be and why?
Calyx - Maybe Omnipotence because it’s the ultimate superpower encompassing several other superpowers. But I’m not sure I’d actually enjoy being omnipotent so I’ll go for human flight because a) who doesn’t want to fly?! and b) I’d never have to spend time in an airport again.
TeeBee - I’d like to be able to stop time so I could get more work done and get some time off!

What are you most in love with right now?
Calyx - The prospect of submitting all my accounts in a few hours and being free from spreadsheet hell for another year.
TeeBee - My son. It just gets stronger with each day.

1X1 is out now

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