Ahead of his upcoming album we chat with UK beatsmith, Hervé

House | Thursday 9th June 2016 | Arren

Over the years Hervé has produced tonnes of music that spans several genres, under a variety of different guises. 

On top of that he's collaborated with so many big names like Kissy Sell Out, Jay Robinson, and of course Sinden. All the while heading one of the most reliable labels for club records, Cheap Thrills. He's very close to dropping another album, so it was only right to get locked in with him. 

Hey man! How are you?
I'm good, working on some collabs and some more underground club bangers as well as learning to drive (my girlfriend says I'm a "cocky" driver!) and buying a house.

Busy busy! You looking forward to the summer? Any big plans/holidays you’re looking forward to?
Yeah, couple of holidays away, hopefully passing my test. Got my album coming out which is very exciting and some exciting other music bits being prepared for release.

Speaking of your album, Hallucinated Surf, it follows two sick releases on Skint - what can we expect from it?
Well it's in two parts over two discs. Part 1 represents my more uptempo bassy club side and part 2 is very much a downtempo listening affair.
So it's not an album you need to sit through both parts, its for two distinct moods and reflects both sides of what i do as Herve.
I'm really happy with how each side has such a strong and unique sound.

Looking forward to the results. What’s changed since your last album, The Art of Disappearing in 2013?
With The Art of Disappearing I really just wanted to break from the perception of me as simply a dance music producer. I realised I wasn't expressing a whole side of myself and was probably pigeonholed at the time. Skint Records came along and have been brilliant in supporting me in making this new album that brings together both sides of me, I couldn't have had it turn out any better!

When did you start working with Skint?
Christmas 2014 / the beginning of 2015. They asked for a track as they where relaunching under the new head of AnR Matt so I sent over a track that myself and Trevor Loveys had done which they liked and released.
From then on I was in contact with Matt a lot and we got on well so he asked if wanted to do my next album on Skint. I said yes.

Along with your new music under Hervé, you've also dropped the first Voodoo Chilli material in 7 years. Why was there such a break?
Firstly I suppose there was The Count & Sinden album, which took along time to finish, way too long! That as well as The Art of Disappearing and remixing and producing over that period that restricted the time to come up with one. Secondly nothing I made sounded "Voodoo Chilli" until "Someday". I have a follow up already so it wont be 7 more years more like 7 weeks before another one comes out!

Wicked! It's not just Voodoo Chilli, you've also released under many different names - Action Man, The Count, Speaker Junk - does each name carry a different persona?
Yes. Whenever I make something I instinctively know what name it should be under, or if I need a new name!
I think nowadays only Hervé
 and Voodoo Chilli exist from the old psuedonymns, but I have a couple more floating about or imminently arriving that no one knows of yet.

You produce a wide range of music that spans genres, but they are all very British, What makes UK sound stand out from the rest?
I think we have such a great melting pot of cultures, especially in London. So we can't help but create new and wild music!
Our weather is fairly rubbish so we get stuck inside a lot and you have to do something to keep busy, so why not create crazy new UK music!?

Hear Hervé's top UK tunes

As a DJ/producer how have you managed to keep adapting to the scene and keep your fingers on the wire?
Many ways. Keeping on top of new music, sharing tracks with fellow DJs and producers. I'm in the studio 4/5 days a week so I'm always creating which helps keep you on top of things. The label helps too, new demos coming in all the time.

Well you've done well getting the best ones, as your Cheap Thrills has been successful since day one - what do you look for in music you put out on it?
It's really just down to whether I like it to be honest. I would struggle to have a label that just did the same thing again and again.
Sometimes I will sign something that is not maybe super unique but is a great DJ weapon, you gotta feed the DJs!

What has been a highlight for you whilst running the label?
I think helping launch other peoples careers has been really cool to do! People such as Fake Blood, KC Lights, Detboi and Jack Beats to name a few.

You’ve worked with so many other producers, but one that you did a lot of work with was Sinden - how did you first meet?
Shortly after Dave Switch Taylor signed me to Dubsided I met Sinden at Dave's studio and we just got on really well.
We decided to make an EP for Counterfeet the following week, so Sinden basically stayed over for a couple of days and we made our first EP with 'Beeper' on it. Four tracks, 2 days - bosh!

You work really well together as a production duo, what is it that you like about Sinden?
He's just really nice person, very into his music and we just really get along. I miss him now he is in LA! We used to go out to a lot of gigs and clubs together, he is a bit more out going than me, a lot better at networking I think.
We had a lot of laughs doing that whole Count & Sinden thing!

As well as that legendary duo you were one of the names behind the Machines Don't Care project. What was it like working on that?
Well I came up with it, the name and the concept, and also had to organise it! Originally Switch and Duke Dumont were involved but they ended up not being so. We got it together in the end and it did really well for all involved.
It was really fun getting everyone swap ideas. It was finished in about 3/4 weeks I believe.
I think my favourite track was the one Sinden and I did called 'Afro Jacker' - that used to go off big time! Oh and 'Beat Bang' that Trevor Loveys and I did was great too.

Was there a night/event that's changed your life?
The first Bestival I played/went to in 2007. It was brilliant & magical, amazing weather and the site looked so beautiful - it turned me back on to festivals.
I had a similar feeling the first time I went to Secret Garden Party too, very peaceful vibe but people going crazy having fun.

What is the worst job you have ever done?
Working in a warehouse, picking and packing clothes to be sent to shops. For months. Mind numbing repetition.

What would you fill a swimming pool with?
Puppies & peanut M & M's.

What's the worst thing you have a reputation for?
Babbling nonsense, my mind moves around a bit too much and sometimes I don't make sense!

What Ideas changed your life?

Funniest person you know?
Trevor Loveys, he is so daft.

If you had to start a new life in a new country, where would you go?
If I told you you might follow me and ruin my new life!

What would your hero super power be?
Getting up early. I don't believe 6-9am exist.

If you could have 3 wishes what would they be?
I would wish for another season of Lovejoy, that Ian McShane was my Dad and that London was by the Mediterranean Sea.

Who would be in your ultimate band?
Aphex Twin, Pharrell, Jon Bonham, & Jimi Hendrix.

What’s is your life motto?
Never give up.

Something you have to do before you die, which you have not yet done?
Drive across America.

Anything else we should know?
I'm gonna make a film with one of my brothers.

Hervé - online - Facebook - Twitter - SoundCloud
Cheap Thrills - Facebook - Twitter - SoundCloud