R13: When and how did Urban Myth Club form?
Dezz: The very beginnings of Urban Myth Club started a couple of years ago through a series of really bizarre co-incidences!
I was working on another project and had hooked up with Stephen Barton, a Hollywood film composer who had worked on music for films like Gladiator, and more recently Shrek and Narnia. We actually met over the internet, which is a thread that has continued throughout the group's journey!
Whilst working on the other project, Stephen heard some electronica tracks I had written and got very excited. We decided to start written together and Urban Myth Club was born. Things really took off when Ian Sanderson came on board. He was a bit of a legend in the creation of amazing samples which artists like Prodigy, Beastie Boy, Jean Michel Jarre and Madonna's producer had been using.
We got really excited after the first few tracks and we met first vocalist called Clare Szembek (who is also in EMI-signed "Captain"). Together we worked in the studio for over two years, and our debut album "Helium" was born.
R13: What's been your greatest achievement as a band so far?
D: I'm not a very good trumpet player, but as you asked... Getting booked for Glastonbury 05 before our debut album was released was pretty special! Being invited back this year is just as good a feeling. Playing on the main stage at the Big Chill to a crowd of thousands is also up there along with "I Feel It" (our debut single) charting. The thing that excites me the most is it's all been done off the back of the hard work and enthusiasm of everyone involved. Everything has been released on my label – TRL Music.
R13: What inspires your music?
D: The most inspiring thing for me when writing is knowing that people will own the music in a unique way which is relevant to their lives. We've had lots of stories about certain tracks. One cool DJ even shared that "I Feel It" was him and his partner's "song" – probably a bit too much information! We've also had some real life-changing stuff – somehow a track has touched someone at a moment in their life when it really meant something to them. It's never how you intend it when you write the music but it's very special to know that the music is out their living its own life.
R13: I've heard that your recording process is quite unique, making a lot of use of digital tools?
D: I guess you could say we've embraced the Digital Age full on! Over half the album was written using a new technique we developed over the internet. Say I had started a new track - anything from a simple bass line or drum beat to something much more developed. I would transfer the audio files over the net to Ian who would add and remove any part of it so long as it improved the track. He'd then send it back for me to build on. The track would keep going back and forth until we both felt it had reached a stage to get together in the studio to fine tune. It is a fascinating way of writing as you never get back what you'd expect! It also keeps tracks fresh and you have the creative freedom to get lost in your own world, without spending hours debating about what works and what doesn't. We have the best of both worlds as we work together in the studio as well.
R13: Digital technology has obviously helped you, but do you worry about your tunes being illegally distributed and the subsequent loss of profit?
D: When we started off I was really concerned about this, especially when I discovered our album was Top 10 in the illegal Russian download charts! It was weird because Russian sites were actually selling our music illegally claiming that they had deals in place with my label! The only comparison I can think of is imagine seeing some guy at a car boot fair flogging your company's product or service at a tenth of the price having stolen it from your warehouse!
Saying that, without the digital age, we wouldn't be where we are today, so in a way you have to embrace it, warts and all! We'd hope that anyone who enjoys our music is helping to support the group by buying the album, and telling all their friends about it. It's a strange paradox but the one percent of artists who are in the media spotlight every day are the ones that sell and make millions. In a way, people who download illegally can justify what they do as they think every artist owns a luxury boat, 4 football clubs and a rare monkey. The harsh reality is that 99% of all artists totally rely on the support of their fans to continue making more music.
R13: How would you convince our readers to check out your album?
D :Ooooo – nice question! Okay, how about this... We've organised for the one millionth reader of Room Thirteen who checks our the album sampler at www.myspace.com/urbanmythclub to win a luxury jet, a girl or man servant for the year, four year's supply of chocolate and a live performance by us in their front living room.
Or alternatively, I guess your good people could check out the reviews at www.urbanmythclub.com/press to see what others have made of it.
R13: The music has such an electronic base that your live show must be quite different, how do you create the same ambience on stage?
D :Creating a live show takes a huge amount of work - we have up to eight people on stage! It's a great mix of musicians and technology. We often use VJ's and are also very lucky to have amazing vocalists as well.
R13: You seem quite selective about playing live dates, is this more because you've been concentrating on recording, or because you're selective about where you play?
D :We've been working a lot in the studio and love playing live, but have to be pretty selective partly because it's such a big production. Festivals are our favourite because you also get to enjoy other bands as a fan!
R13: What plans have you got for this Summer?
D : At the moment, we're currently preparing for Glastonbury. We're also working on new tracks for the second album and licensing Helium to countries around the world. We will also be DJ'ing a fair bit. One other cool thing that has happen is a lot of people in film and TV are really into our stuff and we've been approached to write music for movies and shows which is really great – we'll be doing more of that.
R13: Can you tell us anymore about what you have in store for Glastonbury?
D :We've good some new "visual" elements to our live show which we'll be using at Glastonbury. At the last count there will be eight of us on stage. We've also got a special guest, Stillman (www.stillman.mu) joining us for a few tracks which is going to be amazing. People who know the album will hear some very different versions of the tracks live!
R13: Which festival's line-up is impressing you the most?
D :I'd say Glastonbury is looking like being the highlight. It's so diverse and huge it could run for two weeks with the same line up and you still wouldn't get to see everyone!
R13: Thanks for your time and enjoy Glastonbury!
D :Hey, thank you!
R13: When and how did Urban Myth Club form?