In the midst of their highly successful stint at Castle as part of the "Man with Soul" Tour-Prok & Fitch took a few moments out of their busy schedule to speak on being world famous DJ's and what they do to stay on top of their game.
How did Prok & Fitch get started?
We were both dj'ing separately long before we met and began working together in 2006. We met in BPM records in our home town of Brighton, had a mutual love for the same classic record (Outro Lugar). After a few chats we decided to take the studio and make our own interpretation of the record, which in turn got snapped up personally by Roger Sanchez for his legendary label Stealth Records.
As duo what roles does Prok & Fitch each take on?
We work together on every aspect from social media, A & R’ing our Floorplay record label to dj'ing & networking. In the studio James is extremely technical with a great attention to production detail, whilst Ben is great at pushing the boundaries and being experimental, but consistent-his risk taking always pays off!
Who was responsible for pulling together the Man with Soul Tour?
Our North American Agency Spinn, in Particular Chad and all the great previous work from Amy. Toolroom also played a significant part, through some priceless A & R’ing, also by generating a great buzz around the record and some strong press coverage. It’s definitely our favorite North America tour to date and both of us are grateful for both parties putting it together.
What are the group's musical inspirations? Who are you listening to on a regular basis?
Daft Punk without a doubt, paved the way for electronic music as we know it, amazing producers & a huge inspiration to both of us.
We also listen to varied electronic genres, its great to hear what new sounds and production techniques are being used. The production of a lot of the old Disco records was amazing, we constantly hunt through them for samples and ideas.
How do the collaborations come about? Do you identify a particular artist or group or do they seek you out?
For us there’s no set formula for this, sometimes we're approached directly by an Artist/ Manager, we could be really into someone’s sound and we’d suggest a collaboration. In the past we’ve come across an acapella-used it as a basis for a track and it ended up being a collaboration, as well as other countless scenarios. Collaborating with new artists is great, the result is often coming up with something that we wouldn’t have normally produced.
What would you call the genre of music you produce?
Groovy peak time house, made for the dance floor...good grooves, some vocals here and there and more organic sounds. We think people have become a bit obsessive about genres, unfortunately it pigeon holes you in something for a certain public, when really a lot of the time it's very accessible to lots of different people! We call what we play house, yet if you put the tracks we play in to genres they cover everything: House, Tech & Techno, so really it's down to individual interpretation.
When pulling together a track-where do you start...is it the beat, melody, lyrics...etc?
We always start a track/remix with a hook whether it be a melody, sample, bass line or vocal. Our next stage is the drums. We're known for our grooves and spend a lot of time searching for new sounds and tweaking them till were 100% happy with the groove.
What 2 instruments are must have when producing? Do you incorporate live instruments or is it samples and prerecorded sounds?
A good DAW that you're happy with doesn't matter what it is-anything from Fruity Loops to Pro Tools, as long as your happy with the program and the end result that's all that matters. (We use Cubase 7 when were next in the studio will be updating to 7.5) Secondly a sampler, all platforms have some sort of sampler built in, we use native instruments Kontakt 5 works well for us, we always use this for our drums. Generally a lot of our music is sample based either sampled from vinyl or sample banks, with the exception of bass lines & melodies we always use VST’s. We do get session musicians in to the studio from time to time, completely depends on what we want to make.
What is unique about your live shows?
We put a lot of preparation into our live shows, editing all the tracks if they're not quite right (for us). This can be anything from trimming down breakdowns to adding other hooks, a vocal, sample or something else. With the exception of Sensation & festivals we never plan our sets, it's always down to the vibe of each individual venue, one thing that’s always the same is the high energy we bring to every set. We also play a lot of our own exclusive productions, so we can guarantee we won't be playing the same sets as anyone else.
Where have you played on tour that is most memorable with respect to audience response and your experience?
That's a really tough one, we've had some truly memorable gigs over the past few weeks. There has to be two, the first “Tabu” in London Ontario, we'd never been there before and had no idea what to expect. It was a small intimate club with an amazing house party type vibe, everyone was going crazy, great night.
Secondly “Cinema” in Toronto was ridiculous, the club wasn’t packed, but everyone in there was into our music. Soon as we’d drop one of our productions there was a cheer from the crowd, it’s probably one of the best reception we’ve ever experienced in a club.
What was it like playing for a Chicago audience? How does the scene compare to overseas and the UK?
This was our fourth visit to Chicago, and probably our favorite show there to date. Obviously there's a special history of electronic music in Chicago, so on a personal level it’s great for us to be playing there. As for the crowd it's a huge venue so there's a wide variety of people, some purely there for the music and some for the chicks! They were very energetic, knowledgeable, a great crowd to play to.
What can we look forward to coming in 2014 and beyond?
We're constantly working hard in the studio, so expect new original material throughout the year. There won't be the same volume of tracks as in previous years, but the quality will be our finest. Outside of the studio were looking forward to future tours of North America, festivals and of course the infamous Ibiza season.