I recently interviewed Drop The Lime for BlackBook about his new album Enter The Night. The whole conversation ran a bit long, so I thought I’d post the end of it here. This is probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever done, it was interesting to see how someone who’s crafted this distinct persona ended up also being very warm and genuine in person.
What are some other new artists you’re into right now?
There’s a lot of new UK house mixed with an old garage kind of vibe, like L-Vis 1990’s new stuff. Stuff like what Kingdom or Brenmar are doing. And then I love what’s basically like what Fever Ray had begun, like this goth-y, hip-hop-influenced pop. Artists like Purity Ring, I love what they’re doing. Artists like Trailer Trash Tracys, it’s really exciting to me.
Anything else you want to mention about the album?
The album comes out, but in October, I’m releasing a night versions, which is what we’ll be playing live. It’ll be clubbier, it’s me remixing myself.
It’s just interesting for you to do things different ways?
I don’t ever want to alienate my club fans. The album that I made now, I’m aware of the fact that it’s an album you listen to, not one that you necessarily DJ. But I gotta DJ my own songs, so the night versions are for that. It’s club versions and new songs. It’s the same thing that Soulwax did and Duran Duran did. A lot of artists have always done it, and it’s an old technique that’s exciting.
I didn’t make it, but I remember during CMJ, there was an event with you and Yuksek DJing together.
Yeah, at Le Bain.
That’s also someone who [shifted their direction like you have].
Yuksek is amazing, we have the same booking agent. He also does that, where it’s him DJing or him with a live band. It’s odd, but right now, there seem to be a lot of artists I can relate to who have taken the same approach as me. Like Matthew Dear has done the same approach, where he’ll have a live band and also DJ. Yuksek, Cubic Zirconia.
Yeah, Yuksek’s incredible. He should be huge, but somehow he’s not.
Here’s the thing. Nowadays, huge is not the answer. Timeless is the answer. Timeless. You can be huge, but you’ll be gone tomorrow. Be timeless. Yuksek? Timeless. Matthew Dear? Timeless. These are artists that will be around forever and forever be making music that’s emotionally impactful.
So it’s more like knowing your audience?
Know your audience! And cater, and stick to your guns. You keep that core audience, you’re good to go. But am I really going to try to compete with LMFAO right now? You know what I mean? No. Is Matthew Dear going to compete with LMFAO? No.
And as we say that, they’re playing dubstep at Roberta’s. (laughs) But actually it’s good dubstep, this is real dubstep. Not brostep. I brought Skream and Benga to New York for the first time ever, in 2004. I used to have a party called Bangers and Mash, and we did it at Rothko on the Lower East Side. I brought Skream and Benga, first party ever, they were 18 years old. I was just starting out, too. They weren’t even playing dubstep, they were playing grime instrumentals, and they were all vinyl dubplates. We did Dizzee Rascal’s first New York event. These vibes are forever. That’s real. But now even Benga, still a good friend of mine, we have the same manager, publicly he’s like “Do not call me dubstep. Do not tie me in.” There’s a lot of controversy over it.
And Skream’s really branched out, he did that Miles Kane song.
Skream has the same affection for disco as I have for rockabilly. I’ll do rockabilly sets, he’ll do disco sets, and he’ll kill it. And he’s a musician. He’s not a dubstep artist. Even though, technically I think “Midnight Request Line” is the first dubstep song ever in existence. He made that song, trying to sound like a hip-hop song, probably. He didn’t know what he was doing, but it created this footprint for a genre that now is playing [everywhere].