Drum and bass golden boy Andy C (aka The Executioner) had all three floors of Webster Hall on fire this past Friday, July 18 in NYC during his set with fellow RAM crew members Rene Lavice and MC Armanni Reign. Andy had just landed in NYC after a flight from the UK not two hours prior to his set time, and arrived with luggage in tow. Brooklyn Radio’s Lara Gamble was able to speak with him right before he took to the decks about being back in NYC and his illustrious DJ career spanning more than twenty years. It’s very possible this legend could live forever.
It’s been almost a year since you last played Webster Hall. What’s your favourite thing about playing in New York City?
You know what? Everything about New York City is a beautiful part of it. It’s the first city I ever came to in America as a visitor and also to DJ. And the beautiful thing is I get to come back and bring the whole RAM crew and do the RAM nights. It couldn’t be more beautiful to come to a venue like this. It’s absolutely jammed out tonight. Everyone’s going crazy already, and we’re just vibing. The whole vibe of New York, the energy of it, is really unique, and I’ve got so many friends in the scene that have been here since day one, and I think we’ve come a long way, and I think drum and bass has as well.
What can fans expect from your set tonight?
I’m not gonna hold back. I’m straight off the plane. Look at me!
Yeah, it’s about 6am for you.
Yeah, right? I’m at the end of the night in the UK, but I’m gonna get the energy for it. I mean, I’m gonna go straight in. I’ve got an hour and a half, or a little bit longer if I’m being honest. I love playing long sets. I’m kind of hoping they’re gonna let us run over for a nice, long set. Fingers crossed. If we rig it, or something like that, we can get it to run over. So I’m just gonna go in and play the whole full spectrum of drum and bass.
As one of drum and bass’s #1 DJs, how hard is it to stay at the forefront of the scene?
It’s not hard to stay at the forefront of the scene because that’s not my intention. My intention is to enjoy myself. At the end of the day, if that transfers into me working and playing all these amazing gigs, it’s a great thing. I work hard at enjoying myself in the clubs and hopefully making the crowd enjoy themselves.
Do you prefer playing in smaller venues like this or large-scale festivals?
I prefer both to be honest with you. The beauty of this club tonight, everyone’s going to be in your face, you’ve got the balcony, everybody can see, and everybody’s on, and there’s a nice pressure to that. At the same time, I’ve got to go to Red Rocks tomorrow in Denver, and I’m going to be quite a way away from the crowd, but at the same time, the aesthetic, the visual is stunning, and that is gonna really inspire me. So, you know, they’re both kind of the same.
After more than twenty years of performing, what motivates you to continue doing what you do? What keeps drum and bass exciting?
The crowds, the energy, the passion, the vibe. You can’t beat it. You really just can’t beat it. DJing is like a drug to me. It’s the best natural high I’ve ever experienced. It’s such an amazing feeling to get up on the stage and play the music I love to the people that want to have an incredible time, and that’s why I continue.
As a fellow Aries…
…what is RAM Trilogy up to?
RAM Records is up to a helluva lot. RAM Trilogy is not up to much, unfortunately.
Any exciting new artists/DJs or releases from RAM Records?
We have a ton of new artists. We have one of them right now. Rene Lavice is on stage right now. He’s an incredible, exciting talent. We have a whole bunch, so you know, whole family strung right now.
What release are you most proud of?
On a personal level? It would be…not proud, but the one that means the most and the reason I’m standing here talking to you in New York now, is probably “Valley of the Shadows” way back when because that was the launch pad, the spring board, the in, the door opener. It just led to so many things, it’s unbelievable.
What other styles of music do you listen to besides drum and bass?
All sorts. Everything and anything.
Is there anything that you don’t particularly like?[MC Armanni Reign walks in.] This guy. This guy sucks. [They both laugh.]
As a DJ who hand-picked your records for so many years, what are your thoughts on digital mixing?
Each to their own, as long as the crowds are entertained, that’s all good. On a personal level, three turntables, mistakes happen. That’s all part of the performance, and that’s what I enjoy. I enjoy working up a sweat, and I enjoy going for it.
Do you prefer it to actual records?
I DJ with the turntables – Technics. So, I use Traktor, but I actually go from the vinyl, and to me, it’s just as authentic except….
You just have more of a selection.
Right. Everything. So that’s why I do the six and seven hour sets in the UK.
Is there anything else you would like to add or promote?
I would like to add my friends in the New York drum and bass scene. Yeah, I just want to send love to the New York drum and bass community – everybody that’s keeping the scene alive, growing, expanding, and the passion in 2014 to come to Webster Hall and smash it out. This is a beautiful thing.