Interview : South Central (EN)


Can you quickly introduce yourself? Who is South Central? And what is it?

Rob: I’m Rob and it’s Keith, there is another 3 members who are part of the band and we are the DJs. I sing and do the keyboards and Keith programs and writes the music with me.

Basically, we do dance music that’s mixed with guitars, indie guitars and big bass drums; we are big fans of big sounds! T

he mix is a perfect harmonization of indie music and dance music. We really are perfectionists about this like we really want this music to be the hero of mixed music. People do love guitars and people like live dance music and one day they’ll would like to have it be together. I think it hasn’t happened yet and really want that to happen. I think in the 60’s and 70’s people loved guitars and in the 80’s and 90’s people liked electronic music. In 2000/2010/2020 people would love both.

What were your first steps? How did you gather the band? And what about the equipment you used?

Rob: Keith and me have known each other for over 10 years, and we worked together as musicians and we were a different band. We started like an indie band and we were doing dance to support the band.Then we decided to kind of mix it together. Keith and me write, produce and mix the music.The first record was “Nothing Can go Wrong” and started from there really. We’ve done a couple of remixes and just started from there.

Keith: The first remix was Metronomy.

Rob: That’s how South Central started basically.

You have your own style, an electro / trash music drawing its influences from the punk / rock culture, and you generally appear on your photos and videos with a hood, the face in the shadow. What could you tell us about your influences and your little particular style?

Keith: Influences changed a lot! But since we started we were young at the moment, now we are listening to a lot of new stuff Like the Horrors, My Bloody Valentine,…

But we also listen to people like Kraftwerk to get inspiration, Nu dance, … and new electro stuff, that’s all our influences, but we take a lot from the 80s/90s.

The music is very important for us.

Is the choice of the name South Central be related to the geographical area of the same name located in the south of Los Angeles, synonymous with destruction and decline?

Rob: A lot of people ask us that question because obviously, the first thing they think is Los Angeles but South Central really refers to history as very important buildings like cathedrals, temples, big churches, hospitals, everything has an important sort of landmark in a human kind of history. Their main door is always in the south and the centre of the building.

How do you choose the name of your tracks?

Rob: That’s an interesting question! We read a lot of stuff and every title has got a second and empiric meaning. But like for example, in the new album we wrote a track about Paris.

There is a book called « Paris in the Twentieth Century » and is written in the eighteen century. Basically, the author describes someone that lived obviously in the future. That’s why call « Paris in the Twentieth Century ». So this guy in 1865 is imagining Paris in the future you know, and he sort of writes that music and art and painting doesn’t exist anymore and thearchitect, doctorlike the proper jobs are doing important things like the future become with no arts basically. So that’s the book and it inspired me a lot because I’m a musician, I don’t want the world to be like that in the future. Thing like music is very important in the future and for people.

Keith: The names of the tracks we choose are like that.

Rob: So it’s basically about things that we either read or lived.

Keith: Like when we wrote “Nothing Can Go Wrong” we just started the band and when you start a band you always think that nothing can go wrong that is gonna go well.

Rob: We come with the meaning of the music and the lyrics before we kind of going to the studio.

You supported The Prodigy, on March 15, 2009 at the Zenith in Paris. How did you live this experience and did it help you to increase your notoriety?

Rob: It was very good for us, especially in France. A lot of people obviously knew more about South Central. When we finished, the Prodigy band came up to us and said « Your DJ set was amazing ». We were very happy because for us they were one of our heroes. They told us to come and tour with them in the UK and we just done a gig three-four weeks ago in Japan with them. InJanuary when they’ll played in England, we’re going on tour with them. We’ve done the remix of « Warriors Dance » for them. You know, it’s really nice to have their support because we are very inspired by them.

You have done several gigs and festivals in France in 2009, like Europavox or Le Rock dans tous ses Etats. What are the feedbacks from the French audience regarding your music?

Rob: Good. I mean the thing is what I like about French people is they really know about their music. In the UK, more the south of the UK, if you are big, if the band becomes big, than they like you. In the north of the UK, they are like France. If you’re good, they like you and they don’t really care if you’re big. It’s not about marketing, it’s about if you are good. And I like that.

For example, in Europavox, we started djing in front of 40 people, and then they started coming… if it’s good music, people come. That’s what I like about French people. They know what good music is all about. I think it is very important.

Keith: French people understand dance music very well.

Rob: Obviously, I mean you didn’t had really great dances history since DAFT PUNK and now you’ve got the power to kind of set your own trend. I think it’s a very very great thing and nthat’s happening now. I love French sound, and what we trying to do is to incorporate the English sound with the French sound and make it together. A lot of our album is like that as well: the big bass sound of England and the big drums and other stuff that France has.

Do you have any projects you would like to talk about, like the release of an album?

Rob: We do working on the album for the last 8th month and it’s very very close to be finish now. We are very looking forward to labels. Basically, we are in a good position where we can give it to the labels and the labels want to listen to it. We are not sign to a label because we wanted to develop ourselves; we didn’t want a record label to tell us what to do.

How do you plan the future of South Central in a few years?

Rob: We gone keep writing, we gone keep recording, performing. We do what we feel. We don’t do it for the industry; we want our music to stay.

Our future is what has to happen. We are hard workers and hopefully, South Central will be there for a long time!

What is your opinion about the illegal sharing of music on the net and about the blog?

Rob: Sometimes I said to Keith « Isn’t it crazy that we work for 8 months on studio and people are going to download it for free ». Sometimes you would go like “Oh, it’s not fair”. Imagine you work: you have a wage for the whole year but you don’t get the wage because everyone takes it. But it’s not like that at all. Internet is good in ways were more people can hear to our music and if they like it, a lot of people do buy our music, as well, you know.

Keith: In the 90’s/80’s you had to have a record label to be heard. And if you don’t have a record label you have to put it on yourself and it depends on how much money you’ve got for you to release the music as far as possible. Now, you don’t need have any money, you just put it on MySpace and people can hear it. Music is music and if people like it they would pay for it.

Rob: Obviously people listen to your music and become your fan through Internet. You do gain more from live, gigs. It all kind of balances itself. I used to be very against downloading for free because obviously in the beginning you don’t understand and you know it’s not fair.

Spotify in England is promoted very well. You pay every month and you get the music. It’s not great for the artist but for a big label that has a lot of artist and a big catalogue, all of the pennies will make them a lot of money. Sometimes the big companies gain more than the artist probably. But as I said, live music will make the artists survive. Hopefully, the book I read « Paris in the Twentieth Century » won’t happen!!

If you have one thing to say…

Rob: Basically, we are really glad to be close finishing the album now. I kept saying that for the last three months but now it’s really happening. Probably, we’ll release it next year sometimes and we are just looking forward to start to touring in France again with the new music and looking forward to people to listen to it and appreciate what we do.