Interview: Disclosure on Electronic Music, Life on the Road, and Their Next Album

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We caught up with London-based electronic music duo Disclosure—brothers Guy Lawrence and Howard Lawrence—before their show at Union Transfer in Philly for a short chat about electronic music, the duo's current life on the road, their upcoming album, and the brothers' one wish.

Interview by Kadene Chin

What influence has London’s underground music scene had on your musical taste and production?
Guy: We started making music because of what was happening in the underground. In 2008/2009, dubstep was fully involved in England in all the clubs, house wasn’t really that relevant anymore, and garage, U.K. garage had gone away a long time ago. Garage—that means something else here, doesn't it?

Howard:  Yeah, I think they call it two-step.

Yeah, dubstep here has taken on a different meaning to some people too. Think Skrillex.
Howard: That's what dubstep is now.

Guy:  Yeah, that's what dubstep is now. Basically, dubstep was good in the U.K.  In America, it's not what we know dubstep as. Dubstep in America, it's more aggressive, a bit more shoutier, like rock music.

Howard:  Like rock music.

Guy:  Like death metal.

Old Detroit techno, old Detroit house, old Chicago house, that’s what it all leads back to. If you get into dance music, you always end up there—listening to old house music.

Guy: When we were first listening to dubstep, it was more like dub, reggae dub. I was listening to Skream, Benga, Mala, and Loefah. They were the main pioneers. When I turned 18, that’s what I started hearing in clubs. Later, I went out to a few house raves and I realized that house music was much more the type of music I wanted to make. So I went home and showed Howard. At first, we started out by copying the people who were around then. Skip forward four years to now and we are probably making music that sounds a lot more retro and older. We wanted to know where those guys who were playing modern house music got their sound from and what their influences were, and now their influences have sort of become our influences. Old Detroit techno, old Detroit house, old Chicago house, that’s what it all leads back to. If you get into dance music, you always end up there—listening to old house music.

After you heard house music, is that when you felt compelled to make your own music?
Guy: Well, we had always made music. We started playing instruments when we were very young. Our parents got us into playing music. I’ve played the drums and guitar since I was 3 years old. Howard plays bass and piano.They didn't get us into dance music, they just got us into playing.

Howard: We’ve always been in music, always. But hearing that Detroit stuff, dubstep, and the newer house stuff, it made us want to make songs in that format but not necessarily that type of music. There are club songs and then songs in the style of club songs, which is kind of what we make. Like “Latch” isn’t really a house song, it’s a song that’s produced like a house song.

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  • http://wix.com/larissagreen/website Larissa Green

    I would do crazy things to hang out with these two.