Dub Pistols, the collective based around DJ and performer Barry Ashworth, have been catering for dub-fuelled dancefloors since way back in ’97. They are back, with their new album ‘Worshipping The Dollar’, which features a host of guest stars and a large variety of music. Kmag caught up with Barry, to discuss the new album, which is due out on the 2nd of July.
Your new album is coming out soon. There are touches of drum & bass on the album – so does this represent a new direction?
Well it's the first time I've ever written anything at this speed, which came about after we started playing live versions of our songs last year in a d&b style and they were going down a storm at all the shows so it just seemed like a natural thing to do when we got back in the studio to record. I've also started dropping a lot of jungle in my DJ shows now, so I guess I got the bug. Re: a new direction, I think more just another direction as we make music in any style I'm feeling at the time.
How would you say your sound has progressed over the years?
Well when I started out in 1997 our first album "Point Blank" was more of a DJ tool and aimed more at the dancefloor, then when we signed to Geffen in America we became more musical and song based transforming from myself being a DJ into forming the beginnings of a band and that continued through our next 3 albums "Six Million Ways To Live", "Speakers & Tweeters" and “Rum & Coke”. I kinda felt we I'd gone as close to pop as I wanted to go so on our new album "Worshipping The Dollar", I wanted to take it back to my roots as a DJ and making the songs more edgier whilst still keeping the Dub Pistols sound.
2012 is shaping up into quite a year for the festival circuit. What’s your schedule looking like?
It's already been insane, most weeks we are playing 3 or 4 festivals a week and sometimes 2 a day at different ends of the country. It's a killer schedule but I wouldn't have it any other way.
We have some amazing shows coming up like main stage at Bestival & Camp Bestival, Beautiful Days, Lounge On The Farm, Larmer Tree, Boomtown and a whole load of others. I would love it if the rain would fuck off and the sun would start shining, then we would be in heaven!
Tell us about some of the lyrical themes on ‘Worshipping The Dollar’.
Well I decided that with the financial collapse of economies around the world brought on by greedy bankers lining their own pockets and the rioting happening in the UK and Europe that if ever there was a time to bring back a social message into music, now was the time. The theme of social injustice runs throughout the album but none more so than on ‘West End Story’, the track that we collaborated with Akala on. It’s from one of his verses that I took the title of the album from "kids living in squalor worshipping the dollar but there is no flag that's large enough to wrap around the horror". Akala is one of the most socially conscious rappers I know, a true poet. That really is the feel of most of the album, though to lighten things up, there are tracks like "Mucky Weekend" which has UK hip hop legend Rodney P waxing lyrical about a very mucky weekend.
You’ve mentioned that you have Akala on the album – are there other names you’ve worked for 'Worshipping...'?
We worked with a load of artists on this album not all of which made it onto the final track list for one reason or another. Those that did make it are Akala, Rodney P, Lindy Layton, MC Sir Real, Darrison, Africa Unite, Kitten & The Hip and TK Lawrence from NYC. I've also recorded 2 tracks with Rob from Alabama 3 that are amazing but just were not right for this album, but they will be seeing the light of day at some stage.
You've found time to be involved on a movie project - tell us more about that.
It's the title music for a film called "Knife Fight" which stars Rob Lowe and was written by Bill Clinton's spin doctor. It's all about politics and will be released later in the year once the US elections get under way.
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