INTERVIEW: Shapeshifter

New Zealand drum and bass act Shapeshifter are back with their new single ‘Stars’.

Described as a ‘rolling slice of pop-leaning liquid d&b’, ‘Stars’ is the perfect track to add to your summer 2016 playlist. 

As they gear up for the release of their latest album, we caught up with Nick from the band to talk about new music, Glastonbury and playing live in London…

Your new single ‘Stars’ has got summer anthem written ALL over it, tell us about the song?

Yea i think ‘Stars’ definitely has that summer vibe going on – it starts off quite bubbly almost then launches into a sort of liquid roller. We haven’t actually played this one at a gig yet, so we’re looking forward to jamming it out through a big sound system.

The song premiered last month, what has the reaction been like?

It’s been good from what I’ve heard… we’ve had a lot of people mention they like it and it’s getting some good air time so we feel pretty excited about the reaction, and can’t wait to put out the full album.

Is the track is a good indication of what fans can expect from your new album?

As with all of our albums we like to experiment a bit so there’s a bit of mellow stuff and there’s more amping fodder too – the album’s a bit of a journey so there are ebbs and flows but it fits together as an album – and works really well if you listen from start to finish we think.

It’s been 3 years since you released your last album ‘Delta’, what have you been up to in that time?

We did quite a lot of touring after ‘Delta’ was released, then we had an aim to write a whole lot of music without the press of an album – which of course turned into an album. So we spent a lot of the last 3 years writing music – I think we laid down around 100 tracks and then there were some that kind of stood out a bit from the rest and stood the test of time. So from that we compiled then produced ‘Stars’ from there. 

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Your live shows in London were sold out, how is it performing for audiences in the UK compared to other countries around the world?

We have a range of audiences around the world – so London is surely one of the more exciting stop overs we have. London is full of great venues and lots of people to fill them. We could fit a few thousand into a London show or a Czech show then play to 30 people the next night in Bratislava. So its pretty random – for us we’ll just go out and do the same no matter how many people are there. 

You also played Glastonbury which must have been amazing, tell us about your Glasto experience?

Glasto has to be one of the great wonders of the world. Just awesome. I think the gig was ok – we  played twice while we were there and both shows were pretty wild. We stayed the whole time and just gorged on the best acts in the world for 4 days. 

You’ve worked a lot with The Upbeats, how was it working with them?

The boys are really good friends of ours so it was great fun – always lots of ideas and bubbling with enthusiasm – it’s infectious. They were good at separating themselves from The Upbeats and realising what our album was. 

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You guys have been pioneers for drum and bass for a while now, how have attitudes to the genre changed over the years?

I think genres as a whole have relaxed a lot – when we first started out everything was very purist. But I think now other genres are crossing over and it’s cool. It’s going strong I think and there are always new D&B albums and tunes coming out that I like. 

Which artists are you currently listening to at the moment?

I’m loving Lynx, Calibre, Enei, Ritchie Brains, Sam Binga, Rockwell – Machine Drum, The Upbeats the list could go on!

Tell us what you’ve got planned for the rest of 2016?

We are releasing our album toward the end of the year which means we’ll be touring around, Europe, Australia, NZ, hopefully Japan and few Asian destinations – so a bit of travelling, a bit of jamming and maybe even a bit of a holiday! 

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You can follow Shapeshifter on Twitter (@shapeshifternz) and Instagram (@shapeshifterlivenz)

Let us know what you think of the bands new track ‘Stars’ over on Twitter @CelebMix

Written by Philip Logan

Twitter & IG: @philip_logan