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SCAR production interview
We catch up with Script & Survival aka SCAR and discuss the creation of their track 'When' and their studio routine...
What is the creative process behind SCAR, how do you guys sit down to start a track?
I spend 2 - 3 days a week sourcing samples and sounds to use in tunes that we write so that every time we are in the studio we have fresh material and ideas. The normal routine is to firstly have a good strong cup of coffee and a chat before we start production of a tune. Sometimes we might discuss what sort of a tune we should write but to be honest the creative process really starts in the first hour or so in front of the computer.
We will go through the fresh samples and pop the ones we really like into Ableton. Once we have done that we will then go through some breaks and at that point we will know whether the tune will be a roller or stepper etc...
Lately we have found its best to accept that the tune we are working on will be a particular vibe and we will run with that rather than trying to make a tune something that its not. We kind of treat the process like the early 90s that when you go to a studio you should come out with something tangible at the end of the session.
You guys have a track on PB4 called ‘When’ did you have a certain vibe in mind you wanted to achieve for this track or did it roll out naturally?
The simple answer is no. 'When' was actually the first tune we wrote together which was over a year ago now. It rolled out completely naturally. We both instinctively knew what the other person was thinking and how the tune we were working on should be. We sent it to Metalheadz and it was signed pretty much straight away for PB4.
That alone gave us the inspiration to continue working together on the SCAR project and since then we have signed tunes to labels we respect as well as several others to Metalheadz. When you have Goldie calling you at 3am to tell you that he is feeling the music, or Ant calling at 'normal' times its a massive inspiration for us and drives us forward. Obviously its been a dream of both of ours to have music released on what is arguably the most revered label in Drum and Bass and we hope to continue that.
When you are collaborating with a producer do you find it easy or hard to compromise your personal vision for a track?
I personally have collaborated with a few producers over the years and I have never really struggled with that. The people I have worked with know that I have a keen interest in old skool dnb so the vision is always to make a new 'old skool' sounding tune where there weren't any rules regarding arrangement or content etc...
For me personally working with Survival is a much quicker process, but that is because we specifically dedicate 1 or 2 days a week to work in the studio together every week, where as with my other colabs its been a bit more disjointed although just as enjoyable. As SCAR sometimes we may go back and forth over an idea for a few minutes between each other and see which idea works the best.
There is no shame in an idea not working or sounding right. We will always discuss how we want a tune to develop during the making of the tune so at the end of the process the track has achieved both our personal visions.
What’s your preferred method of making music when collaborating, back & forth via the internet or both in the room together?
100% working together in the studio at the same time. We can make instant decisions rather than somebody spending time doing something only for it to be squashed by the other person if they dont like the idea. Obviously everybody works differently but for SCAR its the studio option. 'When' was done in about 3 sessions over a period of a couple of weeks.
I also have another colab tune on PB4 with DLR called 'Blue Room' Ft Martyna Baker. DLR lives in Bristol so that tune took about a year to make, fitting in a session here or there and then getting the vocals recorded at Goldie's studio (which was a fantastic experience).
When things become laboured and a track isn’t flowing what do you do, keep working through it or is it best to leave it?
This may sound strange but we very rarely have this issue (so far). Sometimes we might take a stroll to the shop and have a little discussion away from the computer about the tune, or we may just talk about something completely different like what the dinner menu will be, just to take our minds off it for a bit. Then we will crack on.
Lets put it this way we rarely have more than one tune on the go so the answer would be that we just work through it. I am sure that there will be times in the future when we leave it for a while to come back to after we have made something else. As mentioned earlier we are strong believers in coming out with 'something' at the end of a session either that is finished (bar a final mix etc..) or as something that we will try to finish the next session.
What’s your personal favourite SCAR track you’ve made?
That's a tough one. We have written around 35 tunes together in just over a year. My personal favorites at the moment are probably a track called 'So Suddenly' which will feature on SCAR ep coming on Metalheadz in the Autumn. It has a great vocal which is pretty spine tingling and emotional with luscious pads and a tearing break with a grimey bassline. 'Dank' is another one which is pretty simple but effective just drums and bass really, and also the latest thing which we finished last week called 'The Theme' which is a filthy roller. All the tunes have some sort of nod to the early / mid 90s but with a modern feel. I suppose that is our goal in general when creating music.
What’s the one plug-in you couldn’t live without in studio?
For me personally I really love Fab Filter's Saturn which is a great saturation and distortion tool. Infact most of Fab Filter plug ins are really great tools to use and are pretty simple and intuitive for us.
Has it ever come to blows between you and Script whilst writing a track?
Never. We discuss everything as we go along and weigh up the pros and cons of the ideas. We want what is best for the tune and not for one upmanship of ideas.
Who is the best chef out of the two of you?
Well, as the studio is at Survival's its actually him that cooks all the time. I am a good cook as my friends will atest to but Steve is incredible. 9/10 times at the end of a session Steve will create what is basically a Michelin star dinner both in taste and presentation. Plus he is capable of making anything from anywhere in the world. So as much as I hate to admit it, Steve is the better cook. Although he has promised to let me cook for him 'one day'.
'When' is part of the Platinum Breakz 4 album release which can be bought from the Headz store by clicking HERE