Hailing from Brighton, UK, The Qemists are a drum and bass band renowned for their big live sound and rock influences. After a hugely successful show at last year’s Rock for Church(ill) festival, they are back headlining the winter club edition of the event at Lucerna Music bar on Febuary 20th. We caught up with them to find out about their previous visits and hear more about the eagerly anticipated new album.
For those that don’t know, describe The Qemists in 5 words.
Last time you were here in the Czech Republic was for the Rock for Church(ill) festival last summer. How was it? Any good stories from the trip?
It was a great festival and our last of the summer in 2013 so everyone was in full party mode, I think our two singers ended up in a hot tub in the middle of a field?!
You’re also playing Brno and Bratislava on this tour, how do you find the European shows compare to playing in the UK or elsewhere in the world?
European shows, especially in Eastern Europe, are always very energetic. The crowds are always really responsive and you really feel like they’ve come out to have a good time. Both festivals and club shows in that part of the world are some of our favourites to play at.
Your last single No More was released in October, how’s the new album coming on? Any exciting guests you can tell us about at this stage? Any idea of the release date?
The album’s moving forward at full pelt at the moment and we’re looking to have it finished by the end of the spring. All going to plan it’ll definitely be out this year, with another single beforehand. Guests wise, we’ve got some collaborations that we’re working on and some in the pipeline but until they’re set in stone, i.e. until the records are finished, we’re keeping schtum!
You missed out on Best Live Act in the 2013 bass music awards to Modestep, any thoughts?
We’ve met the Modestep guys a couple of times and they’re a good bunch of lads. Their show has done really well for them, especially in the U.S. It’s just good for people to be pushing forward the boundaries of live dance music, however they go about it. We were really pleased just to be nominated.
You started out your musical careers playing rock music. Tell us a bit about how this influences your sound now.
We always try and keep a rock aesthetic to our music, even when parts are more programmed and it’s also as much about the whole vibe of a track as it is the actual instruments that are playing. We all listen to a lot of rock music and hope that that comes through in our records. It’s great to apply techniques from rock production to dance sounds and vice versa.
Do you find people are less inclined to try and fit you into a particular pigeon-hole with the rise of so many sub-genres in the electronic music scene right now?
I think we’ve always been hard to pigeon-hole, and dance music’s evolution certainly has helped people feel that labelling what you do is less important. We love a good sub-genre but always want to strive to keep a certain uniqueness to what we do.
What’s next for the dance music scene in your opinion? How do you see yourselves evolving along with the industry in the future?
That’s the million dollar question haha. Watch this space!
Who are you listening to at the moment? Who inspires you?
Lots of stuff, we’ve been listening to Royal Blood, The Prototypes, Sub Focus, Haim, Bring Me the Horizon, Enter Shikari, Skindred …..
What can people expect from the Lucerna show? Live musicians? Vocalists?
It’ll be our full live setup which is drums, guitars, laptops, singer and MC with 5 of us on stage. We’re really looking forward to debuting several new tracks from the LP.
Where can people follow you?
Which other Rock for Church(ill) acts will you see?