Jake Newby over at Time Out Shanghai interviewed Rob Smith for their March issue (which has just come out so go grab a copy). Due to limited space, there are only extracts of the interview in the magazine, but here we have the interview in full. Big up to Jake and Time Out for all their support!
Jake: How did you first get into music? Was there a particular moment or record that you remember as being particularly influential in making you want to get involved in music?
Rob: There isn’t one particular record, but as a kid I was fascinated by the dub versions on the b sides of 7” reggae singles. I really wanted to be able to make those sounds!
Jake: What made you want to make the switch from playing guitar in Restriction to forming Three Stripe?
Rob: Through the experiences of making demos for the band, and mixing them on simple 4 track recorders, I became more interested in mixing & production.At that time, Three Stripe was a soundsystem. When I joined, Ray Mighty and I built a studio and started the label.
Jake: How did Smith & Mighty come about?
Rob: I met Ray when I was invited to join a band called ’Sweat’. Ray and I found that we had a similar interest in sequencing and linking beat machines together. After the band split up, Ray and I continued as Smith & Mighty.
Jake: Was there a sense for you of being part of a movement or of something really big happening in Bristol when you started out? Why do you think such a movement emerged in the city at that time?
Rob: To be honest, we were very unaware that there was such a focus forming from the outside world towards Bristol sounds. The city has always had a strong reggae background but also punk, soul and hip hop were big influences at that time. We weren’t afraid to mix up sounds and flavours and unlike the scene in London, we didn’t have the same kind of pressure to compete.. So I think Bristol had its own pace which allowed time for sounds to ’brew’.
Jake: How do your roots in the Bristol scene influence your current sound and productions?
Rob: I’m just a dub head! I like to make dub related music.
Jake: How does your dubstep project RSD differ from your previous work?
Rob: For me its an obvious continuation.. It feels kinda similar to what I’ve always done in respect of production and treatments.
Jake: What are you currently working on?
Rob: Ive just made some remixes, one for Emika which I’m very happy about. I have an album coming soon for release in Japan called ‘Go in a good way’ and I’m currently working with some new singers for the next project.
Jake: What do you make of the current Bristol music scene? Whose music really excites you at the moment?
Rob: Ha.. Too many!! Pinch, Pev, Guido, Wascal, Mensah, Kahn, Gorgan Sound, Central Spillz, Joker, Dubkasm, Phaeleh, Jakes..
Jake: What can people expect from your show in Shanghai this time round?
Rob: Some new stuff from my self and new things from artists I respect plus classic Dub & beats.
Jake: Are there any classic/favourite records that you’re guaranteed to drop in your sets? If so, what and why?
Rob: I usually like to drop ‘Murderation’ at some point because it’s a good example of what I’m interested in, classic reggae sounds with beats and dub attitude. I like to drop a bit of Jungle in there somewhere as well.
Jake: Anything else you’d like to add?
Rob: Its not really music related but..
My friend told me recently that worrying is like praying for something you don’t want.
and someone else told me..
Focus on what you want and not on what you don’t want, and give thanks for everything you have.
Catch RSD, along side Red-I and Soul Flower, this Saturday @ The Shelter, Shanghai!