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"Things Had to Change": WORSHIP on the Drum & Bass Revolution in the United States – Lyric Say

Drum & bass has functioned as the guts and soul of the UK digital music scene for many years, however we have solely not too long ago seen it blow up in america. Why has its emergence taken so lengthy?

Enter Dimension, Sub Focus, Culture Shock and 1991 of WORSHIP, a supergroup of influential drum & bass artists redefining the style for a brand new era of followers. We caught up with the collective and their supervisor, Sebastian Weingartshofer, to debate the style’s stateside increase—and its longevity inside the digital music scene.

“For a long time, a lot of drum & bass artists were drawing huge audiences around the globe, then traveling to the U.S. and playing to half-empty clubs,” Dimension tells us. “Artists were left demotivated. I had the same experience. After a bad show in New York, I remember phoning Seb and we agreed things had to change.”

“I remember the moment of driving back to the airport in New York City with Rob [Dimension] and saying, ‘It shouldn’t be like this,'” provides Tradition Shock. “We then really made a conscious effort to put our heads together and present the music the way we thought it should be. We’ve had to invest a huge amount but it really feels like it’s working and the momentum is building.”

Amid drum & bass’ volcanic rise within the U.S., the group developed a grasp plan. They noticed main potential in North America, Dimension says, to “create something fresh” by becoming a member of forces.

“Our goal was to help bring the genre back into vogue by encouraging a fresh, young, inclusive community of fans into the genre through investing heavily in production and creative, while working with top venues and promoters,” he explains. “It’s been unbelievably humbling seeing a new community of fans grow, with crowds and venues increasing in size. We like to think we’ve played a key role in this growth.”

1991, Tradition Shock, Dimension and Sub Focus of WORSHIP.

Sam Neill

In the case of every of WORSHIP’s members, it is clear they imagine drum & bass tradition is a priceless a part of the digital music zeitgeist, and its spirit merely cannot be captured anyplace else. They’ve at all times lived and breathed the style, and so they’re now positioning themselves as lynchpins of right this moment’s motion.

“I got into drum & bass pretty much at its inception, as it morphed from jungle,” Sub Focus recollects. “It means so much to me to now be a part of its story. I love how it’s like a secret subculture that we are all a part of.”

“My love for drum & bass started around 15 years ago,” 1991 provides. “What largely drew me to it was how much of a rogue genre it is. It’s not always been the coolest genre, but it’s certainly the most fun. For the most part, it’s an inclusive scene where anyone is welcome. I think that’s why I’ve always stuck by it. It feels like a family.”

Taking the mandatory dangers

Ever since drum & bass first piqued their curiosity, Tradition Shock, Dimension, Sub Focus and 1991 have spent years climbing to its higher echelon at breakneck tempos of over 174 BPM. Attending to the highest, nevertheless, was solely the start of their widespread affect. 

Whereas their dedication to the tradition is a vital issue, many dangers wanted to be taken within the States for drum & bass to have actual endurance.

“Big homegrown acts are a big part of what leads the scene to thrive in different areas,” says Sub Focus. “There’s Pendulum and Luude from Australia, Netsky from Belgium, Camo & Krooked in Austria and many more examples across the globe. Homegrown drum & bass acts from the U.S. flourishing will help the scene no end here.”

As artists like REAPER, Kumarion, AIRGLO, Justin Hawkes and so many extra lead the cost within the U.S., the expansion of drum & bass has continued to skyrocket. WORSHIP are doing their half too as their present tour continues on as one of many digital music scene’s most in-demand.

Sam Neill

They’re immensely grateful for the stateside promoters who took an opportunity on them to start with.

“We’ve been building this project for four years now,” Dimension explains. “I remember for the first tour we literally had to create a presentation explaining who we are, what country we were from, and list everything we were doing differently in order to make the tour tickets sell. We had to put ourselves out there with the very real possibility that the whole WORSHIP tour could be a complete failure.”

“Deep down, all of us really believed in the idea, but in hindsight, it was the promoters and agents that took on the most risk,” he continues. “The North America drum & bass scene was in such bad shape that we arguably had nothing to lose, but the promoters and agents deserve a massive amount of gratitude for backing us and believing in our concept.”

Maintaining the drum & bass revolution alive

Finally, WORSHIP did grow to be a key participant in drum & bass’ development within the area—however their work is not finished but. Traits, particularly in digital music, could be cold and hot.

Nonetheless, one thing as addictive as drum & bass has main endurance for a mess of causes.

“The energy of the genre is addictive and unparalleled, whilst constantly pushing boundaries and setting the standard,” says Weingartshofer, WORSHIP’s supervisor. “Generally the demographic of the genre remains young, which helps refresh engagement in consumption and event attendances over many generations.”

Tradition Shock agrees, calling the power of drum & bass crowds “unmatched.”

“As an artist, it’s a really fun genre because you can incorporate any style you like,” he says. “I feel like other genres within electronic music can be more restrictive and don’t allow for as much expression.”

WORSHIP North America 2024 Tour (0:17)

The unbridled power of drum & bass is not its solely cornerstone—its origins are simply as pivotal. The underground is essential to any style of music, contemplating its artists problem boundaries when issues above grow to be stale.

“Drum & bass is completely on its own in terms of style and speed—there really isn’t any other genre like it,” says Sub Focus. “It’s got a rich history and a fertile underground scene, which has given it huge staying power. Whilst it has had moments of commercial success, it has always had a large group of people pushing its limits and boundaries away from the glare of the spotlight.”

Hitting the street (once more)

With a substantial amount of each expertise and fervour, the WORSHIP collective are flying the flag of drum & bass within the States. It is their third collaborative North American tour, which culminates of their largest present up to now on March thirtieth at Los Angeles’ famed Hollywood Palladium.

Just a few months later in Could, the complete crew will return for one of the crucial anticipated performances at EDC Las Vegas, one of many world’s largest digital dance music festivals.

“Being part of this tour has been one of the most satisfying projects I have had the pleasure of been involved in,” Dimension gushes. “It’s been so rewarding seeing the community explode. I’m predominantly a solo artist, so achieving something together with your friends has made it extra special. Personally, I would love for fans to walk away from our shows feeling that a drum & bass party can be a crazy amount of fun for anyone. Everyone is accepted.”

“The more people who enjoy what we do, the more fulfilling and inspiring it is for us as artists,” 1991 provides. “I’ve left the two previous WORSHIP tours feeling inspired to come back bigger and better, so that’s all I can really hope for again this time around.”

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Whereas WORSHIP’s campaign to embed drum & bass into the American digital music terrain has been a protracted and tortuous uphill battle, 2023 was a breakthrough yr for the style. And we have solely seen it take off additional within the early months of 2024—a pattern Weingartshofer believes is right here to remain.

“We’re now seeing both fans and DJs who are more open-minded to the genre, as well as other genres in dance music in the post-dubstep/EDM boom,” he explains. “Headliners like Tiësto, John Summit, David Guetta and Dom Dolla are playing drum & bass in their sets and getting great reactions.”

Weingartshofer additionally credit grassroots artists and types in North America for propelling the scene ahead with unabashed ardour.

“Brands like Brownies & Lemonade are creating culture on the ground with their DNBNL series, exposing impressionable dance music fans to the genre,” he continues. “Record labels like Deadbeats and Monstercat are getting behind the music and supporting artists from around the world. A decade ago this infrastructure didn’t exist. It’s great to see more confidence towards drum & bass in all areas.”

You should purchase tickets to WORSHIP’s North American tour and discover out extra concerning the collective here.

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