Rachael Shock and Graham Eden aka The Brain Bashers interview
24th of March 2007 - interview copyright of Frenzy
Rachael Shock and Graham Eden are collectively known as The Brain Bashers and are pioneers of hard house, having released over one hundred records over the last ten years through their Shock Records label. Frenzy interview the two of them in advance of Frenzy and Resonate at The Old Firestation on the 12th of May.
1. The first thing I feel compelled to ask is, where the hell have you been for the last 3 or 4 years? We’ve not heard or seen you play out in bloody ages yet you used to be regular fixtures at places like the Monastery in Torquay and Cheeky Little Monkey in Bournemouth!
Well, firstly our distributor went into liquidation owing us a lot of money and it knocked us for six so we decided to take a break and we had a nice surprise as Rachael got pregnant. We originally planned to be back DJ’ing within a year but decided to go for kiddie number two! We now have a three year old daughter Crystal and one year old son Brad! That’s definitely enough kids – they sure keep you busy! Now that things have settled down we are looking forward to getting out and spinning the tunes again!
2. What are your plans for the future? Is this gig a one-off or are we going to see a lot more of you from now on? And what about the label, is it true that Shock Records now ceases to exist as a hard house output?
Music , music , and more music! We are so revved up and excited about DJ’ing again and just being in the studio full time. Shock Records was never closed but just put on hold until we were ready to start twiddling the knobs again! Having produced hundreds of successful records over the last ten years its in our blood to make great dance music!
Most of our tracks will be available through all of the major mp3 download sites including Ministry, Trackitdown, Mixmag etc. All of our back catalogue is available already and we will be adding to the catalogue from May 2007. We will be making all types of dance including hard house, bouncy, trance – basically wicked banging tunes!!
3. It seemed like your Shock label was there from the beginning as you’ve been releasing hard house records since 1996. Could you tell us a little bit more about how you guys first got into the hard house scene and producing?
We both started out DJ’ing in the early 90's and met each other in 1993 and hit it off straight away. Our musical tastes complimented each other . I (Graham) was quite underground and techno and Rachael was more bouncy. Back in 1993 it was hard to find the records that truly represented our style so we decided to make them ourselves. I'm a computer whizz-kid and Rachael has a musical background. We decided to buy a sampler, computer, and and a few synths and over a two year period we tinkered with making tracks until we thought let's actually go for it and booked for two of the tracks to be cut in London and pressed.
Shock records was born and so was the Brain Bashers name which has been our main artist name since 1996. Within a few months of we had released our second record and met Tony De Vit at Claires in Torquay and gave him a copy.
Much to our amazement he was bang into our style and immediately started signing our tunes to his compilation CDs and playing them on Kiss FM and in his DJ sets. We can honestly say that Tony De Vit gave our careers and record sales a massive boost and we thank him for that. We were always into the hard house scene but was always a bit more bouncy and happy than banging nosebleed if you know what I mean!
4. A lot of the records you used to release would have a guest artist on one side, and then a remix on the flip. Of all the producers you worked with and released over time (even including Frenzy’s very own Daina!) who were the most talented and interesting... or were they all egotistical nerds?
All our remixers were personally picked by us as we really liked their style and sound. All of them did a fantastic job and it was nice to get a different interpretation of a track.
5. Your style as we know it is very much in keeping with the Frenzy sound, which is renowned for being a little bit bouncy at times, but most of all fun. What are your views on the current state of ‘hard dance’ and the fashion for faster and faster music?
We love the bouncy side of hard house and when we DJ we love to see some big smiles and hands in the air rather than 'no disrespect' dark tunes and serious faces! The hardest I think we have gone is Tony De Vit's 'Are you all ready' – that’s pretty banging but lots of bounce! TUNE! As for the current state of hard dance its good to see the music diversify and change so it doesn’t go stale.
6. The gig you’re playing for us is part of a very large hard dance event with many headliners such as yourselves. If you were hypothetically given an unlimited budget and had access to any DJs and venues, past and present, what would be your ideal night, theme, and line-up... and where would it be?
That’s a hard one! We think you guys have it covered already as you are blending the old skool with the new DJs!
7. You’ve released over a hundred records on your labels over the years and produced many of those yourselves. What’s the favourite one you’ve released and why and similarly is there one that you don’t particularly like now?
Our favourite has to be Brain Bashers 'Do it now' which really summed up our style. It was just so bouncy and had that massive dancefloor breakdown which got the clubbers going mental. Tidy signed it up and it reached number two in the UK dance charts. Other favourites are 'Feel the rush', 'Dance to the house' and 'Get up' – theres too many to choose from! As for don’t like – they are in the bin and never got released! Ha ha!
8. You’ve travelled globally as DJs so I’m guessing must have had one or two experiences that you could share with us from your adventures? Anything amusing, impressive, or just downright mad you could tell us?
We've travelled everywhere including USA, China, Australia but one of the best was DJ’ing in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand hotel. Studio 54 club was also a totally amazing experience with trapeeze artists hanging from the ceiling, flame throwers and a lion's den just outside the club doors! We were playing full on banging house and saw lots of clubbers getting down on the floor with shirt and ties fresh from the gambling tables.
Amusing was playing a massive outdoor rave in Canada that we were headlining. The DJ console was slowly tipping to one side as it was sinking into the mud throughout our set. At the same time there was a massive rainstorm outside and the ground conditions deteriorated and we ended up knee high in mud with all the ravers dancing and getting splattered. Back at the hotel everybody piled into the reception with mud everywhere and the hotel manager charged the club promoters $1000 to get it cleaned up!
Totally mad was DJ’ing in London and the lighting guy had scanned our faces and super-imposed them onto 3D dancing robots on a massive projector screen – that was very bizarre! Or another funny one is in Hong Kong they had a 100ft projector which had a live feed from a camera man filming the clubbers on the dancefloor. All of sudden there was big cheer from the crowd and Rachael thought she was playing a wicked tune and she looked up and saw here boobs being zoomed into and they were 100ft wide on the screen!
9. We’ve been asking our guest DJs recently who’s the most famous person they’ve ever met, or would like to meet. The league table goes from the sublime to the ridiculous at moment as Charlotte Birch knows Jeremy Kyle from morning TV, Ed Real’s girlriend is best mates with James Blunt, and Chris C claims to have gone to an Elton John afterparty (don’t ask). Can you better this with anyone else, no matter how tenuous?
We can’t beat them as for actually meeting! As for would like to meet. We would like to have a beer with Keanu Reeves to have a deep conversation about the Matrix Trilogy. And then maybe the producers of Lost so I can ask what the hell is going on!
10. Finally, this gig will be taking place at a converted Firestation. What’s your favourite emergency service and why?
We wouldn’t like to choose between any of them as you never know we might need them one day so they are all top in our books! Apparantly Rachael may have a fetish for a police uniform but that’s just too much information! Ha ha!
You can catch Graham and Rachael at the Old Firestation on the 12th of May DJ'ing for Frenzy. This will be their first gig in a couple of years so make sure you come down and give them a warm Frenzy welcome!