Oh yeah!!! Interview with Specimen A (UK)

Specimen A are brothers Phil and Mo Jones. Producers of bass driven breaks, dubstep and drum & bass, the Jones brothers have music in their blood.
Born into a family of musicians, they are nephews of 80's pop star Howard Jones and were raised with a strict classical training whilst developing a love for electronic music.

After several years producing and DJ'ing drum & bass for labels such as Emcee and Inspirit, they started making breaks in 2006, collaborating with then up & coming producers Far Too Loud. Their early releases 'Headcase', 'Contamination' & 'Soldiers At War' won them mass praise & support across the scene. After signing with Funkatech Records they continued to craft their distinctive sound on follow-up singles such as 'Exodus', 'Dirty Disco' and'Freak In Us feat Miss Trouble' winning a devoted fanbase, international bookings and proving themselves skillfull performers and versatile song writers.

In 2008 they released their 'Hazardous Material' series on Funkatech, pushing their sound into new territories and winning themselves a nomination for Breakthrough Producer at the 2009 Breakspoll Awards. It was there at Fabric that they took to the stage with their first ever live show, performing their music as an 8 piece live band.
Throughout the rest of 2009 Specimen A went from strength to strength, tearing up the first Breakspoll Festival in Spain, remixing artists such as Dylan Rhymes and Deekline for high profile labels Against The Grain and Lot49 and creating guest mixes for BBC Radio 1 and Kiss FM.

Broadening their sound in 2012, they roamed deep into dubstep territory for the first time with releases 'Jaguar Paw' and their huge dubstep remix of Foreigner's classic 'Cold As Ice', heavily supported by Radio 1's MistaJam. They then went on to remix Bashy Vs NAPT's hit 'Make My Day' gaining over 700,000 views on YouTube to date, while simultaneously making their mark in breaks with their huge single 'Just A DJ' which topped the breakbeat chart for over 6 weeks.

Since then Specimen A have followed suit with more successes: their 'Forgot About Breaks' single hitting the No.1 spot at Beatport yet again; more high profile remixes including Excision on Mau5trap , Cutline on Strictly Rhythm, tracks licensed to Ministry Of Sound & New State Music; over 250,000 YouTube plays & 20,000 downloads of their unofficial Daft Punk 'Aerodynamic' remix; two summer tours of Australia; plus their outstanding London Calling & Rockstar Ep’s, both effortless multi-genre master classes showcasing Specimen A's exceptional talents.

Their most recent release the “Tomahawk EP” dropped on Excision’s label Rottun Records and has elevated them one step higher in the US market and their production skills have clearly put them a cut above the rest. They are a formidable production and DJ outfit with many strings to their bow synonymous with nothing less than quality. No territory is our of bounds, so be prepared!

How was 2015 for you? Very very difficult transitional year. A lot has been going on but publicly nothing has been seen. We have been building a studio for over a year. Now we are set up and in a position to use it finally. Also Specimen A has had no label or management for a couple of years which has meant we have been somewhat homeless. B2B EP - SPECIMEN A & ATOMIC DROP feat CHESIRE CAT Can you tell us what your favourite thing is about the new EP? Favourite thing about the B2B EP musically is probably the fact that I can’t tell what Cheshire Cat is saying half the time! Some of it I still haven’t worked out even now and i’ve heard it more than anyone. How did this project get started? Atomic Drop are good friends of mine here in Brighton. They are really nice guys and we just have fun together, so the music came about easily and I hope the good vibes show in the music. Can you tell us about new project you will be working on 2016? My brother and I have started a new project with Erb n Dub, to which we will be signing to one of the biggest dnb labels. We are making some amazing music and working with Erb n Dub is really rewarding. His work ethic and drive is matched to mine but we carry different skill sets , so together we make a really good team/ sound. Specimen A, I plan to keep down tempo and basically sign to one of the biggest names in breaks. Somewhere I know it will be looked after and nurtured. Both of these prospects I’m very happy about, and can’t wait to see what the year brings. Imagine yourself walking into the studio; please may you talk me through a typical day? What are your habits? Well, its pretty much, sit down for hours and hours making some great music hoping that my brother will feed me. This is when its just us. Otherwise, if its a guest, who knows! It depends on their personality and all sorts. Sometimes I prefer to be creative at night and keep my head focused on more demanding tasks in the day. Always changes though depending on what’s going on and deadlines.Also you can be creative in so many environments now, I’ve found myself sitting in fields in the summer finishing tunes to get into different spaces. How do you go about choosing what software and plug-ins you use? Sometimes that depends on who you are working with. I like to keep an open approach to all of the plug ins and software. You have to be open to learning as a producer or you basically become one of those old dudes with a dated sound that nobody looks up to! My Uncle Howard Jones always told me the importance of keeping up to date with music technology. This aside. I’m friends with an amazing guy who’s company DMG Audio make some of the best plug ins on the market. So naturally I pull towards his plug ins, and I also work for DMG Audio Customer Support! Wait for his new limiter which will end the world. What’s the one piece of DJ/production gear you can’t live without? A Keyboard , without a doubt. Being a Piano player, I can still make music without one, but with one, its just much much easier for musical ideas. Any particular artists/dj’s/ producers that really influenced you? I grew up on The Prodigy, so they would be my child hood band. Ultimately my Uncle has been one of the biggest influences on me in my life, not in the type of music I make, but the intention behind making it and the passion for music. How’s the Brighton music scene in this moment? Often particular cities are linked to certain sounds and sub genres. Do you think living in Brighton is reflected in your music? I guess I would have to say yes it does reflect in my music. I never would have made the B2B EP if it wasn’t for working with James and Ken who are in Brighton. I’m going to get in the studio with Tigerlight soon, and Krafty Kuts who are also local so yes. Its probably been the people who live here too who have an influence in my music more than the place. Its always about the people. All my experiences in music boil down to it being about the people I’ve met along the way. Phil Jones Specimen A

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