Words: Miljan Milekić
After a long and successful career, and working together in the past, two British drum and bass heavyweights teamed up for something more. Two years ago Audio [Gareth Greenall] and Ed Rush [Ben Settle] played a b2b set at fabric, a set that led to a brand new project – Killbox. Finally, a few weeks ago they dropped their debut LP ‘Pleasure Palace.’ We caught up with them to speak about their new project, the LP, and well, England at the World Cup.
You both have long and successful careers, but last year, you entered the new chapter – Killbox. Tell me more about the project, how did you come up with the idea?
Gareth: We got booked for a b2b set at Room One in Fabric and we had such a blast we thought we should do more whilst turning into something new. Two years later here we are!
Ben: Yes, the whole idea stemmed from that legendary set at the Bad Company UK reunion party at Fabric. It was such a good vibe we had to find a way to get booked together more often. We also play similar styles when we DJ so we vibe off each other when playing live.
This is not your first time working together – you actually have quite a history. How did you know it’s the right time to get in the studio and work on an LP?
Gareth: Yeah, I’ve worked with, and known Ben for a long time after releasing three LPs and countless other tracks on his and Optical’s label Virus Recordings. I personally wanted to freshen things up and working with someone is the perfect way to do that. And plus he is my mate and we have a laugh which is very important if you want to create a vibe, there are too many soulless and vibeless tech tunes.
Ben: Agreed, we had worked together before and made a couple of tracks that never got released, so we knew we could collaborate successfully. I also moved out of London a few years ago and now live nearer to Gareth than I did previously so geographically it made sense, too.
When working on something, how do you if it’s a Killbox or an Audio & Ed Rush track?
Gareth: At the moment everything is Killbox. Of course, there will be more solo material from both of us, but for now, the focus is this project. After such a great response from this album, we’re ready to roll on to the next one.
Ben: We work on ideas separately then meet usually once a week and develop the ones we both like. The others will end up as solo tracks or may get shelved for a while until they can be used for something else.
In the beginning, you kept the identity of Killbox a secret. How helpful was it to be able to release new music without the pressure of your previous success?
Gareth: Keeping a secret was a double-edged sword, to be honest. On the one hand, we could release with no pressure, but on the other, we still have the situation that people don’t know it’s us behind it, so we’re kind of shouting it from the rooftops now.
Ben: Yes, exactly. It had good and bad connotations. We wanted the music to be judged on its own merits without any preconceptions from our fanbase. But, it took a while to gain traction initially because no one knew it was us.
‘Pleasure Palace’ has been out for a few weeks now. Are you happy with the reactions from the fans so far?
Gareth: Amazed, the reaction has been great, really strong organic support. We were also blessed with some incredible artwork from Andy at Army of Few, which was the icing on the cake, to be honest.
Ben: The reaction has been overwhelming. It’s so nice to spend so long on a body of work and see it being respected by our peers and followers alike. And as Gareth mentioned, the artwork really ties it all together.
There’s hardly a better place to showcase new music than the Arcadia. How did that go?
Gareth: We played the Reactor Stage which was equally epic as Arcadia. It was very hot a sweaty in that tent, but it was vibes, too and it was great to test new LP tracks.
Ben: It was a hot one!! I really respect those guys; they are always trying something different and new. It was a brilliant show.
This summer, you are set to play massive Let It Roll Festival in the Czech Republic. You’re not strangers to the place, but what do you expect from this show?
Gareth: This is the highlight of my year if I’m honest. I get to see everyone from the scene all under one roof, and plus with the beautiful Czech countryside and ravers from all over the world. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Ben: Likewise, definitely one of the highlights of the year. It still amazes me that many people are all there just for drum and bass.
The last one – can Harry Kane take you all the way to the end in Russia?
Gareth: All I’m saying is… It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming…
Ben: Not sure about all the way but we are definitely the best English squad I have seen for a long, long time. But who knows. Never say never, and there is a lot of luck involved in a tournament like that so fingers crossed!!