With the new year in full swing, it’s high time we get you reacquainted with some of the artists and music we love so much. Recently, I managed to check in with our good friend, Luca Venezia, known to most as heavy bass DJ and Trouble & Bass founder, Drop the Lime. Here, he gives us a behind the bass look at his Rockabilly roots and some of the things that inspire him…mostly whiskey.
O S A K A: What are some of the things you are excited for this year?
Luca Venezia: Finding new sounds, new bass, and new life in the dark.
What do you anticipate will be you biggest challenge?
Not losing myself in the magic.
What’s the best way to stay focused?
Drink plenty of whiskey.
How about the best place to write?
In an unfamiliar environment. opposite of your comfort zone. My album last year was finished in New Orleans. No Phone, no internet, just a guitar and a laptop.
Towards the end of last year, T&B was reborn with a new focus. What has changed going forward into the new year?
We have signed a lot of new young and amazing producers – expect some exciting releases from Tony Quattro, Damn Kids, and Shox to name a few. I’ve also started a new imprint thats rock n’ roll and instrument based releases titled, Hisss. Our first release will be next month by NYC sleeze boogie woogie garage band, Jail Bait. Haters, my surf-rock band and collaborations, remixes with artists like CREEP, Hussle Club, to follow..
Tell me a bit about, Haters.
We’re a two piece that play dirty surf-garage-rockabilly-trash. Short and to the point songs. Very Link Wray inspired. We’re finishing up our album this month, all recorded to 2″ tape.
We’ve talked in the past about your obsession with Rockabilly and Blues. What was the catalyst that got you to pick up a guitar and start to translate these roots into your music, combing blues progressions with your heavy bass style of dance music?
I began with guitar and being in bands, and then became inspired to produce electronic music after going to raves in highschool. I find a strong similarity in the attitude and energy of rock and roll w/ dance music, especially the raw and sexiness.
You’ve recently resumed performing under one of your other well known monikers, Curses!. How do Curses!, Haters and Drop the Lime differ? Do they all represent different characteristics of yourself, or are these additional projects just extensions of sounds you’d like to explore more?
I love music. It’s what keeps me moving in life… I also find having different projects keeps me forever interested in each one, and never bored. DTL is dance music drunk on rock n’ roll, Haters is straight up stripped down surf like, and Curses! deep dark house, the after-hours side of my vampire lifestyle.
Photo by Phobe Arnstein
Microphone of Choice: I noticed when you perform you switch between what looks like a green hornet and some sort of 50’s style mic. Tell me a little bit about your microphones.
I have so many vintage and modified microphones. Its a bit of a problem actually. Lately, I’ve been using the Fin by Heil when on tour. My studio choice would be a vintage Coles 4038 Ribbon Mic though.
Guitar of Choice: You have to have had a few favorite axes throughout the years. Which ones were memorable / meaningful?
My number one is my Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman. My favorite for touring is my black on black Reverend Pete Anderson hollow body.
Which guitars appear on, Enter the Night?
The Chet Atkins baby! All the way.
Best tracks to kick off the year:
I’m really into deep house right now. So anything off Hot Creations, Black Butter, Let’s Play House, L.I.E.S… is my zone.
Photo by Phobe Arnstein
While nodding to a more classic period of fashion, you still present yourself in a modern light. How would you define your style?
Gene Vincent had a baby with Bettie Page on the moon at midnight.
Rockabilly has been a driving force in both your artistic endeavors and your own personal style. Are there any icons from the era that you particularly identify with?
Classics like Gene Vincent, Johnny Burnette, Johnny Cash, have always been a big inspiration… but then later acts like The Cramps, Stray Cats as well. Brian Setzer always had great style back then.
Best music to get ready to:
Since I spend my nights around techno and house and bass music, before going out I like to hear something different. Any Stray Cats, or Johnny Burnette gets me going. Janis Martin as well.
Preferred accessory: Braces and canes.
Best place to get dressed and tailored: Hong Kong.
Best Shave & haircut: Two Bits.
It’s no secret that you are a man who enjoys his libations. Favorite Scotch or whisky?
I love my Rye. Favorite right now is the Double Rye High West.
Best song to accompany said glass of Rye?
Anything from Tom Waits Blue Valentines or Aphex Twin’s Ambient Works 85-92.
Best meal to accompany said glass of Rye:
Entrecôte, cooked blue.
Notable places to dine in New York:
It’s becoming more popular, but Maison Premier is still in my top 5.
Final thoughts or advice?
It’s the year of the snake, don’t look back, look forward and shake.
Check out Drop The Lime’s latest music video for, No Sleep For The Wicked, the next single off his Ultra Records debut, Enter The Night. Be on the lookout for more from Luca’s many projects as well as new releases from the Trouble & Bass Crew in 2013.
O S A K A