An Interview with Extra Curricular

This Friday 31 August, multi genre club night “We, Like You” head to Brixton Jamm with another all night affair featuring some amazing underground beats from amazing DJs such as Hannah Holland’s cohort and Native City label boss Deboa, Ninja Tunes Mix Master Morris (who will be hosting the evening Bar B Q!) and many more. In addition, band Extra Curricular will be playing live with their mix of soul, funk, bass music and much more. Seemingly much more at home playing the club scene, Barry caught up with them to discuss their current shenanigans.

Us – Your new track – ‘Last Day’ is due for release, how would you describe the track?

Them – A big anthemic track… full of soul…. fist in the air…. rocking it to the very last minute. 

The lyrics seem to have quite a strong meaning from what I can gather, what are they based around?

It’s pretty much our mantra as a band. If the world was to end right now, if this was the last thing that was going to happen, we’d still be up on that stage doing the thing that we love to do which is play music. It really makes sense when you see it live, and it’s something we’ve really tried to capture with the video and studio recording. It’s always a magic moment for us when we play it.

You have a couple of edgy remixes, a drum and bass version and a more subtle acoustic version – are you a fan of remixes around your work?

We’re a big fan of remixes and reworkings, it’s great to hear different interpretations of songs and get the music into different environments. We’re always messing around in rehearsals playing things in different ways and sometimes little bits of that make it into the stage show. Having producers like Doorly and SpectraSoul take it away and do the same thing is like an extension of that for us. Plus, it’s really exciting to have a remix come back and wonder what it’s going to sound like.

You will be playing a huge gig at Brixton Jamm for We, Like You London, what can we expect from the show?

Yeah, we’re really looking forward to that one! We really try to take people with us on a journey, for us a really great live show has a plot… there needs to be differences, light bit, dark bits, bits where you go crazy. Audience participation is key for us and something we always work into a set. There’s some killer guitar solos, massive bass drops, funky horns, and plenty of soul.

The previous guests have included The Happy Mondays, Maxi Jazz, The Maccabees, DJ Yoda, Giles Peterson – quite a mixed bag, do you ever think at any of your gigs ‘Wow we have played on the stage with some huge artists?’

This last year or so there have definitely been a few moments like that, especially meeting people face to face. Playing a venue that someone ‘big’ has played at before not so much, there are only so many venues in the country and most of the good ones quite rightly have a few claims to fame. For us the magic in music is about the interaction, it’s why we play in a band and it’s why we like to play in front of audiences. Meeting some of the big guys like Zane, Yoda, and Example has been an amazing bonus to what we’re doing, they’re guys at the top of their game with some great advice… it gives you a real sense of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. 

You will also play the huge Brownstock festival in Chelmsford – its become a stalwart festival in the area – why do you think the festival is so popular?

It has right principles and a great team of genuinely nice and talented people running it. I’ve spoken on the phone to Mat (one of the organisers) a few times on the phone, which you don’t often get when your up and coming, rather than already a big name. They seem to have the right mix of genres and are more than happy to put relatively unknown bands such as ourselves way up on the bill because they’ve taken the time to find out about us and know we’ll put on a good show. We’re on just before Labrinth, which I don’t think would happen at any other festival. They seem to have built a nice family of punters, artists, and organisers, which is pretty rare in this day and age.

Do you prepare differently for a festival as apposed to a gig as the festival audience are more varied?

Not massively. We’ve normally got a slightly shorter set time, so we have to trim a few bits off what we’d normally play. We basically go out on stage with a really hard-hitting set that is going to win new fans. The stages are a little bigger so everything we do can be that little bit larger. Festival crowds are always really up for it so we just hit it hard and don’t come up for air until the end.

The things we do prepare, however, are things like a change of shoes, and the line “How do we get to the artist entrance?”

Finally – can we see any more productions in the near future?

Yes, Last Day is being released on August 8th! We’ve got a feature track coming up with Duke Dumont in September on Turbo Recordings, and then our new EP should drop a month or so after that. There’ll be plenty of cheeky mixes and acoustic versions flying around until then though, so stay locked.

More information on We, Like You on 31 August HERE