JDNB Interview - JTR
JTR aka Jack The Ripper is a DJ/Producer from the South West (UK). Being well known for his heavy, scatty Jump Up, he has played many shows across Europe and internationally. Sharing the decks with some big names as well as releases on some big labels. Expect nothing but bangers when you hear his sets and his music. Gaining support from the likes of Blackley, Grooverider, Rene LaVice, Noisia and many more. Also being a Cre8Dnb artist, he is now releasing all kinds of styles and developing his ‘JTR’ sound even more. With his debut EP now out on Liondub Internationals legendary Street Series we thought it was about time we had a chat with him.
How have you been keeping yourself occupied during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
I have actually started uni which is keeping me going. I think with the current things going on it's a good time to educate and learn. Although it is still difficult as a lot of the stuff is online which isn't the best for everyone. Also making music out of my comfort zone. I think for a lot of producers right now that are struggling to make music because they feel like there's no point. I would highly recommend trying new things. This could have a big impact on what you're producing in the future.
Tell us a little bit more about where you're from and where you get your musical background from?
So i was born in Somerset, Taunton. But then at a very young age I moved to Cornwall. Both my mum and dad back in the day were proper into their rave music. When i was growing up i would wake up to the sound of my dad blasting music on the weekend. Not gonna lie it was awesome to wake up to. Then going into the front room and shouting at my dad but having a normal conversation, or even playing ps2 games. But something about the music was just amazing. He had made his own speaker frame and filled it with speakers to the point where it was almost like sitting in front of a rig. As i got into producing my own music i would test it on his speakers to see what it sounds like on a big system. I think a big part of my love for music has very much come from my mum and dad. Always listening to bass heavy music.
What do you like doing in your spare time away from music?
Before I got really into music I always loved to skate. Living in Cornwall i have always lived close to Mount Hawke Skatepark. Not gonna lie, I spent most of my days there. All i wanted to do was be a pro skateboarder but then music took over. It's always one of those things that I will go back and do. Plus it's nice to get away from everything every now and again. If anyone wants a game of SKATE then bring it!
What would you say first got you into jungle / drum and bass and which track stands out from that time?
Back when I was younger I used to listen to a lot of Prodigy. They made some of the craziest music which wasn't as much Drum & Bass, but at the time was very different to anything else ever made. The basslines were insane, drum patterns that were different. They were actually some of the first tunes I tried to mix when I was younger and using vinyl. When I first heard the Hold Your Colour Album by Pendulum that was it. I had such a passion for dnb and then slowly started finding out more. Noisia, Hazard, Clipz, Heist, Turno, Konichi, the list goes on. I think one of the tracks I will always remember which was so ahead of its time was Voyager by Pendulum. The sound design is something else, even now it's still just insane.
How did the linkup with Liondub International come about?
Well I actually got a message from Erik himself and he was keen to get a Street Series going. I was actually so gassed. I've seen so many sick artists on this label and it's been a pleasure to work with Liondub. Absolute boss and has every intention to help an artist grow. I know for a fact he will do that for me and I will be happy to keep working with him for as long as I can.
Are there any artists you would love to work with in the scene, that you have not worked with yet?
For sure there are a few. I absolutely love Upgrades music. I think his groove on his tracks is just so sick. Plus he's a proper laugh and a sound guy to link up with. Another person would be Konichi. From back when i was in secondary school i thought his tracks were so different but so clever. Making sounds you would never think work musically but they did, and so well. A big part of my influence for making tracks to this day are from him. I still remember coming back from a show with him and he said ‘just make music’. Everytime i make a track now I don't even know what the plan is, I just make music. I think it's the best way to make stuff that is different to everyone else. I think another one would be Turno. For one he's one of the most down to earth guy, had some proper good laughs and that. Plus he's always been a don at production, His drum work and percussion is always so sick.
What does your studio setup consist of?
I have currently got Adam Audio monitors, a PC which I got built with PC Specialists. 2 screens cause trust me it's just way better than 1 when your building tracks. I also have 2 Pioneer xdj 700s and a Pioneer 2 channel mixer. I can't live without having decks. You need something to test your music on!
Which 3 moments stand out so far in your jungle / drum and bass journey?
I think the main one has got to be the first time I played at ‘Univerz Festival’ in Belgium. I think it was the last ever one they did but what i could remember so well is when the crowd were going that mental to the set, it was almost making a cloud of ‘what looked like’ smoke in the air around them. It looked mental! Playing in front of hundreds and hundreds of people just having it has got to be the top highlight so far!
The second one is playing at Korsakov in the Netherlands. The line up was insane, and the event itself was just so well put together, massive props to the Korsakov team! But yeah they had Noisia, The Prototypes, Pendulum, Annix, Audio, Friction, i mean the list goes on! Such an amazing experience meeting so many artists i grew up listening to and playing at the same event.
And the 3rd is probably Switch! in Vienna, they booked me on my birthday one year not actually that long ago. But the whole crowd sang me happy birthday and the Switch! team prepared me a birthday cake and everything. The hospitality was just on point and I will forever love those guys. Always amazing events and lovely people.
Your ‘Liondub Street Series Vol52: Trouble’ release on Liondub International features Steely and Toxinate, how did those link ups come about?
Steely is actually one of my boys from Cornwall. He's so underrated and is a sick producer. He gets proper geeky when he makes tunes which I love and have learnt quite a bit from him. Toxinate is someone who I have been rating for a while now. Making them old Konichi style sounds and I was so keen to collaborate with him.. Watch out for this guy!
What would be your dream lineup if you were putting together an event?
Okay, if i wanted everyone then it would go on forever. But I think for me I would want a lot of the more underrated artists. People like Master Error, Maze, Danger, Smoggy, Klay and so on. But still I would want to get some older names involved. Basically the names i mentioned earlier plus many more. Also no foghorns, i'm so bored of them, sorry if i offend anyone saying that!
Which track from the Liondub International back catalogue would you love to remix?
I would love to do one of Macky Gees tracks. I should have mentioned him earlier really but i always loved his tracks back in the day. Proper grotty sounds and you would know straight away if it was one of his tunes. Made some serious stuff. I think ‘Anxious’ would be a sick one to remix.
Anything else to come from yourself on Liondub International?
I think we have some plans for the future but all in good time. I will always be happy to release more music with Liondub International.
Name your top 5 Liondub International tracks?
Bou - Double Barrel
Macky Gee - Anxious
Stranger - High Stakes
Kumo - Identification VIP
Macky Gee - The Hood
Any live streams or bookings coming up we should know about?
I do livestreams on Cre8Dnb every 2 weeks on a Wednesday at 5.30pm (GMT). But currently bookings ain't looking good with what's going on at the moment. I really am missing doing gigs and I'm sure loads of us are!
What would you say you like most about the www.jungledrumandbass.co.uk website?
I love that you interview more underrated artists in the scene. Plus the music selection is on point on the site!
Thanks for your time. Lastly any thanks or shoutouts?
Of course I gotta shout out to my bro Blackley. Absolute don of a guy and done some wicked events with him, he's got me more noticed by amazing artists and helped me grow. Much love bro!
Liondub Presents Street Series Vol52: Trouble by JTR is now avaliable from all streaming and download sites: Download / Stream Here
You can also join up to his Patreon to receive exclusive material via the following link: JTR Patreon
Liondub International Socials:
Interviwed and Edited By: Chilla