INTERVIEW: Doctor P (2013)
DJ, prankster, and label head Doctor P wears a lot of hats. Although he is not known (yet) by the mainstream, his following is huge and loyal, as evidenced by a sold out club (on a Thursday) in Nashville, Tennessee. Originally released on his own Circus records, his recent EP was picked up by legendary dance label Big Beat who brought his sound to the US where it was devoured. His track “Galaxies & Stars” is a good intro, but you really should dig further in and experience the way his creative mind takes dubstep to places it’s never really been before.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: When you made “Galaxies & Stars,” were you trying to channel Blondie’s “Rapture”?
Doctor P: Yeah, I am a massive Blondie and KRS-One fan. I have always loved what KRS-One did with the song (on “Step into a World”), so I tried to do that and take some of the original and give it my own spin as well. I didn’t get any percentage of that track, Debbie Harry got everything and she wouldn’t back down. We were going back and forth for ages and I finally just let her have it, she wrote the melody so I suppose it’s fine.
RS: What is the dubstep scene in the UK like compared to the US?
Doctor P: It is definitely bigger in the US as the moment. People in the UK are still into it, but they move on really quickly from one thing to another. They moved from dubstep to house, and house is cool now, and it will go somewhere else, then somewhere else, and then back to dubstep again, though. At the moment dubstep is just not cool in the UK.
RS: It kind of feels like a gay bar in here, as there are 9 blokes for every bird in the crowd, why do you think it is like that?
Doctor P: I think when something is in vogue, girls tend to come, but if it slips out of the mainstream culture, girls don’t tend to care anymore. I don’t mean it in a sexist way but I think blokes care about the music a little more, it is quite a male type of music, very aggressive. If you go to the big festivals, there are a lot of women there, but the numbers are reducing slightly as it become less and less of the in vogue thing.
RS: What are you working on in the studio right now?
Doctor P: I’ve got a 4 track EP that I am trying to get together. I have all of the tracks, but getting them to sound perfect is what I’m working on now. I am in the stages of making them turn from ideas to tracks, but I want to get it out really quickly
RS: Will that come through Big Beat?
Doctor P: No, it’s just going to be on Circus. We have done a few through Big Beat, but we are just going to put them out ourselves.
RS: How did it feel when Big Beat picked y’all up for the US?
Doctor P: It was cool, it’s nice to have recognition from people who know what they are doing and people who have been around for a long time and worked with big artists. It was nice to know that they actually thought that we were as good as those artists, to be on board with them.
RS: Why did you start Circus records?
Doctor P: There were a lot of little labels at the time that were interested in our music but when we put stuff out with the smaller labels we found that they could be unreliable. There were times that we didn’t get paid, sometimes the tracks never came out and our name was spelled wrong on the artwork, so we decided that we could definitely do it ourselves. Now we are at the stage where there is a lot more to it, but luckily we have a good team to do it for us, starting our own record label was definitely a good idea.
RS: Were you involved with the video for “Galaxies & Stars”?
Doctor P: We got a few ideas from a few different companies and I picked that one, which I liked the most. We went back and forth with the company that did it, but the video is really my style. As soon as I saw it I was like “yes, they’ve understood me and they’ve understood the track!”
RS: If you could remix any Red Hot Chili Peppers song which one would it be?
Doctor P: That is a good question; I actually just got back into Red Hot Chili Peppers and would have to say “Aeroplane.”
RS: What is the best part of Phish Food, is it the marshmallow, the caramel, or the fudge?
Doctor P: Definitely the fish.
RS: I also chatted with Alex Metric this week and I wanted to ask if fancy dress parties are all the rage in the UK right now?
Doctor P: I went to a fancy dress party a few days ago with Screech from Saved by the Bell.
RS: Did you post any pictures?
Doctor P: I was quite embarrassed, so I didn’t. Fancy dress parties are massive in the UK and always have been.
RS: Where does the name Doctor P come from?
Doctor P: When I made drum & bass I was called DJ Picto so I wanted a name that kind of hinted towards the Picto part.
RS: In the studio, which software are you working on?
Doctor P: Cubase, I have been through them all but I keep coming back to Cubase.
RS: Do you use inboard or outboard gear?
Doctor P: I buy outboard stuff but I never use it, I work on the road a lot so stuff has work on my laptop.
RS: When you are spinning are you on CD, thumbdrive, or laptop?
Doctor P: I just use one tiny USB pin.
RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Doctor P: I hope that you like what I do because I am going to keep doing it and I hope that the people who like it will continue liking it.
RS: What is the best way for people to follow you?
Doctor P: Twitter is probably the best and easiest. I like that you can say what you think and it disappears 5 minutes later.
Interview conducted September 2013.