Friday, 9 May 2014

Captain Flatcap - Exclusive interview and free music download

Since its Friday, and I know many of you will be reminiscing about last weekend's Bank Holiday, I thought you might need cheering up. I myself have only just fully recovered from the after effects of Swingamajig, where I had a thoroughly splendid time. My remedy is sure to get you back in the party spirit, and is guaranteed to make you smile - not only do I have a nice little interview with Captain Flatcap for you, but I also have some EXCLUSIVE FREE MUSIC ahead of the release of their Debut EP 'Bonklet'. Don't say I'm not good to you.

Jack the Cad: Right then chaps, lets start with you all introducing yourselves.

Chris Rotherham: Hello! I'm Chris the Captain! I play flute and guitar.

Tom Rotherham: I'm Tom, Chris's younger brother - guitarist and trumpeter, and co-producer.

Gareth Roberts: And I'm Gareth, the "box whacker"

Jack the Cad: Box-whacker! Nice.

Chris: Yes, I think 'Box Whacker' is the official term. But for those of you not down with the lingo, this means he plays the cajon and various other percussion.

Jack the Cad:  And for those who don't already know, explain what Captain Flatcap is, in all its glorious forms.

Tom: Multi-genre electronic dance music, with influences of swing, ska, funk, folk and anything and everything - both the live band and the DJ Chris Rotherham.

Chris: Yeah, the live band has so many genres intertwined I wouldn't know where to begin, nor say we are even a specific genre.

Chris: But when I do DJ sets its usually "electro swing" and "ghetto funk", in all their various forms.

Tom: We toyed around for a while trying to come up with a catchy made-up genre name but gave up when we realised it was impossible to accurately reflect what we do in under 4 words. I think my favourite suggestion was 'squelchadelic'

Chris: Filth-folk was my favorite suggestion, but we're not really folky at all

Tom: Yeah, we just have flute.

Chris: Haha... Squeltchadelic swing skankin ska stomp...

Jack the Cad: Ok, I see the problem! I saw that one or more of you had a gig in Clapham last night - how was that?

Chris: Yeah, I did a DJ set in Clapham last night put on by 'Wonderland Festival', was a really good night, decent crowd, good vibes. Tested 2 of the 4 tracks on our forthcoming EP out on them... Not meaning to blow my own flute here, but they went down pretty well!

Tom: There's been a lack of live gigs recently 'cause i'm off being a uni wanker in Huddersfield - we'll be doing a lot more in the summer, watch out for that!

Chris: Yup, gunna get out giggin' caps back on!

Jack the Cad: Ok, so Chris you mentioned your new ep. "Bonklet"...  good name!

Chris: You reckon? Cheers! We were gonna call it "Skank N Stomp" but discovered there's already some event called that

Tom: 'Bonklet' was originally thought of by Dutty Moonshine, who started off the first track. Not sure what it refers too but I like to think of it as the sound the bass riff makes.

Chris: Yeah I can hear that now you mention it!

Jack the Cad: "Bonklet" is at least as good a name. The ep. Has a couple of collabs on it - who were you working with and how did they come about?

Chris: Well we'd been meaning to write a track properly with Dutty Moonshine for a while cos we'd only remixed a track by them in the past, although we did feature on a track on their last EP with flute and guitar. "Real thing", that's the name of the track.

Tom: Well we've been meaning to collaborate with Dutty Moonshine for a while - they were a massive influence on us when we first started getting into electro-swing before Captain Flatcap even existed. I guess we've got a fairly similar and they're such lovely chaps so it seemed natural.

Chris Rotherham: Yeah, to be honest when we first started working with them it was pretty surreal.

Jack the Cad: Surreal how?

Chris Rotherham: Well just a few months previously I thought of them as a really big deal... I still do. I just didn't even think writing a tune with them would happen! But yeah just cos of their position in the electro swing world, it was a bit of a dream come true. They're fairly normal people really...faaaaairly.

Jack the Cad: Hang on... I've met them too, remember!

Chris: Hahaha! Oh yeah. Anyway, Kitten and the Hip have been wanting to do a collab with us since we remixed their track a year or so ago "Shut up and dance".

Tom: Yeah, that track went down really well, so we've got something with a fairly similar for the EP.

Jack the Cad: So, do you feel like you guys are starting to make waves in the scene now as well?

Chris: I think we're making waves in various scenes, it's been hard to get any where in the "Electro Swing" world, purely because we don't play just electro-swing.

Tom: Yeah for sure, i'd say we have a pretty wide spectrum of people in our audience.

Chris: Yeh, I guess the newest to that is the ghetto funk audience, we're making more and more 100-110bpm tracks now (this free track "Alien Jazz") for one!

Jack the Cad: So what do you make of suggestions that the term 'electro-swing' is too specific a term for what the scene has morphed into in the last couple of years?

Chris: I'd say that's spot on. Electro-swing only really fits the really swingy, electro, housey, tracks, when really there are so many sub-genres. Hip-hop, glitch-hop, drum'n'bass, dubstep, etc etc. Even trap [Chris makes a face]. ...I joke.

Jack the Cad: Hahah. Just wait for gabber-swing?

Chris: Oh good grief! It's probably already a thing.

Tom: Anyone who makes gabber-swing should be shot. But I've come to think that there's two types of 'electro-swing' these days - there's pure electro-swing which literally makes swing music electronic, and a newer scene which simply seems to be multi-genre EDM music.

Chris: Gazz any comment?... "THE TRACKS THAT GO WUB ARE THE BEST!"?

Gareth: Haha Chris you know me too well! I think there is a tendency to pigeon hole anything with a swing sample and a beat as electro- swing whereas the genre has grown and developed so much further over the last few years.

Jack the Cad: I think we had better change track lest we disappear down a genre-busting black hole!... You've got a little exclusive freebie for Jack the Cad readers, I believe...

Chris: Yes indeed! I guess influences on this one are glitch-hop and trip-hop really, with a bit of swing in there too, and some Monty Python samples for good measure!

Tom: It's very silly.

Chris Rotherham: Yes, silly silly silly! I had it on the back burner for a while needing to be finished, pretty much been working on it solidly for the last few days. I'm awful at finishing tracks before starting new ones...

Jack the Cad: Excellent - we like them silly. And I can break out the Ministry of Silly Walks on the dancefloor.

Chris: Yes!!!

Tom: Hahaha I'd love to see a dance floor of people doing that.

Jack the Cad: Make it happen! Where are you gigging in the next little while?

Chris Rotherham: Oh god, I'm gonna have to refer to my list... we've got a few small ones here and there, Southampton, Chichester... we're doin' Bournemouth Uni graduation ball, that's gonna be funny! DJ sets at Noisily and Boomtown. Live at Illusive festival. Oh and I think I'm DJing at a wedding in Scotland too...but really we've been trying to get this EP out rather than get gigs, once it goes out I'm sure we'll have more dates for the summer.

Jack the Cad: Great stuff! So, finally you had better let us know when and where we can get this EP of yours.

Chris: So it's being released on Rocstar Records and is out on Juno for a 1 week exclusive on 15th June, then out everywhere else 22nd June.

Tom:  There's a preview up on YouTube and Soundcloud at the moment too - search 'captain flatcap bonklet EP'.

Jack the Cad: And any other messages for my loyal readers? Or for any disloyal ones?

Tom Rotherham: We're stupidly excited about releasing the EP, I'd definitely say it's our best overall work to date, been working towards it since Captain Flatcap started out, hopefully you'll all like it too!

Chris: Cheers for reading, if you dig the EP please buy it, it'll make us very happy!

Tom: Gareth! any last words?

Chris Rotherham: WUB WUB WUB.

Gareth: [silence].

[Editors' note - This interview was conducted via the internet, and Gareth had a very poor connection. This makes it sound like he was in a war-zone, so we shall leave it at that.]

So here is that promised free download - have a listen to the Soundcloud below and then insert finger here for the free download link.