– Hank & Deck – what’s the thinking behind the name?
Hank: My bro’s called me Hank since we were infants. Think the name made him chuckle first time we heard it in America!
Deck: Yeh and I used to DJ under the alias Chris Deckster, so just abbreviated that.
– How did you two guys meet? Was it a while before you started DJing and producing alongside one another?
We’re brothers, so it’s by far the easiest and most organic partnership to form if you both share the same passion for music. We first learnt how to DJ 6 years ago, and then turned our full attention to production about 4 years ago.
– You seem pretty indebted to Ibiza. Can you talk us through your first trip there?
Yeh that place is a playground for the musically minded. We loved every second there! It was the first time we’d really heard underground tech and techno aloud, which blew our minds!
– Your latest EP is out now on Basica. How did it end up on the label?
We felt the EP mirrored certain characteristics of the label and so sent our stuff over to Simone. He instantly expressed his shared excitement for the underground vibe that we’re trying to capture and things just moved from there.
– Do you generally send your music to labels? Or do you produce with a label in mind? Or how does that all work?
We produce with a musical direction in mind, a distinct feeling or mood that we want to entertain.
Then we send it to the labels that we feel are best suited.
– And what are the biggest challenges facing a new producer today in your eyes?
There are so many! Probably finding a distinct sound and musical personality that will find you in demand, and ultimately offer you longevity in the industry.
– What artists and labels did you look to for inspiration when producing this one?
For ‘The Message’, hearing Jamie Jones drop ‘Mineo – Turn out the Lights’ at DC-10 was focal to the idea behind that one. And for ‘Skips’, getting caught up in the hypnotic groove at Marco Carola’s ‘Music On’ party was a definite point of inspiration.
– What constitutes a success for you guys release wise? Charts? Sales? Recognition?
We’d say a combination of being charted by DJ/Producer’s, and consequently achieving recognition in an industry that’s becoming increasingly hard to stand out in.
– Where do you want the label to be positioned by next year? What’s the long-term goals for you guys?
We’re sure both Simone Vitullo and ourselves would like the label to continue to grow and attract exciting artists, whether they’re talented ‘up and comers’ or established players. We’d like to see the label host parties also.
The long-term goal for us is to be able to secure regular DJ bookings and production requests so that we can do this as our sole job.
– Would you ever consider running your own label?
Not at the present, but the idea definitely excites us. We’ve already got a name for it when we do!
– Where are you at with your sound right now in terms of where you’d like to be? What do you think you could improve on?
This EP along with our next few scheduled releases are largely of the tech persuasion. However, the stuff we’ve recently finished in the studio as well as the bulk of what we’re doing going forwards, is delving further into the realms of techno. A movement that we’re very excited about!
There is always room for improvement, and that is something we strive to achieve track after track. It could be the way we process a sound or a means of speeding up workflow, but we’re always tinkering methods to improve!
– What’s been your proudest moment as DJs and producers thus far?
That would have to be when we got an email from Sonny Fodera saying that our records had been smashing it up when he’d been playing them out. It was the first time we realized that DJ’s were playing our stuff out in clubs etc.
– What else is currently exciting you about modern-day music? Do you listen to music aside from electronic stuff?
We love how far-reaching it’s appeal is now. You can find house music topping the charts and the number of festivals devoted to this genre has rapidly escalated. We’ve even heard a few of our mates mentioning ‘Drumcode’ tickets and downloading underground house podcasts which would never have happened a couple of years back!
Yeh we listen to a plethora of genres; soul, old school hip-hop, alternative rock etc. As long as it oozes quality, we’ll listen!
Interview by James Hopkins
Hank & Deck’s The Message EP is out now on Basica
Buy it here: http://www.beatport.com/track/the-message-original-mix/5521101