After finding themselves ‘Lost In Space’ in early 2019, Gentleman’s Dub Club are continuing their voyage through some of the freshest sunshine sounds, and now is the time to unveil a new chapter. November 2020’s release of single ‘Castle In The Sky’ started paving the way for things to come, and now they’re bringing us back ‘Down To Earth’ with a brand new album announcement and new single ‘Honey,’ which features the incredible Hollie Cook. DMCWORLD checks in…
Hey Gents, how has lockdown been for you?
A massive, massive, massive shit sandwich.
Congratulations on the new album announcement, please tell us about the concept and what people can expect to hear?
Thanks! We began writing Down To Earth at the start of lockdown, when life felt a little bit different to the mad days of touring when we wrote our previous album, Lost In Space. We feel as a band our job is to uplift people away from negativity, so we set about writing with the hope that we would provide a little catharsis for both our listeners and ourselves amongst the chaos and uncertainty of the pandemic. The Down To Earth name came about when we started exploring the idea of being grounded and what that meant in terms of becoming self-reflective…so the subjects are rooted in our own feelings, but hopefully will resonate because everyone was simultaneously experiencing the same rollercoaster.
Musically we wrote a lot of the album remotely, which meant that we could add a little more consideration into the structure and finer details as opposed to usually when we get together and basically bash the shit out of an instrumental until a top line comes. Our keys man Luke really came to the fore with the writing, with his super stylish chord patterns and ample barnet. I would say Down To Earth is musically more rich than our other records, but still maintains the same driving energy.
We recorded Down To Earth at my studio – Crosstown Studios – in Hornsey. We’ve got everything you need to make an album and loads of sweet vintage gear, plus my studio partner Ben Mckone (who also plays for Hollie Cook and Maverick Sabre) is a gun sound engineer and drummer, and played a big part in the sound of the record. Recording the strings (shouts to Alicia Berendse) for Castle In The Sky, Moonlight Dreams and Smile was a really special feeling – strings make everything sound better!!
The second single ‘Honey’ features Hollie Cook, how did that collaboration come about?
Hollie is a longtime friend of the band, we’ve hung out with for years through the UK reggae circuit and mutual friends, and we collaborated with her on “Spooky” from the Nextmen Pound for Pound project. She’s a bonafide UK reggae superstar and such a lovely human being and collaborator, it felt like a proper family affair!
We know how much energy you put into your live shows, would you say that energy has gone into the album to make up for the lack of gigs?
Our main source of energy is our relationship between each other as band mates: it’s been there from the start when we were playing damp pub basements and has been the cornerstone from which we build everything. So even though we couldn’t gig at the time, we’re still a hyperactive bunch of kids who love to make high energy music!
Down To Earth pays tribute to reggae and dub, can you tell us three artists that heavily influenced the album and the band in general?
Iration Steppas are probably our main influence in terms of live energy, Sub Dub in Leeds was a baptism of bass that we’re forever thankful we got to experience! The Twinkle Brothers showed us the artistry and control of playing reggae: those guys are dynamite musicians who have set the standard since the 60’s. Prince Fatty has played an important part in our development, especially on record. He’s a proper recording genius and his attention to detail sonically and musically is second to none.
Finally, what are your album highlights and which tracks do you think people should get excited for?
We’re so stoked about the whole record! Obviously we’re a bit biased but we genuinely think there’s something to like about every tune. We’re really happy about the way the singles (Castle In The Sky and Honey ft Hollie Cook) have been received and we’ve got a classic GDC steppas banger – Night Shift ft Gardna – incoming. Like I said before having strings on the record made those songs feel really special and Last Chance, like Gridlock and God Of War is another Tommy Evans horns banger with an insane guest remix – stay tuned for more details!!!