A wild and uncontrollable force that, for over ten years has terrorized the Hardcore scene with his brutalizing beats and Hardcore baby face is still to this day being booked in every corner of the world from Belgium to Japan! What is the key to Tripped‘s success and seemingly never ending passion (and antics) within our beloved Hardcore? Let’s find out!
Hello Francis! You have been in the scene for what, ten years now? And you’re still being booked solid! Your performances are always insanely high-powered and your music is, and always has been HARD AS f@#$! And has certainly crossed a lot of different spectrums throughout the years. What is it that keeps driving you after all this time?
“I started spinning vinyl somewhere in 2003, and music production started in 2005. In 2007, I had my first vinyl release. Damn, time flies…and I still look 18 haha!
People often ask me, don’t you get bored of making Hardcore, don’t you wanna do something else? To be honest, I really don’t. Hardcore has such a wide spectrum of styles and various BPM, that allows you to keep it very varied all within the Hardcore spectrum. I’ve always done whatever I liked – covering anything from BPM ranges 135 – 300, Acid, Industrial, Hardcore, Terror, and lately pushing boundaries a bit with Techno, which I have come to love a lot within the past few years.”
It’s not all sunshine, lollypops and rainbowcocks.
Let’s get serious here for a moment. A lot of people idolize the DJ and producer life, and let’s be honest, there are times where it is just too good to be true, but I find that people don’t truly realize how difficult and damaging of a lifestyle it can be. Talk to us about the struggles that you’ve gone through and/or observed throughout the years.
“Good question, it’s definitely not always as easy as it seems. In my case, it started off as a hobby that went a bit out of control. I never dreamt that I would take it to this level, but I always kept setting goals, setting deadlines for myself and somehow achieving what I wanted like playing both small and huge events – being booked all over the world. It does stay exciting, but it can take a huge toll on your social life, health and sleeping patterns. For example, 3 years ago, I nearly lost my life in a serious car accident, driving back from Amsterdam from a booking, falling asleep on the highway and driving under a truck leaving the entire right side completely crushed, and I somehow managed to walk out with barely a scratch. Damn scary shit. This is why I now always ask for hotels with my bookings, even if it’s only a 2-hour drive home.
Not every booking is ideal. We have early flights, long roads, rushing from point A to B, being dropped in a sweaty humid club still trying to wake up from your power-nap, and dealing with countless numbers of pictures and party people who are already totally in ‘the zone’ while you’re trying to grasp reality isn’t that great.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m always open for a chat and a picture, hell, I’ll even have a few beers with you haha. But it’s not always so easy switching modes. Everybody has good and bad days.
Basically, I just try and balance out work and pleasure as much as I can. I try and enjoy the place that I’m in, or even stretch a little holiday out of the trip, or a not so little one haha. I just love to travel and see the world so much. I really love what I do and I don’t think I could trade it for anything else, but it’s not all sunshine, lollypops and rainbowcocks.”
Artists these days are screaming louder and louder about the state of affairs that our scene is in. I mean everything from ghost production to politics between organizations to the music these days being produced for Hardcore drones that just don’t care about the soul of a track anymore. How do you feel about what our scene has become?
“If you look back into musical history, new genres were always some sort of ‘anti’ movement attack on what was popular before, some sort of reply to previous style.
Mainstream is pushing closer to raw style these days, going further into softer kickdrums and commercialisation while the up-tempo scene just grew because of that in my opinion (there are always exceptions of course). There will always be a demand for harder and rawer styles. I’m quite sure that the quality of our music will go back up and a lot of exciting things will still happen. Sadly though, a lot has changed in the electronic music scene in general and it’s all about money making, quantity not quality. A lot of this lack of quality is mainly due to the fact that making music has become so much more accessible then it was before and putting out music these days doesn’t cost a label money anymore if it’s to be sold digitally, so quality control is so much less.
There will always be a demand for harder and rawer styles.
I just wish that the newer generation would take some time to learn about their music history and the roots of Hardcore. For example, they just know one artist in a certain style and that is their world, just because they are so popular. That makes them so narrow-minded when it comes to exploring their network. I would suggest that they take a look at discogs.com, type in an artist’s name that you know and see what these people have been up to and released, explore other labels, see what alias the artist has, DISCOVER! It doesn’t get much more exciting then that. I don’t just stick to Hardcore, I get my inspiration from so many different styles of music. If all that sounds too nerdy, just try and walk into one of the smaller rooms or areas at events, you might be surprised what you like.”
Let’s get the ‘What are you currently working on and what can we expect from you in the near future” question out of the way! It has to be asked! What are you up to?!
“Well, ever since I quit my day-job last year, I’ve been focussing really hard on production and music in general, I’ve been doing a lot of collaborations this year and there are more to come. One that I’ve been excited about for a while now, will be out this December – ‘Hardcore to the Penis’ with Detest on PRSPCTXTRM. Besides that, my label is taking quite a bit of time and is super exciting at the moment! I am also doing more and more graphic design on my own and building some sort of network within the music industry. I still love it a lot and both music and graphics have always walked hand in hand.”
Never mind the performing and music production, you’ve recently gone even further in the industry and decided to start up a record label called ‘BadBack Records’ to ‘MadBack Records‘ alongside [KRTM]. Why go this route? What does ‘MadBack Records’ have that nobody else does? What’s your vision and what type of artists are you supporting?
“Well, Badback was a vinyl label that I started up in 2009, focussing on anything from Acidcore to Hardcore & Terror. It had quite a difficult run with distribution and getting stuff done in time was very difficult. I’ve always been searching for ways to improve it and it was when [KRTM] came back into our scene that we were chatting about the label and the future of it. I explained to him what it was that I wanted to do, that I wanted Badback to be a digital label, and to be able to get releases going on a more regular basis. He was searching labels to release his sort of ‘revised’ style on. But also something that had a good graphic feel to it. He gives a lot of attention to the creative side of things so I suggested that we manage Badback together and that he would get the graphic freedom to do what he wanted. I took the idea to Al Twisted, finding him to be quite enthusiastic to use it as a new sub-label for ‘Motormouth Recordz’. What we didn’t count on was the fact that our old distributor was an utter cunt and we were sort of forced to change the name last minute in order to get out of the contract with them. But hey, new management, new distribution, new look and feel, changing to Madback was a good call.
I never intended to be putting out so much Industrial Techno at the beginning, but we’ve surrounded ourselves with a lot of enthusiastic people who have to same vision as we do – breaking boundaries of styles and just doing what feels right, and sounds good. We blend Techno, Industrial and Hardcore. Basically whatever is raw, dancefloor minded and has good quality (in our opinion), gets a chance with us. It is actually very exciting hearing the feedback at the moment about the label, as our network is mostly Hardcore and Terror people, but they’re still appreciating the slow BPM and style, that’s a really good thing for the scene in my opinion. Keep it fresh, break the standard of current Hardcore and think outside the box. How fun it is to be able to go in a party that covered Rave, Acid, Techno, and Industrial Hardcore all in the same room. To be able to have that complete freedom to play various styles within a set is very rare these days. People are way less open-minded these days, they always want to put you in some sort of category and all they wanna hear that night is that particular style. I always try and build up my sets, but I can’t start at 135bpm at every event or location. I’m just nagging now. I have fun with every set that I do.
Anyways, we have exciting stuff coming up, a new vs. EP from myself and [KRTM], as well as an Oldschool Terror EP early next year for starters. I would say follow us on Facebook and check it out!”
You have one of the most enjoyable and debaucherous personalities we have ever come across. Your social networking feeds are always full of you doing crazy and adventurous (to put it nicely) things. Tell the world one of the funniest situations you have ever been in.
“Wauw, I don’t even know where to start, and I think most aren’t that fit for publication hahaha, I just like to have fun, party, dress up, you name it, I’m up for it! From time to time shit can get nasty for sure, mainly at after-parties, and basically every year in Ibiza things can get just that tiny bit extra knettah (crazy). Just picture a room full of like minded retards, sombreros, tequila, the story writes itself I suppose :D.”
In 3 words or less. Why Hardcore?
“Ill make it 4;
I am a cunt.”
Stay classy Francis! Haha!
– C. Giesbrecht –