The benefits of going clubbing aged 13, with DNB prodigy Netsky

Fast-rising Belgian drum’n’bass producer Netsky has a new live show with drums, keys, bass, and a variety of guest vocalists, including one very energetic MC. It’s an expensive thing to put on, but he’s committed to it even when playing second fiddle, as on his recent tour in support of British superstars Chase & Status. Now that he’s wrapped that up, Netsky is back home in Belgium and back in the studio, working on a follow-up to his 2012 album 2 – which should be out late this year – but before that, he’ll be jetting out to Australia to join the huge line-up for Future Music Festival in March. We grabbed him for a chat about his expanding sound and the perks of Belgium’s liberal licensing laws.

You were on tour with Chase & Status pretty recently, what was that like?

We did our first support tour as a band actually, and it was good fun, really good. It was 13 dates in November in the UK and some in Scotland. We played some massive venues. We played the O2 in London, which was amazing, really good, and we were part of the support team together with Pusha T and Moko; it was really good fun.

Did you get to go anywhere you hadn’t been before?

I think almost all the venues, because Chase & Status’s profile in the UK is obviously quite big, most of the venues were four to 7,000 people and some a lot bigger. I think it was only two or three venues we’d played at before.

What’s it like being the support act, warming the crowd up? Is it hard work?

I was a lot more afraid of it than I should have been. We share the same management company and we’re good friends so they really took care of us, they gave us enough time to soundcheck and set everything up on stage. Normally with a support tour it can be totally different; sometimes you really get treated much worse and you get much less time to set all your stuff up on stage, but it was perfect this time. And they had really good catering. It was next-level, we’ve never had food like that on tour.

Did you bring the full live band with you or did you have to strip it down a bit?

We did the full live band. I didn’t really care about making money for the tour, I just wanted to show the Chase & Status crowd the full band experience, so we brought our singers, the MC, the drummer, the keyboard player, and the full team to set the show up.

I watched the video that was filmed on your New Zealand tour and that looked pretty crazy.

Yeah, that was good fun, man. The New Zealand tour was really good. For some reason we’ve got a good fanbase in New Zealand, I don’t really know why it’s massive over there for us. They’ve always been a great crowd and I’ve been playing there for the last four years.

You’re off tour now and back in the studio, working on album number three?

I’m in the studio right now. I’ve been in the studio for about two months now, and I literally can’t wait to start touring again. It’s the first time in three years that I stayed home for more than two weeks. I wake up with shaky hands basically, I can’t wait to start travelling.

How close to an album release are you?

Saying that I miss travel, I love being in the studio again as well. I’m really lucky that I’ve found time to spend this much time on music. I’ve really got a lot of work done over the last couple of months and I think we’re getting close – the instrumentals are all done, there’s a couple of songs finished, we’re just waiting for a lot more collaborations and top lines and everything. We’re definitely getting there. I’m hoping to release the album around August or July, September, somewhere around there.

Do you have a working title for the album? Is it just going to be called ‘3’?

That’s definitely the working title. We might change it, I don’t know. Maybe it’s time for a change.

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