RökRiot and Scout Music Promotion have recently launched RökScout – profiles of unsigned bands/musicians whom we think are worthy of your attention. For June, we give you the European dubstep stylings of London’s Gunf1ghter—an unsigned self-branded ‘heavy melodic electronic’ artist from London who creates originals, the occasional remix, and regularly performs live sets consisting of a DJ set mixed with live performance.
RökRiot’s Los-Angeles-based editorial team recently jumped aboard a chartered oil tanker and have returned from Europe with the following interview:
What is your musical background?
GF: I have, like a lot of EDM artists, a background in rock and metal music, having played the guitar for the past 9 years and being in a variety of bands to go with it. EDM music only began to really heavily influence my life once I was introduced to it by a group of friends around late-2010, and the obsession kind of grew from there until August of last year, whilst on holiday in San Francisco, when I decided that I’d have a shot at it! And here we are.
How did you come up with the name, “Gunf1ghter”?
GF: The name itself is a strange one, I was watching a Western from the 50s called ‘The Gunfighter’, and thought the name sounded quite cool. I actually applied it to an attempt I made at starting a clothing line before any of the dubstep stuff, called Gunf1ghter Apparel, but when that didn’t take off, and I was looking for a name to put my music to, I just put two and two together!
How does Gunf1ghter’s sound differ from other Dubstep musicians?
GF: I like to think that my sound incorporates several elements of different genres, hence why I brand myself as a ‘Heavy Melodic Electronic’ musician as opposed to just dubstep. On the current Promo EP, I’ve incorporated bits of dubstep, drum & bass, electro house, trance, classical and rock to give myself a fuller sound. I also use a couple of distinctive synths quite a lot, which I maybe overdo a bit.
What’s your typical songwriting process?
GF: I usually start by writing the lead synth lines on my guitar, for some reason I seem to find it easier that way. I then transfer that over to Ableton into whatever synth I think will best suit the melody, and spend ages looking for something that works. Recently I’ve started playing with a couple of iPhone apps to discover new sounds, such as the Animoog app and iKaossilator, I’ve found some cool stuff through that medium. After I find something I usually like, I’ll play around with drum samples until I’ve created something relatively original that I like, such as the one I used on my deadmau5 remix (http://www.soundcloud.com/gunf1ghter/gunf1ghter-d-b-drum-sample), and try to use the same samples throughout, to create a level of continuation. And from there, it’s a pretty standard logical EDM-producing process of building the track up, then using huge basslines to drop the track, although sometimes I can stray from the path and switch up the structure a bit. Post-production usually just involves individual compression and EQing on the the individual tracks, then a master comp. and EQ, and that’s when I feel it’s finished!
This year, it seems as though Dubstep has been embraced by a much wider audience and is also influencing a lot of today’s EDM. What do you feel has caused this rise in popularity?
GF: I think, personally, the surge in popularity is just a natural progression. Dubstep provides huge basslines and memorable synth lines, and unlike previous bass-heavy EDM music, where the popular image was of a sweaty, ugly dude behind a pair of vinyls, with the emergence of artists such as Skrillex, Deadmau5, Chase and Status and Netsky, who all have almost rockstar-style status, people now see this kind of music in a much more positive light which opens the door for the underground artists to break into the mainstream. It’s happened in the past with rock music during the 60s, this is just, in my view, a modern day equivalent.
What do you hope to accomplish with Gunf1ghter over the next 5 years?
GF: 5 years is a long time! Who knows, obviously the dream is to hit the big time and be making records up there with the best of them, but I think I’d also like to discover a new style that no-one has found before, that way giving myself a more unique identity and being able to do what I love without being labelled under a stereotypical genre. But that’s easier said than done! At the end of the day, if I’m still enjoying what I’m doing in 5 years, regardless of my level of success, I’ll be happy.
Earlier this week, Gunf1ghter released, “The Code Word Is ‘Fass,'” check it out below: