Skip to main content

Music > Interview

Bass Tendencies

Delta Heavy
May 10th 2013 | Cyclone

The UK’s Delta Heavy – Ben Hall and Simon James – are rising stars of bass music. Hall explains to Cyclone they’ve been plotting an album for Ram Records and, besides remixing everyone from Example to Nero to Rita Ora, throwing original beats Rihanna’s way.

Search 'Delta Heavy' on dance sites and up comes guff about Sasha & Digweed's early 2000s American tour of the same name. It's no coincidence. “We got it from that tour,” a bashful Hall admits of their handle. “When I was a teenager, I was into house and progressive house and nu-skool breaks, which obviously doesn't really exist any more,” he laughs. “So about that time, around 2000, when I was 15 or 16, I was a big Sasha & Digweed fan. Then, when Simon and myself had got together, we were desperately in need of a name. I just remembered that name. I was like, 'that sounds cool' – so we took it. Sasha used to be on my old DJ agency [roster] and apparently he found out and he's cool with it – so it's all good!”

Delta Heavy, traversing drum'n'bass, dubstep and EDM, are embarking on their first proper Australian tour – and it's epic, even taking in Darwin. “Simon came over last February, and then I came over just for New Year's Eve to play Origin Festival in Perth. So it's kind of our second main tour, but it's the first time we're both going over together.” The DJs sure are busy. Hall is conducting this interview from a taxi, en route to the airport. Today he's flying to the US.

Hall met James at the University Of Nottingham. “I was studying Art History. Si was studying Sociology, I think.” On completion, Hall went travelling, while James landed a job. Delta Heavy crystallised later – six years ago. Hall had been DJing around Nottingham previously. “We both were starting to produce – and, at the same time, really starting from scratch. We thought, 'We're both at the same kinda level, let's just get in the studio and see what happens'. It all spiralled from there.” The London-based combo broke out in 2010 with their anthem Abort, issued on a Headroom EP from Liverpool's Viper Recordings. They signed to drum'n'bass mogul Andy C's Ram, home of Chase & Status and Sub Focus, establishing themselves as credible newcomers with Space Time/Take The Stairs. The Radio 1 faves have since enjoyed a cult pop video with Get By. They've also clubbed up Ms Ora's Tinie Tempah-featuring RIP for Roc Nation. However, Delta Heavy's biggest remix remains that of Nero's Must Be The Feeling – which, Hall notes, is responsible for their US profile. The track has had nearly seven million views on YouTube, and over 100,000 downloads on Soundcloud – the sort of stats “which,” Hall kids, “would get you number one in the charts if it was paid for!”

Delta Heavy have made a huge impact in a relatively short time. Yet they've faced challenges. For a spell the pair had to “balance” any music activity with day jobs, James lucky enough to work in a recording studio. “You're spending all day in an office, then coming home and having to try to write music – it's not the easiest thing,” Hall rues. “But I guess that's a process everyone has to go through to get to the level where you can do it full-time... We've been doing it full-time for about 18 months now, which is what we always wanted to do, so it's very nice to be in this position. It took a lot of hard work, so it's nice when it pays off.”

Delta Heavy, who last released Empire in January, are preparing their debut album for Ram. “We're deep into it at the moment,” Hall says. They have “about 12 tracks”, but “nothing's finished yet”. “We've been working with a lot of different vocalists.” Hall is reluctant to reveal details. Nevertheless, he assures that it will be stylistically diverse. “It's just gonna be a very big mix of BPMs and different styles and genres... I think it's gonna take some people by surprise, 'cause it's a bit of a departure from maybe the style we're known for. Everything up 'til this date has been quite heavy and just solely for the dancefloor. [But] there's gonna be a lot of stuff that isn't really dancefloor – a lot of actual songs. It's just a real progression for us artistically. But I don't wanna say too much more (laughs guiltily)... We're looking to finish it by the end of the summer – and hopefully it'll be out possibly by the end of the year.”

To some extent, the album is Delta Heavy's reaction to brostep. Hall feels that bass music has degenerated into something “quite noisy and really quite loud and in-your-face”. “We're moving towards something a bit more musical.” Not that Hall is inclined to diss brostep outright. He freely acknowledges Skrillex as an influence. The US dubstep boom has ensured that dance is now the dominant pop music – and Delta Heavy are beneficiaries. Still, Hall reckons that dubstep is “oversaturated”. “There seems to be a lot of people just trying to make what has been popular, and I don't think that's particularly healthy,” he says. “I think people have to move on a bit from that certain sound, and that's happening this year.” 

Chase & Status are active in the pop sphere, contributing to three Rihanna albums (and recruiting the likes of Plan B, Cee Lo Green and White Lies for their own output). Delta Heavy, too, have (pop) stars in their eyes. Hall imagines that, if their music becomes “a bit more accessible”, that will lead to production opportunities. In fact, RiRi's camp have already contacted them. “We did actually make her a track for her last album [Unapologetic], but it wasn't used,” Hall divulges, sounding disappointed. It was an “aggressive” dubstep record. “We were quite surprised she wanted something so full-on, but maybe that's why it didn't make the album.”

Those catching Delta Heavy in Oz will hear fresh material. “We'll be dropping a few things from our album, and we've got a remix we've just done for Zomboy which is coming out in about a month – [so expect] a typical Delta Heavy set, with lots of different styles, like drum'n'bass, dubstep, trap, house, electro, hip hop, everything.”


Related Articles

tour > News

Delta Heavy Team Up With Fred V And Grafix For Australian Dates

Delta Heavy Team Up With Fred V And Grafix For Australian Dates

Poster IT

Connect with The Music

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter


<span>Bernard Fanning</span><br />Taronga Zoo

Bernard Fanning
Taronga Zoo

<span>FKA Twigs</span><br />170 Russell

FKA Twigs
170 Russell

<span>The Kooks</span><br />Sidney Myer Music Bowl

The Kooks
Sidney Myer Music Bowl

<span>Nas</span><br />Forum Theatre

Forum Theatre

<span>Sugar Mountain 2015</span><br />

Sugar Mountain 2015

<span>Kim Churchill</span><br />Oxford Art Factory

Kim Churchill
Oxford Art Factory

<span>Nightmares On Wax</span><br />Aurora Spiegeltent

Nightmares On Wax
Aurora Spiegeltent

<span>Roger Knox</span><br />Aurora Spiegeltent

Roger Knox
Aurora Spiegeltent

<span>Ed Kuepper</span><br />City Recital Hall

Ed Kuepper
City Recital Hall

this week's magazine

Digital Version
A Festival Called PANAMA Airlie Beach Music Festival Australasian Worldwide Music Expo Beyond The Valley Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival BIGSOUND Bleach Festival Blue Mountains Music Festival Blues At Bridgetown Bluesfest Breakfest Brisbane Festival Brunswick Music Festival Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival Caloundra Music Festival Campfire Festival CMC Rocks The Hunter CoLAB Deni Ute Muster Dungog Festival Earth Frequency Festival El Grande Festival Fairbridge Folk Festival Falls Festival Falls Festival Falls Festival Farmer & The Owl Festival Of The Sun Follow The Sun Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Future Music Festival Golden Plains Gorgeous Festival Great Southern Blues Festival Groovin The Moo Groovin The Moo Groovin The Moo Groovin The Moo Groovin The Moo Groovin The Moo Gympie Music Muster HyperFest JamGrass Music Festival Jungle Love Music & Arts Festival Just For Laughs Kyneton Music Festival Let Them Eat Cake Listen Out Listen Out Listen Out Listen Out Lost Paradise Melbourne Music Week Meredith Music Festival Mitchell Creek Rock 'n' Blues MOFO Mountain Sounds Mullum Music Festival Nannup Music Festival National Folk Festival Newtown Festival Noosa Jazz Festival NYE On The Hill Origin NYE Originals Music Festival Out On The Weekend Outlet Music Festival OutsideIn Paradise Music Festival Party In The Paddock Perth Festival Poison City Weekender Port Fairy Folk Festival Queenscliff Music Festival Rainbow Serpent Festival Riverboats Music Festival Rottofest Saltwater Freshwater Festival Secret Garden Festival Soulfest Soulfest Soulfest Soundwave Soundwave Soundwave Soundwave Southbound Splendour In The Grass St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival St Jerome's Laneway Festival Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Strawberry Fields Subsonic Sugar Mountain Festival Sydney Country Music Festival Sydney Festival Sydney Fringe Festival Tamworth Country Music Festival The Blurst Of Times Festival The Hills Are Alive The WA Circus Festival Toowoomba Carnival Of Flowers UNIFY: A Heavy Music Gathering Urban Country Music Festival Valley Fiesta Vanfest WAM Festival West Coast Blues & Roots Festival WOMAdelaide Wonderland Woodford Folk Festival Yours And Owls

The Music Store

Australasian Music Industry Directory
The ultimate print sourcebook for all the contacts…
Jun 18th 2014
Arts Advertising Packages
The Music Arts Packages provide promotion in The Music…
Jun 18th 2014
Indie Band Advertising Packages
The Music Indie Band Packages provide promotion in…
Jun 18th 2014
Galleon Krueger for Sale
Galleon Krueger Bass Amplifier. 1001RB As new, current…
Jul 12th 2014
Jazz guitarists wanted for weekend jams.
We are a bass and drums unit rehearsing in St Peters…
Jul 12th 2014
Premier Sydney Punk/Rock Band seeks Drummer
One of Sydneys Premier Punk Rock Bands seeks energetic…
Jun 18th 2014