Interview: Dusky

Started in 2014, Dusky’s 17 Steps imprint has put out a consistent stream of cutting-edge electronic music release, as well as acting as the primary platform’s for the duo themselves.

In its existence, artists like Kiwi, Bwana, Christian Piers and Hugo Massien have all featured on the label, and now each will join Dusky across Europe as they embark on the multi date “17 Steps Label Tour”. Landing at the likes of London’s Village Underground, Claire in Amsterdam, Sheffield’s Hope Works, Gorilla in Manchester and Zurich’s Hive, amongst others, Dusky and company take 17 cities in 17 days.

Ahead of the 17 February launch in Manchester we caught up with Dusky’s Nick Harriman and Alfie Granger-Howell to discuss the ins and outs of organizing a tour like this, their experiences in Amsterdam & more.

“It’s a lot of fun working out the shows that include artists from our label.”

Can you walk through the process of organizing a tour? What is your process like putting together a multiple dates?
Nick Harriman: Mainly our agency organizes it. They will basically contact promoters, tell them we want to do the tour and the promoter will look into it. If it’s a fit, they’ll get back to us and we take it from there.

Alfie Granger-Howell: For this tour, our idea was to do 17 shows for fun. We had a wish list of places we wanted to play. Some places we had played before but there is an equal amount where we haven’t. It’s a lot of fun working out the shows that include artists from our label. Each show will be quite unique in its own way

Nick Harriman: We also wanted to the shows in smaller clubs this time around. We’ve been playing festival and big cubs a lot so we wanted to something smaller and go more grassroots with it.

What input do you guys have in separating the tour dates? Do you ever go to your agency with stipulations as to, for example, how many days you will play in a row?
Nick Harriman: Generally we try and keep shows just to the weekends. We like to have a balance because, if we are away too much, we wouldn’t have time to work in the studio. Also, it’s important for us to spend some time at home with family and friends. This tour is pretty similar to how we have done over the past few months. It’s intense but not too intense.

Speaking on the April date in Amsterdam, you will play the intimate club Claire. Do you have a relationship with the space already?
Nick Harriman: No, we have just heard solid things from other DJs and our agent recommended it.

Speaking of Amsterdam, what are some things you like to do while you’re here? Maybe some things not related to nightlife…
Nick Harriman: It’s so close that we’ve gone on many holidays there with friends. We love Amsterdam. It’s great! Aside from the music scene, which is awesome, it has a nice and laid back vibe to it. It has great bars and some amazing food! Over the past few years we also found ourselves playing a lot of festivals there. Of course, there is ADE as well! It’s great to see all your friends around the city.

Do you get the experience week of ADE or are you in and out?
Nick Harriman: No, not usually. We may have a couple of days there but we are always so busy. One day, though. It would be nice!

Back to the tour, can you talk a bit more about the acts that you chose for support? You mentioned they are all label mates, but why them for their specific shows?
Nick Harriman: They are all artists who have done releases or remixes for the label. For example, Lo Shea is from Sheffield and has a release coming out next year. Kiwi put a release out with us a couple months ago. Hugo Massien release was out a few weeks back as well. Also, Bwana had a release earlier in the year. Hodge did a remix for us a couple years back. Mela Dee did a track on a various artists compilation, but also has an EP coming out.

Any city you are particular keen on?
Nick Harriman: London is always good to us as it’s our hometown and where our biggest following is. We play Village Underground a few times and it’s always really good.

Alfie Granger-Howell: Belfast is really good! They go for it there. Absolutely mental!

Nick Harriman: We haven’t played that venue before. Its still being confirmed but it looks absolutely amazing! I would also say Glasgow is another great city to play. Barcelona is always fun as well.

Moving farther into 2018, aside from the tour, what’s on tap for the early months of the year?
1. We have the Lo Shea EP coming out.

Alfie Granger-Howell: Afterwards, we may have an EP out and we’ve signed a new artist. The rest of the year we will be working with all the other artists on releases and thinking about our LP..which will be late 2018, early 2019

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