Francis Red

by
Francis Red
Miles Rowland interviews the sultan of Electroswing, Francis Red, in anticipation of his appearance at the PearShaped Exeter launch party.

How did you get into DJing and producing?
I had a few friends who had started DJing when we were about 16. I wasn’t really prepared to spend a lot of money but wanted to get involved so I downloaded some free software and made a few (terrible) mashups. I think you can still find some on YouTube, destroyed in the comments section! Anyway that sort of was the entry into production, as it showed me I could make my own beats as well changing other peoples. Then when our band wanted to start recording demos (I played guitar and bass) I knew I found recording and producing really interesting.

Who are your main influences as a DJ & musician?
I’ve got a few projects on the go, but for the Francis Red thing. Parov Stelar really got me into the electro swing sound, but guys like Jamie Berry, Captain Flatcap and Dutty Moonshine are making great stuff. My music has a harder edge to it, and that’s me trying to combine elements of Dubstep which would be inspired by artists like Feed Me, Knife Party and Skrillex.

What experience do you have within the Exeter music scene so far?
I’ve played at a few society balls. The guys from the Community Action Society were great as well as the Murder Mystery Society, although I didn’t realise they wanted 4 hours of electro swing! They were nice about it though and let me play some other stuff too. Looking forward to October, I’m doing my first gig in a club in Bristol, so we’ll see how that moves onto some more opportunities around Exeter!

On the producing side I’m doing a lot of recording with local singers, trying to branch out with a bit of pop music, some more acoustic stuff. In fact, I went into the recording studio with PearShaped’s own Tom Elliott at the end of last term.

How do you rate the general standard of DJing on the exeter club scene?
For such a small place, with not many venues, I’m really impressed with the variety of the music. Obviously the standard student nights out at the moment are really house-based but at Cavern we’ve had some big drum and bass guys like Dom & Roland play as well as some good electro swing nights such as Cabaret Voltaire.

The DJs here in general are sick. Just a bit of a shame almost all the student DJs play really similar stuff. There are a few which really stand out, but I don’t want to cause any trouble naming names…

If your career were part of a pear, what part would you be?
Probably the worm who’s just got inside, there’s long way to go until I get to the middle, but the ball’s rolling now at least!