The Drum & Bass Brazilian duo – also known as Jam Thieves – have been wreaking havoc and leaving a path of destruction for over a decade now. Having truly earned their stripes with a continuous string of heavy-hitting minimal burners, all the while exclusively signing to Playaz along the way.
I managed to probe brothers Guilherme and Neto ahead of their release next month…
Hey lads I’m Elli! I’ve been a fan of your music for a long time! So I’m super excited to ask you some questions! – How have you both been?
Hi Elli, thank you for the kind words. We are fine 🙂
Glad you’re both well! Obviously you’re a duo, but you’re also siblings. How has being brothers influenced your career in music? I’m guessing music has always played a big role in your lives?
Well, growing up together meant we pretty much listened to the same music. And as children we definitely preferred listening to music, rather than watching TV.
So, how does it all work? Do you guys work together when producing, do you spend time together in a studio? Or do you both work solo and send stems back and forth?
When we first began the production process, we did everything together. But now that we currently live separately, we meet at the studio to make beats, mix and master.
What made you both get into music production and how did you get into producing D&B? Like, who are your main musical influences within the scene?
In Brazil, to be D&B DJ and a D&B DJ alone, just isn’t enough. So we had to start making music to get recognised and solidify ourselves in the scene. We chose to make D&B, because we love the bass and the vibe of the style. Our influences are DJ Hype, Andy C, Hazard, Skeptikal, Alix Perez, Noisia, Calibre… among with many others!
A lot of people tend to say the UK is the home and heart of the D&B scene. You guys are all the way from Brazil! What’s the D&B scene like in Sao Paulo?
Unfortunately we don’t have much of a D&B scene in Brazil. There are a lot of producers, but we don’t have gigs.
I see. So, how did your signing for a highly respectable D&B label, Playaz, come about?
To sign with Playaz was always our dream, but we obviously needed to wait for the right time. We sent music to Hype for two fucking years!! But after nine years of creating music and two years of constantly sending our tunes to Playaz, they eventually signed us.
If you had to choose one track or release that sums up what Jam Thieves are all about, which one would it be and why?
It would be the ‘Minimal Funk’. Just because it has samples from James Brown that we love and the beat is too much of a rolling beat. And Jam Thieves are roller hahaha!
Hahahahaha don’t start this debate off again, please! Talking of Minimal Funk – I’ve absolutely adored it since it’s release back in 2016. Your upcoming release in February is the TC remix of Minimal Funk. Like, come on! How did you manage to get someone like TC to remix it!?
Respect where it’s due, TC is a big friend and fan of Jam Thieves. He’s always played Minimal Funk and supported us. So when Hype suggested a remix of Minimal Funk, in that same moment, we all immediately thought of TC.
Speaking along the line of collaborations, which DnB artist/artists would you like to collaborate with in the future and why?
Skeptikal or Alix Perez would be wicked. We admire them a lot and we think they have a similar style to us.
You’re also releasing another track – After Blast VIP. Oh my Goodness, After Blast is literally one of my favourite tracks of yours. That haunting intro, that eerie alarm and that sudden PAP PAP PAP PAP PAP PAP, it always gives me goosebumps! So obviously I was elated to hear that you’re releasing the VIP. Is it nice to go back and re-visit an ‘old’ project?
To be brutally honest, we don’t usually like to create VIP’s of our tracks. But Hype asked us very nicely, so we agreed hahaha!
When it comes to a variation in production, what elements of the original do you look into changing?
In a VIP, we tend to focus towards changing the bass and synths. We NEVER change the beat, that always stays the same.
You guys have had a number of releases on some big labels over the years. Do you ever feel the pressure to produce music? Or does it always come that naturally to you?
When we started producing music, we worked extremely hard. We spent day in and day out in the studio, which meant we created and accumulated a lot of music. Fortunately for us, we have never felt any pressure. Things have flowed very naturally.
Having produced for so long, you probably have a lot of software/equipment that you’ve collected. What is your preferred software to use? Do you have any old equipment you still use?
For many years we used the program Reason 5, with an old Macbook white from 2006 and a single pair of cheap monitors. With this equipment we made tunes like Minimal Funk, After Blast, Hackers and many others. Around a year ago we purchased a decent Mackbook Pro and now we work with the program Reason 10.
That’s awesome! I can imagine that many people and artists look up to you and you’ve influenced many in your time – What advice would you give people wanting to produce music/get into the scene?
The advice is: Believe in your work and never ever give up on your dreams.
Too true! It’s only the start of 2019 and you’re about to release two huge tracks! But what can we expect next from Jam Thieves? Is there anything else you can reveal?
Yes! Well apart from the Minimal Funk TC remix & After Blast VIP dropping in February, we will probably have two more releases on Playaz this year.
Ahhh sick, my ears shall be waiting patiently then! – Tell me a random fact!?
People from U.K. will see Jam Thieves playing a lot more in U.K. this year 😉
Wheeeyyyyy!! I actually can’t wait, I’m sooooo excited to catch one of your shows! Many thanks for your time – Any shout outs lads?
A big shout for those following our work and the continued support! We love you guys!
We hope you enjoyed the interview with Jam Thieves! – Minimal Funk (TC Remix) and After Blast (VIP) will be available to stream/download on all online music and streaming service on: 1st February 2019.