TranceFixxed recently spoke to Wales’ hottest new Tech Trance act: Will Rees, Adam Brooks and Rhys Thomas aka Mass Distortion following their recent world debut at Journey, in Cardiff:
TranceFixxed: Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Could you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Rhys: Well I first got turned on to Dance Music by my mate James listening to one of his mini-discs on the bus on a school trip (I must admit I didn’t like it at first!). I started going to Escape when I was (ahem) 18 obviously… I bought a set of decks in Uni, played my first set out in 2008 and have had the bug ever since! I started playing with making music a few years back but only really started taking it a bit serious this past 18 months and here we are!
Will: I got into Electronic music from my brother. I used to listen to all the Euphoria CDs at a really early age. From there it just carried on and I listened to a wide range of Electronic music, not just Dance music… I listened to a lot of downtempo, Hip Hop etc. I bought my first pair of decks when I was 14 and went on to become a resident DJ at Escape, Swansea when I was 20. On the production side, I started learning a little when I was 18, and have taken it more seriously over the last 2 to 3 years.
Adam: I was introduced to Dance music by a friend of my older sisters. I must have only been about 11 but I remember being blown away by it. He’d make me tapes (yep, that long ago) of Carl Cox 3 deck mixes, The Prodigy, The Shamen, Helter Skelter and Dreamscape to name a few. My musical tastes have varied over the years but Dance music has always been the one constant in many respects. Then when I was old enough to go clubbing, Escape happened and suddenly Dance music became a lifestyle rather than just a preferred musical taste. I’ve dabbled in music production for a fair few years now and am still constantly learning new things.
TranceFixxed: How did you get together as a group?
Rhys: We were already mates. I had the idea for a remix that I wanted to do but I had no idea how to do it. I got these two talented chaps on the case and after a few sessions and a very heavy night out in Bristol, the Turntablism bootleg was born!
Will: I think it’s all stemmed from Escape Swansea, being regular clubbers and meeting through friends. From there we became best buds!
Adam: As Rhys and Will have said, we first got together as a group to work on our remix of Organ Donors – ‘Turntablism’ but we’d already been friends years before that. Me and Rhys drove to Will’s place in Bristol for two days of solid production to finish it off but we only managed one and a half as Will can not handle the day after the night before! Luckily we got it down though.
TranceFixxed: For our readers who aren’t familiar with your work, how would you describe the Mass Distortion sound?
Rhys: Dark, driving, Tech Trance music.
Will: Dirty, very Techy Trance music.
Adam: The darker side of Trance.
TranceFixxed: How was your performance at Journey?
Rhys: Journey was amazing, the Journey guys are always wicked to play for! We were very well looked after, the crowd was quality, venue was cool – what more could you ask for? I won’t forget the night anytime soon!
Will: Great night, we couldn’t have asked for a better first gig. Great fun.
Adam: This was actually my first ever time playing out! I’ve been able to mix for years but have never pursued live DJing (until now). I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play with two of my best friends though, and I’m so glad that I did. Great set, great crowd, great night! Journey know how to throw a good party.
TranceFixxed: Your debut production ‘Gangsta’ was released on Critical State in April. You must be pleased with the reaction?
Rhys: Massively, Track it Down number one with the Original and the package as a whole did well on Beatport. It’s had some great support too; the highlight for me was getting to hear Angry Man and James Dymond play it in the main room at Clash of the Gods!
Will: Yeah I think Gangsta was received well by others. Had some good support!
Adam: Yeah, I’m really pleased. This track in particular took us a fair while to finish as we always struggled getting together / had other projects etc. But this made it all the sweeter seeing it do the rounds.
TranceFixxed: So what’s next for Mass Distortion?
Rhys: Well we have started the bones of another track, but we are all so busy it’s hard to get together often so who knows how long it will take us! We are looking to line up some more gigs – fingers crossed – towards the end of the year!
Will: Yeah we’re playing with ideas. We don’t take it too seriously, which is a good thing and just have fun making music. As Rhys said, as we are all so busy it’s hard to hook up often.
Adam: We have ideas, but for the most part we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing and having fun with it.
TranceFixxed: How does the creative process work with 3 of you? Do each of you specialise in different things?
Rhys: Well originally I was just an ideas man with no production experience, but like I said, diving in the last 18 months and making my own stuff, I can be a bit more hands on now! I would say though, Adam is the man with melodies and Will’s production skills are second to none! If I had to choose something I’m best at and enjoy the most, it would be making Acid tracks!
Will: I think when someone comes up with an idea the other person will just expand on that idea and it goes from there. I love working with other people because of this reason. I suppose everyone has their strengths in certain areas.
Adam: We each have our strengths but usually we churn out ideas and keep what we like and bin what we don’t, quite simple really. I take the most enjoyment out of creating the melodic elements within our tracks though. I have a tendency to take things borderline uplifting and need to be reigned in by the boys to keep it darker at times.
TranceFixxed: Who are your musical influences?
Rhys: John Askew, Simon Patterson, Danny Slade, Big Al, Above & Beyond, Eddie Halliwell, Sean Tyas, Bryan Kearney, Greg Downey, John O’Callaghan (all of the early Discover producers). The list could go on!
Will: My top 3 influences at the moment would be Will Atkinson, Sean Tyas and Simon Patterson.
Adam: Simon Patterson, Above & Beyond and Ferry Corsten have definitely played a larger role in my musical influences over the years. Too many to mention though.
TranceFixxed: Finally, what’s your favourite song of 2014 so far?
Will: Sam Jones – Buckle Up.
Adam: Sebastian Brandt – Overture.
TranceFixxed: It’s been great talking to you, we wish you all the best and look forward to hearing more from Mass Distortion very soon.
Mass Distortion on Facebook – facebook.com/massdistortionproject
Mass Distortion on Soundcloud – soundcloud.com/massdistortion-1
Will Rees on Facebook – facebook.com/willreesofficial
Rhys Thomas on Facebook – facebook.com/RhysThomasMusic
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