By / Thursday, July 10, 2014 / No comments /

Danny Howard and The Futuristic Polar Bears go Head to Head

Danny Howard Vs Futuristic Polar Bears

With their track ‘Vargo’ currently smashing the Beatport charts, we thought that it’d make a nice change to the standard interview process if we took a back seat this time round and invited the guys to interview each other instead.  Want to know why the Polar Bears would rather pogo to a gig, or what Danny’s cooking skills (or lack of) are like?!  Then read on…  

First up, it’s the Polar Bears chance to interview Danny Howard…

FPB:  There’s been a lot of buzz around the internet about the Video we had made for Vargo, what have everybody’s reactions been like when you’ve showed it to friends & family etc?

DANNY:  The reaction is always a positive one. You see the smile appear on people’s faces as soon as the kid starts dancing which is exactly what I want to see. When I saw the first cut I couldn’t stop laughing!

FPB:  You are travelling and flying as much as we are at the moment, what do you do to keep yourself entertained? Do you have any pre-flight rituals?

DH:  I don’t have any pre-flight rituals other than to actually make the flight on time!!! I’ve been known to miss the odd one but I’m working on that :D
In terms of keeping myself entertained, I actually use the time on a flight to get work done or sleep… A bit boring really but what else can you productively do on a flight?!  

FPB:  Being resident at Pacha Ibiza & BCM Mallorca must be great fun, how do your sets differ between the 2 venues?

DH:  Both venues are an absolute dream come true. Pacha is because my all-time hero Erick Morillo had a residency there and I saw him play many times which was always amazing. I never in a million years thought I’d blag it into the DJ box, never mind a residency! BCM is always fun because you’re playing a world class set up but without the pressure of musical snobbery so the atmosphere is always top class.

Musically, I play much deeper and upfront at Pacha whereas BCM is more chaotic so it’s all about the big room bangers so the music matches the madness on the dance floor!

FPB:  You are that busy at the minute that even we struggle to get hold of you on the phone and Skype etc... How are balancing your time over the summer between radio shows, gigs, studio time?

DH:  This is true!! I’m actually answering your questions in the back of a taxi on the way to the airport right now!! Ha! Never stops but it’s the way I like it… Being busy is a good thing! I’m on a tight schedule and my whole of July is planned out day to day… The trick is to stick to the plan and hopefully everything will get done!! Unfortunately I’m not exactly the most organised person in the world so I’ll end up chasing my tail at some point this summer I’m sure!

FPB:  We’ve set a benchmark with the Vargo video!  How will we top it with the next one?!

DH:  It’s about thinking up an idea that isn’t to cliché to the scene already. Club & Festival shots are great because they really capture the atmosphere that the track can create in a live environment but every producer in the world is doing this style so I’d like to stay away from that again.

I’d quite like to get a real life Polar Bear in the video… Possibly make it dance. Something like that.

FPB:  Who’s your favourite polar bear and why?

DH:  Lars. I like that he’s a banana eating polar bear and I like bananas too… I think we’d really get on.

FPB:  What is your favourite Vodka or Jaeger?

DH:  Jaeger! Although I think I need to stop drinking it as it’s not doing anything for my beach bod. My two-pack is fading…

FPB:  If you could add one word to the dictionary, what would it be and why?

DH:  Vargo!! It didn’t mean anything until we made it up!!

FPB:  Next time we get in the studio together, we’ve decided you are providing the studio food. What are you going to cook us?

DH:  Well the problem is I never cook! I just burn everything so I would attempt to cook something, burn it and then repeat the process until we all decided that buying in a Nando’s is the safest option for all.

FPB:  Finally when are we coming to Ibiza to write some new music together? ;)

DH:  Haha!! Anytime… Always welcome!!

Now it’s Danny’s turn to grill the Futuristic Polar Bears…

DH:  Many producers around the world strive to have a number 1 track on the Beatport main chart, something that you guys achieved earlier this year with ‘Back To Earth’. I know all three of you were very excited but what is the closest feeling you’ve ever experienced that could compare to getting the top spot?

FPB:  (LUKE) Nothing compares to it. It was a moment of sheer elation and the culmination of 3 years hard work, it was a great feeling and hopefully we’ll achieve it again someday. If I had to compare it to something I’d say It was pretty similar to when Blackburn won the Premiership title many moons ago, that was also a pretty epic day..

DH:  When I come into the studio with you, I notice you have a board that you created as a snapshot into what you would like to achieve in the future. A BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, Cover Stars of Mixmag and DJ Mag Number 1 DJ’s all feature but if you had to pick just one, which goal would make you feel like you’ve really made it?

FPB:  (FRAN) I think to do the essential mix on BBC Radio 1 would be a massive achievement and something that I think is a pinnacle of any DJs career, you only have to look at the some of the greats that have done it, Eric Prydz, Steve Angello, Daft Punk, Hardwell and then right back through the years to Carl Cox & Pete Tong etc, it would be an honour (sort it out Danny! ;) ) 

DH:  When I first started making music with you, your style was very different to how it is now. You went from making Tech & Funky House to more Big Room, Progressive and Electro, how and why did you decide to make the change?

FPB:  (Rhys) We always loved that style of music and we always wanted to progress into the style. It was ghost producing for other DJs and producers that gave us time to really develop our sound before we took the plunge. 

DH:  With their being three of you in the group, what is the process you go through to make a track from start to finish… and is their ever a case of ‘Too many cooks…’?

FPB:  (LUKE) We have a great system in place for making our own music. Rhys and I usually come up with the ideas and then we play them to Fran to make sure we’re all happy with the direction. We’ll then go ahead and put a solid idea together before Fran gets to work on it. Fran is a really talented Studio engineer and he does his thing developing the sounds in the track and mixing it down. We’ll then go and road test it for a few weeks at gigs before making the final adjustments and final mix. We probably scrap 50 – 60% of the ideas we make, it’s all about quality over quantity :)

DH:  In a world where everyone is playing the same tunes… How do your DJ sets differ from another artist in the same genre bracket as you? What’s the key ingredient to that Polar Bear Magic?

FPB:  (Rhys) Re-edits of everything, that’s the key. We usually spend a good few hours before gigs or when we’re flying re-editing the shit out of everything to give it our own spin, it’s the only way to stand out. We also try to incorporate a lot of new music and remixes we are working on as testing them to crowds is the only way to make sure the track is good or not.

DH:  If you could go back in time, would you still be Futuristic Polar Bears or would you be living in the past?

FPB:  Polar Bears for Life ;)

DH:  Why do people who repair shoes, also cut keys?

FPB:  Maybe to supplement their income? Most people buy new shoes these days instead of fixing them, whereas you don’t buy a new house when you lose your keys, you get another set cut ;)

DH:  Now Ryanair allocate seats and allow two pieces of hand luggage, do EasyJet need to up their game?

FPB:  No chance. EasyJet will never have to up their game to compete with Ryanair, I’d prefer to travel with a pogo stick to a gig than fly on Ryanair. 

DH:  Who does Rhys sit next to on the rides at Alton Towers?

FPB:  He likes sitting next to strangers so he can photobomb their snapshots especially on the Nemesis and the Smiler.

DH:  We have the same manager who’s just had a baby with his girlfriend… If you could have picked the name… what would it be and why?

FPB:  Rhys-Wyn Francis Luke the 2nd. Our names are cool. 

DH:  I heard Fran is scared of flying and prefers to actually run to gigs… Can you confirm?

FPB:  I so wish this was true; I’d imagine it’d be like watching the flash travel across the world. Maybe we can do one of those Top Gear challenges against Fran. We’ll travel by Car and Plane and Fran can run, let’s see who gets there first!


To buy from Beatport

Danny Howard & Futuristic Polar Bears – Vargo (Official Video) 


Futuristic Polar Bears

Danny Howard

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