Was A Be | Interview
Fabio Forcella, aka Was A Be, has garnered respect from all corners of the Drum and Bass community for both his originality as well as the raw energy of his dance floor tracks. At the same time to be able to release music that sits just as much at home in an early 90s warehouse rave as it does in a tastemakers toolkit for 2020 contemporary Bass stands as testament to his talent.
Rohan G Finger, of DJ Mag Spain and Low Syndicate, caught up with Was A Be in the lead up to his forthcoming EP on Unchained Recordings.
Rohan: At first I would like to say that I’m glad to see one of my favourite producers working with one of my favourite labels. It’s a big pleasure for me interviewing you for Unchained!
Was A Be: Thanks Rohan! I really appreciate that! Happy to chat with you.
Rohan: The first time I heard about Was A Be was five years ago when you released the awesome ‘Jah EP’ on Teebee’s Subtitles, but when did you start the project? Did you have any music projects going before that?
Was A Be: The project started around 2011, I’m feeling old, as a DJ duo just for fun, then we started writing our own music in 2014. I used to play bass guitar during high school and Uni, and still play it sometimes, just not in a band anymore.
Rohan: Your music has a truly personal sound, what would you say are your main influences?
Was A Be: I use to listen to a lot of music, inside and outside of electronic. I’ve always had a thing for bands like Rancid, The Clash, Bad Brains, Fugazi, The Strokes, Descendents, old Green Day, Muse and stuff like that. I realise that my musical tastes do not coincide so much with the music I write.
Rohan: In 2018 Ivan left Was A Be. What things have changed since you started as a duo up to now working alone?
Was A Be: There are positive and negatives. Certainly deciding on 100% on all aspects of a project is a stimulating challenge. On the other hand when you have doubts or even when you get stuck on an idea, there is no one who can help you but yourself.
Rohan: Since 2015, you’ve reached some amazing milestones as producer, releasing music on labels such as Subtitles, Shogun Audio or Critical, and DJing across many countries. What would you say is one of the top highlights for you over the years?
Was A Be: Hard choice man, honestly the most special thing for me has been meeting, and collaborating with, many people who, over the years, I consider to be true friends. People who, even if I were to stop write/playing music, I would definitely continue to hang out with.
Rohan: Nowadays, Italy is one of the countries that are setting trends in Drum & Bass. You, next to people like HLZ, Dabs, Invadhertz, Synth Ethics, among many others, and labels such as The Dreamers, Delta9, or Beat Machine Records, have been responsible for placing Italy on the map. Why do you think has this has happened in the last decade?
Was A Be: I’m very happy with how things have gone in recent years for the Italian DnB scene. I think there has been a some great schooling for Italy thanks to cities like Milan, Turin and Rome that in the early 2000s witnessed tours of some of the best international artists, educating us all.
Rohan: Let’s talk about the present. This month you will release your first EP on Unchained. What can you tell us about ‘The Shaker’ EP?
Was A Be: This new EP is “back to the roots” for me. In the last few releases I have spanned and experimented with different facets of drum and bass. However, in this EP I return to the sounds that characterized Was A Be’s first releases. Each track is different, passing from the Footwork of “The Walk” to the Halftime of “Weasel” to arrive at the somewhat indefinite style of the title track.
Rohan: In regards to composition process, are there any differences, creatively, from previous releases?
Was A Be: This is the first EP where I have not been able to test the tracks in the clubs during arties as I composed them, leading me to be a little more paranoid about the final result. However, in the end I think I ended up with a good result.
Rohan: Going into technical details, which DAW do you use for producing? Any kind of essential plug-in or hardware in your studio? Anything new for this EP?
Was A Be: I’m on Ableton Live and I have never learned to use any other DAWs to be honest. I use Massive, Serum and DIVA for basses, pads, synths. I must admit that I am quite obsessed with Tremolator by SoundToys.
Rohan: With the existing situation as it is there isn’t much clarity about the future for many artists. What can you tell us about your projects for the next year?
Was A Be: Nothing planned at the moment but I have a good amount of new music to send out. I’d want to wait for this release and see what will happen to be honest.
Rohan: In regards to gigs, what countries have you not been to yet, that you would like to play at?
Was A Be: I’d love to play in China, for real, and also Australia & New Zealand.. not only for the gigs but also because they are countries that I haven’t visited yet and I would very much like to see.
Keep your eyes peeled for The Shaker EP out in late October 2020 on Unchained Recordings.