Greg Paulus and Nick DeBruyn have been friends since childhood, together picking up inspiration from hip-hop, jazz and beyond all the way through to adulthood.
Formed in 2008, No Regular Play pull in elements from the many branches of their musical past creating a unique live act. Greg serenades the audiences with trumpet and vocals while Nick provides the beats.
A patch in the Wolf + Lamb quilt, No Regular Play has grown as an integral part of the family. The duo will be bringing its act to the Electric Pickle in Miami this Friday, Dec. 16, courtesy of PL0T. Click here to buy tickets!
We linked up with Greg to hear about their performances, their strengths and the future of No Regular Play. See the interview below, and listen and download their Louche podcast from August!
It seems you’ve dipped your toes into all kinds of styles and genres in the music world – from jazz to hip-hop, and indie folk. How do you incorporate what you’ve learned into your productions and performances with No Regular Play?
Every experience adds to the new music I’m creating in one way or another. Of course, not all at the same time or on the same song necessarily but specifically, say when we are making a slower track, the way hip-hop drums are programmed by for example J. Dilla, really influence how we overlay the snares and claps. We try and create grooves in dance music that bump just as much as our favorite hip-hop beats. And I always try and keep a good deal of harmonic movement in our music, which is mainly derived from my experience in jazz music. Also we try and think toward the unheard future instead of always being stuck drawing from specific experiences.
The live trumpet aspect of your show brings an element that not many other artists in the electronic scene have, and judging from your past, performance is in your blood. What do you think it is about a live act that engages the audience?
We really wanted to bring something unusual to the table because there are more than enough DJ’s and producers, and we are certainly no veterans of dance music. It was important for us to use our strengths to create the best possible product. I’ve been performing since I was 12 so I literally start to go crazy when I’m not performing on the regular. When people hear music organically from instruments, and when the energy is high, they get chills. Their hair stands on end. It’s a feeling unlike any other, so when you combine this with high-energy electronic music and a loud volume, it has a huge effect.
What makes you two a good team in terms of strengths and weaknesses? Does the fact that you and Nick have been friends since childhood contribute to your workflow?
Knowing someone for a long time, if it’s a good relationship, can really help with workflow. There’s no BS cause you’ve been through all that before and you can really focus on getting work done. Also what we think sounds good is virtually identical because we grew up listening and sharing all the music we had. That being said, we are two different people and make a very good team in that my weaknesses are his strengths and vice versa.
I’m the one who will just record tons of different parts, making what is harmonically about three songs. Nick will go through everything and edit, organize, and tidy up into what ends up being a track. He also works a lot on the drum programming. At first there was some overlap in these duties but now we’ve got it pretty streamlined. That being said, we still try and change that up when we see fit because one should never get stuck in formulas for production. In order to keep moving, you have to keep shaking things up.
Some time ago, you guys had planned on expanding and including a drummer and possibly other band members into No Regular Play. Is that still in the works?
Yes, definitely. We have been working, just in the studio, with our longtime piano playing friend Alex Scherber (aka John Camp) and also with our friend Jt Bates, a drummer from Minnesota. We are very excited to get the ball rolling on this and possibly tour with them, but as we all know, touring with a full band is very expensive so it’s probably something that will come together over the next two years.
Wolf + Lamb as a label and family has really grown in the last few years. How would you say being a part of it has made your career?
Wolf + Lamb have been essential in giving us a platform with which to be ourselves and release the kind of forward thinking (and not always immediately crowd-pleasing) music we love. The whole family including Soul Clap, Tanner Ross, Deniz Kurtel, and Slow Hands have been so supportive and just amazing to tour with, collaborate etc. We couldn’t ask for a better fam!
What would you consider a highlight in of your time touring and producing as No Regular Play, and what do you guys have coming up in 2012?
We played Watergate over the summer to a packed room of our best friends in Berlin as the sun was coming up behind us. That was truly memorable. And just about once a week we get into a very special headspace in the studio, and we feel the rush of being “on to something”. That makes it all worth it. In 2012, we will be releasing our first full-length album, a split EP with best friend cnnr for his brand new label Cut Mistake Music. This will feature our track “Rain (All Day)”, a staple in our live sets for years. Also, we’ll hopefully include more projects blending classical/jazz instrumentation with electronics.
This year, you were working on some productions on your own a bit. Should we expect more solo stuff from you?
Yes, I’m always up at all hours working on my solo productions and have enough ready to go for an album that will probably be released this year as well. There are also two tracks, namely “No Wonder”, that people will recognize from the WLSC DJ Kicks tour. It will most likely come out on Double Standard.