There are few independent labels in dance music with the force of Dirtybird Records. The roster includes some of the brightest in house music and it only gets better each year. Zombie Disco Squad (what a fucking name) has released his new EP on Dirtybird called Phase 1 with four stomping tunes you would expect from the Dirtybird crew. It is a birdcall to the dancefloor.
In honor of the project, we got ZDS to do a an interview with Will Clarke, who is featured on two songs from the EP. They talk all sorts of things including their favorite foods, movies, musicians, beard care and much more.
Stream the full EP below.
ZDS Questions for Will Clarke:
Zombie Disco Squad: What was the first piece of music that made you feel happy?
Will Clarke: I actually really like this question because I’ve released so much bollocks that I sadly have put my name against, so I would probably say my record ‘Big Booty’ however I would like to go back and mix it down better.
ZDS: Top five producers/musicians of all time?
WC: Otis Redding, Bob Marley, Faithless, Hans Zimmer, Eminem
ZDS: What was the record you wish you had written and why?
WC: There are way too many of these so I’m just going to pick the first one that comes to my head… ‘Hans Zimmer - Now We Are Free’, I know this is a sound track song from gladiator, however this was the first piece I learnt to play on the piano, i love the film, I love Hans Zimmer’s work and one day I would love to score music to a film.
ZDS: Do you ever get food in your beard?
WC: Yes, quite often!
ZDS: What trait to you admire in others?
WC: Genuine people, when they are in it not for their own gain. I fucking love that in someone.
ZDS: Detroit vs Bristol?
WC: I’ve gotta say Bristol. It’s my hometown and I love it, I’m still new to Detroit so still yet to find all the little gems.
ZDS: David Bowie vs Prince - discuss?
WC: If we are saying who do I prefer, I’d have to say Bowie, although I respect Prince so much for what he did in his career and what he did for music I still prefer Bowie’s records.
ZDS: Who has helped you shaped your sound?
WC: For me to write a list out it would probably go on for days and I would bore you all, however for sure the Dirtybird guys have helped me to where I am now. In fact you were an artist that I would try and copy when I was first trying to write house music so you definitely have helped me with this. However, from a young kid I always looked up to acts such as Faithless, The Chemical Brothers even though I’m still a long way off from where they are at, it’s still a process.
ZDS: Favourite thing you own?
WC: This sounds a little silly but the apple EarPods have changed my life no more headphone cables when travelling... they are fucking genius. I actually wrote a record on them on a plane the other day and they sound pretty good.
ZDS: You get stuck on a desert island with one other person - who would they be and why?
WC: Margot Robbie… Do I need to explain why?
ZDS: The internet has changed music and the way music is listened to and consumed - what’s the future of music?
WC: I think we are in a super exciting time in music actually with streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, etc and now artists actually starting to get some pennies back, I think its positive. The way i would like to see it is a few more streaming services come out and level the playing field off and start offering the artists more incentives to actually stream their music. So I would love to see say Spotify actually start investing the money back in to the artist by almost acting like a record label and giving artists the opportunity to get their art to a wider audience. I feel right now the major labels really drive these platforms and have the power over it, which is great if you are writing great pop music however, it’s almost like the listeners are being forced artists rather than naturally finding fresh music.
ZDS: Top five movies?
WC: Drive, Imitation Game, The Dark Knight, Inception, The Social Network
ZDS: Do you actually like cuddles? If yes, best cuddle ever?
WC: Yes I love cuddles, however the best cuddle ever I’m pretty sure that would be telling... not too sure if I can provide anyone with that information. In other words, there have been a lot of cuddles to name the BEST EVER.
Will Clarke Questions for ZDS:
Will Clarke: Who was the first person that introduced you to electronic music?
Zombie Disco Squad: As a kid in South London, there were tons of great pirate radio stations that gave me my first taste for electronic music — so I guess it’s the DJ’s on those shows who first got me hooked on to dance music. If I had to name one person that really shaped what I’m into now I think it would be my friend Lucas - we both had a pretty good music knowledge when we met but we also introduced each other to loads of stuff and it was really fun discovering new music with him.
WC: Favourite restaurant to go to and why?
ZDS: Pizza Sortidor in Barcelona. The pizzas are great but more importantly I’ve got so many fun memories of eating there with friends.
WC: Best childhood memory?
ZDS: I went to see the Beastie Boys play when I was 11 and smoked a bit of reefer. That was fun.
WC: Barcelona or London?
ZDS: Ooof that’s a very hard call. I love Barcelona so much, I really enjoyed living there and would happily move back however, London is my home city and will always have a special place in my heart (even if I do complain about the weather haha).
WC: On this record my input wasn’t massive all I did was told you to put two of your original ideas in to one record and helped with the arrangement, so what is your opinion on artists having records produced by engineers?
ZDS: I think it really depends. I think if someone has ideas for songs but can’t technically do them then who cares if you are getting someone else to help.
Your input on this record was to see something I didn’t see (ie: my two ideas together would work really well) and that's worth a lot. It did also help that you can make great sounding records so your input wasn’t limited to that.
WC: Analog or Software?
ZDS: I love analog but I can never be bothered with the wiring so software.
WC: You are having a romantic night in with the girlfriend and have to cook a three course meal what would it be?
ZDS: Oysters, Roasted cod with Parma Ham and Peppers, and a Chocolate Souffle.
WC: The one record that has made you cry?
ZDS: I remember crying from happiness at an after party when I heard Cajmere’s ‘God Sent’ for the first time. It’s one of my favorite songs and I’m not even religious.
WC: If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
ZDS: I have a few….. Seal, Jamie Principle, Tom Tom Club and Prince (ovs).
WC: Is there anything that you wish you knew before starting your career in music?
ZDS: I wish I knew about the business side of the industry. I don't find it very interesting but it is really important.
WC: Talk me through your first ever gig?
ZDS: I had been DJing at home for about three or four months and decided to put on a night to celebrate my girlfriend at the time’s birthday. I made some shitty posters and invited a handful of people and it somehow turned out to be a great party with loads of people (god knows how). I still have loads of friends from that party, many of whom are well established in music in one way or another.