How would you describe your sound to someone zoning in for the first time?
It's hard to describe a sound. It's some sort of electronic music with a lot of repetitive beats and percussion.
What's your original profession?
Original profession was toolmaker. I have served my apprenticeship in this but have since done lots of other jobs.
When did you start producing?
I have always made music since I was about thirteen. I do it because I enjoy it.
You & Laurie closed Skull Disco at the absolute peak time of popularity. What were the reasons and do you see yourself collaborating with Apple in the future?
Lots of reasons but the more obvious ones are because a) I wanted to keep it special b) because I didn't want to ask the artist to do any more skull related artwork c) because I felt that it had become typecast as being something that I wasn't really into. Me and Appleblim didn't collaborate musically before but we will do in the future I think. He has a great ear.
Ernest Shackleton encountered many difficulties during his antarctic explorations. What difficulties in music business do you encounter as an artist and a label co-owner? What would you like to discover?
This is a very bizarre link to your question. Ernest Shackleton risked his life during his antarctic explorations. I have never had anything comparable to that. I think that my life is very nice and relatively free of difficulty when compared with a lot of people. I think part of this is because I don't get too involved with the "music business". I just want to make interesting music that can communicate with the listener so I would like to "discover" ways of doing that.
Do you see yourself running any label again in the future?
Maybe one day but, right now, I am trying not to think about it.
Would you consider the music that you put out to be 'dubstep'?
No and I am not sure that I ever have. Then again, I am not really sure what dubstep means. I've seen people shouting at Benny Ill "play some dubstep" and, for me, that is, if anything, the nearest thing to a definition of dubstep in my mind. Think about the word. It derives from music that is a combination of dub and two step. In this case there are a lot of very misnamed acts. On the other hand, we both know that dubstep has come to mean something different in the minds of a lot of people. In this case, again, my music isn't really dubstep. Then again, I don't really care about it. I have sound it my head and something I want to communicate so I just go with my ear and my heart when I am making music. I hope this doesn't sound too corny.
Where are you trying to take your sound?
This is partly a mystery to me. It's more of an instinctive thing to be honest. There are certain ways of working and certain sensibilities that I have and would like to improve but it's too abstract to write about and would be boring for your readers.
The visual side of Skull Disco and the titles of many tracks bring the horror entourage to mind. Are you a fan of the genre?
To be honest, not really. Which track titles are you thinking of? I suppose you might think that about "I Want To Eat You" but that is actually more a reference to lust or so rather than to be taken literally. I think that Zeke who does the artwork is a fan of horror films etc. so this could be an influence.
Which places you love the most?
Well, obviously Poland! Super friendly people and very generous spirited in my experience. I have to say this, don't I? It is true though.
What does Shackleton do for fun? Are you watching movies? Sports?
Not really. I am really lucky because my fun is the same as my work. When I am not in the studio I listen to music or have a drink with a friend. I do like a good film but time seems to go so quickly that I rarely watch one. I used to like football but I can't stand all the hype that surrounds the premier league.
How do you create your basslines ?
Do you really think that I would tell you that? Oh alright then. I'll give you a clue. Start with a sine wave.
What are some of your influences on your sound? Can you name check 3 who influence your production?
There are so many musicians that I like but I can't say that there are any that directly influence my production. I suppose that I can say that I like the atmospheres of early Public Image Ltd and Savage Republic but then I also like music that sounds nothing like this but has an interesting dialogue between the elements or music or has a certain feeling. I mean that I might listen to a Tom Waits record for example but, even though my music sounds nothing like that, it may have sparked something in me that is also in my music.
For many dubstep fans house music is like a coarse word. Your collaborations with Villalobos says that you got a different attitude. How do you feel about that genre?
I can also think of a few course words right now about closed minded listeners! I don't know loads about house music as I haven't had so much exposure but I do know that within every kind of music there is an approach that creates good music and an approach that creates bad music and that this is a subjective thing as well. I am sick of hearing about dubstep techno house whatever. It's not about this. Ricardo Villalobos got involved with Skull Disco long before it became (relatively) popular. He didn't get involved because he wanted to get with the dubstep program. He got involved because he liked the music. Likewise, I liked the remix he did for Skull Disco, not because it ran at 128 bpm and had a straight kick drum but because it was an interesting listen and completely single minded.
Some of your tracks also touch difficult political/global matters. "Towers Fall", "Hamas Rules". Are you a guy watching everyday news and commenting on this from time to time, or a musical revolutionary?
The "Towers fall" track is actually called Blood On My Hands. I am really tired though and would prefer not to go into this. It's too multi-faceted. My train was cancelled yesterday and it took me a day to get home from Italy. If you can think of a specific question I'll try to answer but this is too broad.
In the times of internet promotion seen as a must, you have no ΜySpace page. Is it a choice or a kind of manifesto?
I'm happy if people like the music but I don't want to push it down anyone's throat. It seems to do alright without promotion so I prefer to keep it that way. Time seems to go so quickly and there is so much information out there that I don't wnt to add to the clutter I suppose.
What's your favourite album ever?
Too many to mention. Tago Mago by Can and Man Machine by have both stayed good for me over the years though.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Lying lifeless in the gutter under a railway bridge with a bottle of cider in my hand. Who knows? I hope that life will be as good as it is now and that I am still around and the world hasn't completely disintegrated into all out war or environmental disaster.
Whats your production set up like? Simple or hella complex? What kind of equipment are you rocking?
Pretty simple. Computer, popular software package, multi effects unit, Moog synth, mixing desk.
Is there anything else you want to tell us? Offer up a slice of wisdom perhaps?
I'm as stupid as the next person so I think you are better asking someone who has some wisdom to offer.
[o shackleton μαζί με darkstar, skream & benga και τον mala παίζουν αύριο το βράδυ στο bios. με 20 ευρώ].