Ben Sage Interview


This is Dog Fort
VIP Junglist
Nov 29, 2001

dnbforum had a chat with one of Canada's newest Drum & Bass export, Ben Sage. With current hit "All About You" smashing up the dance worldwide, things are certainly looking good for the 24 year old from London, Canada.

1. How old are you?


2. Where are you from?

London Canada

3. Do you think your location has affected your success in Drum & Bass?

Absolutely. Being out here in the sticks pretty much left me on my own to figure out how to make certains sounds, how to turn the right knobs, and which samples to use. I think it reflects in my music, however, because I try to stay a little bit "different" with every project I work on.

4. How long have you been producing Drum & Bass?

Roughly 4 years

5. Do you DJ, and how long have you been mixing for?

I started djing hip hop at a buddy's place in roughly 1996, and quickly started into DNB. So I guess about 7 years. Wow thats longer than i thought...

6. What are your Drum & Bass influences?

My early favourites were in the jump-up and ragga style, with local dj's like Freaky Flow, and Capital J etc... I quickly outgrew that and moved into the darker stuff like Ed and Op, Fierce, Teebee, Badco, Dillinja, Konflict, Stakka & Skynet etc. My current influences are Psidream, Teebee, Klute, Pendulum, BadCo, etc etc... I basically receive influence from anything +170bpm... :)

7. Do you have any other musical interests?

Oh absolutely. Almost every type of music is pleasant to my ears... Id say virtually everything except country. I just can't take that whining. The stuff I listen to the most is downtempo, like Luke Vibert, Theivery Corp, Harmonic 33, Danny Breaks, Bonobo, Seelenluft, Boards of Canada etc. I also OCCASIONALLY listen to hip hop. I used to really like Trance a lot, and I think that shows in my music -- Dont really listen to it much any more though.

8. How did you become involved in the Drum & Bass scene?

I've DJ'd around here a bit, some keg parties, small venues and bars etc, and i found I was just sounding exactly like every other DJ. At that point I almost lost interest in drum and bass music, until I got into a school for music production, and that changed my interests. I figured if I could play my own stuff or unique stuff in my sets, it would make me stand out in the crowd. That's what I try to do for the "scene" is bring a few fresh jams every time I play.

9. What did you do before Drum & Bass?

I played Drums in a hardcore punk band. Screaming and all. I had to quit because I got tendonitus. It was fun while it lasted.

10. What is the Drum & Bass scene like in your area?

We work hard at it. There aren't too many headz around, but the same crew shows up virtually any time the decks are turned on. Most of the crew around here is pretty friendly too.

11. 2003 looks to be a good year for Drum & Bass, where do you see it heading?

Every aspect of Drum and Bass music is continually evolving. Thats what keeps it so fresh and interesting for me. Personally I'd love to see it get back to Ed Rush and Optical Wormhole days, but living in the past is something we should all avoid. Pendulum's stuff is amazing. I predict they will be a huge success this year, as with Psidream. Personally I'd like to see producers continue to use more melody within their tunes, while still keeping them dark sounding. That's the ish.

12. Do you have a web site?

Hrmm... no... Never had the time or interest to learn how to do it myself, and dont feel like paying anyone. Anyone care to donate?? :)

13. What are your favourite Drum & Bass web sites?

I am a regular at (the forum there is wicked!!), as well, but I rarely post. Lots of reading. is obviously a wealthy resource for information, and Tarzan, for those who know. is the hotness.

14. What are your favourite non-Drum & Bass web sites?

I'm a big home theatre nut. Also cars are cool. So anything home theatre or car related. Also headphone fetish picture sites. Bonzai kitten,, and furniture porn.


1. Hardware or software?

or both.

2. What hardware/software do you use to produce?

Logic 5.5, Halion, Triton, and various other plugins, wav editors, and small sound apps.

3. CD/MP3 or vinyl?

oh DEFINATELY Vinyl whenever possible. Mp3's are okay if you have the rights to play what you're playing (ahem). I think CD's and mp3's should only come out when you are playing your own stuff, or your buddies stuff, not pre-release crap you downloaded on soulseek. (steps off soapbox)

4. Can you describe your sound?

No. I produce a wide variety of stuff, ranging from dancy happy r & b remixes, to distorted grimy amen smashouts. If I had a rule for every tune, it would be that there has to be some element of musicality to it... melody is important to me.

5. What projects are you currently working on?

I just finished a final mix on a tune called "elemental" which is a remix of some guys named "Defiant" from LA. Its a techy one, with big drums. I quite like it, and the responses to the early mixdowns have been pretty positive. I generally post clips of finished (and unfinished) tunes on I also am working on mixdowns of a few other tunes of mine. a Demonseed remix with some vocals, one called "shock and awe" that will probably be shelved, and an amen smashout called Straight Bass.

6. What future projects are in the pipe line?

I want to do more work with this girl Savvy from my town. She is the vocalist on the Demonseed remix, and she's got a couple songs she's written that I might work with. Other than that, I gotta finish up these few I have on the go!!

7. Do you plan to tour soon? If so, where?

Cripes I'd go anywhere. Book me!

8. Are you working on any other genres other than Drum & Bass?

I'd love to. for me its a question of time however. I'd rather spend more time on DNB then on anything else, and my studio time is limited, because I work 45 hours a week. :-/

9. Are there any Drum & Bass artists you would like to work with?

Any and all of them. I really enjoyed remixing the Defiant tune, and I will do another one if the opportunity presents itself. As for the "big boys" I'd probably like to work with Teebee the most. He's always been one of my favourites. Simon V would also be fun.

10. Is there a certain choon you would like to remix?

oh so many. I couldn't possibly list them.

11. Are there any non-Drum & Bass artists you would like to work with?

Esthero, from Toronto (i think). her voice is so sexy and she sounds really soulful. It would be great to contrast that with some rumbly bass and piercing drums.

12. What Drum & Bass choons are currently at the front of your record box?

The Distorted Minds stuff wrecks a crowd around here. Also I am still caining the SKC Devotee EP. Most of my best tunes are from artists I have contact with. I play some Psidream tunes that always get good response (Secret Life & Sub Rosa), as well I am playing a lot of Evol Intent (Knick, and The Enemy) tunes that always work well.

13. How did it feel when you first heard someone drop one of your choons at a club?

Nervous. Excited. It was interesting. After listening to it so many times, its like "I can't beleive people still like this tune"... haha...

14. Do you have an favourite "all time" choon?

Adam F - Circles.

15. Turntables.. Technics or Vestax?

Technics. sl1200mk2. Nothing fancy.

16. MCs.. yes, no, or depends?

Usually no, but it depends.

17. Dubplates.. 10 or 12 inch?

10" Like I'm gonna spend the extra $$$$ to get a 12"!!!

18. Computer format.. PC, MAC, or both?

Mac, but not by choice. Both soon.

19. Bootlegs.. yes, no, or depends?

Not sure what you mean. Bootleg remixes (ie. All about you!!) YES.
Bootleg releases of dnb artists? NO


1. What is your favourite colour?

Platinum (if that's a colour)

2. If you could move from Canada, where would you move to?

Los angeles or Atlanta.

3. Do you drive, and what do you drive?

Hell yes I drive. I just got a 2003 VW Jetta 1.8 Turbo!!! <3

4. What is your favourite film?

Funny you should ask. I just watched a flick last night that has Challenged Lord of the Rings. Baraka. What a flick.


1. Any shouts or final words?

Shouts - ALL my irc cru. If it weren't for you lot, I'd know nothing, and have no feedback to my tunes. I probably wouldn't have ever got a tune signed. So Thanks a bunch. Specifically, EZ_tab, d_Tawx, Booyaa, Kill808, sy, ghetto, andr00, Surrept, SonOfNoiz, p0laris, et al.

All my local cru - Dres, Bruvy, Tom, Mick, Melimel, dixon, Izzard, Big Buk Watson, Jimmy, Cure, Ytee, Doublecross, Twinstarr, Adrienne, J-rok.

If I missed anyone, suck it up :)

I would just like to thank Ben Sage for taking the time out for the interview - Bigups from the massive :slayer:
good interview! big up ben sage, you definately caught my ear with "all about you". i'm heading to the gain forum right now to check out the rest of your stuff! :slayer:
big up ben sage! great producer, and a cool guy! Looking foreward to future releases. Keep 'em comin, and we will keep rinsin' 'em!

:slayer: :slayer: :slayer:
Re: Ben Sage

3. CD/MP3 or vinyl?
oh DEFINATELY Vinyl whenever possible. Mp3's are okay if you have the rights to play what you're playing (ahem). I think CD's and mp3's should only come out when you are playing your own stuff, or your buddies stuff, not pre-release crap you downloaded on soulseek. (steps off soapbox)

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