GearSource.com got a chance to sit down with the team at DNA Soundsystems and talk with them about being on the road, their featured events and the giant robot that overlooks the dancefloor.
DNA Soundsystem consists of a core group of DJs and party heads who all came together for the love of the underground music scene and the want to integrate into the party scene that goes hand in hand with it all. The team are a UK based soundsystem that organises events in nightclubs and bars, hires out for private functions and now provides sound and staging for festivals. The core crew as it now stands as Josh, Charlie, Ben, Sam, Jack, Alec and Stef. DNA has taken a step back from the rave scene that formed its reputation in the past and after completing their full rig they are now aiming purely at the festival scene on a larger scale, underground clubs and events. After the success they have had this year with the Takeover Stage at Illusive, DNA are really pushing to make 2017 something big.
How did you all come together as a collective? What is your history together?
There is a lot of past history with DNA but basically, a lot of the current crew began as bedroom DJs and all the members developed a love of a variety of underground sounds from Jungle to Techno to Drum n Bass etc. We all grew up in the music scene, some of us starting in bands as well. After time attending all sorts of events across the UK the group really came together with a passion for sound systems and reinforcement. We all come from the same area so it was inevitable really when it all began. Although there is a core crew, there is a wider group of people that we consider to be part of the wider collective. The one thing that stands out still to this day is the bond between all the members, when we come together it properly feels like a family affair.
What got you into sound reinforcement?
The fact that a lot of us came from a musical background, whether it be as a hobby with DJing or just purely attending the events, its kind of came as a natural progression. None of us are really into our football or rugby so this is our hobby and what we do.
Where did you study or did you just fall into the profession?
Some of our crew studied various aspects of music across colleges/universities in London, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. This ranged from sound tech in general to sound engineering and events. This said, most of the knowledge we have among us comes from experience gained from being out in the field and the various different types of gigs we have done over the years. Ranging from small club nights to festival stages like Illusive, it has given us an insight into staging and engineering across lots of different types of situations taking into account all the different aspects involved. Aside from the sound reinforcement aspect, we are lucky enough to have people involved such as Stef and JJ who are qualified in construction and electrics, which has been a crucial part of Illusive in the past few years.
How did you team up with Illusive Festival?
We have known James, Lucy, Gary and Simon for a long time in and out of the scene and have collaborated with them on a lot of events in the past. Frank, one of the founders of DNA, grew up with James and they formed quite a strong bond between the crews at the time. The Illusive Festival crew asked us to get involved the first year, and we had been wanting to stage a festival for a long time…so it was no brainer.
What sound equipment did you use?
We use custom built Lab Horn sub bass bins and EAW KF750 mid tops. We run it all off of a full rack consisting of Powersoft amplifiers and an XTA crossover.
Why did you pick this equipment for the event?
The rig as it stands has a massive amount of SPL and precise clarity of sound. The Lab Horns are a very long throw speaker and are perfect for outdoor ventures such as festivals. We have found the EAWs to be a perfect accompaniment to our bass section. Over the years, we have had several different systems although now we are fully committed to the Lab Horn and EAW set up. The Powersoft amps we use to run it off, compliment it perfectly. The great thing about Illusive is that it has been the only time so far we have ever been able to use our full rig. Being able to have the “full shebang” out in full force has been a proper turning point for us, and to have the reception we have got after the few years at Illusive is incredible. Unfortunately, especially due to the increase in restrictions and closures throughout the UK club scene it’s hard to find somewhere you can take a decent size sound system and actually use what you have got.
If people want to get in contact with you for any information on hire outs or events, what is the best way?
The best way for people to reach us is to send any queries they may have to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have a Facebook page that can be found by searching for “DNA Soundsystem”. We offer a full range of different setup in regards to sound hire for events, and each one comes with a fully manned team of technicians and crew. We would like to give a special mention to Frankie “Zappa” Passaro a.k.a “Boy” who without his influence and guidance we would not be where we are today.