Undertow (aka D-Tech MC aka Scotty B) is no stranger to the stage. From his early years in the dance scene hosting large-scale raves alongside Hixxy, Dougal and Brisk to regular residencies at various Drum & Bass events, as D-Tech MC he’s toured the country numerous times with live band Kobra Kai and a long list of international artists. Since releasing his debut Undertow LP ‘Minds Believing’ in 2010 and ‘Light In The Distance’ in 2016, he’s gone on to release two more albums with live DNB outfit Kobra Kai, including appearances at large-scale festivals such as Stereosonic, Creamfields, Future Music Festival and the Big Day Out. Whether over Drum & Bass or heavy Hip Hop beats, the art of connecting metaphors and syllables over crafted instrumentals is, and always will be, Undertow’s passion. His third album ‘Staircases’ (a joint release with Sydney producer/MC OT) is due to drop soon, and ahead of it, we caught up for a Q&A.
Tell us in your own words what your sound is –
I perform to various types of music, however my solo albums have all been Hip Hop. I was in a band called Kobra Kai for 9 years in which we were a cross genre Bass music live band playing everything from Reggae – Drum and Bass and I am still quite involved in both of those scenes with IWDRM (Inner West Disco Reggae Machine) and The Elements of Tech and Bass
Who makes up your band/act?
My live act at the moment is made up of myself and DJ Maniak and also a Likeminded Artist Sack (o’wine) also joins me on stage for some verses here and there.
What were your influences when you first started writing music? And what are your influences now?
I grew up playing guitar and singing in a punk band actually, these days as the genre has changed a lot of what I’m doing (still singing and playing guitar) I gain influences from many different elements of life and also music. I am open to any music if it’s played with a heart and soul really.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I have just finished off my third studio album with a Sydney producer OT and all and cuts by DJ Maniak. I write a lot of spoken word as well as lyrics so I’m forever continuing to put time and effort there. I have a few collabs in the works with some drum and bass producers for the new year, and also working on a solo acoustic set in which I’ve only ever done one and it was fun!
Do you have a procedure for writing music?
I write music at weird times of the day, in the car, half asleep or on planes/holidays a lot. I find if I sit down to write I never actually get what I want out of the session. It has to come from a spark, an idea and element.
If you could collaborate with any musician in the world, Who would you collaborate with?
Hmm tough question because I am interested in so many fields, I actually got to collaborate with one of my favourite MCs in the world Jam Baxter and got Dirty Dike on the track back in 2012. I don’t really search for collabs these days but more people that I want to work on a joint piece of work with. I’d love to do spoken word poetry over the top of some deep broody jazz musos or to be honest I’d love the chance to collaborate with the Kobra Kai guys again as they were some of the best years of my life.
What do you think about Sydney’s music scene? And if you could play anywhere, where would you love to perform?
The Sydney music scene is strong! So many amazing artists doing amazing things, there’s always something to do you just need to be prepared to go and find it! I’d love to play in the Enmore Theatre as I’m an Inner West local and love that room, I’ve played a lot of the places but maybe a big gig in the Domain or for something smaller I’m keen to do a show at Lazybones soon too!
Seen any good bands lately?
Midnight Oil on the weekend damnnn! Peter Garrett showing us all up at 64 and AB Originals on support, their vocalist Caiti Baker was amazing! Apart from that I saw Me First and the Gimme Gimmes the other week that took me back to my punk days. Sydney wise I saw a very interesting band at 505 Cleveland Street On the Stoop were brilliant, check them out if you can!
Any interesting stories?
There’s many interesting stories haha, I think a great one was when we toured Melbourne one time and we were parked in a driveway of a computer shop. We had to meet someone however we didn’t really know where we were so we stopped and messaged them said we’re next to Mcdonalds in a computer shop car park. A guy came out and asked us to move the car, we said we’re just waiting for someone we’ll be two minutes. A band member was taking a little extra time using the bathroom I think in McDonalds and next minute the son of the father came out and said my dad is getting very annoyed with you parked there (there were two spaces) we said we’ll just be a minute more. Nek Minnit the dad comes out about to attack us with a golf club (we were in a hire car) my mate finally comes back he jumps in the car and we reverse straight onto a busy Melbourne road and the dad comes swinging with the club out on the road. Thankfully we got away but he was quite angry … not sure how interesting that was but it was pretty funny!
Where are you playing next?
The Elements Of Tech & Bass ( Free Entry ) November 17Th with Leo Severity aka Severity VALVE BAR
Ocean Wisdom Australian Tour 2017 – Sydney with Sal Bellissimo aka Dj Maniak Saturday the 18th Max Watts Sydney
Undertow – Closer to Darkness tour – Canberra Thursday the 23rd La De Da
Undertow – Closer to Darkness Tour- Melbourne Saturday the 25th Grumpy’s Melbourne
Undertow – Closer to Darkness Tour – Sydney Friday the 8th of December VALVE BAR
Jungle Bells ( Free Entry ) Saturday December 16th
Here’s his last album: