This is the first in a series of articles that I published via my other adventures in online publishing, including Audio Logic, Hot Flash!, and Life Under The Radar. This article was first published on the now defunct Hot Flash! blog.
When I started to investigate the Bullets (formerly know as the Rubber Bullets), I started to look at the details of these 2 exceptionally talented musicians. There indiviual musical careers are the stuff of legend. Ris Paul Ric (aka Chris Richards) was the guitar player and vocalist for legendary DC-area post-punk group Q and Not U (Discord Records). After the demise of Q and not U, Ris went on to produce a solo record, recording with ambient idm wonderkid Tim Hecker. Dave Nada's background is just as diverse. Dave played guitar in hardcore bands (including Medic) for 10 years before getting into dance music.
The Bullets are known for their monthly party, "Crowd Control" happening at DC9 in Washington DC, as well as thier eclectic style. In any given set you can hear the dropping hip-hop, sampling Nation of Ulysses alongside D.C. with go-go classics and Baltimore club beats. I had to wonder what happened to get thse guys, for all accounts dudes with a DC Hardcore pedigree, into making slammin' dance floor fillers?
(RIS WITH Q AND NOT U)
HF!: How do you guys end up working togther?
DAVE: We met in the pit. No, on the dancefloor. Nah, we've had mutual friends for a long time, but we didn't start kickin it until Ris starting coming out to some of my parties. Last year he was looking for a singer to start an r&b crossover band. He ended up asking me if I wanted in, and I was feeling the idea big time. So then we started working on songs, learning how to make beats, and searching for our buffalo stance diva.
HF!: As far as influences, who have inspired you guys to do this project?
DAVE: Chris has been an influence on me actually. I respect his grind and love for the game. If you want names and things then I can go on for days....James Brown, prince, H.R., Chuck D, Sam Cooke, Fela, Kathleen Hannah, D.C., West Baltimore, my girl, my moms, my block, etc.
RIS: I also think we both wanted to do this after going to a million hot dance nights and seeing a million stank live bands.
(DAVE NADA ON CROWD CONTROL)
HF! You both have a background that's somwhat intertwined with the DC Hardcore scene, Chris with Q and Not U and Dave with Medic (among other bands). How would each of you explain how two guys who emerged from the DC Punk scene ended up making Club music?
DAVE: Well, I grew up with 4 brothers and like 20 cousins. Huge family, so I was always into all kinds of crazy shit. Hardcore punk was my thing so I started doing bands. I got really into hip-hop and house music during my college years, so that's when I started djing. My grind was so focused that i eventually graduated from college and become a full time club dj. I was still doing hardcore punk bands, and I loved it, but my DJ career was taking over, so I had to make some big moves. As a working DJ, you eventually wanna start making your own tracks to tear the club up, so I jumped into the production game.
RIS: As far as transitioning from punk to club music, I think they're both really physical musics and the idea of hard, visceral music is real attractive to me right now. These days, everyone's going numb-dumb on their iPods and shit, so we want to make music that breathes heavy.
HF!: What connection, if any, do you see between what's happening in the Baltimore Club scene and the DC Hardcore scene?
DAVE: Both are really fast and aggressive? Ha ha. There's isn't any connection between the two scenes. We just happen to be punk rock cats who love to get freaky in club.
RIS: No connection whatsoever. I used to listen to [influential b-more club music station] 92Q on the way to band practice, and that's about it.
(RIS ON THE DECKS AT CROWD CONTROL)
HF!: I know you have a mixtape out there, could you talk a little bit about that?
DAVE: The mixtape is called Crowd Control vol.1. That shit is sold out. We made that mix to put ourselves and the cities we love (dc/bmore) on blast. It has some blends, and original remixes, as well as harder edge tunes we love. We now have a monthly party in D.C. called Crowd Control that's goin down every 1st thursday of each month at DC9 nightclub. It's gonna be real crazy. Our singer/front woman Rah is gonna host it as well. Oh, and expect CC Vol.2 this summer!
(DAVE NADA DURING THE PUNK YEARS)
HF!: I've seen that you're planning on putting togther a live touring band. Could you tell me a little about that and what your live performance plans are?
DAVE: Bullets is the new band consisting of Ris, Rah and your boy. We plan on killing shit. You don't even know.
HF! What are your top 5 tracks right now?
1. African Chant - scottie b & king tut
2. Hands Up, Thumbs Down - deuce tre deuce ft. blaqstarr
3. Shake and Pop - cajmere
4. Round & Round (switch remix) - bodyrockers
5. WTF - tittsworth & pase rock
1. Santogold - "Creator"
2. Collie Budz - "Come Around"
3. Rich Boy - "Throw Some Ds Remix"
4. Ciara - "Promise - R. Kelly Remix"
5. Flo Rida - "Birthday"