The Bassment, Volume Fifteen: Humans


The Bassment is a weekly article bringing you coverage of the best in Hip Hop and Electronic music from around Vancouver. Weekly interviews, event coverage, album and concert reviews that show how awesome our city’s electronic and hip hop scene really is. 

If you think there is someone or something that needs coverage in this city in regards to the Hip Hop / Electronic community then get in touch with us.

This is a band from Vancouver that I want to see make it. There’s a lotta cool music from this city but we need a band like this to make it. We need an “indie electro soul pop” act to rep. Robbie Slade (originally from Nelson) and Peter Ricq (originally from Montreal) became Humans in 2009 in Vancouver. They’ve released the digital album Avec Mes Mecs back in October of 2010. They also got some new stuff entitled New on their site as well. I checked them out live for the first time this past July 1 at the Cobalt and dug the electronicness, odd singing, live drumming, the chant they lead for the DJ that came on after their gig to play Sandstorm. Below, Robbie and Peter tell us more about them. If you like what you read, you can check them out at the Crankworx Festival at Garfinkles in Whistler tonight, at the Astoria here the night after (Sat, Jul. 23) and then they open for Digitalism at Gossip, Aug. 2.

Photo courtesy of Eli Wener

How do you guys describe the Humans’ sound yourselves?

Peter: Electro indie pop mixed with brown rice and jell-o

What did you guys listen to growing up? How about these days?

Peter: Grew listening to the Beach Boys, Beastie Boys, Pet Shop Boys, Fat Boys and loved the movie Boyz n the Hood. Lately, I don’t know but what comes to mind are bands like Metronomy, Grizzly Bears, Bikini, Tom Vek, LCD, Daft Punk, Ty Segall, No Gold, Twin Shadow, Sleigh Bells.

Robbie: I grew up singing the Beatles with hitchhikers in the back of a Landcruiser.

Did any of you guys play in other bands prior to Humans or DJ in the past?

Peter: I played in a Trip hop / metal / garage band when I was 19 then just went back to making electro as Autacoid and playing at underground parties in MTL.

Robbie: I played in a folky band with some friends from summer spent as a wildland firefighter.

With the diverse sound you guys have, you must have played with many different acts live, must have taken part in different music festivals and must have been included in a lot of different mixtapes too. Are Humans just a sign of the times or is this a conscious effort for Humans to do all sorts of different things?

Peter: We want all the songs to be different, even when we think we found our sound, we get bored and try new things. It keeps us excited since each time we start a new track, we don’t know where it’ll take us.

Robbie: We’re a fountain of yes {@djnedkelly}

Do you think Humans would have been possible 10 or even 5 years ago?

Peter: Yeah, I think things might have been better 10 years ago. The gear we use is that old, well most of it is.

Photo: Boon Kondo

As a part “live” band and part “electronic” act, can you talk about your writing/producing process and also getting your live performances together?

Peter: The writing process is different every time, sometimes I come up with an idea and show it to Robbie. Sometimes Robbie shows me a sample he sang and recorded on his phone. Sometimes we start fresh on the spot, sometimes I show a complete track I thought no one would like, sometimes we fight, get wasted and find a new track on the sampler in the morning. Sometimes we pay Eli (our manager) to dance for us and let his fancy moves guide us through our writing process.

I’ve talked about being excited for Love & Electrik to make it since we (Vancouver) haven’t had a band like that make it big before from here. Similarly, Humans will put Vancouver on the map, I think, in a different light than other bands have before. Are there any short term and/or long term goals that are on the list for Humans right now?

Peter: We are doing a push for the states and have been doing a lot of festivals like SXSW and NXNE, we have two new videos, a great crew behind us from Solid gold and so we’re working on our new EP with tour dates. to follow I don’t know where HUMANS will be taking us this next year but I do have a good feeling about it.

Why Vancouver?

Peter: I worked in Van as an Art Director at an animation studio here, I just quit as to focus on the band. I love it here, Beaches, Skate bowls, biking, food and the music along with all the great people we have here is “why Vancouver?”

Robbie: i get really mad sometimes when i try and eat foundation nachos in other cities. Foundation basically ruined the experience of eating nachos for me

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