Stanton Warriors return to Whistler to 'road test' new tracks 

The U.K. duo is set to play at Maxx Fish on October 28

click to enlarge warriors in whistler The Stanton Warriors, a U.K. DJ duo, are playing together in Whistler for the first time in three years.
  • warriors in whistler The Stanton Warriors, a U.K. DJ duo, are playing together in Whistler for the first time in three years.

Whistler crowds might have been excited to see U.K. breakbeat duo Stanton Warriors last time they played here, but it turns out at least one Mountie didn't share their enthusiasm.

After a night of partying, Dominic Butler, one half of the DJ/producer pair, stopped to relieve his bladder on a tree when a police officer spotted him and demanded to see ID.

"In England you can't ask for ID," he says. "I said, 'I don't have ID' and he said, 'Show me ID or I'll arrest you.'"

The officer seemed unimpressed by his credentials as a visiting DJ. Butler was mostly worried about missing his flight to play the Coachella music festival the next day, but "I smooth talked my way out of it," he says.

Minor clashes with the law aside, Butler says Western Canada in particular has been good to them. "We play an underground sound," he says. "I think Canadian crowds really appreciate that we're doing something underground and unique. It's really nice when people appreciate what you're doing."

Stanton Warriors have been crafting their original tracks since the release of their first EP,

Headz of State, in the late '90s. Since then, they've toured non-stop around the world playing parties, clubs and festivals. (They recently announced they'll be playing Glastonbury next year for the tenth time.)

"We're not like a band where we tour six months on, six months off," Butler says. "It's just non-stop. I've been to North America seven or eight times this year."

A few of those trips have been on his own after Mark Yardley, the other half of the Warriors, had a kid. "It's not that different," Butler says of performing solo. "You still play music. I get drunk less. It's still great."

Yardley will be in tow, though, when the pair hits Maxx Fish on Oct. 28. Their next trip to Canada will serve as a way to test new songs for an album to be released some time in the New Year. "We just finished up the album, which we're very excited about," Butler says. "It'll be road tested on this tour. It's the best way of testing out new tunes. You can play the songs to labels and to your friends, but the best thing is to play it to the people who know what it is. It's the real barometer."

While he describes the forthcoming release as boasting "avalanche-causing beats and bass," if some of the tracks don't resonate live, the duo can still cull the tracklist. "Sometimes you think a track is amazing and you drop it at a club and you just forget about it," he says. "You know straight away (if it works). It's an organic way of doing it."

With over a decade of experience, they've also seen their share of trends come and go. The pair has resisted the urge to cash in on "what's cool and trendy" in favour of maintaining their underground sound. "I definitely think North Americans are hyping the dance music thing," Butler says. "It's big money. (Trends are) different in different parts of the world, but we never really changed our sound. Trends, like dubstep, come along and we just stick with what we like... We make music we want to hear ourselves. I think that's important. Sometimes you get signed to a label and they say, 'Make music like Skrillex.' We just make music we want to hear. We like this Mongolian chanting music from China? We sample that. We like a singer? We bring them into the studio."

Although, he admits, they could be making more cash catering to mainstream tastes. "We could've sold out and made cheesy music, but we didn't," Butler says. "For that reason, we enjoy it more."

As for Whistler, he says, look forward to a wild show. "They're going to hear shit they won't hear anywhere else," he says. "Hopefully they'll go off like they always do."

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