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Return of the Warriors

One half of the Stanton Warriors duo talks sushi, beats, and the evolution of their industry



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"So the scene I grew up in or looked up to when I was younger was a very illegal scene, which made it super cool stuff!"

But it also made it pretty challenging to move their music forward: record labels weren't overly supportive of the grassroots genre. That resistance from the mainstream industry, in turn, created a cohesive sense of camaraderie.

"One good thing about (the Wild Bunch Crew) is that they would literally mix up sounds and not be restricted - they'd mix a soul tune over top of a hip hop beat - which at the time, was unheard of! Then they'd put an acid line underneath on the third deck!" Butler recalled.

This renowned "Bristol Scene," which was a jumping-off point for deep house, laced with breaks, funk, hip hop and much more, was formative in shaping the Stanton Warriors future production and overall sound. The Stanton Warriors similarly tap into and borrow beats from almost any genre - they don't discriminate. House, hip-hop, electro and funk: it's all fair game for them.

"That's how you create new genres," Butler reflected.

It also makes labeling their sound a virtually impossible task.

"To break it down, we like good beats. And a good beat could be funky drum or James Brown, it could be a dubstep beat or a hip-hop beat or a drum 'n' bass beat. We like good bass sounds, we like good vocals and good rap: we like sound!" Butler explained.

Butler was working at a local record shop and promoting parties, while Yardley was busy mastering a pretty impressive range of instruments. They managed to meet up in London to join musical forces, creating the Stanton Warriors. Their "breaking point," the moment they emerged from the underground and onto the mainstream, came in when they headed into their studio to create an "ideal DJ mix" to help define their own sound. That "ideal DJ mix" got them signed to a label and was transformed into a compilation album, "The Stanton Session," which blew up, landing them awards and international gigs.

Their popularity has only continued to escalate, with their most recent coup being airplay on the popular BBC Radio 1 breakfast show they very same day that Butler caught up with the Pique .