Here at LSM HQ we are very excited to see the return of the Rogue Element! On the verge of sending out a search warrant, we catch up with the duo to see what they’ve been up to. Yes, there are now 2 rogues – Ben Medcalf and James Tomlinson.
So Ben…where have you been? What have you been doing?
I relocated to Madrid in 2011 to live with my girlfriend who is Spanish. Prior to that in London I’d been moving more into composing broadcast music and engineering and production – essentially away from DJing, as although i love playing out I was getting tired of not being around at weekends and all the traveling about. I was also working on Disco of Doom for a while as a club project but we’ve since disbanded that.
So the Rogue Element is now a duo – how did you two crazy cats get together?
I was having a chat with Mark at Lot49 records about doing a sample pack and the idea of doing some tracks for his label came up. I wondered how much point there was as most of the revenue these days is generated by DJing – which I didn’t really want to do – and as I make music for a job I don’t really have the time to do it just for fun. I had thought about getting someone in to DJ for a while and suggested it to Mark who said he knew James and said that he can smash the club to bits – I said lets go and there you have it.
How would you describe your new sound?
I’d say it’s a little more held down than when I was an angry young man – but not much to be honest. Perhaps a little more techy but still fairly rocking.
How do you describe what you do when meeting new people?
Hmm, depends where I am. If I’m anywhere except a club, I shake hands and start a conversation like anyone else. If I’m in a club, I shake hands, and pretend to be able to hear what they’re saying by doing the ‘club nod’ – that is, time my gestures of agreement to coincide with when their lips stop moving. Come on, you know you do it as well.
Who is your all time hero and why?
Musically it would have to be The Chemical Brothers, simply because out of all those nineties supergroups they are the only ones still standing. I know the Prodigy have made a comeback but they are essentially doing the same thing they’ve always done – nothing wrong with that – the CBs have consistently changed and developed their sound and taken risks creatively and remained relevant the whole time, plus they’ve got massive commercial appeal but are still highly credible. An unparalleled achievement in electronic music really.
What’s your most prized possession?
Hmm I don’t really have many to choose from. I don’t have alot of gadgets, I don’t drive a car here or anything. If I had to choose one it would have to be my studio computer (a top of the range iMac) as it allows me to do my work.
What’s the coolest thing you own?
Same thing. Or maybe my red Y-3 ‘Boxing’ trainers.
And the geekiest thing?
Er… probably the computer still. Actually if I’m honest it’s probably the Xbox my girlfriend bought me for Christmas. Yes you read that right, my GF bought me an xbox. How cool is she?
What is your most embarrassing claim to fame?
Not exactly a claim to fame outside of Horndean Middle School, but when i was about 12 we had to watch a very graphic video in sex education of a woman giving birth. When the video finished at the end of the class everyone got up to leave and I fainted. Just fucking stacked it right there on the table. Obviously that wasn’t something I was allowed to forget about easily.
Thanks for your time Ben, we look forward to seeing what you have in store for us in 2013.