The brain child of Northern Irish DJ Jonny Mac and the result of an international collaboration involving Sean Toulon from France and New York instrumentalists ‘The Brothers Nylon’, Mike and Nick Rufolo, The Warriors of the Dystotheque highlight just what can be achieved through the power of the world-wide-web.
It may be a problem when it comes to actually gigging, but the internet offers a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with artists throughout the world and local lad Jonny Mac is well aware of such potential and over the course of this past year he has embraced it.
We last caught up with the Warriors when their debut EP was about to go live and with their latest track ‘Just Breathe’ due to be released next month, it gave us a great opportunity to find out what’s been happening with the guys since we last spoke.
You were on the verge of releasing your debut EP ‘The Future is Ours’ when we last caught up with you, how has this past year been for you guys?
It’s been super crazy. We've release another EP ‘Return To Coney’ since then back in March, it was really well received with several major plays on BBC 6 Music's breakfast show also on Nemone's Electric Ladyland show then closer to home on Across the Line and locally Stephen Mc Cauley on his Electric Mainline show on BBC Foyle. We also had some major press support around the EP with a tasty little piece in DJ Mag and also with us being made UK artist of the week on the Vinyl District website and several more interviews and loads of reviews.
Now we are in the middle of the promo campaign for our next release Just Breathe which is out on August 5th on our own label Fly Beat Music. Oh yeah we started our own label a few months back as well.
What’s been the highlight so far for the Warriors of the Dystotheque?
There's been loads as last few months really around the last EP and the early support of Just Breathe, So we would say getting plays from Phil Taggart on BBC Radio 1, Nemone has played Just Breathe & Return To Coney on the Breakfast show and when she sat in for Lauren Laverne on BBC 6 Music and just a few weeks ago a play on Huey "Fun Lovin Criminal" Morgan's show on Saturday morning again at 6 Music. This has been amazing and taken us to another level with loads of new fans getting in touch.
‘Just Breathe’ is due for release on August 5th, tell us a bit about the track…
On a tiring drive home to Derry from a festival DJ performance, I turned up the cinematic, laid-back soundtrack that I had playing in the car. This formed the inspiration for the rich soundscape that encompasses the track. After relaying the track on to Sean, and then to New York for the Rufolo brothers to hit up the live instrumentation, we drafted in Bella Deanie, from Coventry, to write lyrics and sing. Bella takes the track on an emotional path to self realisation. Echoing the state of not giving up when everyone else has let you down. Bella’s raw and powerful performance commands the attention of the listener, but at the same time makes a heartfelt connection with a song you can turn to when you need a lift.
As you mentioned, it features vocals from Coventry singer Bella Deanie, how did that come about?
I (Jonny) lived in Coventry for 15 years and studied music production during my time there and this is where I met Sean from the band. I've known Bella for several years as she was the vocalist for my friend Paul Johnston's band 91db so had her earmarked for this for a long time really.
The track has already received airplay on Radio 1 and 6 Music as well as closer to home with Electric Mainline, you must be pleased with the momentum it has been gathering ahead of its release…
We couldn't really be happier we have been so well received at BBC 6 Music and of course ATL & Electric Mainline here at home not forgetting RTE. There are still a few weeks left before it’s released so we are hoping the next four weeks will see it getting more support across the stations.
The Warriors of the Dystotheque has been mainly a studio project, but are there any plans for a live show?
We are hoping the demand will be there for us to go live after this release. The major hurdle is the fact that we are based in Derry, New York and Coventry so it’s a bit of a logistical nightmare but towards the end of the year we are hoping to release our first album and we definitely be touring that. Meanwhile I’m available for WotD DJ Sets and after all this is where I’ve cut my teeth for the last fifteen years on many global platforms and this will enable us to push the Warriors sounds till then.
What are the plans this summer for WotD?
So far in Ireland we have one festival appearance at Sunflower Festival on Sunday the 7th of August, that's the weekend of the release of Just Breathe, and it’s gonna be a DJ set. We are hoping a few more will come in as we would love to spread the Warriors sound.
Hopefully Stendhal as it’s right on my doorstep so that would be nice to do both major festivals in the North this year. Oh and we have been offered a Sunset DJ Set in Ibiza at the legendary Cafe Del Mar so we are just arranging dates for that in August.
If you would like to book the WotD for a DJ set or remixing they can be reached on warriors.of.the.dystotheque@ gmail.com or via twitter @dysto_warriors. You can check out the play of 'Just Breathe' on Huey's BBC Radio 6 show here (2hrs 16 into the show) and the track will be officially released on August 5th.