Fresh off his North American tour promoting
his new artist album release, Breakfast of Champions, Lee
Coombs, the king of house/breaks fusion sits down with Ryan Bernier,
and the results are below. Coombs can truly be recognized as a member
of the Breakbeat elite - check out his full official bio at the
bottom of the interview. Ryan opened for Coombs and took the opportunity
ask Cooms these questions!
Ryan: Where do you currently reside?
Lee Coombs: I live in Kingston, Surrey. South West of London.
How would you describe the music you produce to someone?
Everyone likes to pidgeon hole styles of music, so we have come
up with ‘Tech Funk' which basically covers all the different
genres that I draw on such as Electro, Techno, House, and Breakbeat.
Who or what shaped your sound when you began?
I first got into this when ‘Acid House' was first around
back in 1988. I think it has always influenced what I do from then
What was your first big break/gig?
I became a resident at a club in Cambridge called ‘Eclipse'
in 1991. It was a monthly night holding about 2000 people with all
the big name djs of the time playing there like Mr C, Grooverider,
Fabio, Carl Cox etc.
What made you want to become a DJ?
I'm crap at dancing! Also I really felt drawn to it for some reason.
Can you name 5 of your favorite records in your bag right now?
1. Hyper – Come with me (Daniel Taylor remix) Four: Twenty
2. Artcrime – Like This (Rollover)
3. Lee Coombs and Andy Gardner – Obsessional Rhythm (Atomic
Hooligan remix) Finger Lickin
4. Paranoid Jack vs ADDY – The Movin (Thrust recordings)
5. Virtualmismo – Mismoplastico (Lee Coombs remix) Mantra
What do you like about production?
When you have an idea for a track and then finally realise it.
Also getting a good reaction with your tracks is a real buzz.
What's the hardest thing about putting out an album?
When do you stop? You can keep on going forever writing tracks
but sometime you have call it a day and be happy with. And what
do you want to say with your album, that's a hard one. I just said
keep on dancing! Hopefully.
How does being a DJ affect what you do in the studio?
It completely affects it, you write records with the thought of
mixing it and what it will mix with and where it will feature in
What do you learn/have you learnt from DJing?
That playing records is only a small part of the job. Travelling,
business, and learning to deal with all kinds of people play big
What's the secret of your success?
No secret, hard work! Lots of time spent in the studio at home.
It's a very hard game to be in at the best of times.
How do you come across the samples for the records? How do you
make them fit together so well?
Over time you just get an ear for finding what will work. I look
though records and hear something that inspires me to make a track
What records do you look for when you're searching; what are the
things you look for?
Anything, mostly house and techno and electro tunes of any age.
You can pick up good little stabs and percussion loops there.
What makes a good DJ or bad DJ?
A good DJ will read and play to the crowd. People want to hear
things that they like as well as something new.
What has been your favorite city to play in to date? And why?
I have 2 favourite cities, London and San Francisco. Both very
different. London is my home and when I play in clubs like Fabric
it is something really special. San Fran is just such a fun place
to come to. I have had amazing gigs there with some crazy people!
Everyone has a real party attitude.
Tell me a little bit about remixing the New order track? Lick the
New Order are one of my favourite bands so when I got asked to
remix crystal a few years ago it was amazing! And then to make something
the band loved aswell was something else. Lick the frog took me
about 3 hours to make, I never expected it to do so well!
What is your favorite sound to resurrect from the 80's?
I love my Roland 303. To me that is pure 80's
What's next for Mr. Coombs?
Next is concentrating on my own label Thrust Recordings. Now that
I have completed all my album commitments to Finger Lickin I am
going to make Thrust feature heavily. It is my new home for all
my productions and I also have other artists on board like Paranoid
Jack, Rich Thair, Koma and Bones, and Klaus Heavyweight. I am also
going do my own compilation on Thrust due for release later in the
-- interview by Ryan Bernier
Ryan B is a nightlife DJ running a production company in Calgary,
Alberta Canada. He regularly DJ's and promotes and produces large
LEE COOMBS OFFICIAL BIO
"If this show had an in-house orchestra, it would be LEE
COOMBS" - Pete Tong, Radio One
From the start of his DJ career in 1989 Lee Coombs bathed himself
in acid house parties in and around London and Cambridge. In an
industry that is slip and slide at the best of times, Coombs rapidly
made a name for himself. He went on to run his own labels including
the critically acclaimed and much talked about electro-driven Zoid
and Thrust Recordings. It was whilst working at Intergroove in the
late nineties that he met with Finger Lickin' label boss Justin
Rushmore. The rest is history. Coombs' contribution to Finger Lickin
meant that his acid-angled productions gave him a float all of his
own. Seb Fontaine and Pete Tong noted Coombs as the 'man to watch'
after his 'Future Sound Of Retro' album was released on Finger Lickin'
in June 2001. Remixes including Quivver and Sister Bliss set the
stepping stones to the success that would follow. Soon his talents
were being called upon to put his twist on everyone from New Order
to Lamb to Moby.
Lee then got a call from Paul Oakenfold resulting in the almighty
Perfecto Breaks album which was launched to critical acclaim in
October 2002. Lee went on to remix Oakenfold's single 'Time of Your
Life'. His notoriety prompted a request for Lee to fly to Prague
in the summer of 2003 to record with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
the theme music for the BBC television program "Born To Win".
2004 saw Lee Coombs back in the studio writing like a demon in
preparation for the release of his much-anticipated artist album
"Breakfast Of Champions". He has collaborated with some
of the finest producers around including Dylan Rhymes, Christian
J, Andy Gardner (Plump DJs) and Jem Panufnik (Soul Of Man). The
album is a sure-fire winner full of breakbeat bombs and tech-house
monsters. The first single from the album "Alright All-Night"/"Dubhead"
went straight to No.1 in the DJ Mag Beats & Breaks Chart, got
multiple plays on national radio and received rave reviews in all
major publications. The second single features Lee's largest remixes
to date - Oakenfold's "Time Of Your Life" with a re-working
of New Order's "Crystal" on the flip. The third single
"Shiver" feat. Katherine Ellis will include a remix by
label mates the Plump Djs, already tipped by Radio One to be the
crossover hit we've all been waiting for. To support the release
of the album Lee is embarking on a US tour and an Australasian Tour
at the end of the year which will culminate at Sydney's Field Day
- a 25,000 person event on New Year's Day. People are sitting up
and taking notice of his extraordinary talent. You will too.