Were major labels interested in turning Just into a proper crossover hit?
Matt: Yes, there was talk of it being released [overseas] in order to push it in America. But this was six months on and we were like, “Nah, thanks”. There’s nothing worse than something connecting in America a year after its release. At a time when you don’t want to play it anymore and everyone is asking you to play it. That has also become one of the tougher things with DJ sets. People expect you to play something…

…like “Vision of Love”?
Matt: Oh yeah, god! We just say no. Same with our Dominica edit of “Gotta Let You Go”, which was just a silly little bit of fun. It was a euro trance joke track.
Andy: It was an in-joke with our friends in Belfast.
Matt: We just had to refuse to play it. We got angry tweets: “Fuck you for not playing it!”

Stream: Bicep – Just EP

Seems like you have to be careful with what you play out and put online these days.
Matt: This is it, you have to be so careful. We had so many requests to release the Dominica edit properly, but we said no to them.
Andy: They copied and released it anyway [Dominica released a 2015 edit of her track “Gotta Let You Go” which was a very close copy of Bicep’s edit]. It was kind of a lesson: If you put an edit online, someone can just copy it and re-release it.
Matt: That’s why we don’t put our edits online anymore. We uploaded that one on YouTube, now we’re like, nah, let’s just keep them to ourselves.
Andy: In the end it’s their track though, we can’t really complain. They can do whatever they want with it.
Matt: With “Just”, I think it was good to have something a bit different that we’re associated with. It was definitely a shift in how we were perceived. People just stopped referring to us as 1990s house guys. It definitely made the line-ups we’re on more varied. We can be on Garage-y, Grime-y or UK Bass music heavy line-ups, it can also be quite Techno-y ones. That was probably the best aspect about it. We actually got to play on stages that were less house-affiliated. Which was nice for us, because we feel like we can play more varied.

Considering the wide range of styles covered on the album, would it be fair to assume that you approach producing music like a DJ set?
Matt: There are just so many different areas we like. We’re not really into one type of music. It feels like this is our first album – and we need to do another twenty now, because the album mainly shows the sweet, happier side of Bicep. We made a lot of very dark techno, not deliberately, but we had days where we were just sick of writing chords. After a bad week where nothing worked, there’s nothing better than just really go for it on a Friday afternoon. So we have all of this stuff, which we know is not going to work on an album. Some of it will on B-sides, but maybe in three years time we’re going to do different projects.

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