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Their name may be a phrase commonly associated with deadbeats but Waifs & Strays are no slouches. Bristolian duo Amos Nelson & Rich Beanland’s debut track ‘3am’ was snapped up by Leftroom and received support from the likes of Laurent Garnier, DJ T, Anja Schneider and Jamie Jones - and 2011 was equally a big year for them where they churned out a string of hits like ‘Yeah Yeah’, ‘What You Want’ and ‘Heartbreak’. 2012 will inevitably continue in the same vein for them so we thought we would have a quick chat about production, Bristol and plans for the year ahead.

How did your sound evolve last year? What were you feeling most, musically?

I think a lot of our tunes are quite different, so I don’t think we evolved so much, but definitely learned a lot about getting tunes sounding right for club sound systems, how certain sounds are going to be interpreted on a big system etc. Basically I think our sounds and productions just got tighter all round, which is something that only comes with time spent in the studio. In terms of what we were feeling most, I think the two stand-out people for us have to be Maceo Plex and Eats Everything. They both have had an amazing 12 months and have totally brought something new along with their productions.

How do you work as duo when DJing?

We both do it all! We have strengths and weaknesses but there isn’t one thing that a particular person does. This is a good thing as it can happen that only one of us can go to DJ or that only one of us works on a particular tune, and so we are both comfortable that the end result is going to be the same.

How important is Bristol on your sound?

I don’t think it’s massively important on the sound exactly, but being in Bristol is definitely inspiring on a daily basis. To us, it’s the best city in the world and over the last two years it’s really stepped its game up on so many levels, which in turn has inspired us to do the same.

Any plans for a full length album at all?

Not right now, but maybe at some point in the future.

What is the most important thing to you when producing - groove and feeling or the technical aspects of a track?

It’s all about the groove and feeling, without that there’s nothing. You can be an amazing technical producer, but if you don’t have the feeling behind the music, it’s just going to sound cold and clinical. We like to be technical where we can, but it’s definitely about the feeling!

And what should the Connected crowd expect from you at Cable on 11th Feb? Do you know what you’re going to play ahead of time or do you take it as it comes?

We try to keep it interesting and not just keep it to one style of house music and also to put as much energy into the music as possible. We always prepare for gigs, but keep the actual set on the night pretty open depending on how the crowd are.

How often do you spend looking for new music and where? Do you switch up the contents of your record bag very often?

We both spend a few hours a week looking for music. Luckily we DJ on Traktor so can basically bring our whole record collection with us to all gigs, but we go through our current selection before each gig, so pretty much every week.

What else you got coming up/are you looking forward to?

We have our first gigs in the US which we are really looking forward to, plus loads of really cool gigs in the UK and Europe - 2012 is looking great so far!

Have you any plans or goals for 2012 musically?

Just to build on the work of 2011, continue to work with the labels we are with at the moment and try to carry on releasing music that people like!

Waifs & Strays will be playing alongside Krankbrothers, No Artificial Colours, Jesse James and more at Connected on 11th February.

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