Here I Am!
Hey big byrd, I managed to get my hands on an interview with Digweed by one of our local TXTA boys :wink:
Quote:Originally posted by Slow Motion
THE DIGWEED INTERVIEW BY MACY MCBETH
"Hi, I'm John."
His kind face bares no annoyance whatsoever that the club manager doesn't realize who he is, as we are briefly interrogated for invading the manager's office to conduct this interview. Thankfully, my earlier shot of Patron, coupled with John's genuinely jovial and hospitable nature, eases my nerves so I can get past the fact that I'm about to interview one of electronic music's most infamous legends.
An internationally respected spiritual guru.
The manager leaves us. The door opens, and we are hit with the echoes of hundreds of people and the sounds of Lance Cashion on the decks, opening up the night for one Mr. John Digweed.
We were followed. Just before this, we stepped into the club, and literally, there was a conga line of people who had "spotted" Digweed and were trailing us. When I looked back to see this, I was in shock. This was the first time I'd experienced any sort of fan mania. These adults looked more like kids, wearing Laffy-Taffy grins and euphorically dopey looks in their eyes. They didn't care where we went. They were thrilled to follow.
I guess I finally realized my namesake, smack at the head of a parade.
Lance Cashion, my mentor, has described John Digweed as his mentor. The first time I saw John play was at Hyperia in Houston in 2000. And then I saw him play in Austin with Delta Heavy. I had glow sticks at those shows.
It seems kind of funny now.
John is hysterically funny. Indeed-i-o, he made me laugh my bollocks off. I'm snarfing now, just listening to us erupt into chuckles every few minutes on the interview tape. See if you can spot John's subtle one-liners and acerbic responses. Think dry British humor á la Snatch or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
John doesn't suffer fools. Nor would he make them feel foolish.
He's Digweed. He not only lives up to, but far exceeds, the coolness of his name. If he were from Texas, I might call him "dude" but that inclination would be superseded by the desire to call him "Sensei."
Over the course of your career, how have audiences changed in the way that they appreciate and experience the music?
I've been coming to America for over 16 years now, which is quite a long time when you look at it like that. It's gone from the whole Twilo generation Twilo, which is probably ten years ago when I started out, until 2001 and building up that whole fan base, and the history, I suppose, of that club. It became such a legendary club that people traveled from all over America and all over the world just to go to it, to have that kind of experience with the sound and the fact that it went on until whenever. It was a one-of-a-kind club. That's actually part of why my DJ career took off in the United States. It allowed me to be able to play all across America. Maybe people didn't know who I was, but they knew about Twilo, and maybe they couldn't go to New York. So when I came to wherever, they would come to hear me play, because they'd heard so much about this club in New York. Especially when I go and play in Tallahassee, Florida, which I was going to in 1993 or '94, there'll be 10 or 20 percent of the people there who were there 12 years ago, and the fresh faces as well. So I think with the audiences in America, although you do get a new wave of people coming through that weren't old enough to hear you the first time you were coming over, you've still got a lot of the old faces, which is nice.
Do you remember the people?
Over the years of coming to certain places, you recognize certain people who come up to get acquainted. I've seen some faces tonight that I saw at the Delta Heavy show, and maybe some people that were at the Hyperia show in Houston as well. It's nice that people like what you do, and they support you when you do come into town.
The scene in the U.K. and Europe is more prominent than it is here in the States.
Well, yes and no. I think everyone thinks the grass is greener on the other side, but the American scene is very strong. It may be one of those things where it might be a bit patchy, but everywhere is a bit patchy. There are always going to be nights when the DJ comes to the club, and it's not packed. But that happens all over the world. It's actually not reflective of the scene, but of the circumstances or the DJ. Maybe the DJ hadn't built up enough of a reputation that he can fill a club on his own. Or maybe it's after a big holiday weekend, or it's after something. I've been a club promoter since I started. That's how I got my first gigs. You can always make an excuse as to why it isn't busy, but I think generally now, when nights don't go well, there is a reason behind it. It's not because the scene isn't doing well. People will always come out for a good show. People will always go and see someone they like.
However, for example, you played in Brighton with Fatboy Slim for 250,000 people. That never happens in the U.S.
That was four years ago. It wasn't supposed to happen there either. It was only supposed to be 50,000, and they got caught with their trousers down. The fact that another 200,000 people showed up was just a one-off. No one knew what to do. It was the first really hot day of the year. People had been gaming for it. It was the start of summer, and it just exploded. The fact that you can have a quarter of a million people show up at a party - and it's 11 o'clock, and everyone's well-behaved - says something about the scene.
Who, of your contemporaries, do you get amped up to see play?
It's really hard for me, because when you're a DJ at my level, you're working most weekends of the year. Outside of that, when you do have a weekend off, it's nice to spend it at home. You do need to recharge the batteries. I suppose the biggest release for me would be the Winter Music Conference, because I have all of my DJ contemporaries there. It is a challenge to go to all those types of shows. I will go see Josh Wink. I will go see Carl Cox. I will try and check out the German guys, M.A.N.D.Y. and all those. It is a lot easier than where I live in England, because I don't live in Central London. To have a night off, I kind of retreat a little bit and just twitch off. If you go out and you're working, you'll take any opportunity to recharge the batteries.
What was the best year of your life musically?
I think every year has good days. I don't think one year has stood out as being the most important year musically, because I think if you say "that was the best year," then what are you saying about the other years? I think every year has its peaks. Some are higher than others. About 18 months ago, there was kind of a special wave. I'm not quite sure where it was going, but I think in the last few years, you've seen a lot of influence from the German producers that are really kind of showing the way slowing it down, making really cool house music, and putting a lot of great, interesting sounds in the mix. From that point of view, it's not about energy or speed, it's about quality of music, and that's really healthy.
What piece of equipment or software should every DJ have right now?
That's a really hard one, because I think if you would have said five years ago, you've got a level playing field. You'd have turntables and a mixer. Now you've got CDJs, you've got turntables, you've got Ableton, you've got Serrato, you've got Final Scratch Live. For me, I think you've just got to go out there and play what you feel comfortable with. You shouldn't follow a fashion or a trend. You should do what you think expresses you best as a DJ.
Throughout your career, you've gotten a lot of accolades. In 2001, you were ranked as the number one DJ in the world by DJ Magazine, and you are consistently ranked as one of the top ten DJs in the world on numerous charts. With all of these awards and titles, what is the most important thing to you?
The most important thing is that, week in and week out, people come and see you. DJing is not a race - you're not trying to come in first, you're trying to be consistent. When it comes down to my consistency, I think people, over the last ten years, realize that I am a perfectionist. For each aspect of my career - whether it be the radio station, or the re-mixing, or the production or the DJing - I do it with passion. I'm not just traveling around, DJing by numbers. I actually care about what I do. I think you can have all the accolades in the world, but if you're playing in front of 20 people, it's not really making any sense. So I think it's really important that you do play well, 100% every gig, so people come back and see you. That's the most important thing. The people on the dance floor are more important than any award.
Have you accomplished all of your goals?
Well, I haven't tag-teamed with Paris Hilton yet. I'm not sure if she's on turntables or CDs.
She could be on the mic, and you could be on the tables.
It would be a packed club.
What was it like being on tour with David Bowie?
It was Moby and Bowie, so it was quite an experience being in the back room. You've got David Bowie walking around, and you've got Moby walking around. It's nice. The best people are normal. You know, you hang out and you talk to them. They're really cool. I think you'll find a lot of people in the scene are like that.
What do you love?
I love sharing my music. I'm very fortunate that I can travel around the world and play the music that I love. When I started up, I had to play the music that maybe I didn't like as much, but it was an opportunity to be in a club, DJing. My heart goes out to DJs that are frustrated being in positions where they're at a club and they want to play the music that they want to play, but the club owner's going "play things like this" or "play things like that." So, I'm very fortunate that I can go out every weekend and play what I want, exactly how I want it, and the people respond in a way that I would hope they would respond. It's one of those things where I worked very hard to get to the position I'm in, and also because I think I've stuck to my guns, and I didn't sell out and play really commercial or "play this" or "play that." I've always stuck to playing good quality music. People know that when they come to hear me play, they're going to hear that. That way, you can play the music you want. There might be people who say "Oh, he's not playing hits." They're at the wrong club. If you know what I play, then you know that I'm not going to play big crowd-pleasing anthems.
What do you hate?
I don't really hate anything, because I know there's enough negativity in this world as it is. You only have to turn on the news, and it's so depressing. So I think it's better to focus on the things you like.
What music were you listening to right before this?
Well, on the plane, I was playing some really kind of weird cracker jazz. I hate jazz, so that answers the last question. No, no - I don't really hate jazz, I just hate it on a trip.
You don't leave home without
My front door keys.
Every night before bed, you
Try and go to sleep.
Close your eyes. What do you see?
Nothing. I've got my eyes closed.
Can you describe yourself in a color?
I like Silver. That's mainly why I chose it, and I think silver is kind of quite shiny and clear to see. It's not very bright. I like to think that people see me that they take me for what I am. I'm not trying to be over the top, like a really bright color.
Why do you think you're here on this earth?
Because of my parents. Because they made me one night. I was a mistake.
What have you learned?
What have I learned? Don't drink before interviews.
If you could go to the afterlife and have dinner with Robert Moog, what would you say?
Pass the salt.
There you go:)
shZ - Minimal Tech Session v2.3
Style: Minimal, Techno, Tech House, Progressive House
Download link: Minimal Tech Sessions v2.3
shZ - Minimal Tech Session v1.3 / The Journey to Here
Style: Minimal, Techno, Tech House, Breaks / Progressive House, Minimal Tech House
Download link: Minimal Tech Sessions v1.3 / The Journey to Here
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Style: Trance, Progressive Trance/House, Breaks / Psy Trance, Goa Trance, Trance
Download link: Lucid Perceptions (A New Beggining) / Psy Eclipse