A Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you all. After a little break from writing last week, I am checking in with you this morning from Texas. I spent my Thanksgiving this year again in Denver, where I played at the Trancegiving event at The Church nightclub on Wednesday night. This was the second year in a row that I played this event and I have really enjoyed both times. I think we are going to have to make this an annual event.
The flight to and from Denver were on Frontier airlines, which comes with the added bonus of live satellite TV. Pretty cool to be able to watch a football game while flying! However, I turned my attention to CNN and was focused on the events that were unfolding in Mumbai, India. I was scheduled to play there in a few weeks (Dec 17 and 18), but we are now working on an alternate date.
It is just terrible to see things like this happen. My heart and prayers go out to all the people of Mumbai and India. I know they must feel devastated and vulnerable that this could happen. I do not want to cancel my appearance in Mumbai because I think the fans there just want to live normal and happy lives, just like the rest of the world. I do look forward to playing there as soon as the situation is sorted out. Please keep all of them in your thoughts.
Last weekend I devoted my time entirely to working on my upcoming Essential Mix for Radio 1. I am ready to apply the finishing touches and then it will be complete. Once that is done, will be time to send it off to the BBC and wait for the broadcast next Friday night / Saturday morning. There were many hours of preparation and late nights in the studio, but I think I will be happy with the end product.
I had mentioned to you all previously that I had been working on a remix of a track signed to Coldharbour. That is now finished and I am looking forward to playing it out in the clubs over the next couple of weeks, and of course, you’ll hear it first on the EM. There are a few more surprises in there, including some new productions from yours truly, but you’ll have to wait until next week and find out what they are.
As promised, I spent some time during the week answering your questions. They were all fascinating – a lot of which I have never been asked in interviews before, so thank you for your efforts and I hope to see more of you posting your questions over at the forum.
Here are this month’s batch:
Have you ever considered making some of your gigs special “Classics Showcase” parties?
Someday that sounds like it would be fun, but I think that this is still a few years away as we continue to grow.
Any special meaning behind the Progression album cover and the choise of the backdrop?
The Progression album cover was taken at the Fort Lauderdale airport. We went there in the middle of the night and did the photoshoot. We chose an airport as a backdrop because of the amount of time I spend in airports travelling to and from gigs, and the fact that so many of the tracks on the album originated as simple ideas on my travels.
When you are working with a singer on a new production, typically how much influence do you have on the wording of the lyrics? Do the lyrics usually have hidden meaning to yourself, the singer or both? Which production of yours contains lyrics that mean the most to you and really hit home?
I work very closely with all the singers that I choose. The lyrics are usually all about things that I have gone through personally or feel personally. I have done a few tracks where the meanings are more personal to the writer. For example, Travelling Light, which I did with Anita Kelsey, was a song written for her sister. When I heard the lyrics, I was able to relate to them, but I thought it was best to leave the lyrics completly intact as she had meant them, because it was a special meaning for her.
A lot of DJs are so immersed in dance music that it is all they’ll listen to – do you like any other genres of music?
I listen to a lot of classic rock. My iPod is loaded with tunes I collect that you would be surprised about. I just think that classic rock is a nice change of pace for me and brings a lot of childhood memories back.
Are there any countries in the world you would most like to visit that you have never played before?
I have played in so many countries, but to be honest I dont get to spend much time visiting and seeing some of these wonderful places. So for me there are more places that I have played that I want to visit on a personal trip. Cities like Kiev, Helsinki, Zurich, Buenos Aires and Melbourne I have circled as places I want to visit and spend some time in.
Who do you think also heavily influenced the trance scene?
I think bands like U2 heavily influence the trance scene. I don’t mean musically, but on the business side. They really have laid the blueprint as to how to spread the music and the message to the entire globe. The way they put together their tours and their marketing is very clever; and I know that Paul Oakenfold also is heavily influenced by them.
If there is one track you wish you had produced, what would it be?
Without a doubt, it has to be “Cass & Slide – Perception”. One of my all time fav tracks, from the golden era of progressive trance.
If you were not a DJ, what would be your dream job?
I could not think of life without being a DJ. I have been doing this since I was 15. I have given my life to music. Although I must say that maybe driving a truck across the country could be fun.
Tonight I am playing at Planeta Bar Rio in Houston. The gig was originally scheduled for September, but it had to be postponed due to Hurricane Gustav. So I am really looking forward to getting back there and playing again. After that, I will return home to Miami for a few days before taking a long trip across the Atlantic for gigs next week in Lebanon and The Netherlands.
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with family and / or friends and ate plenty! Until next week, take care and enjoy your weekend!