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INTERVIEW: John Digweed at Electric Zoo

INTERVIEW: John Digweed at Electric Zoo

Listen to John Digweed on iHeartRadio

John Digweed is an absolute legend in dance music. No stranger to extended sets that can last sometimes 10 blissful hours, he truly is a man of his craft, and he really loves what he does. Having played some of the most famous clubs in the world, he's brought his sound, and his vibe, to all corners of the earth. And with 15 years of his label Bedrock under his belt, he just keeps getting better and better.

[Listen to Transitions with John Digweed every Thursday night at midnight (ET) on Evolution]

We got to hang out with John at Electric Zoo in New York City. He talked to us about his residency in Ibiza, how he makes it all the way through those long extended sets, his upcoming collaboration album Versus with Nick Muir, and more. Check it out:

What do you like about DJing in America?

I'm lucky that I've been coming here for over twenty years. So, I've kinda' seen the kind of curve, grow and grow, and grow,  and the culture grow, and the sort of fan base grow. And the music changed, but the kids [are] going with the different styles and everything else. It's been very exciting to see it, you know, from a first-hand experience. I've been lucky enough to play in some of the best clubs in the world that have been in America. So, yeah, I've been coming here, as I said, regularly for many years, and I've always been welcomed amazingly, so I keep coming back!

How did your residency in Ibiza go this summer?

Yeah, I've got residency there, [at] Pacha. It's the first time that I've done a residency and I've been really enjoying it. It was good. I mean, each week's has gotten better, and better, and better. Everyone's really happy there. So, hopefully next year will be more of the same.

Tell us about your new collaboration album with Nick Muir, Versus

Well, what what happened is, Nick and myself have been working together since day one. We were kinda like, "Well, we've got this track. Do you wanna have a play around with it?" And I played around with it. I was gonna do like a remix EP and then we'd add some more tracks that we've worked on, send them out to other artists and they just kinda seemed to grow and grow. And it was like, "Maybe we should make this into an album?" And the album came together. And I'm always one for, like, thinking "Well, if you're gonna put an actual, physical product out there, you know, a lotta people, if they're not DJs, they don't just wanna hear 11 tracks by themselves. I thought, well, I'll mix one album together. I have one un-mixed. And then Nick and myself also worked on another CD. I've done a down-tempo, electronica, the more kind of after-party. Chilled out vibes. We wanted to make a good package but also kinda make quite a good statement.  So, I'm really happy with people like Carlo Lio, Christian Smith & Wehbba, the Second-Hand Satellites, Guy J, Marco Bailey, Pig & Dan, you know.

How did you guys decide who you wanted to include on the collaborations?

I mean I've got great, great relationships with all the artists. [I've] been sort of working with them through gigs or through the record label for many years. So, you know, it's when you have that kind of relationship when you ring someone up and say "Hello, I've got this idea. Are you interested in taking part in it?" Everyone was like, "Yeah. No problem. Just send something over." It's taking a bit of time, but we weren't in any rush. It's not like "Oh, we've gotta get this out, this date." Everyone's always asked "Are you gonna do an artist album?" It's something that we've never really kinda contemplated. And then when this came about, it's still not really not an artist album, but it is. But it's kind of a bit more of a mixed bag. And I'd rather do something like that. So, yeah I think that the end result speaks for itself and Nick and myself have been busy on another project as well. So, there's something that's gonna follow this in about six month's time as well. 

*John & Nick's collab with Psycatron "Awakenings":

What do you like about working with Nick?

I mean Nick's, you know, he's a fantastic musician. He loves the music. He'll be on the dance floor 'til the last record. He's a die-hard. He also loves what he does, but also loves the scene, loves being a part of it. Also, we've got a great friendship, which is the most important thing. When you spend a lot of time with someone, you gotta get on with them. And we have that relationship where we've got mutual understanding, and everything just works well. So, it's really good.

Are you excited about Bedrock's 15th anniversary party coming up?

Yeah. I mean, I try not to put dates on things really, because it's like, "Have we been doing it this long?!" But  they just seem to get better and better. We've got some people on there this time that we haven't had before. We have Julian Jeweil from France, Gary Beck, Japanese Popstars are playing. We try in each party, try to mix it up with new acts. and everything. I get to play, like, 7 hours in the main room.

It's an interesting event where we've got such a great fan base and it's supported us from day one. I think it's nice to give the loyal fans what they want, but also new people, the fresh DJs and everything else as well. I think we always get the balance about right.

You are no stranger to those long sets. How do you stay focused for so long, or what keeps you going through the whole set? What happens when you have to go to the bathroom?!

You put on a slightly longer record! No, I mean, to be honest, if you enjoy something, you wanna play longer.  There's so much good music out there. I could never understand these DJs, like, "I'm only playing 90 minutes and that's it. I don't play any longer." It's like do you not enjoy what you do? What are you gonna do? Go and sit in the hotel room? You know? It's like, if you're out there, people wanna hear you play, and I want to keep playing.

Are you going on tour at all, or with Nick? 

Not on tour with Nick. I mean, Nick does the occasional bit of DJing, but I'm off to South America in a couple of weeks: Argentina, and Chile, and Columbia. But it's back for the closing parties [Ibiza]. And then I'm gonna be back in America in October, November, playing for a 3-week tour. So there's gonna be a lot of dates there.

Well, since we're at Electric Zoo, if you were an animal, what animal would you be?

I'd like to be a jaguar. I only come out at night and that's a bit like me really. 

Photo Credit Rachel Kaplan for iHeartRadio

 

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