Leatherhead Interview: DJing For A Global Audience
How to achieve global domination with banging dance music, epileptic drumming and hardcore ski wear
By Mi2N [01-16-2010]
Professional party-starters Leatherhead on how to achieve global domination with banging dance music, epileptic drumming and hardcore ski wear. Push past the inflatable palm trees and make your way to the dance floor...
AJ: Why are you called Leatherhead?
LH: We're from Leatherhead, our studios in Leatherhead, thought it was an amazing name for a place.
AJ: What are the most used/abused tracks in your set playlist?
LH: "Want 2 Need 2" by Switch, most played, and "Swahili Song" by Baldo Marshall always go in the set.
AJ: Where do you see your future - playing international gigs as a live act or remixing/producing work for other artists?
LH: Both. We"re already getting together our live show (Leatherhead live), I'm a drummer (Dom), I'm a guitarist (Tom), that's how we met, playing in a band, and we are completely up for working with other artists, not just dance acts.
AJ: You and Fatboy Slim live at NYE in Stockholm. Was that one of your best "We've made it" moments?
LH: Playing with Fatboy Slim over the last few months has been an amazing opportunity, but we don't really feel we've made it yet. There's a lot to do still. We probably will only feel we've made it when we are the headline act at that kind of gig, otherwise you can feel you're playing someone else's party. That's why we like running our own.
AJ: How did the two of you meet? What brought you together?
LH: Well as said we played in a rock band when we were 16, we went to a dance festival and saw Carl Cox DJing and we looked at each other and said we should be doing that. Tom was actually already a DJ, I would mess around with drum programming (Dom) and it seemed a good fit. Plus our musical tendencies moved from Rock to Dance music. It all just came together.
AJ: Which do you prefer the intimate gigs or the bigger sized gigs at Matter?
LH: Depends on the crowd or venue, Soco Social gig at Rockness this year wasn't huge but was a wicked atmosphere, but then big arenas have a different kind of rush. No matter how big the crowd or space or system we always have fun playing our tunes. When the crowd really loves it, it just makes it even better.
AJ: You played Glasto and Snowbombing (loved the Igloo Rave!) last year - what were your stand out moments from the festivals you played? What do you consider your homecoming gigs?
LH: Well our parties at Area in Vauxhall have been great fun, filled with all our friends and other DJs we share ideas and music with like Kry Wolf, Loose Cannons, 10 Rapid, etc. That has felt like home but we are looking to mix it up a bit this year with about 6 themed Fiasco Parties all over the place.
We also really feel at home in Scotland at places like Vault in Aviemore, Snafu in Aberdeen etc, small intimate venues where the hardcore Scottish ravers come to see the Head.
AJ: What do you have lined up next after the release of Salt City? Is 2010 going to be about finding a crossover track?
LH: We have a bunch of remixes we're doing for some cool acts like Kissy Sell Out. We're not really looking for a cross over act. Just writing tracks towards our album, tracks that we would want to listen to and play. We're kind of still discovering our album sound. It's about glitchy sounds, cool samples, drums and beats. Pretty simple.
AJ: What mainstream acts would you like to work with in the future?
LH: Deadmau5 is obviously incredible and we love his energy, tunes, branding and everything. Maybe Roots Manuva, Mike Skinner, Damon Albarn, def up for seeing what we could achieve, Leftfield (bit quirky). Always up for collaborations, our musical tastes are pretty varied so up for all sorts. Maybe Soul Wax?
AJ: What do you think of "celebrity DJs" - naming no names - who turn up at clubs with an iPod set list and no mixing skills? What's the worst example you have seen of a "fake" DJ?
LH: Well for us the tunes, the mix and the enthusiasm is really important. It's rare to get that with this kind of DJ. We mix live on CDs but to be honest if the music is great, hopefully with some new tracks for our ears, and the mix is slick it kind of doesn't matter about the technology. Showmanship is really important too. There are some bad DJs, celebrity or otherwise.
AJ: Do you see yourself as much more than a straightforward live act - e.g. that you host your events too?
LH: Our DJing is our bread and butter, the label is a way of putting out product in our own way and our nights are just fun. We have great plans for releasing stuff for some really talented DJs in the next few months and love being in control of how it all happens. So Leatherhead is our DJ name, Fiasco is our lifestyle, and to be honest it is all a real fiasco...
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