RS: Should we expect you to come over for some DJ dates any time soon?
Alex: Absolutely, we're putting that together right now, and I've been given the medical all clear to sort of go back out on the road and get busy again. I did do a select number of shows towards the end of last year, but this year I favored completing the album. With working out and the special diet, I was given the final go-ahead. I'm really feeling fit and looking forward to cracking back. And hey, if you're going to crack back, why not crack back in the States?
RS: For your new projects is there a US label lined up to distribute your music over here?
Alex: No, so far we don't actually have a deal for anything else in the States but we were hoping to do a deal. I was absolutely delighted in New York particularly to see a lot of our import singles. I was shocked to see this because I didn't think that any stores were carrying singles anymore in the States. They've imported fairly large quantities of CD singles and 12" vinyl which I found very refreshing.
RS: Yes, us DJs need to buy your music somewhere.
Alex: Yes, right. I went down to that record store in New York, Satellite, as well. Are you based in New York?
RS: I'm based out in Nashville, Tennessee, the country music capital.
Alex: Who's that country singer, the guys that's done a hundred and one albums?
RS: Johnny Cash? Hank Williams? Willie Nelson?.
Alex: That's him, Willie Nelson. I very nearly cut a track with him. He asked me to do a remix of one of his tracks called Shut Up And Kiss Me, which I think was the title track from his last album. We'd kind of worked out a chord structure pattern that would have fit around the vocals. I know it sounds really strange but we were going to do this trance mix but in the end we never got around to doing it. It just goes to show how the boundaries of music are crisscrossing and maybe we'll work with another country artist in the future, who knows.
RS: Speaking of crossing boundaries, how important, as a DJ, do you think production is in the market right now?
Alex: Essential, absolutely essential. The days of being a DJ and helped up by a friend or just being a circuit DJ are over. If you're not producing material, I think it's very difficult to be a serious artist. I think that a DJ in the states who is producing music that doesn't necessarily have to be selling in vast quantities but has to be a good critical acclaim to stay booked. It is more important for the people coming to the shows to associate you with a major situation. For example, Paul Van Dyk did the Motorola TV commercial and I don't know what that record achieved outside of that commercial, but the commercial was tremendously successful.
RS: The commercial achieved wide visibility for him.
Alex: Exactly. Then when the kids in middle America go to the shows and they see Paul Van Dyk, it's like hey, this is the guy from the Motorola advert. So I think association for a production of music is absolutely essential, and it's bringing to the touring circuit in the States exactly what the rock and roll bands were doing before. The kids can hear this music, maybe not over the radio but they see it on stage. I think that those people that are poised with the right material can be extremely successful.
RS: Very cool. Is there anything else you'd like to say to the people out there who'll be reading this?
Alex: Just that if you're an American, hopefully I'll see you very shortly. I'm hoping tp have and extensive tour through the summer and the fall period, and really get back out and see everybody again. It's a fantastic country and I can't wait to get back. I had a lot of well-wishing eMail from the States as well and I'd certainly like to thank everybody who came back and sent their best wishes. I received over six thousand eMails from the states which was very touching and its such an inspirational place when it comes to fighting back. I'm ninety-nine and a half percent back, I've got a big lump in my spine and I can't bend in every direction but hey, I'm ninety-nine percent back and I'm walking around, and I just want to say thanks really to everybody who sent kind gestures by email, and I'll be back soon.
Alex: Back from a break. I guess that's a bad joke yet it's a fitting end. <laughing >
Special thanks to Lainie Copicotto of Aurelia Entertainment for arranging this interview.