RS: Let's talk about some of your recent remixes. How did you
get involved with the Shiny Toy Guns project?
Chris Fortier:: I've known Jeremy Dawson for twelve years, well before he probably had the idea to start the band as he was a raver kid from Oklahoma City. He was a musician, had these ideas, moved out to LA and two years later he's got this band that he started. We had always been in contact over the years and when he started the band he sent me the first demos of the album, and that was probably like three years go. I really thought it was really good and ahead of its time so we just stayed in touch. When he finally got the album officially released and his label was getting really behind it and they were doing mixes, it was just natural for me to say, let's do something. It was one of the songs that I really liked on the album all along, so it was good for me.
RS: Let's go a little old school. I am from Orlando and if I
remember correctly back in the day, weren't you involved with Kimball
Collins, Remark, Robbie Clark, and the whole Underground Record
Chris Fortier:: Robbie Clark owned the store and I started working there in 1990.Kimball never worked there but he always shopped there.
RS: Orlando was really known as one of the preeminent scenes of
the after hours and progressive dance music culture and you had a big
effect on that. Why do you think Orlando developed that amazing
Chris Fortier:: It's hard to really say it's one thing or another. At the very forefront, there was a handful of forward-thinking guys who were into music and followed the music. When you look back at influential or legendary scenes, there were a lot of other magical ingredients that sort of just happened to be there and work. A lot of people used to say that Orlando was a service industry city and all the service people had to work all day and so they would party all night. Then there were all the tourists coming from all around the world so we had a world thing but I don't remember loads of tourists being at Aahz. It really comes down to that era, that time in history and having some guys in the late 80s who really were into music and kind of followed what was happening and were good at presenting something fresh. We had a couple of clubs with owners who were very patient to let things develop and that is very rare. A couple of those good ingredients mixed in with maybe other things and led to something special and I think that's really it. There were other things, maybe the environment led to people being open-minded with the music. The crowd at Aahz trusted the DJs and were dancing to new music every weekend. The DJs had a strong passion for pushing music every week and that really was engrained in the crowd. They didn't need to hear the same music two weeks in a row and you could play completely different music from week-in and week-out and they were always with you all the way. That's incredibly rare now as people want to hear their songs they know and I just think that was a special thing. There was just a complete trust of DJs and smart DJs as well that really hunted music and were really into it and it was still a pretty innocent time as well. We didn't really have rules to follow, we were making it up as we went along, and I guess we just got lucky. I remember when Rolling Stone came and did an article about how Orlando was to electronic music what Seattle was to grunge. That might not necessarily be true but it was pretty close because we had so much stuff happening there and it was just sort of a little, tiny place – it wasn't New York or LA.
RS: That was a magical time and I am so happy to be one of
people who dance to your music for those years. There is one record
that I still play which always brings me back – A;; Boxed In "These
Things Happen." So what would you like to say to all your fans out
Chris Fortier:: Thank you. I appreciate everybody that's taken the time to follow what I've been doing and the music that I've been making and playing. I just hope to keep getting better and improving every step of the way. Thanks for listening really and keep the faith in the music, that's the most important part.