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Steve Lawler Interview

(courtesy of Metro Mix Radio)


Metro Mix Radio

Metro Mix


Gregory T. Angelo: Ladies and gentlemen, this is Gregory T. Angelo, thanking you once again for logging on, tuning in, and listening up for this latest edition of “The Revolution” on Metro Mix Radio. Tonight, we are pleased to welcome none other than “The King of Space.” A lauded DJ with coveted residencies spanning the globe, he has branded his name into the consciousness of the worldwide underground community thanks to highly regarded residencies at club Space in Ibiza and Harlem Nights in London, in addition to his international guest spots throughout the world. Also an accomplished producer, he has become notorious for his innovation and knack for editing existing tracks to fall in line with his own deliciously twisted spin style. His latest CD, a companion to his Global Underground Lights Out compilation of last year, just hit stores. Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, Steve Lawler joins “The Revolution.” Hey Steve, thank you for being here tonight.
Steve Lawler: How are you?

GTA: I’m doing alright. We’re catching up with you in the midst of a U.S. tour in support of your new album. Is the Steve Lawler that clubgoers in the United States hear different from the Steve Lawler people hear overseas?
SL: No, not really. It’s all—I travel with two bags of records, and whether I’m playing two hours or 10 hours, I’m diving into those bags which I travel the world with. It changes, of course, when I get new tracks, but they’re pretty much getting my sound, what I’m doing, wherever it is.

GTA: Would you be more specific as to what your style is?
SL: Yeah I mean, you know—I don’t really have a style, I don’t actually tend to pander to a certain style, I kind of—it’s a very difficult thing to explain. I just play records that I like, and in that there’s a certain sound that I enjoy and a sound that I look for in a record, when I buy a record or when I get one through he post, and that defines my sound as a DJ. I mean, I can’t—somebody else could probably tell you what my sound is more than me. I just play records that I like and there’s a certain similarity in the stuff that I play. However, you know, you asked the question, “Does it change in the U.S. as it does it around the world?” That doesn’t, but what does change, if I’m in a certain territory—for instance, Australia—where I know, you know, the music, they like their music harder—then I would tend to, if I played a four hour set, the majority of that four hour set would be the harder style, the harder sort of sound that I go into; I play that for longer. In Italy, I play my sort of deeper end—my deeper sound for longer, because they enjoy that more. So I adapt that way. But it’s all the same, it’s all the music that I play.

GTA: One thing that I find is interesting, though, is so many DJ’s today are into playing hard beats—maybe to prove that they’re tough—but you’re renowned for spinning records that fall into that genre as well, of course. But what’s interesting is that I think you do it without letting the energy level of your dance floor drop. And you also manage to play those kinds of records without the evening getting to depressing, which is a danger that many DJs can fall into. It just becomes dark, heavy music after so many hours. What’s your secret to keeping the energy high while keeping the beats dark and hard?
SL: Well, the secret to playing it dark but not depressing is very simple: It’s keeping the groove there, keeping it funky; making sure that there is always, always a funk to the music, always a groove. That’s really important for me. My roots of house music come from U.S. garage, proper funky, soulful house music, and I kind of keep that root solidly, no matter what sort of sound I tend to, you know, veer towards. It’s always funky and got a groove. And for the energy side of things, I believe it’s the rhythm and the way that you play a record and what you play it next to. The programming of a set is the most—the single most important part about being a DJ. You can make a particular record sound better than it usually does by playing it on its own if you play it next to a certain record, you know? It’s difficult to explain, but if you play a certain track on its own at home on the stereo, it sounds great. But that same record you could play next to a mixture of records within a set and it would come alive, it would sound better. That’s how I keep the energy there, form the programming.

GTA: Talking a little bit more about your programing, through: When you go in to play a huge venue, or even a smaller venue, or a mid-sized venue, do you go in with a list of records that you know you’re going to play?
SL: Never.

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