The original acid house pioneer taking his fashion line on The Underground
Interview by Dan Prince
Dude a massive welcome back to DMCWORLD, where in the world are you today?
Good to be back man and DMC, what’s up. Currently I’m in my studio in Atlanta, Georgia. Just got a break from back to back tours for the past three months, which were incredible.
What is the first piece of music you heard this morning when rolling out of bed?
Someone sent me a video of the early days of Kanye West rapping “Hey Momma” with his mother who was alive then, which I thought was quite touching. This was his pre-God state that he’s unfortunately at now.
One of the many things we love about you dude is you never fail to surprise us! This month sees you teaming up with clothing brand NoWayBack to launch a new line of exclusive DJ Pierre t-shirts. What was the idea and thinking behind this project?
I love ya’ll as well!! Passion is something that never gets old. So when the idea came to roll out affordable Tees…we just did it. No big planning…we just made it happen.
We LOVE your ACID Hot Since 86 shirt, a brilliant design. How hands on are you with the shirts when it comes to the design?
That was 100% me. No Way Back are great and they allow me the freedom to be fully all in. Hot Since 86 is referring to the start of the Acid house era. It’s really 85′ but 86 flowed better. It’s also a cheeky take on Hot Since 82…
What are the future plans for the brand?
Let’s see how the people react to what we have so far and we can go from there. I have ideas and messages I would like to communicate to people who understand my brand and my art. If you know me then you know I try to get across a message of truth and positivity. I’m not perfect but I believe that we all have a purpose and those of us who are in the public eye have a responsibility to deliver a degree of good into this world.
Some DJs love to look good behind the ones and twos, most are happy in a black t shirt and jeans. Who are some of the spinners out there who you think look fly?
I honestly can’t say I recall anyone off hand. I think everyone has their thing. Dimitri from Paris keeps it tight. He rocks a tie always…that’s his thing. Felix Da HouseKat…keeps it fly with the crazy glasses. I think he got that from me though, I had a thing with rocking unique glasses back in the day. Roy Davis Jr…keeps it tight as well. He is doing this retro Run DMC look. I dig it.
What are the big tunes in your box this weekend…
Classics are big time for me again because the people crave it. Take your pick from Adonis, Josh Wink, Fingers Inc., Tyree Cooper, I play them all and Robert Hood’s ‘Never Grow Old’ stays constant.
Where have some of the stand out gigs been for you over the winter months?
I’m blessed to have been a part of some amazing and unique gigs these past few months, with standout parties such as the BLOC Weekender as DJ Pierre and as PHUTURE live. That was bananas. I must also mention the BangFace Festival as PHUTURE with DJ Spanky and Spanky was crazy as well. I played with A Guy Called Gerald and Marshall Jefferson in Manchester. Crazy. No words for that one. I played with Robert Hood in Ireland. He headlined one room and I the other. Crazy. We lit it up. Just last week I was with Francois K at Rex club in Paris, and we did a 4 hour back to back session. Another moment where words cannot describe the energy in the room is last weekend where I played for a great cause in Birmingham for a promotional group called Rave against Racism. We had a great time doing that and getting a message of togetherness out. I’m all about that man. I’m doing a charity event for Tiny Steps in Manchester coming up…I believe May 30th. It’s for a little girl names Connie who is not as healthy as most little girls her age. So this charity helps her and others like her. Look them up. The event is on Facebook.
“I may skip, I may even warp a little…but I will never ever crash. I am your friend for life.” When was the last time you played vinyl in a club?
Yeah…I re-posted that after I saw it somewhere on FB. It’s the truth! Just recently I played a vinyl set at LOVE VINYL record store in London. it was an in store for a gig I did later that night. It was like getting back on bike and riding as though you never stopped. Vinyl is first nature to me. I don’t get the chance to play much but I’m finding myself asking more and more for gigs that are fully set up and promoted for an all vinyl set. So I’m open to them. Bring it.
3 bucket list adventures you wanna do in your lifetime…
1. Start a charity or music school for talented boys and girls who are unable to express their natural God-given gifts because they simply don’t have the resources.
2. Create my own drum machine or instrument. I have crazy ideas
3. Travel the world on my own terms. Not rushing from gig to gig but really enjoying all the beautiful places in this world.
The last time you pressed rewind on a track to listen to it again because it was damned good?
Robert Hood’s “Never Grow Old”
An up and coming producer to watch out for in 2015?
I’m working with some peeps from Atlanta, which is a hotbed for talent…but outlets for talent are few. Ajhenda, Ralph and Louie, DJ Kemit, Kai Alce, all Atlanta based and should be touring worldwide. My homie Kai is doing it big outside of Atlanta but he should be at a bigger stage. He is dope keeping the funky and soulful house scene in the forefront. I’ve been working with Detroit producer Mykel Waters as well and he has a wicked techno/deep house combo. It’s an interesting mix. Keep an eye out for Dysfunktion out of the UK.
What festival has really got you excited later this summer?
Glastonbury. I headlined last year at the Block 9 stage. I’m back this year as DJ Pierre and as PHUTURE live with Spanky so I’m really looking forward to that. There’s also Tomorrowland with Riva Starr which gives me that “new” feeling in my gut like when I just started out. So that’s fresh.
Best ever festival experience?
That’s a tough one…there are so many. In recent years, I would have to say Glastonbury stands out because people just knew their stuff and they were open to where I was going. BLOC was amazing as well.
An album we would be surprised to find in your collection?
‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘West Side Story’ movie soundtracks.
What was the last GREAT studio toy you bought yourself?
I just completed my studio outside my home, so I had to outfit it. Roland helped a lot because they donated the AIRA gear. I’ve been enjoying those. The TB-3, TR-8, VT-3 and their new mixer the MX-1.
And finally, what is coming out next from you studio wise?
Lots of heat! Stay tuned the next few months and check out Afro Acid Traxx…