The most exciting new producer on the planet
Hi Rich, welcome to DMCWORLD, I've been leafing through some of your past interviews and one question I am definitely not going to ask you is how you got your name! Well, what a twelve months you've had - can you really believe how well things are going?
"Hah, no, it’s really starting to get pretty ridiculous. I’m not gonna deny I’ve had some pretty good luck ever since Miami last year when I ran into Chris Lake - that really got the ball rolling and it seems that each big opportunity just leads to even bigger ones."
I don't think I have ever interviewed somebody who happily admits that his first memory of music was dancing around his living room to 'Everything Starts With An E' aged 4 with your sister! You caught the acid house bug early then?
"I’m not sure if my parents were particularly hip or anything, but I think they just used to leave the radio on and so we got to listen to lots of dance music – I think especially when you are young the repetitive and catchy lyrics will be something you remember, and obviously we had no idea what that song was really about. I did really get into dance music at an early age though, I used to come home from school and stick the radio on while I played with my lego..."
I know you of course from your Deepgroove days down at Level in Bristol, there were some great DJs playing the Play night - Bristol is one funny city to crack isn't it?
"And there I was thinking my past was safe! Well, I never had much success there I’ll admit, but I did love playing at Level, back in those days my night was a total success if I had a couple of people dancing up in room 2. But it was always a fun night and I really appreciated Grayson and Lee giving me the opportunity to play there as I was only learning."
A massive remix of Porter Robinson's 'Vandalism' out on Skrillex's label under your belt, how did this rework happen, talk us through the mix…on February 2nd you stated on Facebook "I am starting potentially the most important remix of my career…" - we take it you were talking about this little gem?
"I wasn’t actually! That is something else that I’ve got up my sleeve! Porter and I have been close since we did that collab together, and Vandalism was my favourite track off the Spitfire EP of his (I’m a sucker for female vocals). I knew I would be able to do something good with it so pleaded with him to let me do a remix, and within an hour of starting it I knew I had something pretty special. Porter actually thinks it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, and while from a songwriting point of view I disagree with him there is no doubting it destroys the dance floor."
A very large Miami looming, looking forward to spinning your new track with Chris Lake out there? It's huge, tell us about the tune...
"That was an original I started about a year ago actually, I sent it to Chris after I’d remixed Sundown and he was really keen on it and suggested we collab – I was pretty surprised actually as it’s quite a dark evil electro track and I always have a go at Chris for making stuff that is too ‘happy’. But he pulled through and got an amazing vocal for it and I’m pleased to say it’s coming out on Ultra Records sometime soon!"
Where can we find you spinning out in WMC week…
"I will be playing Morgan Page’s party at Mokai on Friday, Dim Mak’s party at Dream Hotel on Saturday and a tiny little get together called ‘Ultra’ on Sunday."
You have remixed for the likes of Lady Gaga, Fatboy Slim and Deadmau5 amongst others, what mix did you have the most fun working on?
"My favourite remix to do was actually ‘My Love is Free’ by Gary Caos – as your subsequent questions will show I’ve always been a fan of funky house and it seemed the perfect style for this track – I play it almost every set as my encore."
You started out spinning the big room Defected tunes, then slipped into Electro as it exploded - how would you describe your style today?
"Right now, hmmmm, I guess it’s Big Room Electro – the electro scene is in a bit of a funny stage right now, complextro is getting very old yet at the same time I try to stay away from anything too proggy – I guess my style is epic, a little bit evil, but still accessible."
You went to visit friends in Canada and ended up moving there. It's a country on the up dance music wise, where is rocking club wise at the moment there?
"I love playing in Vancouver actually, I have a lot of support out here and love the opportunity to play in my home town (especially because when I was starting out I played a few gigs here where literally NOBODY showed up). Calgary and Edmonton are pretty big for me too, I’m playing both those places pretty soon and they always rock."
What do you love and hate about living there?
"I’m not sure I especially love or hate anything really – the last couple of years I’ve been travelling every weekend so haven’t had that much free time to enjoy it to be honest. To give you a standard corny answer, I would say I love the people here, even though I don’t see my friends as often as I should, and I hate having to tip so much as I’m a tight git."
An interesting thing you said a while back when talking about the new boom in American EDM. You said that you find a lot of US crowds difficult to work, is that still the case, why do you think that was?
"It really varies – I’ve had some incredible gigs in the States, some of the crowds recently have been amazing and it’s great to see an increase in the number of people that are really knowledgeable about the scene. I have had some gigs though where it’s been mainly kids and they have been so high that they are like a crowd of animals and don’t react to the music at all."
What is the big 10 you are spinning right now?
Nicky Romero – Toulouse obviously, Lucky Date – I Want You, and Six 16 too, Zedd’s recent stuff has been spot on, Nom De Strip’s remix of Monkey See Monkey Do is fantastic, loved Build Up by Chris Lake, Stay Together by Chuckie got stuck in my head, Bipolar by Minero is a nice bit of complextro that still sounds fresh, and, well, my Porter remix isn’t too bad..."
Your label Big Fish set it's stall out as one of our top electro-house labels, priding itself on showcasing new talent - what has the next few months got in store for us all release wise/artist wise?
"We really pride ourselves on giving new artists a chance to show what they’ve got, and so to be honest nobody will have heard of half the artists we’ve got coming up...but we do have a few tracks from our favourite guys like Chrizz Luvly, Revolvr and myself and Hirshee coming up."
What's the latest on the European / Asia tour - when are going to see you?
"Europe is a tough one! I was just in Paris last week which was cool but there just doesn’t seem to be enough demand for electro house, or at least not for my style of electro house, over there, so until there is, I’m gonna stick in the US where the money is. Asia is a really cool market for me right now though, I play in Japan and Korea a couple of times a year and the gigs are always amazing."
What is the best DJ set you have ever witnessed?
"Probably Timo Maas back at Level in Bristol, back when DJs used to play vinyl, I’ve never seen anyone mix so perfectly."
You once said you had had your fair share of bad gigs, once even having to mix out of Britney Spears - I take it those days are long gone!?
"Hah, you never know what’s gonna come up! I still have the odd terrible gig, sometimes the promoter has booked me without having a clue what sort of music I actually play, or sometimes they just treat you like crap, or they’ve done an awful job of promoting so nobody shows up. A lot of the time they’ll put on an opener playing full on dubstep and it’s pretty hard to come out of that as the crowd is usually pretty numb after two hours of that."
DMC are of course the company behind the World DJ Championships, was the turntablism scene every something you fancied a crack at?
"Of course I tried scratching back when I played vinyl but it was something that I wasn’t good at and luckily it’s not really a ‘requirement’ for playing house. I’m gonna leave it to the pros and stick with what I’m good at I think."
Not many people know this, but Lazy Rich is really good at…
So we come back to yours after the club, what is the Lazy Rich Back To Mine 10 you spin us?
"Well to be honest I’m more of a straight to bed with a cup of tea guy now, but if it’s still early I’ll probably start off with Chris Lake’s remix of 'Hey,' then the unreleased track he did called ‘Here Comes The Sound’, probably my 'Love Is Free' remix cos that goes so well with those tracks, then I’ll start delving into the archives and bring out the Junior Jack – 'Thrill Me', Kid Crème’s Kylie remix, maybe Fuzzy Hair – 'Dancin’', 'Young Hearts' by Kings of Tomorrow, Bob Sinclar – 'Feel For You', Hoxton Whores – 'Show Me', then by then I’ll be tired and will chuck everyone out of the house so I can play 'Home' by Zero 7."
It may not be good for my image, but I am a massive fan of…
"Lord of the Rings."
What is the finest record you have ever played to a dancefloor?
"Kid Crème’s remix of 'Shakedown' I think."
You are a big lover of cars and avid watcher of Top Gear - have you got your dream car yet?
"I’ve been told I’m not allowed to get a new car until I get married, I currently have a tiny Chevrolet Aveo."
What are the next releases coming our way from the Lazy Rich studio?
"Ok so, we’ve got that new Chris Lake collab, the Porter remix, a remix for Fast Foot, then I’ve got a collab with Hirshee and Amba Shepherd called ‘Damage Control’ coming out on Rising, I’ve got an un-named original that I’m getting vocals for right now, I’m doing a collab with Roy Rosenfeld and an original I’m saving for Big Fish, and then I’ve got that secret project I mentioned before that may or may not happen and that’s about it!"
And finally, your dad bought a Technotronic album when you were five which had a big impact on you. (!!). What sort of stuff would your dad be into now…?
"I dread to think. He actually still brings out Café Del Mar every now and then, and I’ve bought him a ton of Air and Zero 7 CDs, but other than that I think our music paths have split."