Dj Parker @ The Jailhouse Friday 13th July, interview

9 07 2012

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After Blowing the roof off the place last December Bristolian Beat Maker, Turntablist, and Party Rocker Dj Parker makes his triumphant return to The Jailhouse on Friday the 13th of July. We caught up with the Man himself to run a few questions past him about Music, Djing and interesting stuff like that.

Your music is undoubtedly diverse and explores many different genres, so who or what were your musical influences?

There are way to many to mention, they get added to my head daily as I discover new and old music for the first time and get taken off on yet another musical tangent! I guess in the beginning I’d have to say DJ Shadow, Massive Attack, Portishead, RJD2, Sir Beans O.B.E and Hombre Records were all responsible for getting me started and have stayed with me as my main influences regardless of the musical direction I take. Other major influences would be Vaughan Williams, Jeff Beck, Led Zeppelin, High Contrast, Photek, Aspects, Mystro, People Under The Stairs, Betty Levette , Klashnekoff, Mr Thing, Jehst, S.P.Y, Bjork and on and on…..

You’re known for breaking genre boundaries in your music and combining them to create banging tunes! But is there any particular genre that you like working with/producing the most?

This will sound very pretentious, but I’m less about genre and more about a sound. Genre these days seems to be defined by bpm (the speed of the music), which when you think about it is ridiculous. So the sound that is most natural to me and enjoyable to make is the multi layered, bass heavy, deep, melodic, dirty sounding beats which relate back to my initial influences I guess. Dancefloor bangers are great for dj sets but its not where my heart is. At the core I’ll always be a beats man, the mo wax, Bristol sounds type vibe, and to me that can be translated at any BPM so genre is defunct. Yep that was pretentious! 🙂

Joining up with Boca45 brought The Beekeepers LP ‘Apiculture’, known to be embracing the music of your home city, what do you think of the diverse music scene in Bristol today?

It’s overwhelming the amount of talent there is, and I feel so lucky that the sound that speaks to me the most, comes out of where I was born. Bristol music is what drives me, it never ceases to amaze me and its firmly part of who I am musically. Almost every week when I’m digging for new tunes I’ll stumble on an artist, buy a few bits, then go check out their soundcloud and low and behold they are from Bristol! I must be naturally drawn to the sound, no matter what the genre is, the majority of it has the same vibe and resonates on a level within me that no other sound does. Only West Coast Hip Hop comes close for me.

Since the release of ‘To Eternity’ in 2008, how do you feel your musical career has developed?

I’m happy to say it’s progressed well but maybe not in the way I expected it to. To Eternity was a long process and something I felt really precious about so when it fell under the radar and was mis-managed I felt a little disheartened. I didn’t want to touch another album project for a long time and so I just started making bootlegs for gigs and just for jokes really. And then ironically they started taking off, so I just kept on pushing them. I found that the great thing about doing remixes and bootlegs is that I was free to explore many different styles and hone my craft with no boundaries or deadlines. It was all good for a bit but I’m done with that now, I want to go back to making original music (whether that is sample based or not). I dont hate on that phase of my career as it got me to another level, but as I said earlier my heart isn’t mad in to it so I’m currently working on a new album that will take me back to where I want to be musically. Funny enough I’ve just put my first album up for free on Soundcloud and the response has been really positive. So it seems like a good time to revisit that sound but with all the new tricks and influences I’ve picked up over the last few years. All in all I’m just appreciative I’ve been able to do what I love for so long and take my music to parts of the world I never thought I’d see.

You’re a familiar face at festivals playing at Glastonbury, Big Chill, Bestival etc.. and with Shambala (UK and Canada), Boomtown and Videozone festival Poland this year, how do you think festival crowds compare with those of club venues?

Festival crowds are obviously bigger and way more diverse so they suit me down the ground. It allows me to travel all over the place with regards to genre and as a dj its a dream to play to big crowds. Club venues can be as hype but in a different way, you can interact with the crowd more and its way more personal. Also I think you can go deeper in a club, sometimes going deep at a festival gets lost on the big stage. As long as the places I play are jumping I’m happy.

Taking into account you’ve been playing around Europe what has been your favourite place to play so far? And where did you gain the best reception?

Over the last few years I’d say the best nights I’ve had in Europe have been in Bratislava, Vienna, Paris, Woolacombe, Falmouth, Exeter and the Birthday bash in the Jailhouse was amazing! To be honest the next level nights have been outside of Europe, specifically Canada and in particular Victoria, which feels like a second home to me.

Can you give listeners any idea of what to expect next from your new label Monkey Butler?

Not really that’s what makes it unique and probably massively annoying to the listener. There is no set plan its all organic and natural, what ever comes will come. What ties it together is an emphasis on melodic, sub bass driven original music.

Any advice for aspiring dj’s/producers?

Only make or play what you genuinely love, chasing fads will get you nowhere and only lead to great unhappiness.

After playing lock up’s 1st birthday at The Jailhouse last year, your back again this Friday, so how do you like playing at the Jailhouse?

No lie the birthday show was one of the best I had last year, the crowd were great and so open minded, I got to play the exact set I wanted and I enjoyed every minute. It’s a special place and can’t wait to return.

Finally, can you some up your musical career so far in two words?

No plan

Check out Parkers now legendary “Monkey butler did it” Mix and other great tracks here

http://soundcloud.com/djparker/the-monkey-butler-did-it-mix

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