Today I have quite the treat for you. A GDD™ exclusive interview with the man with the golden voice, Mr. Pete Tong. Famous for his BBC Radio 1 programs, contributions to the global music community, recent productions, Ibiza club nights, and that discerning ear for hot new talent, the man is also a world-class talent behind the decks. Pete will be headlining the House of Horror stage alongside Armand Van Helden, Felix Da Housecat + more at this Saturday’s Monster Massive 2010.
GDD: First of all please allow me to say what a pleasure and honor it is to actually speak with the man with the most recognizable voice in dance music. You’re essentially the master of the short but sweet introduction so why don’t you give us a little blip about yourself, and keeping with GDD tradition, why don’t you throw in what your favorite drink is while you’re at it …
Well I’m answering this question about 50,000 feet about the Nevada desert on the way to LA to start a brief October tour in the USA that will start with a few days of ‘holiday’ time with my family. I’m going to take them to the Grand Canyon. I’ve never been. This year has been great. Another successful season in Ibiza with Wonderland and I’m happy with the progress I’ve been making in my studio. I couldn’t live life without my espresso machine. Coffee is my poison!
GDD: You seemingly have so much control over the direction of aspiring artist’s careers these days. A Pete Tong stamp of approval has helped skyrocket some of the biggest names around (i.e. Deadmau5.) Do you spend a lot of time actively searching for lesser known artists or do they more often than not just fall in to your lap?
PT: A bit of both. I’m always listening to music and to what my peers and friends are telling me about. I’m always curious as to what’s next and to what everyone else is playing and getting off on. I read a great quote once from Ahmet Ertegun who founded Atlantic Records. He said finding talent is like a long walk down an unfamiliar street. If you’re lucky enough one day you bump into someone who’s truly great. You just have to be aware enough to not miss the moment! It kind of sums it all up.
GDD: I remember a few years back at Ultra Music Festival 2008 during your set on the main stage you plugging a message about global warming and earth hour. Do you wish that more artists would use the medium of music and the festival experience to reach the massive crowds that come out for these events in order to make a difference?
PT: If it’s appropriate it’s a powerful thing to do … but you have to be careful or it can come across as tokenism or opportunism. If the event has been built around or is genuinely contributing to a good cause then I would say its ok.
GDD: You’re involved in the industry in such a ridiculous amount of ways but what is your favorite part about your involvement in the dance music scene whether it be playing out to eager dirty dancers, being the man with the golden ear on Radio One, or something else more behind the scenes?
PT: It all fits together for me like a jigsaw. Playing in a club will always be the foundation of what I do and the radio show is the medium where I can express what I am excited about in a global way … but as I was a late starter at it, making/creating music is becoming a much bigger part of my life.
GDD: Entering the studio recently with Dave Spoon and Paul Rogers must have been a thrill. You rub elbows with so many big names in dance music, is there any name in particular you’ve been itching to lay down some tracks with over the years?
I would love to collaborate with one of the great modern film composers like Thomas Newman, Eric Serra or Gabriel Yared on a movie. I love the medium of film and music’s roll is still largely underrated. Working on the Harry Brown score and soundtrack was very satisfying. A session with Daft Punk or Stuart Price
would be an honour too!
Well what was your involvement in the making of the 2004 film *It’s All Gone, Pete Tong
? Were you approached after the idea was conceived or was it something you were involved in from the beginning?
(*Note: Dirty Dancers if you have not seen this … do it!)
PT: I was in from the beginning. I worked with one of the producers on Human Traffic a few years before and there was always the idea to make a DJ film. The first thing we locked down was the name. I was a little apprehensive until we found a director (Mike Dowse) and a leading man (Paul Kaye) but then it was all systems go.
GDD: You have hosted one of the most popular nights in Ibiza with Wonderland for the last three years. Is the end of summer in the Balearics just a very, very depressing time or will this free up some time for you to pound out some essential new tunes for all of us?
PT: The end of the season is a celebration. It’s the right time to stop. Ibiza is seasonal after all! When it’s all over the focus switches to other parts of the world, hence my trip to the USA & Mexico this week. I have a UK tour in Nov/Dec.
GDD: Now your North American tour takes you to Mansion in Miami, you’ve had festival appearances at Electric Zoo in New York and Monster Massive soon here in L.A., so in the end what setting do you really prefer, the club or the big stage?
I think club will always come first for me. A residency where you control the environment is the most intense way to get across what you want to play, say and thrill people. Thats what Wonderland is all about in Ibiza. Having said that standing in front of 10, 20, or 100,000 people is a bit of a buzz … I can’t deny it
Pete Tong, thank you so much for your time and for providing the world with countless hours of dirty dancing over the years and in to the future.
… oh wait, you didn’t think I was gonna leave you tuneless, did you?
√+‘s all around!
Early mornin’ Halloween after-party vibes. Get in to it.
Might as well keep the Halloween-approved tunes flowing.
A 2008 beauty Pete use to drop, hopefully he dusts it off for MM’10.
Just too much fun to not pass along. BIG ups to XLR8R.