GDD™ Exclusive Interview w/ Claude VonStroke

This weekend we’re gearing up for some serious talent here in Los Angeles. On Friday, May 13th, the Avalon in Hollywood will be taken over by Dirtybird Records. Yes you heard right, Claude Vonstroke, Justin Martin and J. Phlip will be laying waste to the Avalon this friday, San Francisco style. My friends, this is not a show to miss.  The EDM scene just hasn’t been the same since Dirtybird released it’s first track in 2005, and the unstoppable label still manages to set trends, release copious amounts of original hits, and now boasts one of the meanest lineup of house artists the dance community has seen.

Please RSVP names to JONAH@GOTTADANCEDIRTY.COM to be on our discount ticket list for the evening. Please have all names submitted before 5:30PM on Friday.

$15 before 11PM

Interview and tunes after the jump!

Myself and Sweet FA had the undeniable privilege of interviewing the man who started it all, the co-founder of Dirtybird Records: Claude VonStroke.

GDD: As a GDD tradition, what’s your drink of Choice?
CV: The VonStroke. it’s basically a vodka soda with olives.

GDD: How did Barclay Crenshaw become Claude Von Stroke?
CV: A bag of magic mushrooms.

GDD: How did growing up in Detroit, Michigan influence your musical tastes? Could you see yourself possibly taking a different musical direction if you were raised somewhere else?
CV: Yeah, I think if I were raised in Nashville I would be DJing underground steel guitar tracks. But they would still have funk!

GDD: How did you transition from film making to production? What in particular spurred this transition?
CV: I always made music so it wasn’t really a transition. It was more of a realization that I was better at music, or at least that I could make music without having to sell my soul, unlike what I was seeing in the film world. Also, to make your own film costs everything you have on earth. To make a song requires a significantly less amount of money and time. These days even more so – you can make a song on your phone.

GDD: What sort of films were you making, and do you still have a hand in any film production?
CV: I made a dvd about DJing, so even that was music related. For my work though, I was a PA on a bunch of huge movies at Paramount that all sucked. I did like the studio itself though, driving the golf cart around the Paramount lot was always fun even if my jobs were terrible. These days I do a music video about once every two years. Sometimes we shoot small clips at our shows – Not much else.

GDD: After 5 years, Dirtybird has cemented it’s position at the forefront of the West-Coast’s tech-house and Deep House scenes, particularly with the prominent tropical sound that’s been blowing up for the past 18 months. How did Dirtybird make the leap from BBQ’s in the park to sold out shows at Mezzanine and Avalon down in LA? Do you think that tech-house will ever be as big on the West-Coast as it appears to be on the East Coast?
CV: It’s big on the east coast? I dont really follow the east coast. I wouldn’t know about that. I think our success is that we didn’t do it for money. We did it cuz we like the music. Same formula that always works in art: you do it because you love it, and then someone else will eventually recognize it if it’s good enough.

GDD: What gave you the inspiration to start Mothership in 2007, and with artists like Catz n Dogz and Maetrik/Maceo Plex is it geared towards a deeper and more European sound? Also, how did you decide that a large percentage of the proceeds from Mothership would go to a music school in Detriot?
CV: The school was chosen because I thought it was the coolest idea for a school: to be able to teach kids how to do something they were actually interested in like making electronic music. There are enough schools focused on reading and math. I wanted to give money to a music school and one that was involved with my kind of music. Mothership is just more of a Detroit style label, like the older detroit techno labels.

GDD: I heard a rumor that you’re going to be starting another label very soon, is that true?
CV: It’s called Krush Groov. I’m not doing any press about it. its just one of those things you have to dig for if you are interested. J Phlip and i are on the first record out now. KGV001

GDD: The EDM scene is growing globally at a fast paced rate, with new genres, trends and subgenres being created left and right. What new movement has particularly caught you ear?
I’m into so much stuff right now from hip-hop to RnB to dance. I’m getting my head into all of it. I particularly love all this new post dubstep stuff from the UK that has gone past the obvious basslines, becuase a lot of it sounds like our label and it’s fun on the dancefloor. (Check out his new remix for Night Slugger Girl Unit below…)

GDD: What does 2011 have in store for Claude VonStroke and Dirtybird?
I have a new cd coming out this summer called “Makeovers” featuring all my best remixes. A few of them I re-did and there are some new ones, so it’s not just a re-hash of old stuff. I did this cd because most people do remixes by simply re-working the original tracks, but I usually make an entirely new track out of the parts. So I wanted to release this package of remixes to show what you can really do with a remix. You dont have to just put in a new kick drum and some effects on the vocal – You can do something really original if you want.

GDD: Cheers for taking the time to chat with us. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Avalon this Friday.


Claude VonStroke – Greasy Beat (J Phlip Remix) √+ [Beatport]

Radiohead – Nude (Justin Martin Remix) √+

Also, be sure to check out VonStroke‘s remix of Girl Unit‘s mighty ‘Wut’, soon to drop on Night Slugs. L-Vis & Bok Bok premiered it last week on their Rinse show. Massive tune:

Your Boys,

Tre & Sweet FA



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