Yesterday saw the release of An Introduction to D.O.D, the debut EP from Lancaster based Dan O’Donnell, a rising star in UK Electro-House. Earning props from the likes of Annie Mac, Laidback Luke, Eddie Halliwell and Laurent Garnier, the 22 year old has recently secured himself a residency with Mixmag for their club and Ibiza tours this summer. We took some time out to chat with Dan about new tunes, inspiration, and Dada Life‘s Sausage Fattener. Here’s how it played out:
GDD™: So how did you get in to electronic music, and growing up, what inspired you?
DOD: There were a lot of different factors to be honest but it was mainly my brother. I used to think I was cool as fuck rocking up to high school in the passenger seat of his car with his dance music compilation CD’s blasting out. Looking back now it really wasn’t cool whatsoever. I used to steal a lot of his CD’s when he went out and listen to them over and over again in my room. That’s what got me started really. I was sick of listening to my sisters playing Steps and N-Sync. There were numerous things that inspired me as a DJ, mainly very technical DJs like Yoda.
GDD™: Agreed. What that guy can achieve on turntables is mindblowing. So how long have you yourself been djing and producing?
DOD: I’ve been DJing for 11 years now and producing for around 3 years, I studied Music Technology at College and University but I never learnt anything I wanted to know!
GDD™: And are you a VST or analogue producer?
DOD: I’m a VST kind of guy! I take my laptop everywhere with me and I make bootlegs of tracks all the time. I truly believe that if your ideas are good enough, you don’t need a ridiculous amount of kit to produce a wicked track. I used to have quite a lot of hardware equipment but after a while they just started gathering dust as I stopped using them. Technology is insane these days anyway, there is pretty much a plug in that replicates all the old school analogue hardware equipment out there, so I really don’t mind just being digital.
GDD™: What’s your favorite piece of studio equipment at the moment?
DOD: The Dada Life ‘Sausage Fattener’ plug-in. I find myself popping it on every channel when I’m making a track recently. It seriously beefs everything up and gives it that extra kick up the arse!
GDD™: So to our readers, how would you describe your current sound?
DOD: Everything I’ve been producing recently has been pretty full on, and my DJ sets are the same – depending on what time and where I am playing, of course. But I guess I’d have to say “peak time electro with the unexpected”. I love to drop random tracks or acapellas in DJ sets, it’s nice to give yourself a cheeky little challenge when you are on the decks, and then get the satisfaction of pulling it off!
GDD™: In an age where it seems that the world and his wife is an electronic music producer, how did you set yourself apart from the rest, and what advice would you give to young producers who started in a similar way to yourself, to get their tunes heard?
DOD: Haha, that first comment is so true – Everyone is a DJ and producer at the minute, I’m pretty sure my cat and goldfish are too! I’d say that getting a style is the most important thing. You need to get yourself an identity first off, then people know what to expect from you as a producer. Leave the really experimental stuff for DJ sets, it’s much more impressive for people when they go to a show you are playing at and you are doing lots of cool shit. The best advice I can give would be to make bootlegs of well known tracks and give them out for free. After a while start putting together ideas from the bootlegs you made and incorporate them into producing an original track. Once the track is finished send them to labels that you think are suitable and get them on forums to receive feedback. Laidback Luke’s forum is incredible, I know of a lot of producers that have had their tracks released on his label through doing that.
GDD™: While we’re on the topic, I hear you’ve got a big remix coming out of Laidback Luke’s ‘Turbulence’? On top of that, what else do you have in store for 2011?
DOD: Yeah, i’m looking forward to the release! I’m trying to make as many bootlegs as possible so that eventually my DJ sets will consist of only tunes that I have access to, or tunes that I have produced, so I’m pretty busy doing that everyday! I have recently been endorsed by Pioneer Pro DJ to make some tutorial videos for them. They sent me their latest equipment to do so about three weeks back now, I’m nearly done so they should be up online within the next week or so. I’m doing a ridiculous amount of big shows over the summer which I’m excited about, 7 festivals this year and 3 international shows too, including UK shows over the next 2 and a half months.
GDD™: Busy stuff dude, good luck with it all! Are you able to share with us your top 5 tunes of the moment?
DOD: D.O.D – Potatoes (Original Mix)
The Loops Of Fury – I Need (Original Mix)
Autoerotique – Turn Up The Volume (Joachim Garraud Remix)
Calvin Harris Ft. Kelis – Bounce (D.O.D Bootleg)
Sonz Of A Loop – Further Out (Da Far Out Remix)
GDD™: Finally, and in keeping with interview tradition, when you’re not in the DJ booth and your enjoying EDM from the dance floor, do you dance dirty?
DOD: I’m the dirtiest dancer you’ve ever seen, I give myself rave injuries I dance so dirty sometimes!
GDD™: There you go dirty dancers, the bar is set! Dan, cheers for taking the time out to chat with us, we really appreciate it.
Snag a copy of D.O.D’s recent Calvin Harris bootleg which he’s giving away for free via his Soundcloud. You can also stream the new EP below, and if you dig it as much as we do, head over to Beatport and pick up a copy: