This Friday the Avalon’s set to play host to yet another solid lineup of the dance world’s finest. Headlining the mainstage are Designer Drugs
and BBC Radio 1’s Kissy Sell Out
, supported by Deth Hertz
, Mr. White
and GDD’s own ///BONES
. Set times for the mainstage are as follows:
930 – 11 ///BONES
11 – 12 Deth Hertz
12 – 130 Kissy Sell Out
130 – 230 Designer Drugs
3 – close Mr. White
Please RSVP names to JONAHDANCESDIRTY.COM to be on our discount guestlist for the evening. Pricing will be as follows:
21+: $10 before 11pm
18+: $15 before 11pm
Last week, I caught up with Kissy Sell Out for a chat about summer festivals, labels and coming to California. Here’s how it went:
GottaDanceDirty™: What’s good Kissy? Thanks for taking the time out of you’re busy schedule. It seems like you’ve been doing a big festival circuit lately. How’s that been for you?
KissySellOut: It’s been fantastic, some of the things I’ve done this year have been ridiculous, I’ve been so lucky. I did two gigs at Glastonbury, one of them was the Arcadia stage, which was this big pyrotechnic spider thing that I was hoisted up inside. The view from up there was amazing, you couldn’t even see the end of the crowd there were so many people; absolutely magical. I’ll never forget that gig at all, what a privilege. That was a big one, but then I’ve also had other smaller ones like Wakestock festival in Wales, which is out in the middle of nowhere and I was on at 7 o’clock in the evening, yet I still had 2,000 kids going bonkers for it. So it’s been a brilliant festival season so far, not forgetting all the European Festivals as well – places like Dour Festival. I was playing in front of 10 thousand people there, pretty unforgettable.
GDD™: You mentioned Dour Festival, the Belgian’s are known for going nuts about dance music. Would you say the response at these festivals is signifying a growth among electronic music followers?
KSO: Yeh, I mean, I think it’s been happening for a long time. The reason I find the electronica end of dance music so interesting is because it is one of the genres that is changing year on year, where people are doing literally whatever comes into their heads. The fact that anyone anywhere can make a tune on a computer is perhaps one of the best things to happen in recent years, because it’s given music such a kick up the arse and it feels fantastic just to have some part in that.
GDD™: First thing’s thirst; what’s on your rider at a festival?
KSO: I don’t drink when I DJ, which is a funny one. I’ve got into a lot of odd conversations about this because for a while there was a rumor going around in the dance music world that I was tee-total. It’s really simple: I just don’t really drink when I DJ. Just a bunch of fizzy drinks and a few beers for afterwards to kind of get over it and lose a few inhibitions.
GDD™: Crystal Castles could possibly do with adopting a similar mentality…
KSO: Well maybe. That’s funny, cos I introduced them last week at Radio 1’s One Big Weekend. I guess with some people it gives them a slight element of charisma, it’s part of the live performance – DJing is different, and in that way it differs from being in a band. I’ve had the unique privilege of being both a DJ and touring in a band within the last year. The thing about the band is you’re playing a rehearsed performance and you just do the best you can with that; whereas as a DJ you are reading a crowd which is very different, so if you impair your senses with alcohol, you could argue that you are impairing your ability to do that very specific job. At the end of the day, if nobody dances, it’s like what’s the f**king point?!
GDD™: Fair enough man, I agree. So starting out, when you were a lad growing up in Essex, who were your influences and what got you started?
KSO: I walked into a house area at school one day and all I heard was “DJ Hype, DJ Hype, give me the funk, give me the funk” like this. And at the time I was a massive grunger, I was into Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins; I loved the explosion of energy and the loud dynamic and the heaviness and expressiveness of the music. But when I heard this DJ Hype Jungle cd with scratching and samples over the top, basslines and stuff, I just thought: “F***ing hell what is this music? I want that, that’s what I wanna know about”. And I picked up the cd and – it’s totally true, I feel odd saying this because since then I’ve had DJ Hype on my radio show. I even got him to sign a copy of this cd and I have it at home on my bedroom wall, it’s one of my most prize possessions – It had a picture of him DJing on the inner sleeve and I was transfixed, mesmerized cos he was just standing there infront of two archaic pieces of machinery, one of which was sitting in my Mum’s living room. I mean, she had a record player and I was like, how the hell is he doing that? More to the point, where does he even get the records from? Are you telling me people still make records?! Cos I’m only 12 or 13 and it’s such a new idea, but I instantly knew. And I think I’ve said this before: that was the first time I looked at someone who wasn’t in a rock band holding a guitar, and thought: “That is the most charismatic person I’ve ever seen in my life, I want to be like that.” Credit where it’s due, that was the day that kicked it all off.
GDD™: Where do you see the music industry going in the next few years? There’s been a lot of talk about producers now containing their tracks by sharing them among other DJs and not releasing to the wider audience via music blogs. Where do you stand with this?
KSO: I think it’s a big topic. I’ll try and tackle it in a two-fold way. First of all, I think it’s fantastic that music is getting out there so much. I think it’s a modern concept, I think you need to get with the times, and I think it’s a fantastic thing. For me, I think the more the merrier. If I check the blogs and loads of people are blogging my music, I’m gonna be really pleased about it. The reason I said it was two-fold though, is because I think there is a problem and I’m not sure how it’s gonna work out. Little old you and me are talking about it right now, but I’d say it’s a certainty that the major record labels have got the greatest minds in the world currently trying to figure how you can make money out of music again. The problem with the perception of music as being free is getting bigger and bigger. But I think maybe the way forward for artists is to simply admit that that is the case, and to accept that touring is how you fund the making of the music; and you need to make the music to warrant the tour.
GDD™: We appreciate you giving us the split responses, firstly as a DJ and Producer, but it must also impact on your position as head of your San City High label?
KSO: To be honest, I don’t really run San City High to make money, I do it because it’s the right thing to do, it’s a good thing to do, and I get a kick out of helping people out. What’s really mad is that I’m so proud of the records on San City High, they are my favorite records at the moment and I feel so lucky to have them under my belt. It’s time consuming, but it’s very rewarding.
GDD™: You’ve helped out scores of unsigned artists via your show on Radio 1. What’s your process for finding unsigned talent, and who’ve you discovered recently that you’re really stoked on?
KSO: There are so many, but luckily I can tell you who they are: I discovered a band this week who I really like two tracks by, called Futuristic Retro-Champions, I think they’re cool. People who I’ve been supporting slightly longer are PeaceTreaty.
GDD™: Yeh man, they’re from LA and friends of ours, we’ve been digging a lot of their stuff lately.
KSO: Those guys are so full of ideas, they have the thing that Lazy Flow and I have in our music, which is one of the reasons I like it: the lack of repetition. Peace Treaty tracks will rarely do the same thing twice. But then again, they have so many ideas. I’d love to meet those guys, sit them down and say: “Okay, you know what? Stop doing remixes now, because you’ve done so many remixes. Just work on your original material because you’ve got so many ideas that you’re gonna find in a few months time that you’ve kind of used all your ideas and best hooks, blogging them for free rather than using it towards your career. After all, releases are the things that people really take seriously and that’s what journalists write about” – you know?!
GDD™: Do you mind us including that?
KSO: No, because it’s just a bit of advice really. There have been days when I’ve received six new links from PeaceTreaty, of tracks that they’ve done that week and it really reminds me of myself when I was younger. What they perhaps don’t realize is that one original track is worth twenty remixes. When you get sent a remix there’s always this slight thing of how much is done by them, and how much is done by the original artist. If you have an original track, it’s your thing, as it’s purely by that artist and I think that’s fantastic. Disco of Doom I’m quite into as well at the moment. Not to mention Zeds Dead who are flipping genius. I met one of them in London recently because we are going to release a record by them. I’m not sure how much I’m meant to talk about that already, but yeh, we’re gonna release a record by them, thank god for that cos I’m their biggest fan! So that’s fantastic, it’s a stonking record!
GDD™: Also a huge fan, we posted on them literally two weeks ago saying someone needs to pick them up. I’m psyched to hear they’re finally getting the attention they deserve!
KSO: Yeh man, I think Zed’s Dead are the future of genres, it’s just a case of getting the right people to hear them. I think occasionally, from my slightly ignorant view of North America, I sometimes get the impression that if you’re from Canada it’s quite hard to break through.
GDD™: I’d agree with that, there’s certainly a bit of a hang up.
KSO: Which is a shame because it’s so far away from England, it’s a little far to fly them out. If they lived in France, I would have flown them out for a Kissy and co night several times by now. But cos they live in Canada it’s far harder. Hopefully if this all goes to plan (I’m pretty sure it’s a sealed deal) – as soon as that drops I will plug the sh*t out of that record man, cos that is the future and that’s what it’s all about man, that’s what it’s all about!
GDD™: So I’m gonna finish up on a couple. Are you stoked to come back out to LA this September? I know you’ve played down at Voyeur in San Diego a couple of times, how have your West-Coast shows been received?
KSO: That was wicked – Wow, what a great night! It was so funny, you could tell that for the first ten minutes people were like: “Right, errr, so this guy’s different, and he’s mixing really quickly!” It took about ten minutes for people to adjust, but once they’d adjusted it was just hands in the air for the rest of the night, it was so cool. By the end it felt like magic was in the air, and for someone like me who’s so far away from home and doesn’t go to America that often – mainly because of the radio show, it’s very hard to take time off cos it’s midweek – that’s an amazing feeling, I had a really great time!
GDD™: One final compulsory question – when you’re not on the 1s and 2s would you say you dance dirty?
KSO: hahaha, do I dance dirty? I dance, occasionally badly, but to say I dance dirty… I’m a bit too shy. It depends what you determine as dirty. I kind of lost interest in dance music maybe around the age of 18 cos it got very stale when all that trance music bollocks was happening, it got incredibly stale, and then I discovered Felix Da Housecat and Tiga, and they really got me back into it. I was like: wow, this is really cool music because people are like moshing in the nightclub to dancemusic and I was like: “YEAH! this is what it’s all about.” So if that counts as dancing dirty, then I yeh man, I love doing that. I don’t care how many drinks get poured over me. If the music’s good enough, I can have a cracking time!
Kissy was also kind enough to provide us with some tuneage from his forthcoming joint EP with fellow San City High labelmate Lazy Flow:
From the Vault: