Miami get ready. 'Speak Up' is going to be absolutely everywhere... Hey Luke, welcome back to DMCWORLD towers. A massive new tune out this week spanking the dancefloors at the moment in 'Speak Up featuring Wynter Gordon - perfect for Miami…tell us about the tune…
"Hi guys, thanks for having me back! Due to the success of my remix for Wynter Gordon's 'Dirty Talk', I wanted to do a track of my own with her on vocals. 'Speak Up' to me is basically a follow up to 'Turbulence'. It brings the same energy but with a vocal friendlyness to it."
Where have you been rocking since we last spoke, where in 2012 have been off the block?
"Ha ha I would say, everywhere I go! I've been doing a massive amount of shows and it always seems to get bigger and better. We just started the Speak Up Bus Tour now and it has been a big one already. My top gig of the year for now goes to El Paso, Texas. I wish you could have been there to see how the crowd goes off. Comparable to Bootshaus in Cologne Germany, but the crowd was about triple the capacity."
So the tour that you have just embarked on - your biggest adventure yet, a 30+ bus Speak Up Tour of America. What's all this about then? How was the launch weekend and who is on board the disco wheels on this trip artist wise?
"I've been doing my rounds throughout North America for a while now, doing the big cities and the high end clubs. It seemed we missed out on about 800,000 college students though! Through the bus tour we are tapping into that market now. It seems the bus is the way to go, it's my first time doing a bus tour! I've never even slept on a tourbus before! The bus grabs a lot of attention, I'm not sure if you can add a picture of it, but it looks pretty incredible. My face is on there and everything. Everywhere we park, people come out and take pictures with the bus. I'm bringing Oliver Twizt and GTA with me on board. Both are incredibly talented DJs and producers and names to look out for in the future."
I remember when Sasha and Digweed started their launch on America in the last decade with their mammoth bus tour - it nearly killed them with the amount of partying. Is this going to be a no nonsense 'clean bus' then?
"Yes, and exactly for that reason! I live very healthy like an athlete now to be able to keep going, rocking every venue for about 200 times a year and keep coming with new music. My aim is to be here for a while and put a lot of music out. Partying every night won't help me do it. I've crashed into that wall before and promised never to slip like that again. I love what I do too much to just be partying every night. People sometimes don't realise I'm on deadlines every day."
Do you think you will be doing a lot of studio production on the road?
"Absolutely! That's what I do on a daily bases! I'm a producer at heart and there's nothing I would love to do then make new tracks and share them with the world. Right now I often make my tracks and remixes at airports, in airplanes and hotelrooms. The bus won't be any different."
What place on the tour that you haven't visited before are you looking forward to the most?
"About 75% of the places on this bus tour are spots I've never been nor played before. I couldn't pick one either
for that matter, as I've never been! I knew El Paso was going to be big, and I'm obviously very excited to hit Miami WMC with the bus as well. I'm doing two of my own events there: Super You&Me at Liv and my Mixmash Label Party at the National Pool. Both events are big ones and we sold them out in a short amount of time."
What is your current top 10 you are spinning?
1. Laidback Luke feat. Wynter Gordon - Speak Up
2. Hard Rock Sofa & Swanky Tunes - Steam Gun
3. Nero - Must Be The Feeling (Live Version)
4. Tommy Trash - Cascade
5. Chris Lake - Build Up
6. Sandro Silva & Oliver Twizt - Gladiator
7. Gesaffelstein - Control Movement
8. Laidback Luke, Arno Cost & Norman Doray - Trilogy (GTA/Swanky Tunes Remixes)
9. Skrillex & The Doors - Breakn' A Sweat (Zedd Remix)
10. Van Toth - Electric Pickle (Gina Turner Remix)
You won't be able to walk down Collins Avenue or Washington without hearing 'Speak Up' blasting out of cars and bars. What are the other big Miami buzz tunes you are taking with you?
"I'm actually carrying a few new ones of mine I'm testing out! They've been doing amazingly well in my sets. One of them is my collaboration with Angger Dimas. Another one has a few fellow DJs on the vocal! I can't tell anymore about it though, but you'll see coming year."
We know that the WMC is more about profile and the party rather than business deals, is it the most important date on the dance calendar still?
"For me it is, and I do think it's still a benchmark of the big tracks to come for the year. Producers still have WMC as a deadline for their big tracks for coming year. Business-wise I try to let my people handle that on the relevant conferences. WMC is also a good way to catch up on what fellow DJs are playing and to see them play."
As thousands of next generation clubbers descend on the big events, do you feel the spirit of house music is being lost to a crowd looking for that instant anthem hit?
"I think that's a bit of an old school mentality. It has changed now. I'm also old school, but always up for change. It keeps it fresh. It's easy to cling onto the past, but the past is gone. The spirit of house music is much more then just the focus on the musical side to it. It's still about peace, love and unity - and not to forget, about fun! And letting go! And this is what we are still doing. The anthem hits add up to that feeling too. I just had someone tweeting at me, after an amazing party on the beach: 'Only at Laidback Luke's parties you can spit on someone and they are cool with it'. Lol. But this type of vibe and tolerance is what it was always about. Let's bring back the fun so we can let go more!"
Have you had to change your musical direction in the last year?
"I'm constantly changing. Plus I do it all, I love all styles of 'Electronic Dance Music'. Because, when I got into this music, back in 1992, it was all just called 'House Music'. With a wide variety of styles, it was all part of the unity of house. I still think in the same way. So it might seem as change, but it's still just all 'House Music' to me."
Is Miami losing it’s trademark cool and sexy house music vibe?
"Lol, the real Miami was always about Miami Bass and Freestyle for instance! It's funny how us foreigners, due to WMC, think that was the sound there. Space is more tribal deep. I think it depends on the setting. If you play at a pool or beach, the vibe can be more sexy. You need to understand the crowd, and I have been in this game for ages as well, will forever stay at an average age of 20 years old. We grow older. Depending on the scene, the crowd doesn't care about the sound we used to like in Miami. Sure the Jamie Jones type of crowd likes it sexy and underground. My type of crowd will like it more 'Avicii progressive' poolside for that matter."
What are your thoughts on the Dennis Ferrer 'Mansion' Miami club story - he was basically kicked off the decks for not playing commercial enough...
"Poor Dennis. I love him. It seems like he was booked at the wrong party and that can be horrible. I'm flexible enough to manouvre my way into connectingto a crowd, even if it's not my crowd, since I have a wide range of styles I can play. Even very underground like Dennis. But the same could happen to the Swedish House Mafia, if you put them before a very cool and underground crowd. It's not Miami's fault, just a case of poor programming."
With clubs and charts being dominated by dance music worldwide, shouldn’t we be rejoicing it’s success rather than being bitter with crossover?
"Exactly! What you need to realize is that it has always been about the crossover tracks touching a new generation. Right now a lot of 15 year old kids aresparkled up by crossover 'dance music'. They will grow older and become the 21 year olds of the future. Who will find their own way into cooler electronic music and styles. A lot of my current crowd grew up listening to Alice Deejay for instance. A lot of them are into way cooler music now. But it touched them back in the day. Think about this yourself, what was the first track that got you into this music? The track you will name will be a crossover one. So there's really no harm in that, other than that it's not your taste right this moment. Don't worry!"
Where are the parties we'll catch you this time round?
I haven't really got a clue what's going on to be honest. Depending on my schedule, I'll definately have a look at the fellow DJ's parties. One thing is for sure I'm definately attending my fiance Gina Turner's Below The Bassline party on the friday. All the other days, I'm spinning myself."
Have you noticed a big dip in industry folk not attending these last couple of years?
"Not really, but I have heard industry folk talk about that. And I do understand as it's quite hard to actually
pinpoint meetings at WMC for instance. It's more about business on the go and checking out DJs."
What are your thoughts on the IMS in Ibiza? Will you be attending?
"See I'm not a business man, so I have my people attending IMS. IMS is doing very well! I've heard a lot
of great feedback from it. I will be doing the honors of just playing the tunes in Ibiza the rest of the year..."
What are your plans for Ibiza throughout the Summer?
"I'm back at Cream Amnesia on the terrace again with my Super You&Me parties! I'm very excited to be back as last year was massive. Very much looking forward to that and the summer season. It's really good to be able to work with Cream."
And finally - what is coming next from the mighty Laidback Luke studio lounge…
"I'm doing tonnes and tons of remixes at the moment. Be on the look out for my remix of Mark Knight's 'Beautiful
World' for instance. Just handed in remixes for Kerli, Dragonette, Subfocus and a new Wynter Gordon. The underground collabs I just did are ruling my floors right now and I have the new single after Speak Up ready as well. Example is rounding up vocals for our new collab as well! Plenty of music for coming year!"