JOHN DIGWEED – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWOctober 1, 2019
Interview – Louise Cummins, Mike Moggi Mannix – Rondo
The Hasting’s born DJ & music producer has & continues to make a profound influence on the dance music scene, not only in the UK but internationally. With a career that spans almost forty years John is known not only for his consistency but his outstanding technical & creative ability, taking the listener on a journey to places they have never been before.
Fondly known as the ‘Vortex’ I think it would be fair to say that John Digweed is one of the best DJ/Music producers of our generation.
A down to earth humble soul, with passion engrained into every bone off his body, he really is the master of his craft! From his famous collaboration with Alexander Coe aka Sasha to his solo ventures, John Digweed has grown and evolved into an absolute industry legend. His support of new artists through his label ‘Bedrock & his extended sets that often go on much longer than the call of duty, John Digweed is most definitely top of his game, loyal to his fans & totally respected in all electronic quarters!
LC: John that famous photo of you as a fresh-faced teen with a telephone receiver as headphones, you really don’t look any older than 14 in that picture, spinning tunes, how did that come about? What inspired your love for the electronic vibe & what were your music influences prior to dance music?
JD: That was a club in Hastings called the Crypt and I was 16 years old at the time, I grew up listening to Heaven 17, Talk Talk, Joy Division, The Cure, Kraftwerk, New Order alongside mixtapes from the local DJs playing imports of the latest funk soul and club tracks.
I was always interested in music that was not on the radio and was different from what other people were listening too
LC: Your collaboration with Sasha cast you both into international stardom from Renaissance to Northern Exposure you transformed Acid House into a new genre of dance music, taking us all on a journey into the unknown, this must have been both a special & challenging time for you both at such a young age? After your reunion at The Social Festival in 2017 & many more successful gigs since, do you think there will ever be another Sasha & John Digweed CD complication?
JD: I very much doubt it, we laid the foundations for mix CD’s as well as creating albums that have touched 100’s of thousands of people, it was a special time. It won’t be repeated unless we did something totally unique, which considering both our schedules, I don’t think we have the time to do this.
LC: How do you feel your parents contributed to your success?
JD: They made me who I am.
LC: John you are renowned for being a family man, totally driven & focused in your craft, has there ever been a time when your schedule has been so gruesome you have thought about hanging up the headphones?
JD: The best thing I have learn’t is to say NO if you take too much on you will burn out, I have done fewer gigs this year and enjoyed a few weekends off. Its hard as I love what I do but recharging the body every once in a while does you so much good. And also makes you miss DJ’ing so the next gig is always exciting to be back even if it is just a week Off. I am enjoying DJ’ing more than ever before as I have achieved so much and just want to play the parties I want to do and enjoy all the hard work I have put into my career.
LC: Your last album ‘Last Night at Output’ was an absolute masterclass both technically & creatively beautiful! Venturing into realms you’ve never been before! How do you feel music has evolved over the years, how do you keep it fresh not only for the listener but for yourself?
JD: Everybody has the same access to the tracks, the skill is in the programming and that knowledge of those tracks and what will make them work together not only on the night but into a cd that people will listen to over and over again.
LC: Can it last forever, there are so many new artists coming through the ranks @Bedrock & other good labels, in such a competitive industry, who do you think is catching your eye & who could be the next John Digweed?
JD: It makes it a lot harder if the press says this is the new Carl Cox or the new John Digweed. It puts too much pressure and expectation on the artist. It’s way better if they grow and develop and create their own name in the scene I also think it will help with their longevity.
MM: Tell us about your association with Whirling Dervish Productions and what makes their events unique that lead you to do Warehouse Experience  in Denver?
JD: I have had a long association with Denver since the ’90s with Kaz who is one half of WD as well as playing all the major clubs and festivals in the city, the place always holds a special place for me and the crowd always give me a lot of love from the dance floor.
In a world of polished events and bottle service clubs, its great that Whirling Dervish is creating parties that take us back to unusual warehouse spaces with great sound and lighting and an old school rave mentality updated for 2019.
The last 2 parties have been incredible so this should be off the charts.
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