Apr 19, 2012
interview
John Digweed

John Digweed’s on a boat! At least that’s where we caught up with the DJ legend during Miami Music Week, spinning a special set aboard a yacht along with Carl Cox. Give a read to what he had to say about the days of carrying around vinyl & the US vs UK scenes.

John Digweed & Nick Muir - 30 Northeast (Original Mix) [Bedrock]
LessThan3: What part of a DJ’s life has changed the most since you have started to spin?
John: For me it would probably be the SD card, because lugging records around is a hassle. Now my back will last a little bit longer. We used to carry two very heavy record boxes, and now it’s just a few SD cards and off you go.
LessThan3: Many people credit Sasha and you as helping to create the progressive genre. Do you believe you were essential to that scene, and what do you think of the progressive sound nowadays?
John: Obviously we were pioneers of the progressive sound, but the stuff that you hear in progressive now is the stuff Swedes play, Tiesto, Afrojack, and all that. I don’t really play that type of music. It’s always hard because people look through your Wikipedia and label you as a progressive DJ and maybe in the ’90s or early 2000s that was right, but my sound has progressed to more tech house and techno. The current progressive sound is something I really don’t know much about. If I look on the progressive charts on Beatport, there is not one record I know there or even play.
LessThan3: Who do you view as the biggest up and comers?
John: There is this producer in France called Electric Rescue who I am playing now, but overall there are a ton of fresh faces that are making the scene amazing.
LessThan3: To play off this topic, what would you say the hottest up-and-coming genre out there right now?
John: It’s tough to say, but I think it would be that sexy house vibe that’s been coming around lately. It’s got a really groovy beat, and I think both girls and guys enjoy it.
LessThan3: How has your career changed since going solo?
John: Gone solo?
LessThan3: We are referring to Sasha & Digweed.
John: To get things straight, we were always solo DJs, and not a combination. So when it comes down to it, I’m the same.
LessThan3: What are the benefits of being a duo in production and onstage?
John: I think when there are two big DJs playing together it adds some serious weight to the lineup. It is an industry that welcomes that, and when we came together to play it really added a ton of energy. It’s a totally different vibe.
LessThan3: How would you compare the UK’s EDM scene to that of the US scene?
John: Obviously we have had a huge scene in the UK for many years, so it’s nice to see that the US has finally caught up, but it’s very commercial in the US in the US. When it blew up in England, it blew up with underground music. When it blew up here, it came with pop records like The Black Eyed Peas. Overall I’m happy it has gotten big here in the US, though I wish it were a bit different. When a record blows up in the US you can just go to the record store and buy it, but when this happens in the UK, you have no clue what it is. Over here they listen to the same DJs play the same records every week, and also still like it. I don’t get it. It’s just top repetitive. Why would you want to hear Levels for the fifteenth time today? In England people wanted to be surprised. People in England would not stand to hear Levels as much as they do here in the States.
LessThan3: Is a perceived American “mainstream” artist such as Skrillex accepted in the UK?
John: Skrillex is huge in the UK. He just finished up a huge college tour and sold 18,000 tickets in less than four hours. I’m really happy for him because he is a really nice guy with his own original sound. He does what he does and is just super nice all the time.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
John: I would be having sex! I wouldn’t be listening to anything. But it would last longer than three minutes.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
John: Forward-thinking electronica.
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