Nov 26, 2013
interview
Joseph Capriati

Italy’s prolific Drumcode ambassador Joseph Capriati surmounts a pivotal moment in his career as he celebrates the highly anticipated release of his sophomore full-length album, “Self Portrait.” Before his recent headlining debut at New York’s Cielo nightclub, we sat down with the techno prodigy to recap one of his busiest years to date.

Joseph Capriati - Basic Elements (Original Mix) [Drumcode]
LessThan3: What does it feel like to be one of the most in-demand techno artists of our time?
Joseph: I have to say: now is really the time that I feel something big is happening. I’ve worked hard for a long time, but this past summer it’s truly paid off–23 gigs all together.
LessThan3: With your constant international touring and consistent efforts in the studio, do you feel the job becomes a bit exhausting at times?
Joseph: Touring is very exhausting for the body, because you don’t sleep too much when on the road. There are no private jets for me; I am not a rockstar will all the comforts. For me, the music make me forget everything. The passion is my personal principle. I don’t care about money, I care about doing what I like–making people happy through music. That’s something that nobody can pay you.
LessThan3: You held a weekly partnership with Marco Carola at Amnesia Ibiza this summer, playing eight different parties in total. How did those gigs go for you?
Joseph: Music On has been the best party in Ibiza this year, and not just because I was playing there. After Marco called me last year and invited me to become a part of the team, I was pretty surprised. It was the first time someone invited me to Ibiza, and even though I play harder techno, it worked out very nicely. The first time I played Amnesia, I headlined the main room. Since the terrace is usually more popular, it’s hard to fill that room–yet every time I was there, the main room got packed.
LessThan3: How did your relationship with Marco originally develop?
Joseph: Marco invited DJs that mixed good music rather than selecting guests based on fame or hype. I have lot of respect for him as a DJ, but also as a businessman, and how he feels about the music. We’ve both acknowledged one another for many years [as Italian producers], but we just recently became acquainted two years back for the Music On campaign.
LessThan3: Since you’ve traveled all throughout the world and played some of the most grandiose nightclubs and festivals, have you noticed a different vibe among your American fans and European fans?
Joseph: In Europe there are way more parties in general than in the US that are electronic music-oriented. But I really love the crowd in the US, because they come exclusively for the music, and they are not so exaggeratedly crazy. I don’t see too many overall differences though; music makes us unite together, and if you feel the groove and feel the track, you just move your body. Maybe in Italy it’s much more of a stadium crowd, but it’s just different with respect to the culture. When we’re dancing, we’re all the same.
LessThan3: In regards your new album, Self Portrait, from where did you draw most of your influences?
Joseph: I would always produce the tracks depending on the mood I was feeling; if I wake up one morning feeling sad, I want people to listen to these tracks and feel something. For example, the title track of the album–if you listen to it, it speaks. I am a deep guy with very emotional and romantic vibes. Fratello is a track that I made while inspired by happiness, especially happiness from the crowds and the dancefloor. Every track means something special to me. I produce for myself and not the album sales. The album overall describes all of my musical influences.
LessThan3: Approximately how long did it take to complete the release?
Joseph: I created my album in one year, and during that period I had much more time to create a true musical journey. When I did the album, I didn’t want to make a few tracks that would all sound the same.
LessThan3: How did you devise the album title? Is it symbolic of your legacy in some respects?
Joseph: As I said before, Self Portrait really describes my musical influences from the last ten years. I did announce it back in February, and it was supposed to be released in May, but we had to delay it due to some issues with the tracklist. I am a perfectionist, so I wanted to make sure the tracks were top quality. I personally delayed the release, but now it’s finally ready to share with the world. It’s my second full-length, and it’s the perfect moment to release it. Now I’m traveling a lot, and I get a lot of respect from spreading the music across the world.
LessThan3: Since the tracks Awake and Fratello were already released in an EP on Drumcode, which track will you designate as the follow-up single from the full-length release?
Joseph: Well, I don’t think I’ll have any more singles. The full album presents its own integrity. If I do decide on a new single, I will choose either Basic Elements or Partenopeo.
LessThan3: Can you list some of the various pieces of equipment you use when producing?
Joseph: I have a lot of different digital equipment: I use a Juno-9 as a synthesizer, Maschine for beats, and a Virus-T for phasers. But for the most part, I use hardware for mastering. I do pre-mastering by myself, and the label does final mastering. I do all the mixing down myself; I have universal Audi hardware that I use for these tasks.
LessThan3: On your current worldwide tour, you only visited one North American city: New York. Is the city a special place for you as an artist?
Joseph: For me, New York is the most important city after Napoli, because it’s my hometown. I’ve been following New York’s sounds since the beginning. I was 11 when I began to play records, and the first tracks I played were by Danny Tenaglia, Louie Vega, and Francois K. I draw many influences from the city and its people. Now that I’m here playing my own music and receiving support from my heroes, it’s a truly amazing experience. Danny Tenaglia gave me a surprise warm-up at Output back in May; it was a dream come true. I want to give back the love to the city of New York, because it gave me a great opportunity.
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