When Daniel Avery first started DJing in the early 00s in his home town of Bournemouth, he regularly cleared the floor. On purpose. His sets featured a lot of on-trend (for the time) post- punk. If that didn’t work he’d reach for ‘March Of The Pigs’ by Nine Inch Nails, or something from thrash metal band Slayer’s 1986 album ‘Reign In Blood’.
On dictating what music people should like:
“I don’t believe in dictating what music people should like, but sometimes a dancefloor needs cleansing,”
“Maybe, but what you have to understand is that Bournemouth is one of the top hen and stag destinations in the UK,”
“The clubs are full of people asking the DJ to play funky house. They don’t care about music.”
On the impact of ‘Drone Logic’:
His 2013 debut album, ‘Drone Logic’ – one of the outstanding electronic releases of the last two years, –was brilliantly out of step with the rest of dance music. It reminded us that being ‘weird’ and ‘odd’ (the two words that cropped up most often in reviews) can be a very good thing. See the title track, a pulsing techno groove overlaid with white noise drones that, at times, were almost painfully loud.
“I like intensity in music.”
On the bond between crowd and DJ:
“DJing is a communal thing,” he explains. “It’s not the DJ playing music to a crowd. It’s the night as a whole. The DJ feeds off the energy of the crowd. That’s why it’s so exciting. The best nights are where the crowd trusts you and you trust the crowd.”
On artistic control:
“I can’t relinquish control of any part of it. I organised all the remixes on ‘New Energy’ myself. I have to have the final say on the Divided Love night. I have a big hand in the artwork. I co-direct my videos. Not because I want to be a tyrant; It’s all part of one thing for me.”
“I’m very particular about who I get to do remixes, so I trust them enough because I admire and respect what they do so much, so I’m fine with it,” he says. “But I couldn’t just give them to anyone. I’ve been asked to do remix competitions a few times, where anyone can have a go at remixing one of your tracks, but I just couldn’t do that.”
“It’s not because I don’t want to be seen with these guys,”
“It’s just that I think the night as a whole is really important.”
On losing yourself in the music:
“I like waves of noise. It’s that feeling of being lost inside sound. Almost literally. Like when you’re in a club and you feel like you can’t move. I’ve never wanted to make anything ‘pleasant’ or easy listening,”
On Erol Alkan:
“Erol doesn’t do anything by halves, that’s the biggest compliment I can pay to anyone. He cares so much about every aspect of a release, of a DJ set. I’ve never seen any other DJ, when they arrive at a club, ask, ‘Can I speak to the lighting guy? Can I speak to the sound man?’ He tries to ensure everything is 100 per cent perfect.”
On his success:
“Any success I’ve had has built slowly,” he says. “It’s definitely not been an over-night thing. The gigs I’m headlining now are clubs that I played the bottom of the bill five years ago. My taste has gone down different avenues, but fundamentally I haven’t changed anything I do in that time.”
“I want people to have a good night, but I have to like it too.”
For more info on this interview, click here for the full the Mixmag blogpost.
Make sure not to miss out on our Make it New show on May 7th with Daniel Avery! Click here for more info.