A Quick fire with Dubfire. Interviewed by Priya Sen, You can follow her on Twitter here.
One of the busiest super stars of electronic dance music has graced India with his presence at last and we at Euphoric couldn’t resist our active imagination to stay put, so the only way to get ahead with the boss of Techno was to ride the crest on a quick fire session of fun & frolic to break away from the regular by asking him what makes him tick musically and otherwise. His commitment to sophistication in dance music has earned him worldwide prestige, as he doesn’t stop with his endeavour to take the sounds of the Underground to newer and more accessible heights….I caught up with Ali ahead of his Mumbai gig for a breezy one on one.
Which was the first ever Electronic dance music event that you attended?
Dubfire- Honestly I don’t remember the first one, but those days in Washington D.C Laurent Garnier used to come to perform.
It was one of those gigs probably. I realised exactly what the art form is about in terms of opening. Laurent could come and do everything of what djs do today. I used to be friendly with the promoter and would go early to listen to him from beginning to end and see to the way he would program his set. These days the art of programming ones set is lost.
Djs while you were growing up that you were impressed with?
Dubfire- Laurent Garnier for sure and then there was Danny Tenaglia, Masters at Work. We would always go to New York, make pilgrimages to Sound Factory, all the early Shelter plus the famous parties prevalent in those days. I would just go observe, listen and absorb what I could.
Which do you prefer, club or festival format?
Dubfire- I like both. For instance I like Timewarp because it feels like a giant club. Indoor or outdoor festivals can be really exciting and full of adrenaline. If you ask me, where I am most comfortable at, I am most comfortable at clubs. I prefer more of the intimate vibe. Festivals take me out of my comfort zone and I guess everyone needs to be challenged.
Traktor, Ableton or Serato?
Dubfire- I am a slave to technology, so Traktor.
Which is your favourite cuisine and what is the weirdest thing you’ve put in your mouth?
Dubfire- It’s Japanese. The weirdest thing I ever ate was Shark cartilage, which was disgusting. I don’t understand how people can eat that.
Which is your favourite city in the world to play at?
Do you play any musical instrument; if yes which one is it?
Dubfire- I play the Guitar
Which was the most recent gig you have attended that you weren’t playing in?
Dubfire- I have a tendency to go out and the most recent one was during the Winter Music Conference to The Circo Loco party.
Favourite movie and book?
Dubfire- I haven’t read in a long time. Actually I have read a book, but it’s on Sake. The books that I read aren’t novels, they’re more Autobiographies or to learn about something.
If you were a super hero, who would you be?
What don’t you ever leave your home without?
Dubfire- All I need is my Laptop, it is also my studio and then there’s my passport. Everything else could burn down I don’t need anything else.
On an average how many promos or tracks do you listen to on a daily basis?
Dubfire- I listen to too many Promos. I have 2 to 3 guys who are a team downloading everything and putting them in to folders or uploading to drop box and I download them. I also have stuff that people send me on Skype, through emails, AIM, Ichat etc.
What is the one genre of music you’ll never play?
Dubfire- Hehe what do you call what Sultan & Shepard play looking at me? (I quipped they release under
the Progressive House category) and he piped in to say that I am probably right. I think Progressive House if it wasn’t a dirty word earlier, it is a dirty word now.
According to you which are the 3 things that are required to be an extra-ordinary Dj/Performer?
Dubfire- Patience, intelligence, they need to be humble. Those are the main things. So many of the younger Djs these days have no respect for the older generation of performers, cause they are the ones who paved the way for whatever these guys are doing today. I see a lack of respect.
Can you pick a tune that you’ve produced; you are personally proud of…sum up your ride as a Dj/ Producer in one sentence, are you satisfied?
Dubfire- I can honestly say that I tried to make each project different and unique and be proud of it. But yes it would be the ‘Grindhouse’ remix is one that everybody seems to have held up as the pinnacle. Not only of what I have done but in terms of what I, can achieve production wise. I have so many people surprising me by how influenced they are by this track.
To the second part of the question, I am never satisfied. If I have one bad gig, I get unnerved and that keeps me going. ‘Grindhouse’ happened, I am very proud of it, but I moved on. But people still talk about it, play it but then again if I have a bad gig or a recent production that really sucks I feel like my career is over. That’s what drives me.
Priya Sen with Ryan (manager) and Dubfire (Ali)