[Exclusive Interview] Laidback Luke Lets Us in on His Love for NYC, Dilligas, and the Bad Kids
Last weekend Sensible Reason got the opportunity to sit down in the green room and chat with legendary DJ and producer, Laidback Luke, just minutes before he put on an outstanding performance at Webster Hall, NYC. Luke, a true veteran in the dance music industry, was the most relaxed artist I have had the pleasure of interviewing and he kept a smile on his face the entire time. Luke discussed his music plans for 2015, let us in on artists to watch out for, and gave us some great vacation destination suggestions!
Sensible Reason: In previous interviews you’ve stated that NYC has one of the most enthusiastic dance music crowds in the world, that being said, how excited are you for tonight’s set?
Laidback Luke: Oh, I’m super excited! It’s a bit of a challenge for me as well. So it’s two nights in a row and I know there’s a lot of people coming tomorrow that are coming today, so that will be very interesting, you know? And I never prepare my sets or rehearse, so I’ll need to make sure not to play the same tracks. And, you know, because my wife (DJ Gina Turner) is from New York, it kinda feels like playing to a home crowd and I think I’ve finally figured out how the people are around here, and I love it.
SR: What has been one of your favorite shows of 2014 and why?
LBL: Yeah, so I always name the number one show of the year. And, although I did the biggest and best such as EDC Vegas and two weekends of Tomorrowland, I feel the best show was in Montreal at a festival called Ilesoniq. It was pouring down like crazy and the people stayed, and they partied so hard. To me it’s all the factors: how I feel behind the booth, how I think the set goes, how the interaction with the crowd goes, how the vibe is…and I think Montreal took it there this year.
SR: That definitely shows the fans’ dedication if it was raining really hard, and they stayed and went hard.
LBL: Oh it was insane! It was so wet, it came pouring down. It was amazing.
SR: Which artist(s) do you think are on the brink of blowing up in the dance music world? Why?
LBL: Well it comes in various forms and shapes. Guys like Oliver Heldens broke through this year, so I don’t know if I should mention him. Is he going to like Hardwell level…I don’t know. I mean the guys who I’m playing with here this weekend I think are ready for it. So, D.O.D., who’s opening right now and the guys who are closing, Shelco Garcia & Teen Wolf, are working really hard to come up with the biggest tracks for my Mixmash Records…so you never really know. I have one of my personal favorites, he releases on the Crookers label right now, his name is Dilligas. I think he’s doing amazing stuff and he only has about 500 Twitter followers right now, but I’ve been following him since his release and he’s done amazing stuff. (Side note: Laidback Luke played some of Dilligas’ stuff during his Friday night show at Webster Hall).
SR: Where do you see yourself musically in 2015 in terms of collaborations and sound? For example, some of your newer tracks have a “housier” vibe, like your collaboration with Project 46.
LBL: So I think my first release of 2015 will be a collab with Tujamo, which is a “housier” vibe. In the background, I’ve only been making future house type of stuff and actually trying to get the sound to a next level. I don’t want to sound like everyone else, trying to remake “Gecko.” I want to bring back electro and rave to future house.
SR: You’ve explained that being a father doesn’t slow you down in terms of your career. How have you learned to balance family and the demands of the music industry life?
LBL: It’s a challenge. It’s easier said than done, but it’s all about scheduling and planning things out. Sometimes people think that’s really boring, but in my case we really need to. My wife and I, and my management as well, pull up the monthly calendar and figure out ‘the daddy days,’ and everyone works around them.
SR: [Fan Question] What is your favorite vacation spot?
LBL: Every year, for the last ten years, we’ve been taking the family, since I never see my family because I’m always on the road, to Ibiza, When I go on vacation I take ten people, my closest family members, to Ibiza and rent a villa. We don’t go out and party, we just really chillout.The quiet side of the island is amazing and it really settles you down.
SR: Most people probably don’t know that about Ibiza. I know for most people when they think of Ibiza, they just think of the crazy parties.
LBL: Exactly. When you find the quiet side, it’s very addicting.
SR: Being a veteran in the dance music industry, what’s the most important piece of advice you’ve ever received that you want to pass on to young, aspiring DJ’s?
LBL: Well what’s very important is to never grow old. So my mentors are Chocolate Puma; they discovered me back in the mid 90’s and gave me my first record deal, and they’re still going as well. They are evolving with the times. So basically, when you start saying ‘I don’t like this and I don’t like that,’ you limit yourself. So stay open and stay positive.
SR: So I heard from a little birdie that you’re a ‘Bad Kid.’ How much do you like their BAE shirt?
LBL: Ahh! Hey, I feel there’s a connection here! I love Bad Kids! It’s funny, I sent an email to D.O.D. because he wasn’t replying to some of the emails from Bad Kids and my subject line was ‘Kayla Colby = Family.’ I’ve been in touch with Kayla Colby and the Bad Kids, and I love what they do. Kayla made a birth card for our daughter, so Kayla is actually very close to us. I love everything they do and I’m a big fan, and I should be getting and wearing more of their stuff.
Special thanks to Jose and Laurien at The Media Nanny for making this interview possible! I would also like to thank my good friend, Sean Mahoney, for recording this interview! For more info on what it takes to join Luke and become a “Bad Kid,” visit: http://www.badkidscollective.com/.