Does listening only to dance music make for a shitty DJ? Should kids really be wasting their youth on songs without lyrics? Is Guy Gerber a genius, or just a really big Spinal Tap fan?
We spoke to the forward-thinking Israelite about working on his new album, 11:11, and the weird thought process behind his incoming magic-show-meets-rave, Wisdom of the Glove. He also has some sage advice for those of you trying to have sex and listen to music at the same time.
See Also: Guy Gerber: "EDM Is Horrible, But in the End, I Kind of Appreciate It"
Crossfade: You're quick to name drop post-punk bands as influences. I'm sure you're not the only DJ with such inspiration, but you don't hear about them from other producers as often as is probable. Why do you like to show them love?
Guy Gerber: When I grew up, I came into electronic music through these bands. I was against four to the floor, and at some point, I started loving it. It was a big change. But I would say, more than talking about producers, I think it's strange that a lot of young people today grow up on techno music. When you're a teenager, you should listen to some stuff that has lyrics; that gives you a hug when you need it, or maybe something that makes you want to break a window. Something that talks to you, and you can identify with. That's why I think some people are kind of worse DJs.
Would you say it's important for producers to listen to as many different types of music as possible?
I think people should listen to a lot of music, but as a producer, I feel that when I listen to other music, I get very influenced by it, and it's not necessarily a good thing. Sometimes, it's good to listen to other kinds of music and just get inspired to go to the studio and make something, but not to listen to that much music. I do naturally, but I'm not trying to get any ideas from music.
It's like, let's say, when I'm having sex and people can't listen to music. It has to be something off track because, when it's interesting, I find myself losing concentration and listen to the music. It has to be abstract. The mind wanders a bit, and I think that's part of the thing. I have a label, people send me the track and say "why didn't you listen to it yet?" Because I'm creating! I can't listen to another melody right now because I'm in this world at the moment. That's the good part of it and the bad part. I get really frustrated in the studio, and then at the end of the day, I just need some quiet. I'm struggling so much with finding the "thing," and then I listen to something so good, it breaks my heart. I need some peace after that.
Your show brand Wisdom of the Glove seems over-the-top, crazy. I can't help but think of Spinal Tap and their fictional-album Smell the Glove. You know it?
A lot of people mention that regarding the glove, but the whole glove is just to show people it's like a magician and everything. It's like Spinal Tap taking it to 11. If my profile was bigger, and I could afford more, this thing would have been ten times more hilarious. I couldn't make them happen, but I wanted it to be much more crazy. I would put a huge screen in the middle of the night, but really overwhelming, like, way too large. The music would stop for a second and then the music continues. Even something stupid as that.
Actually, coming to Miami, I would say I was lucky enough to work with people like this from Story. The people there understand the concept, and they work also, when I come. They bring a lot of ideas of their own, and the club is ready. Unfortunately, I can't take care to every show every single time. That's why I'm also trying to do it only in places that can hold the concert, that can actually accommodate the concert.
I think also, part of it is bringing the underground crowd and the table crowd together. I get bored if it's only an underground party, and I would get bored if it's a VIP party. If you think about studio 54, it was legendary, and it was everyone; drug dealers, hookers, normal people, journalists, artists. That is what I'd love to see. People with suits, and people like whatever. People always go against people in the suits, but I think it's funny when you play and you see these guys. You need to have some douchebags at the party. You see these dudes in suits and they don't know how to dance. I think it's funny.
What else are you working on?
I'm just about to release a big album, 11:11, out in two months and given for free. It's really next-level music, especially for after hours music. It's everything that I said before. I worked with Diddy, and I have to say he's great. We did this thing for a while, and we tried to show that music can be big but also not commercial. It's coming out around august.
Are you going to give us a taste of the new album at Story?
Definitely going to do it. I've been playing some of it for out a while, but now that it's ready, I'm playing most of the album every time.
Crossfade's Top Blogs
Guy Gerber Presents Wisdom of the Glove. With Visionquest's Ryan Crosson, Shaun Reeves, and Lee Curtiss. Saturday, July 5. Story, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The party starts at 11 p.m. and tickets cost $30 to $40 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-538-2424 or visit storymiami.com.
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