While exploring the grounds at Oak Canyon Park during Woogie Weekend, Festival Sherpa was fortunate to meet and speak with one of Global Underground’s most successful artists, Nick Warren.
Nick gave us a unique insight into the world of a tenured DJ who has seen how the electronic music scene has changed throughout the years. Between cold beer and Marlboro Golds, we talked music, technology, and his opinions on the current rise of electronic music and what that means for the popularity of underground music.
Where were you playing before tonight?
Cielo in New York, it’s really loud in there but you can speak at a normal tone with no issues, great sound system.
Excited about tonight?
Festivals are always a different set, especially something outdoors like this, you can be a bit more experimental. I plan on playing fairly tough, spacey, trippy set tonight.
Have you ever played for The Do LaB before?
I did Lightning in a Bottle about 3 or 4 years ago at this same location actually, but it was at a much different scale then. California vibe is great but the weather (pouring rain) quite frankly is not much different than home (UK) at the moment. A bit too hot for me.
We recently had the chance to catch you at Avalon in a b2b2b with Hernan Cattaneo and Guy J, can youdescribe how this came together?
Special night wasn’t it? Me and Hernan play b2b a lot. It was all the club’s idea really to bring us together. A b2b is not easy. I’ve tried many times where we just don’t fuse together well. 1 on 1 track selection is too difficult of a setup. A 3 on 3 mix and match makes it easy to get into the flow and groove. The secret is to stand back, have a beer, chat, and choose your next track based on the last track, after it’s been played of course.
Do you plan anything prior to these b2b’s?
I’ve known Hernan for years but it’s all improv, we never plan anything.
What do you think of DJing using Abelton Live?
NW: Nothing wrong with it but it has its limitations. You can step up the atmosphere better manually (CDJ’s), you can bring the bass in hard, you can change the flow suddenly, and most importantly it builds energy. I tried using Ableton for one year and it was all just up and down up and down. I would put all my tracks in and just choose from one to another, the mixing was just too slow, personal preference of course but I struggled to do that with the laptop. Back in the day selecting and queuing up vinyl took at least 3 minutes of time, on a laptop you choose instantaneously and you’re left with all this time where most DJ’s resort to effects to fill the void.
How’s the dynamic with Jody Wisternoff (Way Out West) vs Hernan or Guy J?
Jody and I don’t really play b2b together because our styles are quite different. In terms of studio time it is fantastic. In the early days I was very much the sample man in the studio because I had a huge record collection and then Jody would be the man to put it together. But these days I can make my own tracks, thank god, so it’s more of a mixture. I’m a DJ that makes records.
What’s next for you?
Tomorrow I’m flying out to Ibiza for a Monday b2b set with Hernan at The Soundgarden for Ibiza Sessions, which is my new night on the Island. Flying from LA to London to Majorca to Ibiza.
What are your favorite clubs in the world?
Argentina and Japan have some of the grandest and electric clubs in the world. America has some more intimate clubs especially in San Francisco. Festivals on the other hand attract kids between the ages of 18-25 who aren’t really there searching for my music. That’s the way it is. By the time they get to the age where they would gravitate to my music they’ll concentrate on family or their job, a very small percentage will make it out. In the days of Sasha and John (Digweed) and Delta heavy tour here, places full of 18 years old all over the USA, now in America 18,19,20 year olds as a rule are into EDM. It’s a sign of the times, no point in complaining but that’s the way it is.
Do you think these young audiences will mature?
I don’t think so, maybe a small percentage. Now they tend to be more involved in the shift toward deep house, which isn’t really deep house.
Do you think the classic progressive sound will make a comeback?
Well the Germans are making it already but they call it Techno now.
Who are you listening to currently?
Tale of Us
How much are you traveling?
It sucks man. Within the next few days I may grab 3 hours of sleep on the plane, I’ll probably be awake for 30 hours and then go at it again. But having said that I had jobs before I was a DJ so I know what it’s like. Every DJ that complains about this topic is stupid. We get paid to play people music, that’s the best job. Playing music to people is not a hard job.
What’s your favorite drink?
Whiskey / Single malt scotch
Any last comments?
Jody and I got a new Way Out West album coming out the start of next year. I’m also collaborating with Guy Mantzur on a new single.
Interview by : Dominic Dang and Sam Siam