This Saturday, 4th May, brings the first Toolroom Records show of 2013! We catch up with head honcho Mark Knight on how it feels to turn Ten, on Duke Dumont and why he WONT be playing folk on Saturday!
Hi Mark, how are things? What have you been up to since your last sold out show with us on NYE?
I had a pretty crazy January. I always used to give myself the chance to take January off, but now with the Global explosion of Dance Music led by America, the Southern Hemisphere is just bonkers! I ended up doing 21 shows in January and it was similar in Feb! Since then I have backed off on the shows and got myself in the studio and have got loads done, I don’t think I have ever been so busy! It has been prolific in terms of writing records and I know that summer is going to be mental with Ibiza, festivals and this Toolroom Ten campaign so just getting as much music stockpiled as possible!
So you have had a chance to get back in the studio. Does the time of year affect the type of music that you make?
Not really as I sit in a room that is pitch black!
It could be sunny or snowing and I wouldn’t know, so it probably doesn’t have that much affect on me. I tend to draw my inspiration from things I hear and what I am feeling at that moment in time, more than the ambience, the place I am in or the weather.
What kind of stuff are you making?
I wrote ‘Ten’ at the beginning of the year which is such a big room anthem that now I have gone back to writing more underground club / tour tracks. Every year I like to do one really big one and now I that I have that under my belt I am concentrating on more housey club records, and if they are big then they can naturally evolve instead of trying to write records that are really big. They are my tactics!
(Out Now on Beatport)
How do you test out your new material?
I am the world’s slowest producer at finishing records! I always think - you can’t just go back on to Beatport and say “ooh I will just add this part.”
I don’t think there should be a timeframe on when you should finish music; it is a case of refining an idea until it cannot be any better. It needs to be listened to in different circumstances – in the car, in the gym, in a club. If someone only hears a new track it in the club it would be very one dimensional!
I spent about 6 months road testing ‘Your Love’ and was only happy when I KNEW that it was the best that it could possibly be!
(Out Now on Beatport)
What are you doing this summer?
The real backbone of the summer is Toolroom Ten. This is a ten week campaign we have planned to mark the decade anniversary of the label. We are keeping the details under wraps for now, but I can tell you the campaign will culminate with something very special at Ministry of Sound in the first weekend of October!
We also have some exciting announcements to make in Ibiza, and of course lots of festivals, and lots of Touring. We are constantly pushing ourselves to do much bigger performances so I will be really concentrating on that this summer.
You are not just a DJ for Toolroom, you also run the events and the label – is this as important for you?
I am involved in the business at all levels. I spent all day getting logo designs, to A&R meetings, financially planning, even hiring staff.
I think it is very important that when you have a vision of what you stand for, it transcends on all levels. For that reason I have to be involved and I get a real thrill out of it!
I actually enjoy all of this side of things as much, and there is definitely a creative process of making a record to the performance to the production and programming that are all intrinsically linked and pushing them both to work together has been key to our success.
The secret of it all has been the passion to do music with the business sense to follow it through.
I enjoy doing a residency in Ibiza and then sitting with the team and working out what line-up we should put together for this festival, or this tour and I enjoy it. It is a lot of work – the wife is going to kill me – but it I love it. It is a great labour of love to have.
Toolroom started off in the Babybox and now you will celebrate your 10th year here this year – how does that make you feel?
It makes me feel old! I can’t even remember doing the baby box which is probably the best way to describe it is a great achievement. As someone who used to go to Ministry as a clubber to even think that one day I could play in the Box was such a massive thing and then to go on and celebrate Ten years in the place that it all started is a really big deal and it will be for me personally.
I remember the first time I ever played in the box I was so nervous and I don’t get nervous really often – I even threw up in the toilets – I was like god I am playing at Ministry of Sound!
You are coming to play at Ministry this Sat – what can we expect?
I was thinking of flipping it and playing pure folk. A folk influenced 3 hours for sure.
Haha, no with Duke playing I am going to play stuff which is a bit deeper which I am really excited about. I think it is important to compliment your guest without losing your own identity with what you play. So I am looking forward to that.
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS TO TOOLROOM KNIGHTS WITH MARK KNIGHT & DUKE DUMONT 04.05.13