We caught up exclusively with Marc Vedo before he takes on our 103 decks tomorrow night for a Stealth Records takeover.
Your current single ‘Freak Out/Deep In Turin’ is your first release under the Stealth brand and Roger and the team have put their full support behind you and your music. What was your inspiration behind the track and how has the feedback been so far?
I have to say that Stealth have surpassed my expectations with their continued support and have been fantastic from the very start. I am very impressed!! The reaction to the tracks has also been great, both have received great support from DJs around the world, especially Roger Sanchez. "Freak Out" seems to have really touched a nerve and has stayed in the Top 20 Beatport chart for nearly two months, completely surpassing all my expectations. I actually can't remember what the inspiration for these tracks was to be honest but inspiration sometimes comes from a whole range of ideas as diverse as a classic song I hear on the radio which has a little hook that I think sounds great, and that's all you need to start developing a track.
Joining Roger for the Stealth party on May 25th you’re playing in the 103 room alongside My Digital Enemy and Igor Project. Checking your current release schedule you have a new record out on Zulu Records (My Digital Enemy’s label) which sees you teaming once again up with Boy George. Tell us more about this release and how it came about?
This track was actually released a few years ago on my other label VG records, co-owed with Boy George, and under an alias we created called Funkysober. After discussing it with everyone involved, we decided to release it under our own names and re-recorded the vocal with Sharlene Hector from Basement Jaxx, changed the music completely and released it with Zulu Records. My Digital Enemy have done a great remix and its already doing very well in the beatport charts! I think its currently around N30 in the charts so another strong follow up to my Stealth releases
You and George seem to have a close working relationship. How is it working with such a revered music star? Do you have any interesting stories to tell?
I love working with George, we have a great connection and we are best friends so when you work with your best friend it usually means great times, although we do annoy each other sometimes. Because I have known him for so long, I don't really see him as a revered music star just George. Off course I understand that he is an iconic figure within the music industry and still one of the most successful DJs in the world but when you work with someone every day for 12 years, all those things go out of the window and its the connection you have with that person on a personal level, not past history. I spend a huge amount of time with him, we go on holiday together with our families and travel the world on Tour, my wife calls him "wife N2"...haha. I have loads of interesting stories to tell but I am never going to tell them to you....honestly? Lol...We were both djing in Canada last for a massive New Years eve event in Quebec City, it was snowing, it was -15% and our DJ booth was outside and made out of ice. 25 000 people were going crazy in the snow, it was such a surreal experience!! We both really struggled mixing because of the cold and at one point I couldn't feel anything I was doing with my fingers. It was like DJing in the freezer for 1 hour!!
As well as legends like George and Roger supporting your music, other heavyweight artists in Pete Tong, Maceo Plex, Faithless (Sister Bliss) and Chris Lake have all given your music their seal of approval. How does it feel having such strong support for your releases from guys like this?
It actually gives me confidence in what I am doing and makes me strive harder to make the next track even better than the last one. If these top names are playing your music, it means your music is being played all over the world in clubs and on radio stations so for me that's a fantastic sign and makes me very proud.
Who would be your dream collaboration? And what do you think you would bring to the partnership?
I would love to collaborate with some of my favourite producers in the industry like Disclosure, Roger Sanchez, David Penn, Dusky, Maceo Plex. Everyone has their unique take on music and I think collaborations are all about bringing your own style to the table.
What’s you approach to producing a track, do you tend to start with a sample and reprocess this, is it a synth hook or do you start with percussion and build from there?
I don't necessarily have a strict way of working on a track, it really depends on so many factors. Sometimes I start a track from the middle, and work backwards, meaning I will start with the breakdown, build a main riff and then start finding the music to go with this. Other times I will start with the drums and build a track up this way although all of this depends whether or not you have a vocal already in place, or you doing a track with vocal in mind. I think being flexible and starting in different ways allows you to keep the music fresh and interesting so your productions always sound interesting and fresh!
Having been part of the scene since the mid-90’s your sound has changed quite a lot from trance and progressive to EDM and house music. How do you feel this has evolved you as a producer and can we expect an artist album in the future which brings to the table all of this knowledge?
I would love to do an album!! I have this burning desire to put all this knowledge down into an album which would allow me to express my musical tastes to the max but the main problem is time. Finding the time to do it would mean I would have to stop touring and releasing individual singles, which for me is hard as I love going on the road. You always find that artists doing albums go underground for months at a time, then pop back on the scene with an album and start their touring again. I understand and get why, but I am not sure if I could personally do that myself as I love playing in clubs/ Festivals and would get withdrawal symptoms. With regard to my sound, this has definitely changed over the years but the one main thing that has always been in my life is house music. Even back in the 90's when I used to play for big brands like Miss Moneypennies and Ministry on their house nights, on the same week I would play trance for big brands like God's Kitchen or Gatecrasher as well. I think with age my sound has matured and slowed down and I have a better appreciation for music and structure. I don't want to play music at high octane all the way through my sets, I much prefer to build my sets smoothly from deep house to tech house.
Being a deep house DJ, where do you stand ideologically, Chicago or Detroit?
Well, I wouldn't class myself exclusively as a Deep house DJ. I love deep house but my sets are all about mixing deep house, house and tech house. Detroit has always been about techno for me so definitely Chicago!!
What are your views on the use of technology by DJs today, specifically the “synch” option now available to laptop DJs and has recently turned up as a feature on the new pioneer CDJs?
The synch button is a good and a bad thing in my opinion. My biggest worry with the synch button and certain laptop DJ's is that they don't actually need to learn how to beat match and never will!! This is such a crime and your missing the essence of being a DJ- skilfully mixing great music. With the synch button "on", a monkey could press play on a CD player and drop all the latest David Guetta hits in a commercial club in Vegas and get everyone jumping like a bunch of chimps, but playing great music that is not tried and tested on a commercial radio station, being able to read the crowd and seamlessly blending music to keep the dance floor jumping is an art form that should never be forgotten and a skill that all DJs should strive to achieve. I learnt how to play on technics 1200's in the 90's and you were highly respected as a DJ if you could mix seamlessly because of the skill involved in beat matching. My first ever major article was in Mixmag and was all about my mixing ability being compared to Sasha, who at the time was one of the most respected DJ's in the world at beat matching. For me this was a huge honour and something I had worked really hard at perfecting from the very start. I don't think DJ's today set out with these mind sets as they don't need to but I just need to point out that if you play with CDJ's and you don't use the synch button, you still need to beat match and you can still screw up a mix. Only a couple of weeks ago I heard some awful mixing on CDJ's so even with all the technology advancements right now, you cannot hide poor skill. If you DJ with a laptop and use the synch button throughout the entire time then you might as well make a cd at home and play it instead, what's the point otherwise? The synch bottom on the new CDJ2000 nexus for me is a great additional tool to add to all the other tools available to DJ's today, but it shouldn't be used out of laziness, the same with laptops.
Looking at your background you have had incredibly packed tour schedule over the years, what has been your favourite event/destination/club to play?
My favourite places to play in the world have always been around Asia or in Canada but last year all of this changed with my residency at La Troya in Amnesia, Ibiza. Terrace in Amnesia is by far my favourite place in the world right now and La Troya party is so out there, its what all clubs should look like. I love it.
Who are you tipping to come good this summer?
I am really loving the sounds of Dusky right now. Very well produced house music which I think could easily cross over and become a big hit!
What do you still want to achieve in your career?
I would love to release an album as I mentioned before, continue the work in the studio and collaborate with more artists, develop the Koolwaters Recordings label, expand my management company to take on more artists and continue running our Koolwaters parties all over the world. I have always been interested in creating my own electronic music band, something similar to The Prodigy, Groove Armada, Underworld but first I would like to reach a certain point in my career before I do something like this.
Check out Marc Vedo's exclusive mix, only for Ministry of Sound
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS TO RELEASE YOURSELF WITH ROGER SANCHEZ TOMORROW NIGHT 25.05.13