It’s been 18 years since your last visit to Bristol. Do you keep any memories of your previous visit to the city?
I actually can't believe it's been 18 years. I honestly don't remember anything at all about that night. But that's my artist brain...I remember events...not really cities and towns. BUT I'm sure it was a memorable night. July 27th won't be forgotten though. I'm excited right now! So it will remain with me.
Placid, an absolute hero of the UK acid scene will be warming up the place for you. What is the relationship between you both?
Honestly, we've never met. BUT I know the name. He did a DJ Pierre dedication mix recently and I respected that very much. You get things like that when you are close to death or dead. I don't think Placid is giving a hint so I take that as a compliment.
Can we find Placid’s music in your vinyl bag?
Actually I'm digging around to see what I can pull out. I may have a few surprises on the night. You have to be there to find out.
It’s been 26 years on the road. How much the scene changed during all those years according to your views and experiences?
Feels like I'm just starting out. House music the baby has fed off the foundations we (the Marshall Jeff's, Hurley's, Lil Louis's, Farley's, Fingers Inc, Saunders) laid out and grew up into what we know as EDM. So the scene has always been changing. Looking back I think I innately knew that it would go in this direction because my tracks were always ahead of their time. When "House" was in I was messing around with a more EDM flow. Look at Acid Trax. I started out more "weird" experimental, electronic sounding. I was always more tracky....which is really now EDM. So "House" people who knock what's going on now need to get some knowledge. To not accept it is like cutting off your own legs. Of course you have to filter and reject the empty, soul-less results or just the noise as I call it...you can throw those back. But all the phases of House music should be accepted. I always say the music and sound of today caught up to me. Lol. I'm comfortable with the way things are. I've always been a little more "harder" edgier than most of the artists from Chicago. And that makes it easier to flow with doing tracks for a Boys Noize Records and Dimmak (steve aoki) and working with Bart B More, Tommie Sunshine and guys that are at the top of the sound right now. I take elements from Dubstep, Electro, Techno, Reggae and put my stamp on EDM as we know it now. That is the biggest change in House music. It is not restricted to one sound...style. I created Afro Acid to give me that creative freedom...so House music now is the perfect environment for me to create. Watch for upcoming releases.
In the early stages of EDM and according to some of the UR guys, using alias was a way to make the local scenes look bigger, however nowadays it looks a bit pointless due to thousands of releases coming out everyday. What’s the reason behind your many aka’s? Are you still using them?
My reason is really not that deep to be honest. I was signed to a label in NY and I was putting out so many tracks as DJ Pierre so quickly I could not put them all under DJ Pierre. People were not making albums then (only compilations) so I just got creative. I still use "The DON".
My new one is my alter ego really called AC!D FACE. Its a live show and collaboration with Angel Alanis.
Since the Acid house explosion in Europe in the late 80’s, Acid electronic music has been one of the few genres that have not seen a proper revival. It may be due to the fact that it never went away; it has always had a place in the underground. However, the rave scene that followed the Acid House explosion in Europe looks like it is coming back (mostly due to most clubs becoming mainstream and the new regulations that make more and more difficult to put on a good (free) party) is it time for a new free party revival?
Man...I've always played Acid house parties. I've never stopped. Acid is the strongest the last few years than most though. Boys Noize asked me for an acid track for his label. I named it ACiD. Its a banger. People really love it which tells me Acid is here to stay. It morphed into other things as well which kind of stopped it's full growth potential. But people like Placid and other artists who focus on Acid will always be around. If you are the creative type who I a little rebellious you will look towards Acid House. So looking forward to doing more and more...especially as AC!D FACE.
Mainstream EDM (i.e. David Guetta or Skrillex) in the USA is becoming the new rock circus. DJs are now rockstars that can fill in stadium without even playing or mixing live music… what are your thoughts about this popularisation of the genre?
I say leave it alone to all the haters. As long as people know the history of this music and credit is given to all the blood sweat and tears of all the artists who paved the way, I say stop the negativity and let it evolve. When I started djing I was making more a year than someone who went to college for 6 years and got a top degree like a Masters...as we call it here in the US. Looking back that's crazy. No one complained then when we were making all the dough. So why complain now.
We need a face. We never had a face. People knew tracks but never knew what we looked like. They knew nothing about us. Mainstream was not like that. Mainstream is artist driven. House was music/track driven and not as structured. This was the main reason why so many of us got taken advantage of. Now EDM is more structured and it puts a face to what we do. I still love the underground. From time to time just to stay fresh I'll play a party with 300 people going nuts...nothing beats that. I will always do that. But we have lives, and families to support. So you have to adapt to what's happening. And not only adapt...add your own stamp to it! I may not agree with the fees some people are charging...I wouldn't do it because I do think some are extreme. It takes away from the specialness we boasted about in House music. The family idea of all for one, one for all vibe that I started out seeing. But to each his own. I say let's be wise on who we support but don't knock the people who are getting the spotlight at the moment. They obviously are there for reason. They touched a few people right? Guetta has always given props to myself and other artists. In fact he reminded me he was the first one who booked me in FRANCE ever! He always states where his inspiration comes from. He's been around forever. So he paid his dues.
Are you still sticking to vinyl or have you made a move into digital DJing? Are there any particular philosophies/restrictions you adhere to?
I've made the move to a USB stick! But I always request 1200's along with CDJs. I will always play vinyl. I will never allow a computer to keep me on beat. Now for a LIVE show I do need to flow with a certain set up. I'm still getting used to the idea of a LIVE show because it is not djing. So I find myself dealing with technology leading the way so I can give an enhanced show. But that's part of it.
Talking about other musicians, it’s said that you were the “patron” of Felix Stallins Jr., better known as Felix Da Housecat. Would you like to tell us the story behind your relationship?
Short story is I took him in the studio and we made his first track called Phantasy Girl, still a Chicago favorite. I then told him to tell people he djed also and in the meantimelearn how to dj. LOL! I said start accepting gigs...even when he didn't know how to dj- and just learn the craft. I paid for him and roy davis jr to come with me to London for a few weeks and he shopped his first track to Guerilla Records pretending to be me! I walked him into Ministry of Sound and got them a profile in Echo magazine saying "DJ Pierre says Felix and Roy are the next best thing" something like that. So I saw his talent and basically did what I could to get him through the door. Very proud of him and Roy Davis Jr. They've done a lot for the scene.
Was there a single moment that set you on your musical journey, an album or single that made you feel that you wanted to create your own music?
Yes, Spanky, my friend and group member from Phuture was the one who convinced me I should make music. That's how simply it was. I was a DJ first. I didn't see myself as a producer. So big ups to Spanky.
Finally, what can we expect for Dj Pierre in a near future?
Just more growth. I have a track featuring a Jamaican legend RORY who is the frontman for Stonelove, a premier soundsystem similar to David Rodigan from Rodigan International there in the UK. Track is called "Selekta". Hot track. I am re-doing The Horn Sing with Green Velvet and will be out on Cajual Records soon. Out right now is a re-work of "We Are Phuture" by me Carl Cox, and Steve Ward, and also out on my label Afro Acid Digital is XTC by "Xenia Beliayeva. Possible collabs with a few people you may know is also in the works! Things come up so quickly so best way is to catch me on twitter or FB for the skinny. Appreciate the time and see you friday and hopefully Saturday in London as well. oNe
Catch DJ Pierre thios Friday @ Factory Studios, and hosted by Muzik.
Tickets are still available: