The Return of Chris Lake
Tue 7th Aug, 2012 Featuresin
It’s with good reason that Chris Lake has been a long-time favourite for ITMers. From his days as a hyped up-and-comer back in the mid-2000s, through his rapid ascent with chart-toppers Carry Me Away, Only One and If You Know to his recent accomplishments as the head of label Rising Records, Lake’s come a long way. Now, off the back of mixing OneLove’s 2012 Mobile Disco alongside John Course and Acid Jacks, the Scot is poised to return to Australia for a winter club tour.
For his first visit since We Love Sounds and Winter Sound System in 2009, Lake is headed around the country from next week. Ahead of his arrival, inthemix was lucky enough to have a quick chat with the man – and with the conversation spanning Deadmau5 being “a pain in the ass”, DJ Sneak’s beef with Steve Angello, the ongoing button pushing debate and records that are “too bad” to remix, it’s clear Chris Lake hasn’t lost any of that famous fire.
So where have I found you this morning?
I am sat outside my house in LA because it’s the only place I get a phone signal. It really sucks, it's actually a really awkward situation. But it’s quite nice to be sat in the sunshine.
Your disc on the One Love compilation is pretty different looking to the other two. Was there a specific brief you were given for the mix?
Yeah, luckily it was to do my own thing or else I wouldn’t be doing it. That’s very important to me, I’m very passionate about creativity and doing my own thing, and that’s exactly what I’ve done in the mix. It’s very true to what you can expect to hear from me at a nightclub, it's got a lot of records I’ve been playing over the past few months that are road-tested and that I believe in. So it was a very true representation of me.
You’ve worked with Deadmau5. How was that?
Um, well I mean he really is one of the most talented artists I’ve ever worked with. He’s very gifted, he’s very unique, he’s very opinionated, he’s very grumpy and he’s a bit of a pain in the ass sometimes. But you know, that’s him and he can mess with nature and that’s what makes him great. It was fun working with him and it was definitely very memorable. We still do a lot of work together, a lot of shows together – we’ve got one coming up this weekend in Toronto actually. He is very talented and he does deserve to be where he is at the moment.
Deadmau5 and Chris Lake – I Thought Inside Out
You mentioned that he’s opinionated. On that note, I saw that you posted A-Trak’s button-pushing feature to Facebook the other day. What’s your take on the whole debate?
It’s interesting. It’s, I dunno, at the end of the day I’m not really that bothered about how someone delivers whatever they’re delivering. If someone has a degree of passion and authenticity, it doesn’t matter to me if someone’s pushing one button or pushing 20 buttons, or if someone’s doing something super live. All that matters to me is that the music sounds great, that it’s something I can dance to in a nightclub and feel like I’ve had a great night. That’s all that really matters. Some people get really hung up on the technicalities…it doesn’t matter to me as long as it sounds good.
It feels like there’s been a lot of sniping between commercial and underground artists lately. Do you think that’s a recent phenomenon or is that because of social media we’re just noticing it more now?
I think it’s more because there’s more of a platform for different voices and different opinions to be noticed by one person on the internet. One of the ones I’m aware of is Angello and DJ Sneak bitching at each other and it’s just an opinion, I don’t think either person is particularly wrong and either person is particularly right, it’s just opinions. It’s easier for us to follow it now, whereas in years gone by it wasn’t so easy for one person to pick up on the conversation and share it with your mates and share it with other artists. Times have changed; we can spread things very quickly – spread opinions very quickly. We can bitch really loud as well.
You’ve obviously been doing music for a long time now. From where you’re standing has the industry changed since you started producing?
Yeah, it’s changed loads! It’s constantly evolving. The music, unfortunately, isn’t valued as much anymore. And I don’t just mean that financially, I mean that in an emotional aspect. When I bought my first records, I bought I vinyls and CDs and I could hold that record and I could smell it and there was like a physical emotion attached to that record. Now, the record buying public of today doesn’t really have that, people just delete it and move onto the next album that’s been downloaded for free using a file sharing program. People’s attention span is a lot shorter now, as an artist if you want to capture someone’s attention you’ve got to work a lot harder. You have to make more music. You have to try new things.
That’s one of the things. Production techniques have changed. It was expensive for me to start making music when I started and now if you own a computer you can make music for free. That’s a great thing, it’s a great thing for creativity, it’s good for people like me who had to spend a fortune getting started. Lots of things have changed; I like to think a lot of it’s for the good.