Who are your musical influences?
I'm extremely eclectic when it comes to music. I listen to everything, from classical music to heavy metal and everything in between. I couldn't care less about genre and care a lot more about quality. Different songs speak to me in different ways, and sometimes I'm in the mood to listen to Händel and sometimes all I want is a good dose of Iron Maiden.
That being said, I'm a huge fan of electronic music, and I think that genre influences my production and my DJing the most. If I had to pick one band, I would pick Depeche Mode. They have been around forever and have been consistently great. I love the atmosphere of their songs and the fact that they're constantly renewing their sound -- yet they're always recognizable. It's something I try to do, to keep my sets cutting edge but always have that "Aspeth touch." The best compliment I get is when someone says, "I didn't know that set was yours, but I thought so because it had your style." It's pretty hard to find your style in the first place and then to be consistent with it, and DM has done that. I get a lot of inspiration from them.
What are you enjoying mixing right now?
I think this is a great time for electronic music and for trance in particular. The scene is maturing and enjoying some mainstream attention, which is both good and bad -- but more good than bad, I believe.
Production values go up, and in the end we get songs that are much more polished. It raises the bar in terms of mastering and production quality. The flip side is that we get some very "commercial" sounding tracks. There's always been some crappy commercial stuff coming out, but it's up to us DJs to weed those out. :p
There are quite a few great producers I'm enjoying right now. One of my favourites at the moment is tyDi. He's incredibly talented and is one of the best things to come out of the recent Russian electronic music scene. Ashley Wallbridge is doing some amazing tracks, as well; Omnia, Tritonal, Josh Gabriel, Claudia Cazacu, all doing very solid production work. It's a good time to be a trance DJ!
Have you ever included a WoW track in your mix? Which do you think would work best?
No I haven't yet; I've actually considered that a lot of times. I have the Echoes of War CD, and there are a ton of nice songs which could work out as intros, but I never really got to use them.
One song in particular that I'd love to use is one which plays in the Night Elf area, with a nice choir and harp arrangement. Another one that I love is Lament of the Highborne. I do want to use one of them sometime still. =)
So when do you get time to actually sit down and play WoW?
What I've been doing lately is bringing my laptop with me to the studio when I'm scouting promos (selecting tracks for my regular sets or special mixes). There are two types of "listening sessions" I do. One is more technical, where I really have to concentrate on listening to memorize the songs so I know what's going on when I'm playing them live. But when scouting songs, it's actually healthy to kinda "not be listening," as in paying attention to something else while you're listening, because if a song really catches your interest that way, it's because you like it. You tend to ignore the songs that don't do anything to you and pick up the ones that get you back from whatever you're doing into listening to them. Those are the songs that I want to listen more carefully a second time.
So what I do is I load a whole bunch of promos (new tracks I receive from producers) into a playlist and play WoW (usually fishing, because it's so soothing, LOL!) and just take notes of the songs that make an impression during my game session. It works quite well. =) So if this keeps working, I might be playing a bit more in the future!
So how about us North American Aspeth fans? Think you'll ever do a club tour of North America?
Yes! In fact, I'm going to be playing in the LA Lovefest in August and possibly in San Francisco that same week. I'm very excited about it. =) Also planning a tour to the U.S. after my European tour in September. It will probably be around November.
Any special projects you're working on right now? What's ahead?
Lots of new projects, actually. =) I got a deal with Trama, a record label, last month to release my first original track, and I've been working at a few remixes. I've been wanting to get into production for a while now, and I'm very happy to be able to finally do it. =) I'm also going on tour to Europe in September and have a U.S. tour in the works for the end of the year. Very excited about these next few months!
"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- neither did we, until we talked with these players. From an Oscar-winning 3-D effects director to a custom action figure artist, catch it on 15 Minutes of Fame.