Interview with Carl Cox
So we had a pleasant conversation with Carl Cox the other day! All the way from his home in Melbourne the legendary DJ took the time to answer a couple of questions by phone. But how do you start an interview with someone who’s been on top of his game for over thirty years? Just dial the number and get going. Beep, beep…
Hello, Extrema Outdoor calling…
‘Yes, it’s Carl here. How you doing?’
Fine! Thank you very much for taking the time for this interview! How are you yourself?
‘Yeah, very well thank you! I’ve got a bit of a delay here. I’m stuck in Australia, haha.’
So you’re at the airport?
‘No no, I’m actually at my house here in Melbourne’
Great! Shall we get to the questions then?
‘Yeah, for sure.’
After thirty years in the industry. How do you keep things interesting for yourself?
‘I think a lot comes down to the fact that I always challenge myself. Whether it’d be new pieces of equipment, whether I’ve signed a new record to my label that’s a little bit different from the norm, whether I play to a big crowd or small crowd. My aim has always been to make sure that people get the best possible music. And that works for me, in the sense of pushing the sound of what I like and when it works out… For me that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. It’s the thing that keeps me excited. How people haven’t heard that mix, that track or that sound before. And I’m able to basically create those moments. So when I’m DJing and playing and the people get excited by my work, that’s the kind of thing that keeps me going.’
So, is there anything left on your bucket list creatively?
‘No. Well, not really. I think over the many, many years… I think I’ve done probably more than most DJs have done in their lifetime. I mean, I don’t know any other DJ that has played two New Year’s Eves in one night. I played in Sydney in the year 2000. I played for three hours, got on a flight, went back in time to Hawaii, landed at 7.30 in the evening and played again at twelve o’clock. So I played two New Year’s Eves. These are the sort of things that I’ve been able to do in my lifetime that leave a legacy of what I’ve created.’
How did you have any energy left after the two shows and a flight… It’s unbelievable.
‘Yeah, well I was pretty tired by the time I did the second show. The flight from Sydney to Hawaii… It was eight hours. So I was up throughout the whole flight, I was awake the entire set, of course, and before it turned twelve o’clock in Sydney. And when I landed on the other end I was up all the way through twelve, went to the party and played for three hours. After all of that I was pretty exhausted, haha. I was over it. But I’m very glad to have done it and it’s very well documented of course.’
‘Yeah, I can understand. Cool. So at Extrema Outdoor you’ll bring some of your friends. Can you tell us something about them and their music?’
‘Yeah, I mean each and everyone of them is powerful in their own field. There’s Cassy, she’s just fantastic. She plays vinyl and has a great Techno sound. She’s beautiful, she smiles when she’s playing. It’s really cool to see how she connects with the crowd and to see how they love her and her music.
Jon Rundell basically runs my record label, Intec Records. And over the years now, as a DJ himself – not just someone from the record label – he’s been very well respected because of what he has created. The remixes that he’s done over the years and his energy are both very catchy. He has a very cool sound when it comes to Techno music.
John Digweed is a legend. He’s one of those very well respected DJs. He continues to bring it to the table. He’s creating a whole new, unique Techno and House sound with the music that he’s signing to his record label Bedrock.
And of course there’s Loco Dice. Quite a Hip hop orientated House and Techno music power. To have him on board, it’s the icing on the cake. So for me, to have these people… They’re all my friends and I love them all dearly. They are all coming to the dancefloor and I support each and every one of them.’
Okay, last question. When you’re at home, just relaxing. What kind of music do you like to listen to? Is it all electronic, or something different, or…?
‘I listen to a lot of sixties funk and soul music. I really love the fact that it’s all a non-computer orientated, generated sound. There’s a lot of music by soul artists, R&B artists and on Motown records from this era… I really love the energy of that time. You know, early Stevie Wonder, that kinda stuff. It’s just really good feel-good music. And for me, I kinda get inspired from what I hear from the early days.’
Yeah, I understand. You should see the documentary ‘The Funk Brothers’, it’s about the musicians from Motown. It’s great.
‘Yeah, I’ve seen a little bit and so far it’s awesome! Those Motown records were so significant and so beautiful at the same time. It’s cool that you’re able to see that now and kind of re-educate people a little bit with where the music stems from. ‘Cause you know, when you hear those records, it’s raw talent. You couldn’t hide, it was all about what you did to bring it to the table. It’s nice for people to hopefully get to see that.’
Yeah… I agree. Well thank you very much for your time. See you in July, I’m looking forward to it.
‘Absolutely. And thank you. It’s the first time for me at Extrema, so I’m gonna be a virgin, haha.’
‘Even at this age, haha.’
‘Yeah, haha. Thank you. Alright. Ciao for now, bye.’
Extram, April 2016