Arthur Galestian Interviews British Trance DJ/Producer Lange
Friday, April 2, 2010
Arthur catches up with Lange before his weekend gigs in Hollywood with Ferry Corsten, and in New York with the live broadcast of Armin van Buuren’s “A State of Trance”, episode 450. Lange talks about business and his life on the road, in the studio, and behind the decks!
Arthur Galestian: Hey, what’s up everybody? I got Lange here in the studio. How’s it going, Lange?
Lange: Very well, thanks.
AG: It’s good to have you back again. Last we talked, it was ’07 when you were here for your gig, so it’s been quite a while. I’m sure there’s a lot to talk about in the three years since we’ve last gotten together.
Lange: Ah, yeah, a few things.
AG: One of your biggest accomplishments is that you’re actually #31 in the DJ Mag rankings now, so you’ve jumped up quite a bit since we last talked. That’s good news, how does that feel?
Lange: It’s great. I try not to take much notice of the poll, but you can’t help yourself, obviously. It’s a popularity poll, I guess, as people always sort of moan about, but I’m happy to be in it; it’s definitely better than not being in it!
AG: So tonight you’re spinning at the Hollywood Palladium with Ferry Corsten and Aly & Fila. Have you played with them before?
Lange: I’ve played with Ferry several times on his album tours last year as well, which were brilliant. I’m expecting the same actually tonight. I’ve not seen this “Once Upon a Night” show, so looking forward to it. I’ve not played with Aly & Fila, actually, so it’d be good to meet those guys.
AG: You just got back from the Miami Winter Music Conference. It was your first time spinning out there, so why don’t you tell us a little bit about your experience and what it feels like to be over there in wonderful Miami?
Lange: Miami was good fun, a really good event, actually, with Andy Moor, Tydi, Marcus Schossow, and Andy Duguid. Really busy event, so really pleased that it went well. I wasn’t there that long, it was a shame, ‘cause I had to go to Kuala Lumpur straight after, so I was literally in Miami for ten hours, but it was well worth stopping by on the way past from Hawaii.
AG: You’re mentioning that you’ve got your globetrotting going on here. The UK is one of the biggest exports of trance and it was home to some of the biggest names when trance exploded in the nineties. How would you compare how the scene is in the different places that you travel to around the world to your home town? Especially, being the icon landmark for trance music that [the UK] was… or is?
Lange: Well, at the end of the day, like in most industries, it’s a complete global scene now. I don’t think you can even isolate locations anymore for those scenes, because there are so many global travelers and so many global clubbers. I actually see people frequently in the Netherlands who’re from the UK, or people at events in L.A. who are actually from the other side of the country. But it’s interesting to go to some of the newer territories—I say “newer”, I mean they’ve had it for so many years, but you know, some of the “fresher” territories, like Eastern Europe, where they just go absolutely crazy! I think it’s something about the Eastern European heart; they’re very passionate people—like in Russia, Ukraine, and Poland. Those new places that didn’t really have the heyday of trance like the UK did, they’re the places that are really exciting to play. I’m not saying the UK isn’t exciting to play, by the way. You can have a really good time in the UK, as well. And it’s on the increase in the UK.
AG: How do you get your sound out to places where it wasn’t before? How do you go about expanding the sound that is “Lange” to newer territories?
Lange: Well, the biggest promotional tool is music. So, if the music is getting out to an area, I get a booking and that’s my first my step in. Or even doing a radio show interview, which has been the case on some occasions. The demand’s built, and then you get a gig out there. A good example is actually Hawaii. I’ve just been back there. They had a really good party and it was a lot bigger than the first party. The scene’s building there, and I’ve had the opportunity to go back and it was such a great event, I’m no doubt going back in a year or two.
AG: I’m sure the Hawaiian crowd is pleased to hear that.
Lange: Yeah, it was really brilliant. They’re a great crowd over there.
AG: For the aspiring DJs and producers, if you had to pick three characteristics for success, what would they be?
Lange: Three things I would say you need to have: one would be, perhaps, you need to be a bit of a perfectionist with production if you’re going along that route, and certainly if you’re looking to grow in this industry, I’d suggest producing. You need to be almost ridiculously nerdy with your production. I think it’s probably the way it’s going at the moment, because the competition out there is really high, the standard’s really high. There are some great producers. So you have to be prepared to not see the sunshine very often for a few years. (laughs)
AG: Not a problem in the UK, is it? (laughs)
Lange: No, in the UK, we just miss a grey day! So that would be the first thing—attention to detail. Second, you’ve got to believe in yourself, but at the same time, keep a level of perspective when things get interesting. It’s very easy to absorb some of the accolades, and, you know…
AG: Keep your ego in check.
Lange: You’ve got to keep your ego in check is basically what I’m saying. And a third thing—I guess you’ve just got to get used to eating airplane food (laughs).
AG: You’ve got your podcast going, Intercity Radio, which is an amazing show. If somebody were new to trance, or if there are listeners out there who are trying to find out more about your podcast, why should they jump on right now and subscribe?
Lange: Well, that’s a difficult one, ‘cause so many people do shows, so I’m sure mine’s not “unique” other than it’s obviously my taste and I would naturally be arguing that I have really good taste in music.
AG: He has great taste, ladies and gentlemen!
Lange: And therefore you should listen to my show for that reason! (chuckles) I would recommend my show because it’s a good balance of having some mixed tracks, but also quick-fire sections, where I try and squeeze in as many as I can. Every couple of weeks, you get to hear all the best stuff that’s knocking around.
AG: You also re-launched your label last year. What was the inspiration behind that?
Lange: Well the label was never dead completely. I just put it on the back burner for a little bit around the time of my last album, “Better Late Than Never”. We were working with New State on that one, so that was kind of taking the focus away from Lange Recordings. Last year, I decided that we were going to completely kick-start the label and really give it a good push. And things have been going really well, actually. I’ve been really pleased that I’ve got some really good artists involved now, so I think we’re onwards and outwards with the label.
AG: Why last year? What were some of the goals that you decided to accomplish through the label when you decided “2009 is it, I’m going to get this thing off the ground!”
Lange: I don’t know what it was about last year, but things have been going really well, and I felt that I had time to do the additional stuff like really getting the label rocking. That’s largely down to taking on more people and having a better support group, because there’s so much to do. That’d probably be another piece of advice to people when they’re up and coming in this industry. You have to have support, because there are so many things and if you get bogged down in all of it, you will struggle. You have to let go of things, which I perhaps haven’t done over the years, but now I’ve got a great team.
AG: So you’re jumping around from city to city, and with all the administrative stuff going on with the business, when you finally get a chance to sit in the studio, what’s the first thing you do to finally gain focus and let the inspiration take over?
Lange: Well, the first thing I do on a studio day is go make a really nice cup of tea. That’s the best way to get the day started, but that’s probably the British in me. Inspiration-wise, it’s quite difficult to pinpoint how I do it these days, because you do have a very short period of time in between tour dates. Quite often, you’ve just come back and you’re very tired. So, you have to force yourself to work on certain days. Sitting there, waiting for inspiration isn’t really going to happen. From experience, the best way I can focus is actually if I work late at night. I do get up to work in the studio in the day, but more often than not, things really start to kick off around nine or ten o’ clock at night, and before you know I’m thinking “actually, things are going well, I should really stick with this” and 5 AM, 6AM… then bed.
AG: Sun comes up!
Lange: Yeah, the problem I’ve got with this: that kind of fits in well with the DJing on weekends and the late nights, etc. But, I actually hate getting up late. I almost feel like I’ve been robbed of the day. So I have this fight all the time of working better at night, but not liking to lie in bed in the morning. So I’ve kind of turned into a little bit of an insomniac, as well, as a result of this kind of battle. I think it’s been worth it, certainly with writing the new album. I’ve had to put some late nights in—big time.
AG: Let’s talk about the new album. You have two big dates coming up this year. You have your Intercity Spring 2010 album coming out pretty soon.
Lange: Yeah, that’s the second installment of that compilation. I thought it was about time I did another one. I did one in summer of last year. This is a bit different, actually. I think it’s a lot darker. What I mean by that, I’m not sure! I was actually asked in a previous interview in Kuala Lumpur what I meant by “darker” and we had a conversation for ten minutes trying to explain what I meant. Trust me, it’s darker, it’s a little edgier. There’s a few tracks that I wouldn’t normally play in the clubs, but the compilation is about the radio show; and in the radio show, I try and play a few things that I wouldn’t normally play in my sets—maybe something a bit more progressive, or something really quite dark. It’s got some good tracks, as well. When I say darker, I don’t mean that it’s completely underground. We’ve got Ronski Speed, Sander van Doorn, Simon Patterson; loads as well from my label—Steve Brian, Ben Preston, Michael Badal. And my new single, “Under Pressure” as well!
AG: Awesome! And rumor has it that you also have something coming out this summer.
Lange: Yeah, the new album is coming out towards the end of June. I’ll be spinning the new single tonight, which will be the first single from that album. Probably at both events, actually, tonight and also on “A State of Trance” tomorrow night in New York. The album’s taken a while, but certainly not as long as the last one. I’m getting there. I’m still actually finalizing a couple of tracks at this late stage.
AG: So summer-ish?
Lange: No, no, no, no! It’s going to be out in June. It’s just that my tour schedule has made it kind of tough to get a good, solid block of days in the studio. It’s been a bit of a battle, but I told you before I’m not needing too much sleep at the moment. So, we’ll get it done, don’t worry. (chuckles)
AG: That’s great. So you’re going to be off to New York tomorrow to do “A State of Trance” and then you’re going to be coming back to L.A. in May. What can we expect from you tonight? When you get back?
Lange: Well, tonight I’m going to be playing a lot of new stuff from the album. I’m still testing a few bits and tweaking it a little. Less so tomorrow night in New York, obviously, ‘cause it’s on the radio and I don’t want to play the entire album on the radio.
AG: Is tomorrow going to be broadcast live?
Lange: Yes, so obviously I’ve got to be careful with what I play. So, lots of fresh material which I’m very excited about. And, also, I’m pushing a lot of the tracks that are on the Intercity compilation, as well. So, “fresh” is the name of the game at the moment.
AG: Right on. Now, for listeners that want to keep tabs on what you’re doing and when your next gigs are, and how they can subscribe to your podcast, why don’t you fill us in on how we can stay up-to-date with you?
Lange: I would say the easiest way to keep updated with everything is just to go to my homepage, djlange.com. There are links to all the social networks, Facebook page, Twitter, and stuff. All the dates and everything are on there. Also, there’s a link to the radio show web site as well.
AG: Okay, excellent! Anything else you’d like to tell our listeners?
Lange: Thanks for listening and hope to see some of you out and about!
AG: Alright! Once again, ladies and gentlemen, Lange right here in the studio. More details over at lange-music.com. Thank you so much, Lange, for coming in.
Lange: Thanks for having me on. Cheers.