Interview with Laidback Luke
LOS ANGELES – Amidst a massive North American bus tour that begins Friday in Las Vegas – legendary DJ/Producer Laidback Luke is making a highly anticipated stop in Hollywood this Saturday, March 10th. Dubbed ‘Super You&Me’ his show at the historic Palladium will feature a superhero dress code, Insomniac’s world-class stage production and a slew of talented artists: Congorock, Zedd and GTA. Taking time from his busy preparation schedule, the Mixmash Records founder and dance music pioneer was kind enough to answer some exclusive questions:
First off, welcome back to America. It’s safe to say your tour is generating a ton of buzz – especially your stop this weekend at the Palladium in Hollywood.
Luke: “I’m so stoked to be back! It feels like I’m not in LA to perform enough, so I’m very excited! It’s the first time I am bringing my ‘Super You&Me’ party and people have been asking me to do so for years!”
Briefly talk about yourself, how did you get into electronic music and DJ’ing? Where did the name Laidback Luke come from?
Luke: “I started producing in 1992 at the age of 15, when I found out music could be made with the help of a computer. I come from a musical family, but was always the family member not as good as the others. So once I found out I could release the music that was stuck inside my head through a computer, I knew I found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Later on I picked up on DJing to actually make my tracks more DJ friendly. I wanted to dive into the DJ’s needs for a track so to speak. My name came from me wanting a ‘double-letter’ artist name. In search of the ultimate L-word to put in front of my real name Luke, I heard Snoop Dogg rapping in Gin and Juice ’Laaaaiiidbackk…’ and I was sold!”
Having grown up in the Netherlands, you grew up around EDM in a sense – and recently in Los Angeles and the US it has become huge. What do you think of the music’s explosion over here and do you think it has peaked, or will it continue to grow?
Luke: “Absolutely! I mean I’ve been in love with this music for about 25 years now. I’ve seen it in all shapes and sizes, and I’m still in love with it. I think it’s amazing the US finally caught on. Since EDM crossed over in Europe in 1999, I’ve been waiting anxiously for it to happen in the US. I think it’s a dream come true, especially since it slowed down a little bit in Europe. It’s still so fresh and exciting in the US! I think it will definitely grow more. EDM will finally become a settled genre of music, like rock and hip-hop.”
Briefly talk about this North American tour beginning Friday – where did the idea come from and how excited are you?
Luke: “I’m so excited! This will be my first bus tour ever. Since I’m a strict EDM artist from origin, I have never done the rock style of touring. It’s usually a very different way of performing and traveling. I have no clue what to expect from traveling and sleeping on the bus, nor selling merchandise at my shows for instance. I have been doing my rounds through the US for years now, pretty much only hitting the big cities and the high-end clubs. We found out there’s a whole untapped scene and market we had yet to dive into – the college market! That inspired us to do the bus tour and I’m very curious to see how it will go. Coming from Europe, I don’t believe I’ve ever driven or traveled this far on wheels! I think it will be a whole new experience, tapping into the college scene. And I’m sure the crowd will be up for some proper raging!”
Everyone will definitely be willing to party, that’s guaranteed! Is there one venue or city you are particularly excited for?
Luke: “I honestly couldn’t name one. Each city and venue of the college scene will be new to me because I’ve never performed there before. I am very excited to bring my own Super You&Me party to LA though. It’s been long over due. During Miami Winter Music Conference we’ll do another Super You&Me party at Liv, which is always an incredible night.”
Saturday you are teaming up with Insomniac to play Hollywood’s Palladium – what can people expect from the show & will you be wearing a super-hero costume (which is encouraged for the crowd)?
Luke: “Yes I definitely will be! ‘Super You&Me’ is all about having crazy fun. Especially in Europe, EDM tends to be taken way too seriously. The most fun you will have is doing crazy things and making stupid jokes with your friends. For me, not only should the DJ be the superhero, but the crowd as well. That epic feeling of having your hands up in the air and letting go, the feeling you can take on the world – that superhero feeling. I’ll bring the energy and the fun, I’m sure the crowd will do the same!”
What is the difference between a regular stop on this tour and the ‘Super You&Me’?
Luke: “A regular stop is more about me as a DJ, while ‘Super You&Me’ is a whole experience. We always add an extra fellow DJ I look up to or who’s music I play a lot. And we always bring one of the new talents I train on my forum on www.laidbackluke.com. The dressing up will add a whole new experience to a show too. People tend to spend weeks thinking about what to wear, and it’s fun to finally see what your friends come up with.”
What do you try to accomplish during your live shows?
Luke: “I want the whole room to feel united. And I want people to forget their worries for a moment. I’ll try to give people a memory and emotion they won’t forget. The ultimate feeling of letting go, and letting go as if we’re all friends! House music has always been about peace, love and unity – and I’m bringing the 2012 version of it.”
What can we expect from Laidback Luke for the rest of 2012 – any surprises you can hint at?
Luke: “I’m very excited to release my new single featuring Wynter Gordon ‘Speak Up‘ on March 12th. The time has finally come! I just saw previews of the video and it’s looking dope! I’m doing tons of projects and remixes at the moment. All I can say is there will be a lot of my music coming through for 2012!”
Obviously, a big thank you goes out to Laidback Luke and his team for this interview. His newest single ‘Speak Up’ will be available exclusively on Beatport March 12th and all other outlets March 24th. A limited amount of tickets are still available for the ‘Super You&Me’ show Saturday at Palladium and can be purchased via the link below. Be sure to check future dates for the seven-week tour as Luke travels across the United States.