I’m interested to know your thoughts on some things outside the scope of electronic music, specifically within the political realm. First off, as an American of Middle Eastern descent, how are you gauging the current climate in the States regarding xenophobia?
I’ve been a victim of xenophobia since coming to the USA from Iran during the American hostage crisis and right thru to 9/11, Bush’s “Axis of Evil” declaration and every other political situation since. But in addition to the clear threat and consequence of Islamist fundamentalism and terrorism today, it appears to be at an all time high only because we live in a connected, advanced-technology world where it is easier then ever to record and air everything that’s happening and in real time. Beyond that, I don’t have an opinion other then to say that I try to be the best HUMAN BEING that I can be while I am on this beautiful but sick planet of ours.
What are your impressions on Trump?
Are we STILL talking about this lunatic, racist, threat to humanity??
Do you think that artists should speak up regarding social issues? Meaning, do you consider it a responsibility? I ask because, especially within dance music, I get conflicted responses. Some say yes, but others are very adamant about dance music being a scene to avoid such “worldly” issues. I’m wondering what your opinion is on that?
Artists around the world have more interaction with their audience than ever before and are a great example to them. And I think every artist decides for themselves how to best convey that standard. Some like to encourage others to stay fit and eat healthy, many prefer only to discuss music and creativity, while others are more interested in sharing opinions on social or political issues. And while international artists have a broad worldwide reach and perspective, their fans won’t have the same opinion on every topic. So this almost always causes an argument between fans or with the artists which is something I’m careful to avoid. In the end it becomes the personal choice of each artist to share as much or as little of their world view with the fans as they see fit.
Last you spoke with us, you were just launching your HYBRID show. Since then, how have you gauged its performance and reception? Was there any particular location or showcase that stands out to you?
HYBRID has evolved considerably since the test gigs in the fall of 2014 and so has the enthusiasm and support of the fans and promoters around the world. We’ve finally reached the momentum we set out to achieve, especially with the Coachella, Dalt Villa and Movement Detroit shows this year. While it hasn’t been easy to convince promoters and venues to book the show due to the production commitment as well as financial strains (for me AND them), I’ve been very pleased with the progress and how hopefully, I’ve done my bit to elevate the “techno” genre to new heights. And now we’re just trying to take the show to as many locations as possible before I retire it in April 2017 and focus on my debut album and eventual new live concept.
Finally, what are you looking forward to over the rest of the year? Anything professional or personal…?
There will be two retrospective releases, one focused on my decade as a solo artist and one on my near decade of collaborating with Oliver Huntemann. Moreover, a concert film of HYBRID, live album, coffee table book and the release of the Above Ground Level documentary will all slowly be making their way to release the rest of this year and next. I’ve also begun work on my debut artist album which I hope to complete in 2017 and tour in 2018.