Interview: Damian Lazarus
A true storyteller, Damian Lazarus often holds court at those special times of the day when only his kind music is required.
Crosstown Rebels, Day Zero, Get Lost, Rebel Rave, his own DJ and production career, the discovery of a wealth of influential talents are all achievements that make Damian, not only one of the most respected exponents of the contemporary house and techno scene, but also one of its key tastemakers and pathfinders. Throughout a career spanning many years Damian Lazarus has worked tirelessly to maintain a constant flow of creativity and innovation within the house and techno sphere. Never losing focus, he continues on his mystical pathway to greatness, unleashing his positive spirit on the masses at every opportunity.
On January 8, Damian Lazarus will be joined by a legendary cast of comrades as Crosstown Rebels celebrates 13 years with the 2016 edition of Day Zero. Musical offerings from the core Rebel sound will include Acid Pauli, Bedouin, Blond:ish, DJ Three, Eduardo Castillo, Felix da Housecat, Fur Coat, LUM, Metrika, and Serge Devant. Day Zero presents an opportunity for the like-minded to gather, reset, and relearn – a coming together of the world’s best party people and a source of inspiration for the year to come.
Anticipating Day Zero, Damian Lazarus speaks with us on the mystical origins of the event, the energy of the Yucatan Peninsula, how to curate a lineup that is equal parts music and spirituality, and much more about this most unique event. You can find the event link and tickets at the end of the article.
“Day Zero really is one of the most important events at which to realize how special it is to love and be loved.”
Many know about the Dec 21, 2012 date but (perhaps) less are familiar with the January 8 date predicting the world’s end. Can you give us a bit of background as to where this prediction came from?
Since celebrating the beginning of this new chapter in our lives following the inaugural Day Zero in 2012, we have selected a different date around the beginning of January based on advice we have received from the spirit world. This time we are reliably informed that Friday 8th January, on the eve before the first new moon of the year, provides us with the most positive energy for the event. Our new location has already been blessed by the Mexican shamans we collaborate with yearly and as always the blessing ceremonies on the site will further cement the power we need to make what follows so special.
The Yucatan Peninsula is high on my list to visit, but have not had the pleasure to do so yet. It is described as spiritual and ephemeral. What is your impressions of the location, and energy it provides? How does this energy coincide with the energy necessary for a quality event?
Our spiritual guides and the Mayan elders that we work with for Day Zero are very serious about the location that we choose for the event. We have brought them to the various sites that we look at each year and we discuss which of the options feels most powerful. This year we are returning to the heart of the jungle in an area in Tulum that has most likely not been visited by many people before. We have discovered some caves that lead to underground cenotes (water filled sink holes) and the clearing where we will position the main stage area is so beautiful it feels as if nature called us there to bring something creative and unique.
Have you encountered locations around the world, whether on tour or on personal time, with a similar energy?
I am so fortunate in my life that I get to travel the world and visit special places but in truth, Tulum provides me with the most powerful energy I have experienced. We have looked at the possibility of taking Day Zero to India and to some other places but all roads continue for now to lead back to Mexico but you never know what the future holds.
The lineups for Day Zero over the years have been quite diverse, with many acts’ sets celebrated to this day. How does each year’s lineup come together? I would imagine that there is a certain mindset or philosophy amongst the acts each year. Is this true? Does this like-minded aspect go beyond a strictly musical focus?
The energy at Day Zero is quite unlike most other festivals or parties, there is a magic in the air that needs to be felt and transformed by the artists performing. The connection with the spirits and with nature is very powerful and I believe that once the artists feel this, their artistry goes to as higher place and what comes out on the day is something next level.