A bit of background: my name is Johnny Trika and I live in Montreal, Canada. I’m a live artist and producer and play minimal techno. My live show consists of Ableton Live, Livid CNTRL:R and a Maschine Mikro – I like to keep things simple because if I add to much gear I can lose myself and ultimately lose the crowd.
Montreal has a great techno scene, and the promoters here work hard to consistently throw great parties. We’re really fortunate to have so many great artists playing here on a regular basis, and that really helped to introduce me to the music back when I was first finding myself as an artist.
Last month, I was playing at well-known venue, Stereo. The room was definitely shaking that night! It’s always special playing in my hometown, and I love playing on the Stereo sound system – it’s honestly one of the best in the world. Since I play live, hearing all my own tracks on that system is amazing.
When I first started playing live I used to get really nervous before I got on stage, but now it’s more exciting since I’m much more comfortable with my equipment. I’m also confident in my music and confident enough that it will rock a club and everyone will be bouncing. This particular night at Stereo was special for me since I was also playing before my good friend and mentor, Ali, otherwise known as Dubfire.
Ali and I were connected through music that I had given to his tour manager at a past show he played in Montreal. We started to speak online and quickly became friends; we now have a great relationship and there’s so much he has done for me, and I will be forever grateful for that. Live acts can be pretty intense but he’s always told me to do my thing and to play as normal.
I prepared for the Montreal show like I would any of my shows. I take each one of my shows seriously but playing with Dubfire is definitely a nice feeling, and playing in my hometown is always special. It was my third show of the weekend and my second with Dubfire having played together the night before in Toronto at Nest.
We got to Montreal around 5-6 PM and went to sound check directly from the airport. After that, we went for some drinks, and then headed to dinner at Barroco (amazing restaurant!). At dinner we ate a feast, and we were pretty exhausted by midnight so we all decided we were going to take a nap before Stereo since it was going to go until noon the next day.
I got to the club around 3:45 AM but didn’t have to set up much since my equipment was already there from sound check. Locals before me, D&D, friends of mine, warmed up the room in superb fashion and the club was almost packed by the time I got on. I won’t lie, I was feeling really tired before I got on but as soon as I started playing they energy from the crowd and the music really woke me up. I did my thing, played a lot of new music including my new EP ‘Fast Life’. The crowd in Montreal is very educated about the music so I always have to be on my A game every time I play at Stereo. They seemed to like my set a lot – I try and make my live set build up, and usually near the end of my show I play much more intense since I’m really in the groove of things.
I played until 5 AM, as I was finishing Ali was getting his music ready and the place was really grooving. Once we made the transition, everyone was cheering and clapping and it was a great feeling. Ali and I looked at each other and made a smooth transition as he had an atmospheric intro to his set. Dubfire kept the room going until noon.
You can’t really compare our sets since I do a live show and his was a DJ set. Completely different in their own way. The overall night was great, but Stereo can really drain you out physically! It’s a demanding club and being the 3rd show of the weekend for me, I was definitely feeling it.
This weekend was a memorable one for sure!
Featured Image: Stereo Montreal