Exclusive Interview With George FitzGerald
You mentioned before that everything was made on hardware and recorded in a different way compared to the way you produced. You started producing with your MacBook and Ableton/Logic. How was this change for you?
I was kind of 50/50. Right in the beginning I was just a guy with a MacBook and Ableton. Then for the two years before the album I had some hardware. I wanted the album to sound less perfect. That was one of the things when I was listening to my music, thinking how I want to improve, what do I want to change. I just wanted everything to sound more real and less plastic. The way to do that was just to let go of using plugins and just hit record on the sequencer, do lot’s of different takes. I just moved forward in a more spontaneous way and than edited together the takes that I’ve done. So a lot of the really nice little details on the album for me are almost always things that happened by mistake. When you’re like “that sounds cool, I’ll keep that”. Having changed to that way of working I know I’ll never go back, because it’s so much more fun, it’s so much more free that it just takes more work to get your studio together because you try to get loads of different things to work together and to work in time. But once you put the effort in to do that it’s so much nicer and so much more musical.
To which producers did you look up to when you where young and to whom do you look up to nowadays?
When I was a teenager, before I was even producing, Four Tet was always a big hero of mine. And I’d still say that today. He’s somebody who’s kind of always very regularly comes with a fresh approach to things. And I’m quite obsessed with Nils Frahm or Jon Hopkins at the moment. Just people who have a really incredibly musical approach to what they’re doing and I think those are probably the two guys who’s music I’m listening the most at them moment and I’ve got a lot respect for what they do.
I heard you’re still like to go to afterpartys or go out in general. Which isn’t necessarily typical for a DJ. Where do go out in Berlin?
It’s a bit of a cliché but I only really go out to Panorama Bar on a Sunday night after I come home from gigging. That’s all I really have time for really. It’s not to say there are not many great places to go out here. If I had the time I would go to Wilde Renate or ://about blank, which is really one of my favorite clubs here, but there’s something about a Sunday night or evening, coming home from a gig on Sunday afternoon and there’s somebody I know or someone I want to see playing then I’ll just go to Panorama Bar. I almost treat it like a kind of Pub on a Sunday. I’ll sit at the bar, maybe have a bit of a dance but not go crazy. And that’s really nice. It’s a nice reminder. I got really out of touch while I was promoting the album and before I got into a rot of not going to party. I would DJ and I’d be in partys all the time but I’d never dance I’d never enjoying myself and then after the album was finished and various other things in my life came to end in my life I got back into dancing recently, which is really nice. I’m living long enough in Berlin now to call myself local and on Sunday we locals come out and dance ;).
When we’re talking about clubs. What is, besides the booking, important for you when it comes to clubs?
The sound. But there’s more to it. I say “sound” but one of my favorite clubs ever is the Golden Pudel in Hamburg, and they have a shit soundsystem. I played there last weekend again and some clubs have that magic that they’re run by nice people and you can tell that they’re run by people that care, by people who love it and the people who turn up as a result are people who care, people who love it and all the imperfections become part of the club. And there’s perfect club. I mean the sound in the Panorama Bar has gotten better but it’s never been perfect. It’s not the best sounding room in the world but it has a bit of magic to it. I mean it sounds cheesy but it’s the people that run it more than anything else that counts.
What are your plans after you’re finally done with this records? Because I could see you really didn’t had a lot of time.
A lot of giggin and my focus is really on putting together a live show. Because there are a lot of things and tracks that don’t fit readily into a DJ set and I have always wanted to do a live set. So I want to take enough time to put together a good live set where I actually play things live and not just triggering Ableton loops. But that takes a little bit longer and takes a little more practice. That is what’s taking a lot of time at the moment. It’s really exiting because I have never done any live shows.
How long do you think it will take you to make the transition from a DJ to an live artist. When will you be ready to play big live gigs?
With quite a lot of practice…by the end of the summer. I put quite a lot of thought already into it. But the thing is these things develop. I remember seeing Mount Kimbie, who are good friends of mine, that when their live show started out it was just two guys behind a computer with a guitar of the side and a drum pad. They just build it out and out over the years and got better. So you have to be realistic about where you’re going to start with a life show. You’re not going to start out and be like Moderat. Getting to where artists like Moderat or Caribou are takes quite a lot of practice and quite a lot of gigs. I want to dip my toe into the water with playing live.
‘Fading Love’ will be released April 27th on Domino.