Explain how the city of San Francisco has aided DIRTYBIRD in getting to where it is today? This can be musically, socially, or any other way the city has provided inspiration, resources, networks, etc…
Its a very creative city that also has the luxury of a strong economy. There are not so many cities like this in the world where creativity and individualism are rewarded while also being an epicenter of finance. I think the fact that my wife and I had nice jobs while we started the label was very liberating and we made it through some bumps in the road that would cripple a typical label startup idea for someone who was just a local DJ trying to make ends meet.
As a DJ, Producer and label head, how do you approach this balance of responsibilities? Is there ever a moment where you think you enjoy one of these over the others?
As I get older I try my best to delegate as much as possible but in the end I have to be involved and work very very hard. I enjoy playing the shows and producing music the music the most. But a close third place would be the business aspect its not really “fun” but it is very rewarding and satisfying when it goes right.
As summer is in full swing, how do you prepare for the rigours of the summer schedule, festivals, Ibiza, and all?
I prepare myself mentally for many many hours at the airport and many fun adventures. This summer I really felt like our label events graduated to a new high level in North America which has been extremely satisfying to me.
Speaking of Ibiza, you have two dates at Jamie Jones’ famed Paradise party. How do you view Paradise as a party brand, as well as an Ibiza institution? For such events, what is your preparation protocol like?
I think Jamie has done an incredible job building up that brand. I know how hard it is to do that and I respect his team immensely. That party is crackin’ and I fully enjoy playing at DC10 more than any other club on the island, it still feels like a place for music. I prepare for Paradise in the same way i prepare for everything. I want to get my personality across but also be aware of what party I’m at. I want to bring new music no one has ever heard and i want to be respectful of the party itself and not just go off the deep end playing a bunch of breakbeats like maybe i would at a DIRTYBIRD BBQ.
As a touring artist with a family, how do you find the balance between travel and family time? Do you ever find that certain specifics of the underground scene difficult to coincide with the realities of family life?
Yes the constant partying and travel are a little bit of oil and water with having a family and running a business but I think I have figured it out and I also think the time I get out there on the road keeps me young, energised and full of life. I know a lot of family men my age who look like they are 15 years older than they are just because they have settled in and aren’t pushing for greatness any longer. I never want to settle in.
You have the interesting performance collaboration with Green Velvet, Get Real. How did this collaboration form? What is it about Green Velvet that complements your own sound? Can we expect any original tracks from Get Real?
This came about by us showing up for a party at the same time a couple years ago and just deciding to play together instead of standing around watching each other play our sets. It went so well that we made it into a group called Get Real. Its funny you should ask about the music because I’m headed out to Chicago just this week to work with him in his studio. I’m a huge fan of Cajmere/Green Velvet so its all a bit surreal because now Im good friends with someone I used to think came from outer space – he is so cool.