|A Guy Called Gerald exclusive interview for BF|
BeatFactor caught A Guy Called Gerald for an exclusive interview not long after his first show in Romania, at Studio Martin in Bucharest.
Find what's hiding inside his head regarding dance music by reading the interview below.
BF: There are some rumours that you'll come back this spring with a new album. Can you tell us something about it?
AGCG: The rumours are true. I spent Berlin winter in the studio most of the time putting together an album from some of the tracks i play in my live show.
BF: What does Gerald Simpson stand for in electronic music?
AGCG: Sincerity and quality. True school.
BF: For the ones that didn't catch you yet playing live, what's your setup, technically wise?
AGCG: My set up consists of two laptops and a DJ battle mixer. Sometimes I use a keyboard controller and microphone.
BF: After spending more than half of a lifetime making electronic music, how do you manage yourself to keep it fresh nowadays? Statistics have confirmed that people usually get bored of doing the same things after more than 20 years.
AGCG: There must be something wrong with me. I've more ideas than I know what to do with…. still waiting to get writer's block. At the moment I have three laptops on the go - each with it's own individual production going on. e.g. studio 1, 2 & 3
BF: Who is this guy called Gerald, in a few words?
AGCG: Your master.
BF: You said a few years ago in a feature for the German magazine Electronic Beats that people should never trust a DJ who can't dance. How come? :)
AGCG: It's like if you give a cook his own food and he won't eat it… then why should you eat it? If a DJ can't move his body in rhythm to music then how the hell did he get interested in dance music in the first place? It's only half the story isn't it? It's ok to talk the talk but you got to know how to walk the walk.
BF: Do you still play as a DJ? If so, you still play vinyl?
AGCG: Sometimes I DJ. I'm getting a bit bored with this whole CD / Vinyl / BPM / Analog / Digital comparison. At the end of the day, the way I see it, a lot of the time it's a load of dudes frightened of having a good old dance… so they have to distract themselves with the talk. It is what is coming out of the speakers that is important at the end of the day.
BF: You've been there, in Manchester, when it all began, the "Madchester" buzz, back in the '80s. How was it back then?
AGCG: Manchester was always mad and still is.
BF: How do you see the evolution of the electronic music scene, regarding music, people and locations?
AGCG: Musically it seems that producers are getting used to the concept of sampling and we are moving out of the loop phase into a phase of more experimentation and individuality.
BF: You're considered a massive contributor to the jungle / drum and bass scene, as well as acid house / techno. As its known that there's some big differences between these two scenes (regarding not only music, but also the people, the party's, the clubs), how did you manage to be part of both scenes?
AGCG: Well if you look at the way a tree grows - it has a root and it all comes from one place - and that's where you'll find me.
BF: What's your personal philosophy of life?
AGCG: Don't let the bastards grind you down!
BF: Who was / were your childhood heroes?
AGCG: Return To Forever
BF: Do you think "Voodoo Ray" can be considered a hit music / market speaking?
AGCG: Yes but it was popular in the underground for a year before it hit the charts. One thing you must realise - I really do have to point this out to people because in years to come I think someone will actually realise it and think that I was actually trying to hide the fact - Voodoo Ray was the very first acid house track from the UK. So for a lot of people from the UK their memories of acid house music started there in May 1988. It was never meant to be a hit.
BF: A lot of young producers / artists from today strive to come up with new things, but often happens to get the answer "Hey, X or Y already done this before!". Do you think nowadays a young artist can still innovate in electronic dance music? If so, can you give us an example?
AGCG: Yes I think it's possible. But the whole concept of what dance music was about in the first place has shifted drastically. If you listen to the early electronic dance music tunes you make even find that Jack had the key to make you want to wop your body… Nowadays Jack just needs to know what BPM the tune is. Seems like there is no relationship between dancing and the music. Now I can make a still make up a dance move today and I can guarantee I make a new genre to go with the dance move… and I could probably have five albums done by the end of the week in the genre… (I'm joking)
But I do think it is still possible when the focus is not on making a hit, or money, or fame, or whatever… the focus should be on making people dance.
BG: Best wishes from Bucharest!
AGCG: Cheers. I hope to be back there soon.