Interview with Olly Perris ahead of Insekt's One Love @ The Scala
Reported by K8-e
Submitted 09-01-08 17:10
Olly Perris is well known to the HarderFaster massive. A regular poster and sometime interviewer for the site he is a firm fixture in the scene we love. 2007 has been a whirlwind year for Olly, graduating from Southampton University with a History degree and being taken on by the mighty Trackitdown.net as Label Manager are only part of the story, as he was also named a Mixmag Future Hero for 2007! Along with his Addiction Digital label duties, writing for I-DJ and now moving to Mixmag itís a wonder he finds time to produce or DJ but he does those as well with a lot of success.
Selling over 50,000 records and having a top 40 hit by the age of 22 is quite an achievement! Ahead of his debut at Insekt presents One Love at the Scala on the 2nd Feb I chat with Olly about that pool shot, Barrymore, bootlegs and why he really needs to come with a health warning!
Hey dude, you are always calling me dude, does that go down well with the ladies?
Surprisingly, yes. But you have to say it in the right way I think; if you make it sound like youíre deliberately calling them a dude, it comes across wrong. If you just throw it on in there off the cuff, it may surprise at first but generally the response is a positive one. Incidentally Iím thinking of charging for my clearly awesome dating advice, what do you think?
I think we could start a column together!
How you doing anyway? This year has been a mighty big year for you with lots of changes Ė whatís stood out as the best bit for you?
Iím really good thanks dude! (See? It works!). As I write this itís just after NYE and Iím still feeling a bit fragile from the fun I had. I ended up going to a cheesy bar in Poole (the place from where I dwell) but you know what? It was mighty good fun! The DJ was surprisingly good too Ė anyone who can perfectly mix Justin Timberlake Ayo Technology into Jermaine Stuart We Donít Have To Take Our Clothes Off frankly deserves a medal! But yes, 2007 was a really, really great year for me. I think my personal highlight has to be being named Future Hero by Mixmag.
I remember reading Mixmag as a 16 year old when I first got into DJing and dreaming of being named a Future Hero, so to have that happen was an absolute dream come true for me and a complete shock as well! It also goes to show that if I can do it, anyone really can! Those who know me well will know that my common sense is, er, questionable, so if youíve got a brain in your head and a dream in your heart then things will most definitely happen.
Youíve been interviewed quite a lot for HF but for the lazy tikes who havenít read your old ones or for those new to the world of Mr Perris letís tell them where it all began. You got into dance music the same way I did in the golden age of í99 trance, Clubbers Guide to Ibiza and good old Judge Jules. How did you start DJing and producing Ė I believe you had your first release at the tender age of 17?
I certainly did indeed! I always hated dance music but (and I hate to admit this) the moment which changed my mind was hearing Sash Ecuador for the first time when I was 12 years old! I distinctly remember it coming on at a youth club I went to when at school and hopping all over the stage like a madman! I started listening to Judge Jules after buying his Clubbers Guide to Ibiza CD in 1999 to make myself look cool to everyone in my class and after that I got absolutely hooked on the idea of mixing records together Ė so much so that I scoured the internet and found this awesome free program (which I think still exists) called Virtual Turntables. As well as being able to mix MP3s on it, you could also press the Delete button and it would do a rewind, complete with comedy turntable sample! Hours of fun. After driving myself (and my parents) mad, I thought it best to progress onto the hard stuff and my parents bought me a set of Technics one year for Christmas, which I think goes down as the best present in history. After playing to my cat for about two years I began putting together demos and writing my own tracks using Dance eJay. I progressed onto using Sonic Foundryís awesome Acid program (sort of like a fully fledged eJay) and from there it was just a case of practising to death until the noise I was making started to sound a little better!
I had my first record released at 17 on Nukleuz, which as you can imagine was just incredible! It all started when I got talking to Ashley Sinclair over IRC (remember that net geeks!) as part of an Ďonline hard house producersí group thing we had going on. He had a half finished track called The Venue which just blew me away. I asked Ash if I could help him finish it off and we put together the finishing touches to the track over the net. I went online and sourced every e-mail address I could find and sent it out to all the DJs I could. Andy Farley picked up on it and sent it to Nukleuz for consideration. Ben (BK) then called me up and offered to sign the record, at which point my jaw just hit the floor. The Venue went onto sell over 4,500 copies in its first few weeks of sale and from there, it all went mental! It has been weird for me really as music has always been a hobby rather than a career but Iím so, so, so indebted to everyone who has supported my music over the past 5 years. I really canít stress enough how honoured I feel and if I could afford to buy all of those 4,500 people something nice (like a car or Funny Foot Ice Cream or something) I would!
What is your sequencer of choice and any other weapons in the studio you just canít live without?
Iím a Fruityloops man so FL Studio 7 is my weapon of choice. Although having said that, the other day it randomly decided to delete all of my synths, presets, tracks and saved files, which wasnít good. Luckily I recovered them, so the world isnít quite safe from fresh tunes from me just yet!! Other vital Olly weapons include:
- A kettle.
- A good selection of tea bags, usually either Earl Grey or Green Tea. The weaker the better, actually. Iím sure that probably says something about my personality.
- Milk. And sugar (but only when Iím feeling saucy).
- A copy of Itís Chico Time Ė to remind me that when things are really bad, they could be a whole lot worse.
I use a variety of software synths to make my tracks but at the moment the one Iím really digging is CM Dominator. It was a freebie given out by Computer Music magazine and it absolutely rocks! Itís especially good for making garage basslines, but more on that later.
Whatís in the pipeline that we can look forward to for 2008?
Insekt is up first and boy am I looking forward to it! The line-up is absolutely amazing and itís the first time Iím going to get to catch Jon BW play, so very much looking forward to his set in particular! Elsewhere things are looking really exciting for my Addiction Digital label, weíve signed some absolute beauties for the new year! In particular look out for JFrantik & Matt Williamsí Interstella which Iím tipping for big things. It sounds like a bastardized hard version of Marcel Woodsís huge Advanced mixed with the classic Edison Factor-esque pumping hard trance sound of yore. Also great is Trevor McLachlanís Jazzy which has a superb melody and great production. From me personally, Iím working on some solo material at the moment as well as releasing my remixes of Simon Qudosís Forever Restless on Addiction, Scott Genetikís Concept on his new label Encoded and Basic Dawnís trance classic Pure Thrust on Thrust Groove Records. Iíll also let you into a little secret Ė Iíve been making garage lately too! Iíve just been commissioned by one of the majors to remix one of the biggest dance anthems of all time Ė I canít say any more than this at the moment but needless to say Iím both terrified and excited at the same time!
Bo! Speaking of which you are well known for your cheeky bootlegs with your version of the trance classic ďNylon Ė If You Love MeĒ getting a lot of praise. Do you think itís likely to ever see a general release and is it your personal favourite from those youíve done? Oh and hook a sistaí up!!!
Hehehe, no problem sista! I love hearing crazy unexpected things when Iím out clubbing and I try and capture this in my sets too, so I do make a lot of bootlegs to play out, some of which are more, er, credible than others!! Personal recent highlights include:
- Mashing up the Coca Cola Holidays Are Coming Xmas ad music with Marco Vís Red Blue Purple (as played at Tidy Xmas last year)
- Putting the vocal from David Guettaís Love Is Gone over the top of DJ Jan Ė X-Santo and it actually WORKING!
- Doing a chipmunk-esque remix of Gossipís Standing In The Way Of Control
- Dropping Pendulumís D&B anthem Slam into the middle of BK & Andy Farleyís Accelerate track. I think BK actually played this at the same gig as Pendulum in Australia once!
- Attempting (albeit so far in vein) to remix Linkin Parkís In The End. Itís a bitch to do, but Iím determined to get it finished one day.
They all sound terrible on paper donít they? Iíll never forget the look I got from Nick Sentience in particular when I played the Pendulum one before his set in the main room at Innovate once! (though I think he loved it really!). But they always raise a smile and they always seem to be the most talked about tracks afterwards as well, which is really cool! The Nylon one has been supported by Cally Gage and Andy Whitby and Kym Ayres has made the Pendulum one her signature set track now I think! Theyíre only a bit of fun because at the end of the day, weíre not meant to take this scene too seriously and theyíre only a bit of harmless fun.
You run Addiction Digital with Andy T. It seems like only yesterday you started the label but you are actually two years old now, how time flies!!! What have been your personal highlights and what are your plans for the label in 2008?
I canít believe it has been two years either!! We donít know where the time has gone, itís crazy! I think the personal highlight for me was seeing it voted Best Label at last yearís HF Readers Poll awards. It showed that weíve got some respect for what weíre doing (which, to be fair, is upsetting the status quo of the scene a bit) and Iíd like to thank again everyone who voted for us. Weíve released some amazing music in our time and featured on international compilations as well as having our tracks played in clubs from Berlin to Brisbane, so Iím hoping we can keep the momentum up into 2008. As well as the aforementioned tracks Iím really excited about the new mixes of Peak Controller. The original came out last year and it was the first track released under my alias Club Pulse (named after my gym!). It was a tech-trance track so I thought I was a little bit out of my depth, but we had support on it from Sander Van Doorn, Mark Sherry and many more, which was just amazing! Itís back this year with some massive new mixes including one from techno legend Pedro Delgardo and rising tech-trance superstar Acute. Look out for those!
Of course we have to talk about you being a Mixmag future hero for 2007. I can remember when the magazine came out and there was that classic shot of you in the disused swimming pool. How did the idea for that come about and did you get the final say on which picture they used?
Hehehe, that picture will outlive me I think! It was taken on a cold day in a disused swimming pool in Brixton in the middle of December. The photographer (Laurie Fletcher) was amazing though and she did a superb job with what she had to work with (a cold, damp 22 year old with bags under his eyes and worryingly ginger hair). I didnít get to see the article until it hit the shelves but it was so good when I did see it! I remember walking up in WH Smiths in London Bridge station to get it and Leona Lewisís A Moment Like This came on my iPod (which in itself is a little tragic) Ė it was like something out of a film! It was such a dream come true for me to be named in the feature and itís an experience Iíll never, ever forget.
Digressing slightly but keeping with the pool theme I believe a certain Mr Barrymore has been seen dancing to one of your sets earlier this year Ė where and how did this happen?! And do you feel your life is now complete?
YES! HE WAS! It was at Innovate at Heaven earlier this year! I was playing and I noticed a small exodus of people flood towards the back of the dancefloor. Naturally as a DJ I began to panic that I was playing rubbish or something but when I realised what happened, it just didnít matter any more. He was dancing away and loving it apparently, which has to rank above graduating from university and discovering the joyous activity of masturbation as one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I considered retiring there and then, but think who else might be dancing to my sets in the future Ė my money is on Same Difference.
With the hard dance awards (vote HarderFaster Ė Ed ) coming every closer itís time for everyone to pick ďfavouritesĒ. Firstly in a scene that has struggled in recent years do you feel itís even more important for those of us still dedicated to come together in this way and what is your response to the naysayers proclaiming hard dance to be dead?
God, this is a difficult one to answer to be really honest. The hard dance scene in the UK is in a lull at the moment and unfortunately itís becoming a problem which is becoming harder and harder to shrug with several leading DJs and producers moving into electro-house and larger club nights now only putting on events out of the blue.
The fall of Amato didnít help either to be honest and it has hit several of the big labels pretty hard. But, what we do have going for us at the moment is a hugely diverse, vibrant scene which is busting with brand new talent. There are producers out there as young as 16 writing some amazing records and the digital revolution has helped them get these tracks out there and selling, putting them into direct competition with the usual crowd and in some cases putting them to shame. There is absolutely no chance that the scene will ever die, ever. In Holland at the moment in particular itís extremely strong as well as in Canada, Norway and Argentina. It might be tough here in the UK at the moment but once weíre out of this lull, the scene will be back alive and kicking with some of the best new talent in global dance music. Plus, parties such as Insekt who are clearly moving themselves forward with every party will hopefully inspire others to get active as well. Bring it on!
Back in May you said BK & Vinylgroovers Microwave was the best hard dance track of 2007 to date Ė did anything knock that off the top spot for you or will that be getting your vote in the HDA?
For me, Microwave is without doubt the tune of the year. It encompasses everything which is great about the current hard dance scene; itís tough, quirky, unique and makes you jump around like an excitable child. Itís a brilliant slice of bosh packaged perfectly for todayís hard dance market and I think this is why so many people on the HDA website have named it their top tune of the year as well! Iíve also heard a sneak peek of the follow up and by God, does it rock hard.
On to tunes floating your boat right now then, whatís your current top 10?
Hereís my current chart return!
1. JFrantik & Matt Williams Ė Interstella (Addiction Digital)
2. Trevor McLachlan Ė Jazzy (Addiction Digital)
3. Equinox Ė Equinox Dawn (Deprivation)
4. Fabio Stein Ė Panic Mode (Maelstrom)
5. Simon Qudos & Stace Ė Right Where We Are (Presence)
6. Scott Genetik Ė Concept (Olly Perris Remix) (Encoded)
7. Kutski & Cortez Ė Bitmap (Riot)
8. Unknown Ė Monster (Attitude)
9. Technikal Ė Sumassault 2008 (Masif Tool Remix) (Tranzlation Gold)
10. Simon Qudos Ė Forever Restless (Olly Perris Remix) (Addiction Digital)
Youíve said The Scala is one of your favourite venues. Iíve never been, so fill me in on what Iíve got to look forward to?
Dude, itís amazing!! You WILL get lost the first time you go there though (but thatís part of the fun) as you enter on the middle level but you have to go upstairs to get downstairs into the main room Ė very confusing! Youíll probably end up in the middle bar if you get lost which has lots of shiny poles to stare it, or the top room which will have lots of stomping hardcore nutters! I first went there for a Frantic event in 2004 and itís an amazing club. The main room is perfectly sized and has a great stage area as well as a balcony which overlooks the whole dancefloor. The top room is great as well and is a nice intimate room in which to get your stomp on! Itís great to see another harder event there and well done to the Insekt boys for astutely picking a great venue!
This is your debut for Insekt One Love. Asides from music what is your ďone loveĒ?
Chicken Tonightís Honey & Mustard sauce.
Er.. yum?! Insekt is well renowned for the stellar line ups and their dedication to harder beats. With the inclusion of MDA & Spherical and yourself this Februaryís line up looks set to be even more explosive and diverse Ė what will you bring to the party?
I have absolutely no idea to be honest, I feel like a speck of hard house dust compared to some of the powerhouse talent on offer. I think theyíve brought me in because I do have the tendency to go a wee bit mental behind the decks and jump around like a spaz. In fact last year I was playing back to back with Cally Gage at The Fridge and at 5.30am, I thought it would be a good idea to get up onto the Fridge DJ booth to cheer the crowd on. Unfortunately, whilst attempting this Tarzan-like manoeuvre I spectacularly fell backwards into my CDs, the DJ booth and worst of all, into Cally. Talk about making yourself look like a plonker. So Iíll probably be bringing some crazy bootlegs, solid party music and a health hazard warning to the Scala!
Thanks Olly, looking forward to seeing you on the 2nd!
Download Olly's exclusive Insekt Mix here!
Photos copyright The HarderFaster archive, Addiction and Olly Perris, not to be reproduced without permission.
Insekt presentsÖOne Love
Saturday 2nd February
The Scala [map]
22.00 - 06.00
This is a ticket only event! - no paying guest list.
£10 Very Limited Early Bird Tickets Ė On sale now!
£12 Limited Saver Tickets
£15 Standard Tickets
More On The Door
Tel: 08700 600 100
Scala Box Office
Vince: 07807480125 (midlands) Tickets in the midlands/travel /packages.
London Ticket Agents:
tel: 07747 867943
tel: 07974 331 613
Click here to buy tickets
Finally,the new look Insekt is back in the capital, bigger & bolder then ever before!
One Love is a multi room dance event of the highest order.
Bringing together Hard House/Hard Dance/NRG/ Hardcore/Hardstyle/Freeform/House & Electro all under one roof!
Joining Insekt on the night will be: Who's Hardcore, Nose & Lips, FunkDeluxe and High Heels.
Who's Hardcore has quickly and firmly established themselves as one of the UK Hardcore Scenes top monthly events, pulling ravers from all over the country each time. With it's army of dedicated followers and the unique high octane party like atmosphere that comes with each event, it's easy to see why Who's Hardcore is as successful as it is.
FunkDeluxe is one of the UKís leading house brands. After they smashed Ibiza this summer we canít wait to have them back @ Insekt and this time round they will be locking horns with Londonís High Heels guys & girls!
We have secured the mighty Scala Club for this massive ĎOne Loveí event.
Scala is a beautiful multi-purpose venue in the regenerated Kingís Cross area, on the north side of central London.
The club has a new small outdoor smoking courtyard with the entrance to this courtyard through the doors on the left of the main stage.
Tech Trance. Psy Trance. Nu NRG. Hi NRG. Hardcore. HardStyle. House. Deep House. Funky House. Hard House. Prog House. Vocal House. Electro House. Soulful House. Tech House. Funky Techno. Breaks. Club Classics. Electro. Soul.
Hard House/Hard Dance/NRG
Defective Audio (2008 Resident)
MDA & Spherical
Room2: Whoís Hardcore/Nose & Lips
Sam Eeles B2B Tyronnster B2B Wired B2B DJ Caled
Adgie B2B J.K.O
Fretman B2B Paul Manx
Tiny B2B JB-C
Room3: Funkdeluxe & High Heels
House & Electro
Matt von Holtz
Kuency + guests
Glass bar - VIP
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The One and Only Eddie Halliwell
PunchFunk & Geushky Presents "Let's Make Rave" with Ian Void & Chris Vaux
Cream @ Amnesia - Ibiza 2010 - Reviewed
Pure Gold: Interview with Will Gold
Turning the Corner - Interview with IAMX
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.