“DJs still are the superstars of this game. Show some respect for the blood sweat and tears we bring to nightlife.”
Though he’s never been kicked off the decks personally, acid house legend DJ Pierre admits he’s deeply unimpressed by the US club promoters who recently kicked EDM-pop star Calvin Harris and house DJs Mark Farina and Dennis Ferrer off the decks.
“If a promoter or club books you then they made an agreement to have you for however long you are contracted for. When a DJ shows up he is honouring his part of the agreement. No one has the right to "kick" anybody off after they've entered into that agreement. The VIP and bottle tables who have large part to play certainly should have no say,” he suggests.
“What if we all boycotted certain venues who are doing the "kicking off"? I'm sure they will get a wake-up call then.”
“There are times when a promoter will ask me to start early because they are not happy with what the other DJ is doing but I've always respectfully declined. I respect my colleagues too much to take part in ushering another DJ off the decks,” says Pierre.
Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Have you ever had customers or club managers trying to persuade you to play something different?
DJ Pierre: “I've had a promoter come up to me and say don't play too much of a certain sound if the person who went before totally stuck to that sound or if they want me to take it another direction. I've had people who I trust and am travelling with come up to me and make suggestions etc .But all those experiences have been positive and I've been willing to flow with that. I've had promoters tell me what a night is about and respectfully ask me to play a certain way.
BUT when I get there the crowd is telling me something else and as a professional I flow with what makes sense to play. And so I am open to listening but I am not led by them or anyone else while I am DJing. It’s a spiritual thing for me. I just go with my gut and what I feel the crowd is telling me. And in the end the promoter is very happy.”
Skrufff: How much do you believe DJs should respond to the crowd? How far?
DJ Pierre: “200 percent- the crowd is the blood that flows in a DJ’s heart. If the crowd is not receptive, then our job is to seduce them into being receptive. If a DJ does his job and knows his demographic he should not get a crowd that is 100 percent resisting him. If that's the case then maybe the promoter doesn't know his scene and has made a mistake in who he's booked to play. But that's totally not the DJ's fault. You may have a few that will never get you as an artist...and that's ok. You can't win them all from the decks.
But for the most part . . . a lot of what we do is breaking new songs and tracks . . . creating a vibe, an energy. And we should succeed most of the time. When I touch the decks - no matter what my crowd is like - my thought is to baptize them into my world. Period.
I have off days when I don't want to go through working a crowd and moulding a crowd into what I want but I still do what I have to do to get the crowd going. Sometimes I just want them to be there with me already but that's not reality. So our job is not a walk in the park (easy). It takes work to be consistently good at what you do. Why would some ignorant person make it harder by telling a guy to exit the decks. I thank God that was not me...I'm not sure how I would respond.”
Skrufff: Anything else to add?
DJ Pierre: “The world needs to wake up and resist what's happening. EDM is the biggest genre on the planet right now. There would be no EDM if it were not for the Mark Farina's, All of Chicago, Dennis Ferrer and all the other foundation guys. Show us some respect and gratitude.
We as DJs need to respect each other enough that this cannot happen. If we as DJs stand strong and tell the promoter that we will not go on early because you want to kick a DJ off the decks before he's finished then that will stop this from happening. Remember there has I be another DJ willing to go on in order to keep the party going. So we as DJs have the power to block this from happening.”