The last time we interviewed Peter Welgemoed aka Groove System AKA Zeus for HarderFaster was ahead of the Roots and Chichime Birthday Celebrations at Mass almost bang on six years ago. Six years on, Roots is back in south London for the Roots 11th Birthday at The Flying Dutchman - which with headliners like Aphid Moon, Oberon, Journey, Imry, LukedB, Simon Piemon and Sutekh might just be the perfect afterparty for this Saturday night's HarderFaster Christmas Party. With so much to catch up on, it was high time we had a chat with this veteran of the London scene…
After some time off, you’re bringing back Roots for its 11th birthday. For those who don’t know you, please tell us a bit about the history of Roots and why you took a break.
Roots started back in 2005 in a small venue, George IV. The concept of Roots back then, and still is, is to put on quality events with top notch productions and some of the greatest artists out there the scene can provide. The aim is to book artists who never lost touch of who they are, still playing the good quality of music that have made their name. We want to create a happy and positive vibe that can only be associated with a Roots event.
We took a break from organising events to focus a bit more on family life but after some time off, a lot of people kept asking us when we’ll be doing another Roots event. We listened and thought that now is the right time to do so.
You were last interviewed on here 6 years ago, what’s been happening in your life over the last 6 years?
During that period my then partner, Fabrizio Motta aka Metaphase, moved away from London. In 2012, Jules ‘Aphid Moon’ and I started another event called Pan Galactic Space Disco of which we had some amazing events. We also spent some time in the studio together and produced several EPs and singles:
- Anthropocene (out on the VUUV compilation)
- Solar Feds EP (out on Aphid Records)
- Suspension (out on Aphid Records)
- On Mass Shell (out on Aphid Records)
I have also teamed up with my old friend Luca Palese aka Luke DB and spent some time in the studio writing music together. The two of us then decided to get Roots back up and running again and this upcoming event will be the product of that.
With an awesome line-up and a new venue, Roots is coming back with a bang. Has it been hard to get back on the bus?
Well, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. The hardest part was for us to break our usual work and family-life routine and go and search for a venue. Once we had the venue sorted we just got on with things like we normally do and searched for the talented artists we wanted to feature at our event.
Over the years you’ve DJed psy trance as Zeus, techno as Peter Well and produced as Zeus and Groove System, with your former production and event management partner Fabry. What can we expect from your set on the 3rd? How do you reckon your music has evolved over the years?
I still like the harder and more full-on side of trance and techno. Jules Aphid Moon and I have produced some killer tracks together which feature on his Aphid Records label. My set on the 3rd will be the usual twisted, full-on psy-trance.
Are you also planning on bringing back your label, PointZero Records?
Pointzero Records has always been there and has been in hibernation like Roots has. Our next release will be Luca’s (LukeDB) first solo album that should be a cracker of an album. More releases to be planned soon, watch this space….
You’ve put on some incredible Roots events over the years. What are your top memories from parties past? Do you have a favourite party that you’d go back to in time if you had a choice?
I enjoyed all of our events that we’ve put on over the years because equal amounts of sweat went into each event. However, if I really need to name some then it will be two Roots events:
No.1 will be Dreamcatcher @ The Jacks Club with Xerox and X-Noize; and
No.2 will be Painkiller & Bliss, also at The Jacks Club.
Since your last Roots party the London scene has changed a lot, but of course some things have stayed the same. In some ways music and event promotion is easier than ever before thanks to social media. What’s the best way for readers to follow what’s happening with your DJing and events?
Yes you’re right, social media is the no. 1 source these days. Our ROOTS Facebook page, my Groove System & Zeus Facebook pages and of course my Soundcloud page is always best to follow… hint-hint – please like and share!
The line-up for the 11th birthday contains some absolute legends of the psy scene. Can you tell us a bit about them for those readers who might be new to it?
Well, we have Aphid Moon and Oberon headlining and their names just say it all. They are both well-establish artists that come from our heyday and have done many releases between them. They have played many parties and festivals around the globe and still show no signs of stopping.
And as for the rest of the line-up, we have selected artists from young and old with their unique styles of music that will certainly please the crowds right to the end.
I’ve just seen that The Flying Dutchman is on Wells Way – that’s got to be a good omen right?!
Hehe, I really hope so. We’re putting a lot of hard work in this event so let’s hope for the best.
Many thanks for your time Peter. I’m very much looking forward to playing at one of my all-time favourite parties on the 3rd!