Exclusive Interview: Laidback Luke Opens Up About Mixmash and Upcoming Album
From his origins in the house and techno underground, through to his current energetic, eclectic style, Laidback Luke has always been a leading light in music of the present day, as well as the future. Luke has always been a prominent figure in the industry and loved by fans all around the world. Fresh off of an electrifying Tomorrowland and Parookaville performances filled with ID’s and new Mixmash Records releases, Luke recently sat down with We Rave You, to discuss modern DJ’s, pre-planning sets, Mixmash Records, new tracks and a colossal upcoming album!
What are your thoughts on Parookaville and what can we expect from your set?
“I think Parookaville is an incredible new festival that just came up. This is my second year here and last year I got to host my own Mixmash record label area which was great! I got to bring my own artists, but this year they wanted me back and I’m very happy to be on the mainstage.”
What can we expect from your set?
“I have no clue. I always go in blank, it just depends on what the DJ before me is playing, how the energy of the crowd is, but also how I feel behind the decks, how warm it is outside and so with real DJ’ing, you literally work in the moment. So if you see the crowd needs a bit of energy, then you can just give them a little bit of energy. There is no use planning your set out, it’ll never work.”
Is this the philosophy you believe in with every set?
“Absolutely. This is very much an old-school DJ mentality. Mind you, I’ve been DJ’ing for over 20 years now and this is what we used to do. Now with all the Producer/DJ’s that have come up who are scared to make mistakes, think it is a good tactic to plan out their sets, but it absolutely is not because every single festival you go to is different. You’ll always see that the track you panned at no. 5, is not what the crowd needs, so you’ll see that it’s more of a risk pre-planning your sets than to go by the moment.”
You just played at Tomorrowland! How did that go?
“It was great! Again, unplanned, I ended my set with a back-to-back with Afrojack which was legendary! We’d never played back-to-back together and because I’m with Denon now, and Afrojack’s still on an old setup, we needed two setups. This meant we needed to redirect each other when mixing through tracks because my fader had to come down when his new track was coming in and I needed to reduce my bass, so this was a great teamwork type of deal. Totally on the fly, totally unprepared, it went amazingly well and Afrojack is an old-school DJ like me, so it was a lot of fun!”
Do you enjoy playing back-to-back sets? You did numerous ones at Amsterdam Dance Event last year.
“Yes! It was my 40th birthday at ADE and I was happy to have Hardwell, Armin Van Buuren and everyone with me! What I liked about yesterday as well, we just went back to being DJ’s. It wasn’t about Afrojack’s private jet or fancy cars. At one moment, he turned the volume of the set down and he said ‘Guys, this is an honor for me which you need to realize. There wouldn’t be any Afrojack music without Laidback Luke. Laidback Luke taught me how to produce’. I melted there and then because it was such a nice thing. So for instance, if I do a back-to-back with Hardwell, we’re just buddies we’re just there playing music and having fun, and that’s what it’s all about.”
What do you have coming up with your own music, touring and Mixmash?
“Well after the summer, we’ll start working on the new album, which is all collaborations. We’ve got to hit up a lot of people to finish up projects, a lot of top-line writers on there as well. The touring will just continue, right now we’re doing more and more China. It’s really happening in China right now, it reminds me a lot of America when it really started happening. As for Mixmash, we’re signing new talent regularly, and well just keep doing what we do. A lot of big names that you know now started as new Mixmash talents, and I’m sure we’re signing the new big names of the future.”
While waiting for his new album to release, listen to Laidback Luke’s newest record with A-Trak called ‘Shake It Down‘, with a twist from Tommie Sunshine and SLATIN.