Sunday, November 24, 2013

Long lost interview with the legendary creator of Acid House: DJ PIERRE

Here is  interview I thought was lost long ago, that I conducted for my Myspace page with the legend himself, DJ Pierre in advance of his appearance here in Dallas for a event back in 2007.  Enjoy.     

For many, the term "acid house" elicits a smile and fond memories of "rave culture" which got it's start during the "Summer of Love" years in the UK. The beginnings of this sub-culture can be traced back to Chicago in the form "Acid Trax" by the group Phuture which featured members Spanky, Herb J and DJ Pierre. With this one song(and the 1000's of others that followed) a global phenomenon was created which is still being felt worldwide today and will most certainly be felt for generations to come.

The influences of the sound can be found in diverse genres such as trance and drum & bass. Never one to rest on his laurels DJ Pierre went on the create the "Wild Pitch" sound of the 1990's which inspired artists such as Felix Da Housecat, Junior Vasquez and X-Press 2. The influences can be heard in the "tech house" and "progressive house" styles of today.

Currently, Pierre is working on pushing the music into uncharted terrorities with his "Afro Acid Project" slated for release. Pierre took some time out of his uber-busy schedule to answer a few questions about his latest project and some other things as well.

1.) What is the concept behind "Afro Acid"?

Afro Acid is a concept I envisioned while doing my album "DJ Pierre's Afro-Acid Project." Afro-Acid is a combination of Electro,Techno, House, Garage, Minimal, Filtered Disco,& Funky Vocal house all in one set. This approach will display a wide range of house music from all over the world. It will focus mainly on the latest greatest songs, but also I'll drop some classic house and a little disco just to connect the past and the present. Afro-Acid is a journey of house music! The Way It Is.. The Way It Was.. Up In The Club.. NOW THIS IS HOUSE!

2.) What projects are you currently working on that we should be on the lookout for? 

My Very 1st artist album called DJ Pierre's Afro Acid Project. I've done collaborations with Paul Woolford, Tom Stephan, Green Velvet, Seamus Haji, Dajae, Hanna Hais, Gianni Bini (of Bini & Martini) & Harrison Crump. The album will focus on this Afro Acid concept through it's all original production.

3.) In your view, how has the switch to digital helped/hurt the dance music scene?

Digital helps in only two ways: 1) A lighter load to carry while also making it possible to bring way more music. 2) Making it easier and cheaper to buy music without worrying about records being sold out.

The way it hurts: Digital thievery, File sharing, the loss of the art form of DJing. Soon DJ's wont even use CD decks or Final Scratch/Saroto an more. They'll just stand in front of a lap top selecting songs to play while the computer mixes them. Don't laugh, they already have programs that will mix the songs for you.

4) How has the scene changed since the 80's/90's(Rave) for the better/worse?

I think it's definitely not as passionate a scene as it has been in the past. The loyalty is not as strong for the music or the DJ's as it was in the previous 2 decades. 

4b.)In what way(s) do you feel that House Music in general has impacted the global market past/present/future(???)? 

I think house music has impacted the world in an incredible way through what is now known as electronic music. Electronic music is now the back drop for a huge amount of PR campaigns directed at selling all sorts of products and delivering a wide range of positive messages to the world. Electronic music is now essentially world music. 

5.) What are some of your favorite cities/clubs/festivals to play and why?

ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) is now one of my favorites to go to and play because I have a great time and get a lot of business done there.

6.) Lately there seems to be a renewed interest in the "acid" sound in particular and the overall "Chicago" sound in general. Do you feel that this will inspire some of the younger dj's/producers to return to the "roots" of the sound? 

I think they already have!

7.) Why do you think that the Europeans seem to be more open to dance music then the American market?

America can be very "Fly By Night" if you will. They actually never loved house music. Europe from it's 1st time hearing it fully embraced the music and the culture. America is all about "how much money can we make off of this scene". Europe is more about the love of the music. They are more care free people. That's what house is all about.

8.) What would be some advice to younger dj/producers who are just starting out?

Learn the history of the music and the scene, do it for the love the music, don't take short cuts, truly learn how to produce and DJ, and last of all believe in yourself.

9.) Who are some of the people who influenced you in the beginning and who are some of todays innovators in your opinion?

Ron Hardy, Marshall Jefferson, Chip E, Steve 
Hurley, Franky Knuckles, Farly JackMaster Funk and the whole Hot Mix 5! Today I'm influence by almost everyone doing cutting edge music. I'm like a young kid all over again trying to make music like the people who's tracks I buy.

10.) Musically, what is the fondest memory that stands out in your mind?

Hearing Ron Hardy play Acid 
Trax 4 times the night that we gave him the track at the Music Box!

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