The acid house legend offers typically forthright views on creativity, lust and his frustrations with the industry.
If you weren’t making music what would you be doing?
Definitely something with computers or some sort of reverse engineering – you know, taking things apart and figuring it out, then putting it back together again.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
To go after my dream of making music. That’s from my dad. He said if it doesn’t work out, I have a home to come back to. So he told me to go do it. I felt so empowered and free to chase my dream.
What inspires you?
It changes as I grow but what touches me now is seeing purity in people. When someone puts their best foot forward and chooses to be a better version of themselves, that’s inspiring.
What’s the next big thing?
Experimenting. Fusing different genres and sounds cohesively. Creating freely without expectation.
Best club experience?
I have a few. But the most recent is at The Arches in Glasgow with Felix Da Housecat and Marshall Jefferson. We all have not been on the same stage at the same time, ever. So that was a big moment for us and the people who came out appreciated that as well.
When someone puts their best foot forward and chooses to be a better version of themselves, that’s inspiring.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
At a car dealership. Sometimes I was sent out to retrieve cars from people who didn’t pay their car note. It was a dangerous job because at times I had to go into housing projects that were known for producing dead bodies regularly in Chicago. But I was a teenager so it was exciting back then. Looking back, that could’ve stopped any development or existence of a DJ Pierre.
How do you know when a track’s finished?
You just know. It’s not a structural thing or technical thing or great feedback from people or lack thereof. I just know when my gut tells me. A huge sign for me is when I get to that point that I feel totally at peace when I hear the track. I don’t feel any need to add anything else and I have that really great feeling inside that says to me: “This song is perfect, a work of art.”
When did you realise you could give up your day job?
When I saw how big ‘Acid Trax’ got. At the time I had no idea it was overseas.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
Lil Louis – ‘French Kiss’. Genius.
What’s the easiest way to make it in the music industry?
I can’t answer that honestly. I would rephrase and say what’s the best path to take to remain with a clean heart and mind in the industry. I would say just be honest about what you do and who you are. The rest will take care of itself. It’s the road less travelled but you will sleep at night.
Recommend us a film.
Matrix trilogy. Real life happening there. We live in one reality but it’s affected by another.
Recommend us a book.
Holy Bible. King James Version.
What do you lust over?
Nothing really. I’ve never been overly excited about anything. Anyone who knows me knows I’m pretty much nonchalant. Easy going. I don’t have a lot of things hanging over me. I’m not easily influenced. Now that I’m older and my eyes are opening spiritually there’s even more of a balance in my life. I’ve never taken drugs, ever. Not one time. I work around it, I get offered it all the time, I see it all the time. I don’t drink. I probably had a drink maybe five or six times my entire life. I don’t visit the madam’s house. I’m pretty much committed in my relationship. I don’t mess around. I just wasn’t built that way. I don’t really need to partake in getting high or certain physical satisfaction. But I don’t cause people to feel uncomfortable around me either. I don’t wear it on my forehead. I just quietly say no, I’m good thanks. I do desire strongly for people to understand and get my message through my music. If that is seen as ‘lustful’ then fine.
What is your greatest regret?
Not having a mentor to walk me through the business side of things very early on. I would have made very different decisions. Years ago when I worked at Jive in New York, Samantha Fox wanted a track from me, but I’d promised it to another up-and-coming artist. Jive ‘ordered’ me to give it to her and I said no because I promised it to someone else. So they kicked me out and told me never to come back. If I knew how to play the game back then I’m sure we could’ve met in the middle. But at the time I was young and didn’t have anyone really advising me. So kicking me out was harsh but I guess it was coming. They were the boss.
What one thing would most improve your life?
I work on getting balance every day. I work on finding my balance and peace. No matter what happens around me I work on seeing beyond that and seeing the root of the matter and addressing it there from the root. I’m not exactly where I want to be so I would like to improve achieving spiritual balance.
What's my motto? As an artist, to create without any boundaries. As a man, to live my life within the boundaries.
What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played?
Maybe the time I had food poisoning and I still DJed. That was tough, but the people loved it, so it was a good gig but I was just in the worst state physically.
Collaboration: rich creative experience or pain in the ass?
Collabs are always cool for me because I am very open. I love the process of trading ideas.
If you could only listen to one more track, what would it be?
That’s impossible to answer. It would have to be something inspirational though. Maybe ‘Strings Of Life’ by Derrick May.
What one piece of software/kit could you not do without?
Reason. At this point it’s pretty much the heart of my studio. I just love the fact that I can still create like I’m using actual hardware.
Art or money?
What’s your single biggest frustration in the music industry?
The mass production of the same sound and style. And the industry turning its nose up at the young creative geniuses ‘who are different’ who can’t get a break. Hopefully my label is one avenue to an open door for them. That’s why I started my label: to create a space for me to just create what I want and then expand it to include other people.
What’s the worst thing about making music?
When I have to choose between family and creative momentum, that’s an issue. I have two little girls and they demand my every attention. So when I’m home in the studio, it’s tough to get in the flow I used to before they came along. Finding the perfect balance there is what I’m working on.
What’s your motto?
As an artist, to create without any boundaries. As a man, to live my life within the boundaries and realise that there is purpose for those boundaries.
Tweet us a tip. What’s the best production advice you can give in 140 characters or less?
Look within to create as opposed to looking at what’s happening around you. Start within and incorporate what inspires you from another track or production. #lookingwithin