Deep house originator Kerri Chandler shares his movie nightmares, turntable addiction and his take on the Mile High Club in our topic-hopping Q&A.
If you weren’t making music what would you be doing?
I’d be an electronic engineer or an audio engineer.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“The squeaky wheel gets the oil.” That was from my dad.
What’s the next big thing?
Anything tactile. Things which bring people closer together. Holograms. Faster communication.
Best club experience?
I’m still looking for it. Whatever my best one is I’m always looking for the next one. So far, I’ve got to say DC10.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Firing someone from my company.
How do you know when a track is finished?
When you add something else to it and it takes away.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
Anything by Weather Report. I’ll go with ‘Elegant People’.
What’s the easiest way to make it in the music industry?
There is no easy way. Unless you like getting on your knees or something…
Recommend us a film.
Oh man, I’m a movie nut. Picking one is tough. I’m gonna say The Last Supper. It’s about these guys who invite over some people who they really think are fucking the world up. They have them over for dinner and then they all decide whether to kill the person and bury them in the back yard or not. It’s a really mad, intellectual, twisty movie.
Recommend us a book.
What or who is underrated?
What are you addicted to?
What is your greatest regret?
Not having Tracy here to see what happened. [Chandler’s girlfriend, Tracy, was raped and murdered outside Club Zanzibar in New Jersey on her way to meet him. The tragic events inspired his first house single, ‘Get It Off’.]
What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played?
It was a DJ battle in East Orange. We won. The other crew didn’t like it so they came back with machine guns, ski masks and bats to try and beat the shit out of everything. Equipment, people, everything.
Collaboration: rich creative experience or pain in the ass?
I’ve had both. My favourite so far was with Roy Ayers. Even after the session he stayed for hours and we just talked. He was talking to my dad like he was an old friend – that just made me so proud. At the same time, I’ve had a lot of pain in the ass people who just couldn’t agree on anything. One girl was running around the studio picking things up and throwing them. She was one of Jerome‘s friends. I think she was doing crack or something.
If you could only listen to one more track, what would it be?
Art or money?
I can’t say a balance? I’d have to say art. I’d be happy playing in a fucking cardboard box with a tin can if I really had to. But then if you have money you can do whatever the fuck you want to do… That’s a tough one!
Strangest place you ever wrote a track?
I’m making it now. It’s called ‘The Mile High Club’ and I’m working on it whenever I’m on an aeroplane.
What’s your single biggest frustration within the music industry?
Flying. I tell people I DJ for free, you pay me to fly. If I sleep on planes I have nightmares of that same exact plane crashing. Then I’ll wake up in that dream, think I’m really awake and the plane crashes again. You know that movie where the guy keeps waking up in dreams? I had that way before the movie came out.
What’s the worst thing about making music?
What’s your motto?
“Fuck it, why not?”