“My greatest regret? Wearing a hat before losing my hair.” The artist formerly known as Zombie Disco Squad tells it like it is.

ZDS

Why music?

I love it. In the end is that not the best motivation to do anything?

If you weren’t making music what would you be doing?

That is a hard question – before making music I did loads of things (I was a chef, worked as a dog walker, etc) so I don’t really have anything I would go back to. I think I would probably have a go at being an artist or a screenwriter. I have an idea for a film at the moment which is based on the idea of Johnny Depp disguising himself as a Somalian pirate. I’m not even joking. It is a comedy film, though.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Don’t be a dick.” Jesse Rose, 2006.

What inspires you?

I ultimately make music for myself (selfish dick, I know) but there is no better feeling than playing a song you’ve made and having woops and hands in the air.

What’s the next big thing?

Frozen smoke. (It’s true – Google it.)

Best advice I ever received? 'Don’t be a dick.' Jesse Rose, 2006.

Best club experience?

I’ve had most of the euphoric, life-changing experiences that are name dropped in many interviews (Panorama Bar, DC10, etc) – and yes, they were brilliant. However, I think the best night I ever had was trying to get into an illegal squat party. We hung outside and watched the chaos unfolding as this party went to madness (police, broken windows, a drunk James Murphy lookalike fighting the aforementioned police, and so on). I heard a great set out of the smashed windows by a DJ whose name I don’t know. So much fun.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Call centre. I lasted six weeks. They asked me to stay. I told them to go fuck themselves. Bridge happily burnt.

How do you know when a track’s finished?

I think finishing songs is the hardest thing. I generally have a few frustrating weeks of making rubbish and then I’ll write an EP in a day. The songs on this one magic day normally just flow out and are done in one take (it’s like techno Christmas).

What was your last day job and when did you realise you could give it up?

The call centre was my last job. I did it because the hours were flexible. I actually couldn’t really afford to give it up, but I decided that I would rather be flat broke than do the job and luckily everything worked out.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

Everything Green Velvet ever wrote and Ninetoes – ‘Finder’. What a sample!

What’s the easiest way to make it in the music industry?

There is no easy way. Anyone that says there is should be slapped. Your path as a musician will always have problems at some point. You might be lucky and the first song you ever write becomes massive and you’re playing round the world and sniffing coke off Natalie Portman’s tits or whatever but at some point the chances are it’s going to be fucking hard.

What’s the worst track you’ve ever released?

The stuff with gypsy samples has dated really badly.

Recommend us a film.

Down By Law by Jim Jarmusch.

Recommend us a book.

A History of the World by Andrew Marr. Surprisingly entertaining.

What or who is underrated?

Modesty and Jamie Anderson (check a song called ‘Vietjam’).

What are you addicted to?

Smoking, coffee, my girlfriend. Feel free to puke at the last addiction.

What do you lust over?

Art out of my price range (I want a painting by Sam Friedman) and drum machines.

What is your greatest regret?

Wearing a hat before losing my hair.

What one thing would most improve your life?

Hoverboards. We’ve been promised them forever. Chop chop, eggheads – I’m still using my feet like an idiot!

What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played?

A CDJ was once stolen while I was playing. It’s a challenge mixing with one.

What’s the secret to a great mix?

For a DJ mix, put a narrative in it – it doesn’t need to be all boom boom boom.

For a mixdown, light saturation.

What would improve my life? Hoverboards. We’ve been promised them forever. Chop chop, eggheads – I’m still using my feet like an idiot!

If you could only listen to one more track, what would it be?

‘Baby Wants to Ride’ by Jamie Principle and Frankie Knuckles.

How do you relax?

I rarely do, but boxing certainly helps.

What one piece of software/kit could you not do without? Why?

Hmm hard question. I use Kontakt a lot so probably that.

Art or money?

Do art. Work out how to make money from it.

Strangest place you ever wrote a track?

On my iPad at the aquarium.

Must-read blogs/forums?

I read a lot of gear porn sites – Sonic State, etc. I also really like the New Scientist.

What’s your single biggest frustration in the music industry?

I’m not nostalgic for the days of the record shop (so often the guys working there were dicks) but I do think there are too many tracks coming out and it makes music lose some of its value.

What’s your favourite label? Why?

I think probably Dance Mania – they put out so much great house, techno and booty.

What’s the worst thing about making music?

Studio suntan.

What’s your motto?

Find the positive.

Tweet us a tip. What’s the best production advice you can give in 140 characters or less?

Don’t spend time polishing a turd.

 

ZDS’s Sacred Heart is out on October 19th on This And That. Find him on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

14th October, 2014

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