The techno icon discusses jazz, Detroit, and why you should never drink champagne before DJing.
Detroit techno icon Derrick May dropped in to Sonos Studios AMS at Amsterdam Dance Event to chat about his home in Detroit, his influences and his thoughts on DJing. In his interview, May explained the perils of drinking champagne before DJing, explaining why “no alcohol and no dinner” are his golden rules when preparing for a set:
I never prepare for a DJ set. I also don’t have a certain fixed pattern I go through before a performance. Although there is one thing I never do before going on stage: eating dinner – so I guess I do have a ritual! I like to feel light and strong in advance. The idea of being full doesn’t make me feel at ease. Also, I don’t drink alcohol at all before I play. I drink while I play, but only an hour after I’ve started. You know why? Because, number one: I drink champagne. Number two: do you know what white wine or champagne does to you when you’re playing? It deafens your hearing! You lose a certain definition to your hearing while you’re playing, which causes you to turn the music up louder and louder and louder. The audience gets ear fatigue, and that makes people want to fuck off. So no alcohol and no dinner; that’s my preparation for a DJ set.
With permanent bases in London and Los Angeles and pop-up events taking place globally, Sonos Studios were launched in 2012 to encourage artists to experiment and share ideas.
Tune into the full interview and listen to the podcast here.