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Monday 10th, July 2006
Christopher Lawrence - July 06

Voted the #14 DJ in the world by DJ Magazine’s prestigious Top 100 poll for 2005 and a recent winner of the Best DJ award at the Dancestar US Awards, US DJ Christopher Lawrence is recognized worldwide as one of the World's top DJs and producers. Dubbed "A Superstar DJ" by the US’s URB and “One Of The Most Popular DJs On The Global Circuit” by DJ Magazine, Christopher Lawrence is one of the biggest, most respected and popular names in dance music today. Subculture is his first mix album in four years and he is currently touring and promoting it in the States.

KEVIN: Hi Chris and welcome to Toronto, you're looking forward to your gig tonight at the Guvernment?

CHRISTOPHER: I am really looking forward to it, Guvernment is one of my favorite clubs in the world so I'm expecting to have a good time tonight.

KEVIN: I just finished listening to your new compilation Subculture on System Recordings and it's quite good! Is it true that this is your first mix in four years?

CHRISTOPHER: It's my first released mix in for years but I've been doing radio mixes in between. I don't know what happened, I guess I did a few artist albums over the past four years and just forgot to do a compilation mix.

KEVIN: You can expect to see a review on trance.nu, we really liked it.

KEVIN: Your sound is often labeled as progressive. After listening to your Subculture CD I’ve decided it’s anything but progressive. How important do you you think labels are with music?

CHRISTOPHER: To a certain degree they used to be important when you are going through magazines and they had the singles reviews in the back it would help direct you to what you like. Other than that, it's pretty meaningless. Maybe what in Toronto is called Progressive would be in Czech; Techno and in San Francisco would be hardcore. If you're in a house city and you say you're playing trance and to them that might be the most bangin' thing in the world. Yet I can go to places in Europe and play what I consider the hardest tech-trance and they would call it progressive. So labels are really difficult and also dangerous.

KEVIN: It's true and I often find you never stick to one genre during any set and tend to blend different styles together.

CHRISTOPHER: It's quite true.

KEVIN: There are quite a few tracks from some of my favorite producers on the album including Askew, O’Callaghan and even John 00 Fleming who you’ve worked with quite a bit. Any collaborations there?

CHRISTOPHER: Yeah, John 00 Fleming was recently over in Los Angeles. He was doing a tour in the U.S. so he stopped over for a week and we worked on a track in my studio. I'm going over to the Middle East and Europe for a tour and I will be stopping off at his place and we'll hopefully do what will be the A side or the B side.

KEVIN: When can we expect a release?

CHRISTOPHER: Probably not for at least 6 months or so.

KEVIN: So probably around the fall or Christmas timeframe.

CHRISTOPHER: Good stocking stuffer!

KEVIN: John has always been a huge supporter of our site and a really stand up guy. You must have been quite shaken up to hear about his boating accident last year. It certainly put things into perspective.

CHRISTOPHER: Yeah! I was devastated and I had just seen him and you know he is such a vibrant healthy guy and you suddenly year that he has been run over by a boat. How can something like that happen? And how can one guy have that much bad luck? It's just not fair.

KEVIN: It's not fair, especially when bad things happen to good people.

CHRISTOPHER: Yeah you wonder, you know the story of Job in the bible, it is like God testing John's faith. He's got a straight path to heaven.

KEVIN: So how are things coming along with your new label Pharmacy Electronic Music?

CHRISTOPHER: They're coming along! Subculture was the first release on it. The mixed CD and that's been great. We were suppose to immediately follow it up with a vinyl release and we had it all lined up ready to go to manufacturing and the manufacturing plant that we were going to use for the vinyl went bankrupt. Now we're looking to find another Vinyl manufacturer and we can start over. I think what we're going to have to do though since it's been taking so long is that the first release will be digital only. Just through trackitdown, beatport and some of the other sites.

KEVIN: Then you don’t have to worry about the manufacturer going bankrupt!

CHRISTOPHER: It's a bit of a bummer because I was originally going to do digital only releases. I thought why today start a label that has vinyl anyway. It is just a bunch of manufacturing headaches and it's a waste of resources. But I'm a DJ and I play vinyl I have to do it. I think fate is kind of directing me towards all-digital again so we'll see what happens.

KEVIN: I remember reading a while back that you wouldn’t be at WMC in Miami this year, for the first time in 10 years! Did you catch a lot of heat for this or did people take it okay?

CHRISTOPHER: I had a lot of fans that were disappointed. They said they bought tickets to come out to the conference and you're one of the DJ's I always plan on seeing and you're not going to be there, thats not fair. At the end of the day I think most people understood I was going to spend some time with my family. I was touring Australia but I also have family there and I don't know it was important to take a little time off.

KEVIN: You're right, people can't expect you to do the same thing year after year - you have to do what's right for you.


KEVIN: Speaking of family, how is your baby girl doing?

CHRISTOPHER: Ahh little Lola, she's doing fine. She was born on New Years Eve which is a perfect birthday.

KEVIN: So have you had a little more time to spend with your family lately?

CHRISTOPHER: Yeah, I mean I'm always on tour but I usually have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at home. So yeah, unlike most dads that work 9-5 and see their kids when they get home at night I'm there 24 hours a day so it's nice. I do get some quality time.

KEVIN: I've had the opportunity to go to the Dance Valley festival in Holland a few times, how did you like playing there last year? It's quite the festival!

CHRISTOPHER: It's an amazing festival! I've never seen anything like it. Out in California there is Coachella which is similar in that it has lots of stages, bands and dj's but nothing prepared me for Dance Valley. What blew me away is when I got done with my set I thought I'd go and check out the other areas. Mind you this is just in the half an hour after I finished. I walked over to Carl Cox's area. 5 or 6 thousand people rocking out and Carl's playing. So then I thought I'd go over to the Armada stage and check out what's happening there and Armin's on! 5,000 people in front of his stage! So I go up and over the hill to the Dance Valley stage and Paul van Dyk's on. 10 or 15 thousand people infront of his stage. Then I hear music coming from another stage so I go over there and Ferry Corsten's on. All of these guys are all on! Also, John Digweed was on in the Global Underground tent. With any of these DJ's, any city would be happy to have any two of these people.

KEVIN: Or even one!

CHRISTOPHER: Even one! But here everyone was playing simultaneously and the crowd was divided all up and there were still enough people to fill every area

KEVIN: It's great, you can really get a taste for whatever kind of music you want and if you get bored you can walk a few meters over to another stage.

CHRISTOPHER: It's unreal!

KEVIN: You made quite a leap this year to position 14 in the DJ Map Top 100 Poll. How important do you think these polls are and do you think your position is accurate?

CHRISTOPHER: You know… How important they are? I think it's important for the magazine that's putting it together because it really reflects sales for them. I think, for better words, it does have some effect, not on your career or anything but for a DJ that is playing internationally it helps their recognition because a lot of times clubs and things overseas are looking to book talent and it's not just based on the clubs themselves booking the talent it's the investors. The investors say give me a list and they go "I want the guy at the top of the list!" and unfortunately there are a few clubs (just a handful) but there are a few that are based on investors choices and the investors want something on the list. In the real world it means absolutely nothing. When I go to a party and I'm listening to a guy play I don't go "Gee, that guy must be #7! haha and he's playing so good tonight, but he's definitely not #5!" But no, there’s no relevance what so ever.

KEVIN: Let's face it, clubs are corporations so there has to be some investor involvement there at some point unfortunately.

KEVIN: I've often said we need more DJ's and producers like you in North America, and then I heard you're moving to Australia. Any mixed feelings on this or have you been pretty set on it for a while now?

CHRISTOPHER: It's pretty much etched in stone, but it's not for another 18 months and I'll still maintain a base in Los Angeles because 60% of what I do is in North America. I'm doing a lot of stuff in South America as well so I'll do half of my time in Australia, Asia and Europe and I'll do the other half over here. It's a lot of traveling.

KEVIN: We'll you're putting a quarter million air miles on every year so I guess it doesn't really matter where you live.

CHRISTOPHER: In the great scheme of things it really doesn't matter where your mail gets sent. You're flying somewhere every weekend anyway.

KEVIN: So what can we expect from you in 2006?

CHRISTOPHER: Hopefully some releases on Pharmacy Electronic Music. I'll also continue touring throughout the summer for the summer festivals. Then get back in the studio and do some more work.

KEVIN: Great! Thanks very much for your time.


You can check out our review of Christopher’s new compilation CD Subculture out now on System Recordings by clicking <a href=http://trance.nu/v3/review_show.php?id=1455>here</a>

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