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Chuck Love interview: Spread the Love

Author: Emma-Louise Tovey
Friday, March 17, 2006
Minneapolis-based house producer Chuck Love got his first break after getting his music into the hands of Miguel Migs. The rest is history.

Frequently referred to as the "skinny white dude from Minneapolis", Chuck Love (aka Charlie Erikson, the multi-instrumentalist, DJ/producer extraordinaire and mixer to some of the biggest house cats today), wants to give music lovers something to sink their teeth into, and not what "promoters and club owners think the market already wants," he says. The answer Love believes, is "deeper more musical stuff" and what an a la carte menu he is already offering up. Consistently avoiding typecasting with each release, Love delighted us with El Divorcee which was picked up by Ministry's latest 'Chillout Sessions', Spread the Love featuring DeMonica, the jackin' released Funky Ass Beat and the most revered track of the 2005 Winter Music Conference, Back In My Life, featuring vocalist Fourfeet, aka Justin Thompson.

"I hand Miguel [Migs] a CD at a Minneapolis show, and I thought he might be interested enough to play some of the tracks out, and never thought of it for a while, but got an email from him about two weeks later wondering who is Chuck Love, where he got the CD and whether the tracks were available. It turned out to be the Frozen In Minneapolis EP."

His EP, released on Migs' Salted Music label, featured the tracks Spread The Love, El Divorcee and Back In My Life and sprung Love to the forefront of the competitive house pack - who knew Minneapolis had such great talent- "The Minneapolis scene is growing for sure," he says. "A couple of key clubs are coming online and you can look out for Celebrity Records, Roomsa, Fourfeet Vino Recordings, Onethirty Recordings - all these guys have residencies around the Minneapolis area. I think the scene by nature evolves to the local level, and ebbs and flows. I believe the scene is going strong worldwide," offers Love, who just collaborated with well-respected Andy Caldwell. "It's really cool to end up working with people you have respected for years." Caldwell remixed Love's Nymphonix Arms Around You - his second album, and Love says they have developed a mutual respect for one another.

And on other recent collaborations- "Justin Thompson from Fourfeet has been a great collaborator, we work well together. I will typically have a groove down and maybe a hook, and he will chime in with verse lyrics and sing it properly." Sounds like fun- "I really love something about every style, from very musical and soulful, to bleepy stuff designed to move lots of air in an organized fashion… house music is designed to be mixed with other house music." True to form, Love incorporates all the instruments he picked up in school over the years in his live sets and is frequently known to sing over his mixes. "I play guitar, trumpet, flute, percussion and sing."

"Long before I ever started to spin tracks I did Live PAs with programmed backing tracks that I would perform with - it never occurred to me to do a show any other way. I largely play my productions, whether Chuck Love tracks or remixes, and I use custom versions of stuff without key elements that I will add live."

Remixes for Collette, Lisa Shaw and DJ Heather have proven Love's inherent creativity and true love of music [no pun intended]. "I try and find ways to broaden the sound I do. It's always a tightrope walk to stay in keeping with a sound that people attribute to me, yet branch out - that's a challenge I look forward to," says the refreshing music minstrel. Expect more high-quality releases from Love soon. "I expect a new single, and a mixed CD will be together by summer".

And plans for the future- "More touring and getting inspired at the WMC in Miami." Just about to tour Australia, Love says the worst thing about this industry is the Qantas flight from his home town to Perth, and the best- "I get to bring a product that put