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Steve Lawler interview

Author: Nikki Wright
Monday, 31 July 2006
Regarded as one of the most talented and hardest working DJs in the business, Steve Lawler's rise to prominence is a testament to his unwavering dedication to his craft. On the back of his trademark twisted house sound, he has distinguished himself from progressive contemporaries Sasha, Digweed, et al, in the process becoming one of the world's most in-demand DJs. Following on from the critically acclaimed 'Lights Out' compilations, Lawler prepares to unleash the first edition of the conceptually unique Viva series

Tell us about Viva, your new compilation series with Ministry of Sound-
It's a 3 disc compilation, titled Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3. It's my new compilation project that will tie into a series of party's that I am doing in certain territories including Ibiza, Italy, UK, and USA. Rather than just doing a 1 disc mix comp, this mix is giving people a variety of music to listen to, all music that I love and that I am passionate about. And this also ties in with my live DJ sets in these territories around the world.

What is the concept behind Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3-
Firstly I wanted to give people more music to listen to, but music that could be listened to at different times. I think that every kind of music has its moments at which should be played, or that its more suitable for. Day 1 is my representation of what I play in the bigger rooms, a more funk driven mix with large sounds etc. Day 2 is my representation of club music: deeper, darker more underground. And finally Day 3 is my representation of chill out. It's more leftfield than most chill out albums you will hear and contains a little electronica with some old personal influences thrown in.

I am a big fan of music as a whole. My music collection is very open-minded. And I believe that every kind of music has its place in our lives. I listen to jazz or 50's ballads or ambient when I'm sometimes relaxing at home. I listen to a lot of rock when I'm in the car etc, and with this album, day 3 for me is what you want by the time you get to day 3 of a big weekend!

You will be bringing your Viva concept to Pacha this summer, tell us more about the concept and how it came about-
"I think the whole look that I have tried to create with VIVA is more suited to Pacha. Pacha is a great club with an amazing sound system and by far the best dancers / performers in the world. The club is dark, and oozes Sex but with an edge. This is all a great setting for some VIVA party's. It's important for me to have all the elements right when you do a residency or a series of party's.

I am doing the VIVA party's on a Friday, joining Pete Tong's night PURE, which is great because they will suit each other nicely. On the nights I do the VIVA party's the club is going to look slightly different to norm. Different production, different costumes for the performers and ultimately a different sound. Expect something along the lines of 'Party Monster' meets 'Studio 54' in the era of Goth *laughs*

Tell us about the Viva Music online only label-
It launches with its first release 'Streetlife - YoJay' around July this year, and that will be followed by a track I did with Dino Lenny called S.L.A.D.L.Y. - Unicorn. I closed down my three Harlem labels towards the end of last year due to the fact it was becoming increasingly difficult to sell the producers music. Having a record label has always been a hobby for me, and I never really wanted to make money from it. I just wanted to get behind some new and exiting producers and push them and their music. And for this Harlem records worked.

But unfortunately a label does need money to run, and is always at the mercy of distributor and pressing plants, taking the label out of your control. For example, sometimes distributors demand exclusivity from you and then don't supply certain shops with your records etc. All in all the labels became stressful and a financial loss. I never felt good<
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