Dave Seaman 2002
by Brett Abramson
Photos by Ed Rodgers
February 16, 2002. I had the privilege of sitting down and talking with legendary DJ and producer, Dave Seaman, before his recent set at Eleven50. No introduction necessary...
Lunar: So how are you doing?
D.S.: I'm doing alright. I just needed a little bit of sleep there.
Lunar: Where did you play last night?
Dave Seaman: I did Crobar in Miami, and I had a nightmare journey. I missed my flight from London to Miami, so they took me to Washington Airport. The plane had mechanical problems, and we sat there for six hours. So by the time I got to Crowbar, it was past three and they close at five, so I only played for an hour or so. I ended up going to an afterhours and I got back to the hotel at half past 10.
Lunar: So what projects do you have in the works?
Dave Seaman: I just finished a Global Underground CD from Melbourne, Australia.
Lunar: Is that already completed or is it still in the works?
Dave Seaman: No, it's in the works. I only just did the gig, but the Global albums aren't live. We are in the process of licensing and will finish it up next week. They can't be live really. There was a bomb scare in Cape Town and we had to shut the sound down, so that wouldn't have sounded very good, half an hour of silence! And then I just finished a new Brothers In Rhythm track. A remix of Garbage. That's the group Garbage, not a rubbish remix, even though some people would say that's what it is! I've also started Therapy the label back up.
Lunar: Are you holding any residencies right now?
Dave Seaman: No, it's very difficult to hold a residency these days. There's so many good gigs going on around the world.
Lunar: So what are the hot spots for you right now?
Dave Seaman: Oh there's so many. Mexico is really, really good. Israel is great. Greece is very good. Australia, Japan. Here (the US) is great. The UK is really the worst right now. There's a bit of a dip going on in the UK really.
Lunar: Of all the artists you've remixed over the years, who has been your favorite to work with?
Dave Seaman: When you do remixes, you don't really get to work with the band.
Lunar: That was actually my next question. Have you ever been able to have a one-on-one interaction with anyone you've worked with?
Dave Seaman: Yeah, with people like Kylie (Minogue) and Pet Shop Boys we got to work on the vocals together. But a lot of times with remixes they send the vocals to you to work with.
Lunar: This is kind of a big question, but where do you see the 'progressive' sound heading?
Dave Seaman: I'm always asked this question. It's very difficult to predict. To me progressive house is more of a sprit really than a sound. It means everything from Deep Dish and Danny Tenaglia through 16B and Bushwacka and Timo and Sander (Kleinenberg) and Sasha and John (Digweed) all the way through Oliver Lieb and Christian Smith, which really is like deep house to techno. But it's all progressive house. It's always about trying new ways of doing things and pushing the boundaries of it.
Lunar: I love how everyone on every end of the spectrum seems to be influencing or borrowing from each other.
Dave Seaman: Yeah, and that's house music. You take influences from all over, so as far as big, huge scenes coming over, I'm not sure there are going to be big, huge scenes. Progressive was like last year's thing, which has already been here before. It's just being repackaged for the next generation.
Lunar: What tracks are huge for you right now?
Dave Seaman: I love the new Roger Sanchez. It's great. The new Slacker is really, really good.
Lunar: Are there any artists or labels in general that right now you are totally vibin' on?
Dave Seaman: Yeah, I really like what James Holden is doing at the moment. Labels like Bedrock, Hooj, Junior, Yoshitoshi are all putting out a lot of good stuff.
Lunar: I recently read that you are switching over to using CDs as a major part of your repertoire.
Dave Seaman: A little bit. I'm trying to use them more.
Lunar: Do you see things heading in the direction of replacing vinyl, or do you see CDs as just an addition?
Dave Seaman: Well, for the time being, I see using both. But eventually I see CDs taking over because the (Pioneer) CDJ-1000 has made it so succinct. Because of the new hardware there is not really a difference between spinning CDs and vinyl.
Lunar: What percentage of your sets are played from CDs?
Dave Seaman: It varies. One night I will play only two or three CDs, and another I will play a lot more.
Lunar: My favorite CDs that you have done over the years are the Renaissance Worlwide London with Robert Miles and Back To Mine because they show a side of you that we don't normally get to hear on the dancefloor. What has been your favorite CD to make?
Dave Seaman: Back To Mine was enjoyable because it was different. I really enjoyed doing the first Renaissance with the leaf on the front (Renaissance 3).
Lunar: Yeah, I still listen to that one. Do you ever still go record shopping? Where do you shop from?
Dave Seaman: Yeah , Massive Records, 3Beat in Liverpool, Plastic Fantastic. I love going around the world to different stores.
Lunar: I see that you are playing at the Satellite and Therapy parties in March at the Winter Music Conference. What are your thoughts on the conference in general?
Dave Seaman: It's getting a little bit out of control at the moment. This year will be interesting because last year was too crazy, with too many people. I think it's spring break week as well. I think they should just move the week. The conference is about being in Miami really, and if they moved it to Las Vegas it wouldn't have the same appeal.
Lunar: Every year it seems there's that rumor that it's moving. After playing in Atlanta a few times over the past couple of years, what are your impressions of the scene here?
Dave Seaman: I'm having a good time here. Last time was good.
Lunar: Yeah, at the Velvet Room.
Dave Seaman: Yeah, I enjoyed it. The time before that was like a Wednesday night, so I don't think it went so well.
Lunar: I have a good feeling tonight will go really well. You've always been known for your mixing skills. Is there any advice you would give to aspiring DJs in that department?
Dave Seaman: Well, practice makes perfect really. It's like learning to drive. First you practice, like DJing in your room, and when you get out on the road it's a whole different thing. Being able to do it in front of a huge group of people is like a whole new world. Getting over that initial fear of people being there. A lot of times it's being able to relax and get into it really. A lot of DJing is feeling comfortable.
Lunar: The last time you talked to Lunar Magazine was April 14, 1999. How has the dance world changed since then?
Dave Seaman: It's become even more international than it was. I think it's become really consolidated, even in light of what's gone on recently and the world economy slump. I mean England is going through a little bit of a dip because there is so much in England. It's all so in your face. There's so many different levels and so many underground scenes popping up to keep feeding the mainstream. But I don't think there's that much of a difference really. Just another generation coming through, like we all did. Our first time going out.
Lunar: Yeah, we've all been there. I know you've been doing this for so long. So where do you see your career heading in the next 5-10 years?
Dave Seaman: I just want to keep doing what I'm doing. I love what I do. I love traveling, I love DJing, and I love making music. The record label is about to start back up. We've got the old Stress team back together. And they all interact with each other and feed each other. I just feel very lucky to be doing what I love for a living and hope it will continue.
Lunar: So to lighten things up, what's your favorite TV show? Do you get a chance to watch a lot of TV when at home?
Dave Seaman: I do watch a lot of TV. I think England has the best TV in the world. The best media in the world in generalradio and TV. It's really good, quality stuff over there. Pop Idol is gripping the nation at the moment. It's been an ongoing saga for like three months. I also love movies. That's my escape.
Lunar: That leads me to my next question. What do you do to relax?
Dave Seaman: I like watching The Sopranos, West Wing is very big in England, Frasier, Seinfeld. A lot of the same things you've got over here.
Thanks to Dave Seaman, Eleven50 and Liquified for making this interview possible.
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