“Anyone can play big hits and get a reaction”: Digweed words up ITM

The last time we saw UK journeyman John Digweed around these parts was March 2010, and this weekend he’s back for a much-anticipated run of club shows. With extended sets and not a festival tent in sight, it’s the ideal way to see one of the world’s most celebrated DJs. Safely landed after the long haul down here, Digweed checked in with inthemix ahead of what’s set to be a whirlwind circuit.

“The last few tours of Australia have been mostly big festival gigs, which have been great, but you play shorter sets and have to get straight to the point with your set,” he told us today. “This tour I have longer to play and being in clubs should lend itself to a more intense vibe. I am lucky that most weeks I get to play from 500 people to 25,000, so the variety of gigs keeps me on my toes. Most of my gigs on this tour are three hours, which I am happy about – plus I have got so much great music with me I can’t wait to start playing.”

Touring is a critical part of what Digweed does, and his schedule takes him well outside Europe and North America to destinations like Israel and Taipei. We asked him about where he feels dance music is at.

“The scene is split down the middle with the very commercial house DJs and the more underground DJs,” he muses. “The commercial side of the scene has never been so big, but it’s a million miles away from what I play. I think you can’t beat seeing a crowd go crazy to a record that they have never heard before. You have to work and earn that reaction. Anyone can play big hits and get a reaction.

“I want the crowd to come away being surprised and wanting to search out what they have just heard. I just try and focus on what I do and the parties I am playing and make sure I give 110-percent to every gig and try make each party better than the last. The label is also one of those things that as long as you keep the quality of the releases very high you will succeed.”

DJing is more of a buzz than ever for the Bedrock boss, as he told us. “I have spent and devoted over half my life to DJing. I live and breathe music and the industry 24/7. I am not like a sportsman that when you reach a certain age your body cannot keep up. As long as I have my ears and the passion and love for what I do then I want to continue.

“My gigs are still selling out and the fan base around the world is very strong, so why would I want to stop something I love doing? The scene has seen many new DJs come into it recently which is great as it keeps it fresh and exciting. I still want to have a big part to play in it with my DJing, radio show, productions, Bedrock events and record label.”