Busy P: Still with something to prove
Ahead of his arrival later this month, inthemix’s Dave Ruby Howe chats to Ed Banger supremo Busy P (also known as Pedro Winter) about his Parklife dates, Justice, stagediving and why the Frenchman is championing a return to ‘real house music’.
Hey Pedro, how are you mate?
“Very good, very happy to be talking to you Australians today!”
And you’re in Paris?
“Yes, I’m opening up the office for the day, I have lots of mail to get through.”
See that’s something that I always think about when it comes to someone like yourself. You’re a DJ, a producer, a manager and you run the label. Do you ever feel exhausted by doing all of that?
“Well, yes it is a lot of work for me, but it is what I love to do. And the same goes for when I am DJing, I think that the day I get bored behind the decks is the day that I should stop doing it.”
So Ed Banger is seven years old in 2010, and I wanted to ask you, looking back over that time and thinking about how the label has developed, if there’s anything that you wish you had done differently or would change if given the chance to do it again?
“I would say, you know, this is the perfect question for a psychoanalyst to ask to see if you’re a depressive person. But no, I would not change anything. I love all of the little mistakes that we have made and the success that we have had with Ed Banger. I am happy with how it has all happened. Of course I could have wanted it to arrive faster but I think it’s good to be patient and give it all time. Seven years is a lot of time for some people, but it also no time at all. We still have a lot to prove.”
What’s the next challenge for Ed Banger then?
“The next challenge for me – and this is what we are doing at the moment – is to keep Ed Banger at the top of the new and indie labels. And especially in the dance and electronic world where you have all those big names like Armin van Buuren and David Guetta, those big DJs that are filling stadiums, labels like Ed Banger and then DFA and Fool’s Gold are like the alternative to that. That makes me happy. We’re offering an alternative to the kids and luckily we’re filling the clubs too. It’s not about underground and overground, it’s more like east vs. west, if you know what I’m talking about.
We’re trying to propose something that is new and different and that excites people. I will be very sad if people think that Ed Banger is just about distortion and noisy disco, so my goal right now is to prove that we are able to make other stuff. That’s what we’ve been doing by releasing albums by people like Krazy Baldhead, Mr. Flash, and Breakbot and Mickey Moonlight. We’ve got a lot more stuff to come.”
Well yeah, looking at Ed Banger in 2007 and Ed Banger in 2010, there’s definitely a different feeling on the label and it’s not just home to Justice and SebastiAn. Like, looking at this year alone you did Mickey Moonlight, Carté Blanche and Uffie. That’s pretty diverse.
“Exactly, I’m glad that people can see that.”
So then what else is next? Are you looking to explore other genres? Will there be dubstep on Ed Banger?
“Personally, I love dubstep, but I’m not sure that Ed Banger can turn as a dubstep label, I think I have too much respect for the other labels that have been doing that for the past five years. But a dubstep track or a remix I would definitely be happy to release that on Ed Banger. But the key thing with Ed Banger is that we are free to do whatever we want. You mentioned Carté Blanche and that is a good example that shows that yes, Ed Banger can be a crazy label of the kids who love to stagedive, but with Carté Blanche we tried to show that we’ve done the banging and the craziness for the past three years with Justice but we are talking about dance music and serious house music, this is what we danced to in the clubs and this what we want you to do and understand it now. This is why we released this house record, and luckily it went pretty well.”
I get that, and I think that that EP along with some of the Duck Sauce stuff that came out really brought back this kind of funky house thing that we hadn’t seen in a while. You grew up in the French house scene and you know all about it, do you think that there is a revival in store?
“Oh yeah, there is definitely a revival of house. To be honest I’m not really into the French house revival, you know, the filter-disco stuff. The Duck Sauce stuff was just perfect but when that came out it felt like everybody wanted to do it too, so I’m not that sure about it. I’m more talking about real house music. This is what DJ Mehdi has been doing for over a year now and you will experience it at Parklife. It really is like a house DJ set, not just arriving and banging the crowd. It really is to bring back people to the clubs. We all have to understand that this stuff with acts like The Bloody Beetroots that is happening all around the world right now, it’s not dance music anymore, it’s like punk-rock and the kids are not dancing anymore, they’re just stage-diving and jumping around.”
So you’re saying no more Bloody Beetroots, no more Steve Aoki, but lots more Chicago house?
“Yes, more Chicago house. But it’s not that easy, we have to challenge everything that we’ve been doing with Ed Banger. It would be easy for us to go to a club and play all these loud and noisy things and get the kids crazy, but this is not what we want to do.”
Well, I’m interested to see how you work with that because people are obviously looking ahead to big records from your guys like Justice and SebastiAn, who I can only assume are working on their albums.
“I am not too worried about people waiting a while for our records. If you look at artists like Daft Punk or Beastie Boys, they had three, four or five year breaks in between releasing albums, and I like that cycle. We did the first Justice record in 2007 and in my mind that means we have a lot of time until we need to do the next one. If they release it next year then I’ll be happy.”
That’s interesting, because yeah, as you say there used to much larger breaks between releasing records but everyone has kind of gotten over that thanks to the internet where you can get anything you want really quick and easily.
“Yes, exactly. People want things now, they want it to be fast and they expect albums every year. If that works for some artists then I am cool with it. Mr Oizo is a very fast worker, but with the next Justice album I don’t feel as though we need to rush anything, we’ll take our time and if they need a few more months in the studio then so be it.”
I think that signing Breakbot was a smart move for you guys, he’s super talented.
“Absolutely, he is a great artist and I’m glad to have him on Ed Banger. I think that came at a perfect time too because I wanted to put some more love into the music on Ed Banger and he did that perfectly with Baby I’m Yours. We’re doing the next single and I can tell you that it’s going to be amazing and maybe that guy will be faster than anyone to work on an album, who knows.”
Let’s talk about your Australian tour dates where you’ll be DJing the Parklife festival. You played the same festival last year so I know you must have a lot of affection for the Australian crowds here.
“I feel really lucky that I am able to come to Australia as often as I do and play to the crowds there. I remember I discovered Australia for the first time with Justice at the Big Day Out festival and then later that year we came back for Parklife and that festival really felt like a family to us and we have continued that relationship since then.
When Fuzzy asked me to come back for Parklife it didn’t take long for me to answer them, but I told them that this time when I come back I want to think about trying something different because I imagine that Australian people would be sick of seeing my little white arse by now!” [Check here for Pedro’s full explanation of the planned ‘Busy Pictionary’ shows at Parklife]
Busy P plays at the following dates at this year’s super-sized Parklife festival. Stay tuned to the All About Parklife page for more news and juice as the mighty festival draws near.
Parklife 2010 dates:
Gold Coast, Parklands – Sat 25 Sep – JOIN THE ROLLCALL
Perth, Wellington Square – Sun 26 Sep – JOIN THE ROLLCALL
Melbourne, Sidney Myer Music Bowl – Sat 2 Oct – JOIN THE ROLLCALL
Sydney, Kippax Lake – Sun 3 Oct – JOIN THE ROLLCALL
Adelaide, Botanic Gardens – Mon 4 Oct – JOIN THE ROLLCALL