This week in the Artist Spotlight hailing from Chicago we have that dude Steve Gerard. With his self-proclaimed slogan “Ask Your Bitch”, Steve truly brings a zero fucks given attitude to the game. Personally, here at House Music Saved My Life, we think it’s great! The best part about Steve taking this approach is he can back it up! His truly care free attitude leads to the creativity that shines through in his live sets. Steve takes risks/ plays less known tracks that other DJs/ Performers would not, which makes him all the more entertaining to watch live! As a producer Steve is making massive strides having learned much of this skill from Chicago House Legend Gene Farris! Be sure to keep an eye out for Steve the rest of 2014 and into 2015, he is definitely on our “Artists To Watch List”. We caught up with Steve this week, check out the interview below to see what he had to say! The makes for a stimulating read to say the least.
What made you want to start DJing/producing?
I saw DJ Icey in 2004 and started listening to a lot of breaks and all of my friends at the time were into the big electro thing happening with the Juicy Music craze, and I would find myself ending up at these parties alone and just meeting people on a weekly basis. I’d eventually end up heading to clubs like Mission back in the day and eventually I met Dave Medusa who was paramount to pushing me in the right direction and introducing me to people who could make things happen for me.
Who is your biggest influence(s)?
I have many influences; far too many to name, but since I am a Chicago kid I am going to give a shout to Gene Farris who has helped me so much with my sound on the production aspect of things, along with Antonio from OneLove Recordings and Idiothouse Records who cut me a huge break back in 2005 with signing my first 5 song LP right when Idiothouse was at it’s pinnacle with guys like Phra & Bot (before they were Crookers) and Boy 8-Bit. That really meant a lot for me. On the straight up production influence, I would say I really look up to the way that Subb-an creates music. I am a huge fan of rolling basslines and it is extremely difficult to curate a project where not too much is happening, but enough smaller elements consistently progress through continue a 5, 6, or even 7 minute track. I find myself playing 2 or so of his tracks in a lot of my sets.
Whats you’re favorite record of all time?
Too tough of a question to ask. Entirely too tough.. Haha.
What was your favorite party of all time that you have played?
Again, really hard to say.. But, from this year Gene Farris and I B2B opening up for our buddy Daley, Hot Since 82 was definitely a magical night. Green Velvet even showed up and performed Bigger Than Prince live with him and they went B2B for a solid 45 minutes to an hour. Opening also with a new friend of mine from Chicago, Nick Basset was an amazing experience as well. Mainly because we had never played before and I had only heard Nick play 3 or 4 times before and I think he had maybe seen me once or twice? However, we flowed together so organically, we really didn’t need any communication at all to make that set great. That is a rarity these days.
Who is your favorite artist to collaborate with?
Again, organically if things come natural, those are the best collaborations. Sometimes I will sit down with another artist and things just don’t happen, and when that is the case you just need to step away and not force feed the project down each other’s throats. I have 4 new projects in the works right now with Daniel Diamond, who is coming up on a 5 year hiatus. I sent him over 4 finished tracks, all dub versions, and he was able to write 4 entirely new songs in less than 2 hours, and they are all astounding. So, I am pretty stoked on shopping these out in the near future.
Who do you want to collaborate with in the future?
I would definitely like to work on something with tINI in the near future, along with Subb-an, Kris Wadsworth, and the No Regular Play guys. Really big fans of all of their work and they are all super down to earth, nice people.
What’s the most embarrassing thing thats happened to you at a show?
I have this old (keyword, we are no longer friends…) buddy I haven’t spoken to in a few years. Long story short, he was on vacation and his girlfriend, who is now his wife (who I absolutely can not fucking stand) was just being a complete sketchball the entire time he was out of town, I would see her out with other guys and shit, so I figured “hey we’ve been telling this kid she’s a cunt for like 2 years now, one of us needs to fuck her.” So, being the amazing friend I am, I fucked his girlfriend and told him about it and gave him the “told you so, now can we please move along and just all be friends again like it was before this piece of shit came into the picture?” I guess you can imagine how that worked out for me. Good luck with your marriage.
What do you like to do when you’re not working on music/DJing?
What is your opinion on the current EDM scene?
I think it’s absolute garbage. Not really much more to say about that. The thing is, the market is far too oversaturated with crap, but it takes longer now for people to become musically educated now in 2014 due to how much crap is constantly being regurgitated into everybody’s face. Money gets involved, and now you have one big pay to play system and it’s all a bit tongue-in-cheek. Which really pisses me off about a lot of the “banger/trap/electro/whatever” DJs who now all of a sudden think they can speak on the state of music. Dudes, look in the mirror, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. It’s your huge quotes to “play music,” it’s your leech-like handlers who drive your egos up the wall, and it’s your cookie cutter ass music that the hundreds and thousands of kids listening are exposed to on a daily basis. Wake up people. You’re gonna sit here and actually tell me you LIKE the sound of that shit? Motherfucker please.. The attitudes have to go. Let your music do the talking. It’s up to real people to put jagoffs in their place when they are getting too loud for their own good. You tweet fan photos, pay some dude to make your shit while you’re on the road spraying champagne on people every night, and you have this shitty attitude as if everyone is beneath you. These people all forget that they are still kids and out there is a gang of accomplished adults who are actual musicians all poking fun at them. They can make the “I’m more successful argument,” but at the end of the day, there’s shit other than money that dictates your success as an artist. Also, I have no problem going on the record to state that I, along with Chicago’s local talent pool will shit on 98% of the acts on the active touring festival circuit in terms of technical DJing. But then again, nobody would care. I don’t have anything confetti-worthy in my record case. Bar none, there is zero contest.
What do you think will be the next big thing in EDM?
I am glad to see underground is starting to gain some recognition, especially on some of these bullshit festivals, it’s good to see cats like Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Lee Foss, and Richie Hawtin getting top-billing above all of the garbage, and I am glad it’s people like that who are given the opportunity to be ambassadors of our community. They are born educators and they have a huge burden on their shoulders to go out there in front of 8,000 kids who just got cake thrown all over them and drop the tempo way down and give these kids their money’s worth with actual DJ sets.
What do you think about all these “frauds” in the EDM scene using ghost producers, buying likes and purchasing their own tracks on Beatport?
I think I stated my opinion above pretty well.. It has been and will always be part of this industry, but true pioneers always stand out, obviously. I like to believe that everything quality always finds it’s way.
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