"Crowds here are very educated"
Thursday saw UK's highest ranked DJ Gareth Emery kick off his Submerge India four-city tour in Mumbai. Devika Desai had a one-on-one chat with the Trance and House music heavyweight. Excerpts
Is it a coincidence that you're spending your birthday here in India?
Sort of. My summer tour schedule was put together by my agent, who I doubt knows when my birthday is (laughs). However, I'm not the biggest fan of birthdays; once you've been through a certain number of them, you stop counting because it gets a bit depressing (laughs again). So, I opted to work on my birthday instead of taking an off and when I found out that I would be spending it here in India, I thought to myself, â€˜Hey, that's a pretty cool place to spend my birthday!'
How do you mentally prepare yourself for a gig?
Usually, it's a process of chilling out and just not letting anything go on, allowing myself to relax and focus on the upcoming show. I prefer to be in my hotel room, have a quiet moment, listen to some music on my laptop and gear myself for what's coming ahead. If you have too many distractions before the set, you are perhaps, not focused on the set that you have to play.
Are you working on any new material?
Yes, I am currently working on a new album, which should be set to release sometime in the beginning of next year. I have a deadline of two months to get it finished, which isn't too bad since it's almost 75% finished. In fact I'll be experimenting with some of the tracks during my gigs on the tour; I'd probably play them with some tweaks and changes, depending on the mood of the crowd.
You have a diverse background, musically and otherwise. What made you want to be a DJ?
I've always been musically inclined ' I took classical piano lessons when I was 4, later switching to Jazz and Blues. I played guitar in bands up and down London, including a Punk band in college. It started when I went to an underground event with friends when I was 18; it was the first time when I really enjoyed Electronic music. After that, I had spent a few years making Electronic tracks and playing in a Punk band and it depended on what I got signed on for first. If I had gotten a record deal for Punk, I'd be doing that now, and since I got a deal for my electronic music, that's what I'm doing now. It all just worked out.
Ten years ago, would you say that this is where you wanted to be?
At that time, the music scene was different. Ten years ago, it wasn't that international, but more localised in the UK. My initial ambitions consisted of playing in Godskitchen or Gatecrash ' all British venues. However as music gained more international acclaim, especially with the Internet boom, people across the globe got exposed to this type of music. As a result my ambitions rose, suddenly, I wanted to play in India and China. 10 years ago, we could have never predicted that the music could have soared so high, and come so far internationally, it's just been this amazing surprise.