An interview with Lee Burridge... by Fiona Walsh
Lee Burridge has been touring and traveling the world as a DJ for 26 years and shows no signs of slowing down. CGI caught up with him before his big NYE Club gig at Santos Party House in NYC.
Fiona: You’re in New York for the MADE EVENT New Year’s Eve gig at Santos Party House – are you excited about that gig? Have you played in New York on NYE before?
Lee: I'm really excited. New York always gets that same flutter of excitement going every time I visit. I think this is actually the first time I've done New Year's Eve. It's going to be good to spend it with friends and I hear Santos Party house is wicked.
Fiona: If you weren’t working on NYE – what would you be doing?
Lee: Breaking in to peoples houses or dancing.
Fiona: Raw Dog (your collaboration with Steve Porter) is a banging track. How did the collaboration come about? If you’re working with other DJs/producers do you approach them or vice versa to work on a track together?
Lee: I've know Steve for a long time and I was looking for someone to work with in New York as part of my 365 project. The idea was to live in seven different cities over the course of 365 days and become a resident DJ while also making a track or two with a producer who already lived there. It was really fun working with Steve during that time. I tend to approach people to work with me as I'm more a DJ than a producer. I do contribute though as I make a mean cup of tea and am, obviously, great eye candy.
Fiona: How important do you think it is to be a DJ and a producer or a DJ who produces? It seems like a natural progression for most DJs. Is that something you think DJ’s should aspire to ultimately?
Lee: These days it's really important as you have to do as much as you can to push through into the public eye. Sadly though the quality control for both of these things can sometimes be lacking in one or the other departments. I feel quite a lot of average music gets released just to say you have a release out. It's the same in the clubs. If a producer is doing well they get booked to play a gig and I've heard on many occasions a set from someone that was poor to
average as they have no idea what they are doing. It's not good for the person who comes out if the end product isn't anything other than great.
Fiona: You have played in Ireland – where? And how did you find the crowd? Any plans to go back in the near future?
Lee: Ireland is always rocking. I've not been since last year but always look forward to going. Irish people know how to party, right!!? I plan to come back as soon as I'm asked!
Fiona: I know you spin mostly with vinyl. With the advent of digital music and djing, do you think vinyl will maintain a place in djing or die out? It seems like a lot of djs are using CDs and digital DJ technology now or a combo of both.
Lee: It's been dying out for years but somehow manages to find a new level each time it's supposed to be dead. The fact that most people play digital now sadly leaves the turntables in clubs in a bad way so, sadly, it's becoming harder and harder to actually play vinyl in clubs. I will always buy it but it's on it's last legs for me in so many venues. They just don't really have many visiting DJ's who play it. The state of the equipment just makes me look bad when the first track is skipping all over the place and the bass is feeding back. Sad times indeed!
Fiona: You’ve been deejaying now for 20 years. It’s obvious you still love doing it. Are you ever not in the mood to get behind the decks and if so, do you have any tricks for getting in the mood? (music you like to play)
Lee: In a few days time I've been a DJ for 26 years. Shit..that makes me old..no...wait...that makes me experienced. I love it very much and still play first and foremost for that reason. To be honest I'm never really not in the mood. How can you not be in the mood when you are about to get to hear all the records you like loud!?
Fiona: What’s been your best/craziest gig (if you have one)?
Lee: I think that would have to be Burning Man Festival It's always pretty wild. You never know who or what is going to roll into your gig. Giant ducks, centaurs, naked people. Fabulous!
Fiona: Are you going to be at WMC in Miami this year? What exciting gigs have you lined up for 2010?
Lee: Indeed I am. I'm doing a few different ones but aren't allowed to say yet.
Fiona: Your desert island discs – 3 songs you can’t live without?
Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
Japan - The experience of Swimming
Brian Eno - And then so clear
Lee Burridge will be appearing at Santos Party House on New Years Eve. More details at www.madeevent.com or LeeBurridge.com