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Laidback Luke dives in on his legendary career (DMNW Interview)

Laidback Luke

At Dance Music Northwest, we stand by artists who have truly made a mark on the scene over the years, longevity is so important and represents how significant the music created truly is. And if anyone represents that in the purest way, it is Laidback Luke. With many projects at hand, Laidback Luke has released a new incredibly catchy collab with Unity titled Make than Thang Go and also just put out a new album, 15 Years of Mixmash, which celebrates an array of Mixmash bangers with exclusive artists and friends who have been connected to Mixmash Records over the past 15 years!

We had the chance to chat with Laidback Luke about his new track, album, and his past projects. Check out the full interview below.

DMNW: First and foremost, a huge congrats on the new collab with Unity, how do you guys feel about this track, what is its message, and how do you feel about its recent release?

Laidback Luke: This has been one of the easiest and smoothest processes in a while when it comes to finishing a track. Team Unity sent an awesome demo and it was easy for me to pour my signature sauce over it. It’s in the realm of that Twisted House sound, which I’ve been pushing and playing out a lot. A loud, clean and in your face mix down, which sounds big on my floors. I’m very happy to release it because it marks one of my first tracks, within my new revolution as a producer. More of this on the way for 2020!

DMNW: I’d love to hear a little bit about your beginnings as a DJ, what drew you to this path in life and what made you have so much passion towards the scene? What do you love most about djing?

Laidback Luke: What drew me to become a DJ is my girlfriend at the time, this was almost 25 years ago, buying a DJ set for herself to practice on. She wanted to become a DJ, while I was already putting out my tracks on vinyl. She quickly found out it wasn’t for her and so the decks were doing nothing in my little studio area. I decided to give it a try and it was really easy for me! What I love most about DJing is the interaction and the control over the crowd. The ability to lift a night up with your choices on the second and connecting to what the crowd needs at the moment. I always feel a part of the dance floor when I’m DJing.

DMNW: What was the very first track you produced? Was it actually released?

Laidback Luke: Oh wow, I forgot the name! This was in 1992 and it was actually a UK Rave type of track. Back at that time, one of my biggest inspirations was The Prodigy. But I was only working on a nineties PC with a SoundBlaster 1 soundcard. The tracks didn’t sound professional at all haha!

DMNW: Tell me, as a superstar DJ and a family man as well, how do you balance family life and DJing? How do you find that sweet spot between the two of them?

Laidback Luke: By trial and error, I divorced two times, I finally found out that family life HAS to come first. Work second. In my previous two marriages work always came first. This gave me my success but obviously the work always had an impact on the family life. I do feel I have found the sweet spot nowadays, but the partner (and Christ before that, more on that later) has to come first. And together you can decide on how to carve out work time accordingly.

DMNW: While we understand it’s very difficult to pick a favorite track off of all your albums and EPs, which track would be your favorite/favorites?

Laidback Luke: This might be the remix D.O.D did for my classic “Be” which I made together with Steve Angello. Simply for the fact that it’s been lifting my dance floors up ever since I received the remix and I’ve played it in every single set ever since. It’s so effective!

DMNW: For our readers who haven’t yet experienced your music, how would you describe the general vibe of your musical focus?

Laidback Luke: I call it “Twisted House”, it’s that big chunky house meets mainstream kind of sound. Often lead by big weird sounds and bleeps, while keeping you dancing to a kick drum which drives the tribal type of percussion in there. It’s Dance Music, but it always has a twist to it!

Laidback Luke brings the hottest tracks throughout dance music in his weekly podcast 'Mixmash Radio'. He features much new music from EDM's rising stars.

DMNW: You have been in the EDM community for such a long time, how do you think you have grown as a producer and how has your overall music evolved? What do you enjoy most about making music now?

Laidback Luke: I once was on the forefront of the loudness war. And slowly I got caught up by a new generation for whom this was the standard. Music is so loud, clean and in your face now! How EDM is produced is remarkable. It was only this year, that I found out how to sound proper. I’m back up top again! What I enjoy most about making music after 27 years of producing is that it’s so easy to make what’s in my head. Or if I have a certain sound in mind, I just go ahead and make it. I often sketch tracks in my mind and then when I get to my computer, I simply lay out what’s already inside my head.

DMNW: Everybody has those people who have affected their lives incredibly or others that they idolize. If there was one amazing soul you could connect with, who would it be and why?

Laidback Luke: Since a few years I have learned that no man should be idolized. My idol is Jesus Christ. He will never betray me, He will never turn His back on me. He’s always there for me! And I’m proud to say I connect with Him on a daily basis. It’s a very personal relationship I have. He is THE Soul whom I’d love for everyone to connect with. Sorry to get all Kanye on you, but what I’d love to explain that it’s not about religion. It’s a relationship. My life is so much more logical, intense, loving and worth it with Him in the forefront.

DMNW: Music is such a gift to the world and what you bring to dance music is truly special, what types of music have inspired you? What is your favorite part about being in the music industry today?

Laidback Luke: I’ve been inspired by all types of music, I really love all kinds of music! My favorite part about being in the music industry today is having those intimate moments, while finishing off a track, fully enjoying it. This moment, before it gets sent out to the management, or before it hits the crowd and you get to see what everyone thinks about it, is THE moment of moments in music. Where no one touches it, yet and you’re immersed in the process of creating something out of nothing.

DMNW: We love you here in the Pacific Northwest, how do you feel about your fans in the PNW and what is your favorite experience while you have been here?

Laidback Luke: I love it over there! I think the crowd is a wild bunch and is always very grateful whenever I make it out there. I wish I’d get booked there more often! I loved playing at Paradiso, but I’ve also hosted a Super You&Me stage during Freak Night which people still talk about. Hope to see you guys soon!

Peep his newly released album here and take a trip down memory lane:

What is your favorite Laidback Luke track or moment? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

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