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Interview with Carl Cox
Interview with Carl Cox
First of all, thanks a lot for your time Carl. We would like to know how is the winter for you. You’re in Australia, right? What is common to do there in these dates?
Yes, I’m here in Melbourne. I come every year around October until March. I try to do the summer in Europe and then come to Australia and do also all the summer here.
I actually end up doing some extra parties here, festivals which we are involved in.
This keeps me busy. And of course, I enjoy being here and relaxing.
We’re very close to end 2018, which as been a fantastic year and we have chosen you as the most influential artist of the year once again. How did you enjoy the season in Ibiza? What did you like the most? And the least?
I really enjoyed it! The thing is when I was playing in Space I was there for 16 weeks and of course every week was fantastic but it had to be fantastic because once you finish the club ends and that’s it. But, because I only did three parties at Resistance Privilege each one of those parties was amazing. I also chose to do the one night stand event being able to have the opportunity to play at Amnesia. So, it was Amnesia on a Monday, Pacha on a Tuesday and then we took over DC-10 on a Friday on August. Each one of those events was amazing.
So for me it was nice that people reacted to the fact that I am not there every week. And every time I play I always had a special heart for playing music, specially when I am outside of the jurisdiction of how I used to have a comfort belt of playing at Space. It’s more challenging for sure to be able to make these parties outside of what I used to do at Space and see how the generation reacts to my legacy or what I’ve created on the island all in different places. Believe me, when I played at Privilege for the closing party with Maceo Plex back to back for the first time That was an amazing moment for all of us, how the reaction was.
So I walked away from Ibiza this year very happy, I allow myself to be involved in, also very happy to see how people react to me as the individual, as the DJ and not as that I’m there for the island first. Many people did freak out that I was never going to be back to the island because Space but that was never true. The thing is once Space is finished I had to basically come back because of the island and to find myself where I would have to give back to the people and to do something instead of nothing. To have at least three events at Privilege, to be able to play at Amnesia, Pacha and DC-10 meant that they all were very special dates for me and the people who came to hear me play.
As you know, politicians in the island are putting restrictions on music. 65 db is the maximum volume for many venues in Ibiza. What do you think about this actions?
I think it was really hard for a lot of the daytime event parties that used to happen and there are not happening anymore because obviously they have to test and put limits on events like this. On some ways it is very good because you don’t want to have a big soundsystem on every single beach, you want a piece of quiet and not underground techno bass music played high level. You do have people to go on an island who want a holiday, so there has to be a certain element of certain places that should be allowed to have the sound level and to have good daytime party ideal and there should be places where is quiet for holiday makers to enjoy the beaches because it used to be like that many years ago. The only kind of high level big party that it used to be on the beach was Bora Bora. And that kind of set the tone for everything that has happened afterwards but the thing is it came to a point where every beach club was a major major party, the beaches were taken over just for people dancing and not relaxing and enjoying it.
When the sound gets louder and louder and louder, and also there are a big party 300 yards away from the next one, and then that is 400 from the next ... this is where the problem lies.
Not everyone wants to party. I understand that DJs are upset because they were used to get paid really good money, I get that, but I also get that this doesn’t show respect for the island, people who are there not just for the clubs, who are there to enjoy the island from a different perspective and there has to be some sort of control to that. This is where the government has to understand, you have to give the people something, you can’t take everything away from the people. So, I think they came too hard on the situation when they say no high level music on every single beach party, they have to allow a certain amount of beach parties that can have the ability to have this sort of parties and control that.
I think the answer is to find a balance and allow certain places, I think that can work in this way, to be able to have that beach parties which I believe people should have.
Government try too hard to stop the beach parties by saying you can’t make a beach party until 4 o’clock in the afternoon, ok, fine, so, you find your beach, you have your party, 4pm, boom high level music.
In order to fight these restrictions, a platform called Música Sí was born. Local djs have have expressed their discomfort in this situation but not many of the artists that fill the big venues have spoken about it, not even the management of the clubs have. Do you think the politicians are working hard to stop this platform to act?
I think if there was more voice from the public, from the people, from the promoters, from the club owners, managers from the DJs to say no. There has to be an understanding or at least talks of where we can basically keep a balance or we believe that should and shouldn’t have this kind of parties. I don’t think it is a bad thing because what was happening was you had opportunities coming from everywhere: Chinese, Russians, Arabs, English...they find a bar, DJs, Funktion One, and boom! They get a license and they have a big party going on. You can’t do it anymore so anyone that invested in the ideal from last year now they’re lost because they haven’t been able to give a license to continue giving the high level. So that what’s happened. And it seems to be that everyone is going ok about what is happening to Ibiza but it shouldn’t be really, I mean at the end of the day we have to stand up for what you believe in and the island can actually be understood in a way that the entertainment of the people in the afternoon can still happen but at these certain places. Bora Bora was always something allowed to happen and everyone was happy. So you need to find another 10 Bora Boras around Ibiza and therefore the DJs can actually play the clubs and still these events which shouldn't be a problem. But should be also at least some talks about that, some sort of negotiation.
In our opinion, one of the most important things to keep Ibiza alive is its local scene, the radios, magazines, record stores, young djs, which seems forgotten by the industry. What only seems important are the big artists that sell tickets, the day by day business but most of the people don’t care about it’s future. What is your opinion about this?
I mean a lot of things have changed over the last 15 years because obviously the social media have changed the way we communicate, the way we talk each other now, we used to talk and now we send emails and texts. There is no feeling, no interaction any more based on the idea/reason why you’re doing events, why you’re meeting people, why you’re trying do something on the island. The IMS is fantastic but the biggest problem in the IMS talks about money and how much money can be made from the island. You wanna talk about what can you give back to the island not what you can take from it. This is where things are getting weird. Because all the time I was always doing parties I was always about giving back to the island, giving back to the workers. We used to celebrate the time they worked so hard on the island that our closing party for them was the best party. It was a celebration of how hard people work and everyone knew it. We don’t have that ideal any more. Space used to be the catalyst for bringing people together based on how hard everyone works because if you remember when Space was through its end it was always at least 200 people minimum, management, pr teams, people who clean, everybody and all of them come at the end of the closing party hugging each other. You don’t see that any more. It’s very difficult when people from the outside just go: we wanna make a new sushi restaurant, we wanna make a new beach club which is primarily for the vip culture. It’s kind of lost and it’s none trying to pull the island together or the reasons why we do what we try to do on the island and get that kind of felling and vibe back to the reasons why Ibiza works in the first place.
I don’t need to wear a nice white shirt, a fresh trousers and have my lamborghini outside to become pretty important the thing is that you try to support the island as much as you humanly possible can and that’s the reason why the island is what it is in the sense of how makes you feel. In fact, some ways about the reason why certain things happen, I mean yes, they talk about health issues, about DJs, promoters… taxes, who is not paying, black money, they get scared because of the Spanish Government and their taxes, we get away for so long but now it’s turn to pay. The island has become better, schools are better, infraestructures are better, restaurants are better, there were nothing of this stuff before, people still forget about the culture and try to take as much out as possible until there is nothing left. And this is all we have.
You were one of the few artists, that cared about the local scene. You always invited local djs to your party at Space. Talking about it… its been announced that Space will come back. How far are we from this to happen?
Everyone wants to know this question. The thing about this is question is we are still waiting. There are no license for new clubs on the island until possible May, until we find who win the election, the things might change after that, if they do we are already making a campaign to put together for the local government, or for the government as a whole to see them to allow us to have a license, to take over a existing club, or to build a new club somewhere.
Is Playa d’en Bossa the chosen place for the new Space?
One thing I can tell you is that it’s not gonna be in Playa d`en Bossa. It’s too busy, it’s already turned into Vegas, we have no reasons to be there, we want to do something new, fresh and exciting for the future of the brand, and the future of what happens next. That was always very important.
We are not spotting the idea of moving forward with what we wanna try to do but we can only go so far until we know that the license can exist for us and everyone knows that right now it doesn’t matter who I am or who Pepe is, they’re not gonna give us anything. They can’t. It’s impossible. But my idea is to put the pressure on them, to tell them that I’m very keen and very passionate to do this. I don’t have to do it at all. There is no reason for me. But because I have such an affinity and a hearth and a belief that there is something missing on this island. Space is missed on this island and needs to come back, needs to return. There is not going to be a club in this planet Earth that has been celebrated as much as Space and it’s being taken away So we can’t let it go like that.
At the moment what we are trying to do is to make a big campaign for Space. And the reasons why I became a part of Pepe Rosello initially, to be able to attempt the control and the foresight to run Space forwards to Space parties, Space music, Spaces appareil and everything else. We already go for making parties! One of the biggest parties we are gonna be doing next year is in 25th of May in Century Park London under the banner of Space On Tour.
Imagine that Space is now running and you have to choose 3 parties for 3 nights of the club. Who would you call to join?
I have to basically call upon the people who really mean so much for the island and have such an affinity and a heart for the place, who really feel passionate about keeping the island fresh and alive.
Toni Moreno and Igor Marijuan, these guys are phenomenal, they do such a great job for the island and keeping the spirit and the vibe alive, what they believe in.
But also if I have to call upon Ibiza DJs to come along, who really feel something special for the island, someone like:
Joseph Capriati: he really loves being on the island, he has a house there, it’s phenomenal that he is still playing what he likes but he is a part of the system from that German outside point of view of what you need, people come to the island on such a way like that.
Erick Morillo: He doesn’t want to be in Vegas, playing in Vegas for big money. Less money and come and play on Ibiza, why not? He says that one of the best crowds he has ever played has been on this island.
If I pick up the phone and ask any DJ… For example Pete Tong they would just be there 100%.
Will you keep playing in the rest of the clubs of the island or just in the new Space?
The thing is I’ve worked to make sure that if it happens, I’m really hoping that it does, I would be for sure resident of that club and make sure that the one night I play Space is fantastic but then I would give opportunities to other places to have a part of me to share what I have to the island. When I first starting playing on the island I played all the clubs before. And when finding a space to play I decided that I would make sure that the place I was playing would be the church of Carl Cox crew Basically, we went there to hear the very best music possible and this was it, because I make sure that the place I was playing was the best place possible.
Actually, there are no artists that play only in one club, everyone plays everywhere. What do you think its positive from this? And negative?
It’s a difficult thing really but my experience was that I put the very best out to the club I was loyal to and make sure it was the very best and for me to play somewhere else was kind of difficult to take the same element of what I used to create at that club and introduce it into another one because all the clubs are different, different clientele, different dance floor, different sound system. Yes I went to play, I played Music On but Marco Carola who has never played on Space, come to Space for me. It was good for him to do it, he leaves his comfort zone for once, and it was good for me to make my comfort zone for the people. And then people really felt something special by doing that but most of DJs are not doing it at all. They’re trying to play as much as possible, they’re trying to get as much exposure as possible and I understand it but by doing all of this they kind of losing the excitement of who they are as the artist- It’s not special anymore. I’m so excited that I wanna play 5 hours, I have this special set to play and I make sure people get to hear it because this is what I am. It’s not happening. It really isn’t. And it’s a shame where is allowed for Djs to play at all these different clubs at all these different times. Even for me, I could have played every single club all season long and I didn’t. All I did was 6 parties and that was it. But all those six parties were very special and I’m not going to do more, the rest of the time is free. I wanna walk in and be able to play a minimum of 3 hours set, all people to know if they save the money on their holiday, book the flight, hotel, they come to hear me play and this date they aren’t get the very best from me and If I do not sleep and I got two hours to play and I just wanna get through it, you are going to know, the feeling isn’t right. “I am only there because I get paid, because I have to be, because it’s Ibiza…” I never wanna feel that ever! I’m sure most DJs feel it, if you look at the most DJs who come an play, they fly in, they play and they fly out. That’s it. For me, it’s a bit disrespectful because every time I come to Ibiza I spend two days before I play and two days after. Hang out, enjoy the island, see the sunset, come in, relax, take a day off. Not just fly in and fly out, you are not getting the true essence or the true vibe or the reason why we asked you to play in the first place. This is not a job, this is a privilege. If you really play well the people feel it. If a DJ has to do that I don’t wanna book them.
They say everything comes back at some point. That we live in repeating cycles. What do you think will be trend again in the next years?
There is so much segregation in the music and the scene at the moment, the way how people dressed, the way how people connect and how people treat each other. I think more DJs should become more eclectic in their music to be more open minded Different people coming together it’s the best of your music ability not just one sound because if you think on what is happening now, somebody likes techno and somebody likes house music, and then someone who likes house music can say techno is too hard for me I don’t like, and people who like techno going I don’t have the soul house music because it doesn’t have any energy and it’s too much singing. And you think about and there is really good music in house music and there is a really great music on techno so in one room you can have it all. The person to present that idea of having you open minded therefore your clients are people who came to the room, there is a reason why you are not just waiting for the drop or there is one vocal that you wanna sing from the top of your lungs.
They should be more open minded in a way of how people treat now the DJs and how a DJ should be able to explore even more in their music ability that’s one thing I would like to see in the future. Explore more. Everyone at the moment is a Techno DJ. I’ve always tell people, I’m a DJ that plays dance music, dance music covers everything. Yes I made my name from Techno music but that’s only because when I was booked to play a Techno party then I played Techno because was the nature of the party. The perfect set I would say I’ve ever done, that represents me more than anything was a 10 hours set that I played at Space on my own Closing Night. And I played between vinyl and digital, so the vinyl record because I couldn’t get digitally people hearing the stuff for the first time, some people were wow, some people where what the hell is this, but the reason why I made these was because through the years those records were big at some time but not to be scared to play them because these records define who I am but also define the sound of the club. If the people would get back to that it would make clubbing a lot more interesting, for sure.
To finish Carl, can you send an advice to our Fiesta&Bullshit readers?
As we know I’ve been around for many many years, I’ve seen most of it all, I’ve always loved Ibiza, I’ve always been going every year since 1994, I’ve never missed a year going every single season, and I’m really looking forward to bring the vibe of Space back on the island, for me that’s my job done. I’d be very happy that I was able to bring the right vibe back to the island for the right reason. And anyone playing music for the island, specially the local DJs: stand strong, keep doing what you are doing, it’s gonna come back you eventually and if there is anything I can do to help I’ll be there to basically make a platform for them to be seen and be heard. And primarily just to have jun. Somehow we forgot to have fun with this music, this scene and in our lives.Read more Close