by: Arthur Galestian
Arthur catches up with Lange before his weekend gigs in Hollywood with Ferry Corsten, and in New York with the live broadcast of Armin van Buurenís ďA State of TranceĒ, episode 450. Lange talks about business and his life on the road, in the studio, and behind the decks!
Arthur Galestian: Hey, whatís up everybody? I got Lange here in the studio. Howís it going, Lange?
Lange: Very well, thanks.
AG: Itís good to have you back again. Last we talked, it was í07 when you were here for your gig, so itís been quite a while. Iím sure thereís a lot to talk about in the three years since weíve last gotten together.
Lange: Ah, yeah, a few things.
AG: One of your biggest accomplishments is that youíre actually #31 in the DJ Mag rankings now, so youíve jumped up quite a bit since we last talked. Thatís good news, how does that feel?
Lange: Itís great. I try not to take much notice of the poll, but you canít help yourself, obviously. Itís a popularity poll, I guess, as people always sort of moan about, but Iím happy to be in it; itís definitely better than not being in it!
AG: So tonight youíre spinning at the Hollywood Palladium with Ferry Corsten and Aly & Fila. Have you played with them before?
Lange: Iíve played with Ferry several times on his album tours last year as well, which were brilliant. Iím expecting the same actually tonight. Iíve not seen this ďOnce Upon a NightĒ show, so looking forward to it. Iíve not played with Aly & Fila, actually, so itíd be good to meet those guys.
AG: You just got back from the Miami Winter Music Conference. It was your first time spinning out there, so why donít you tell us a little bit about your experience and what it feels like to be over there in wonderful Miami?
Lange: Miami was good fun, a really good event, actually, with Andy Moor, Tydi, Marcus Schossow, and Andy Duguid. Really busy event, so really pleased that it went well. I wasnít there that long, it was a shame, Ďcause I had to go to Kuala Lumpur straight after, so I was literally in Miami for ten hours, but it was well worth stopping by on the way past from Hawaii.
AG: Youíre mentioning that youíve got your globetrotting going on here. The UK is one of the biggest exports of trance and it was home to some of the biggest names when trance exploded in the nineties. How would you compare how the scene is in the different places that you travel to around the world to your home town? Especially, being the icon landmark for trance music that [the UK] wasÖ or is?
Lange: Well, at the end of the day, like in most industries, itís a complete global scene now. I donít think you can even isolate locations anymore for those scenes, because there are so many global travelers and so many global clubbers. I actually see people frequently in the Netherlands whoíre from the UK, or people at events in L.A. who are actually from the other side of the country. But itís interesting to go to some of the newer territoriesóI say ďnewerĒ, I mean theyíve had it for so many years, but you know, some of the ďfresherĒ territories, like Eastern Europe, where they just go absolutely crazy! I think itís something about the Eastern European heart; theyíre very passionate peopleólike in Russia, Ukraine, and Poland. Those new places that didnít really have the heyday of trance like the UK did, theyíre the places that are really exciting to play. Iím not saying the UK isnít exciting to play, by the way. You can have a really good time in the UK, as well. And itís on the increase in the UK.
AG: How do you get your sound out to places where it wasnít before? How do you go about expanding the sound that is ďLangeĒ to newer territories?
Lange: Well, the biggest promotional tool is music. So, if the music is getting out to an area, I get a booking and thatís my first my step in. Or even doing a radio show interview, which has been the case on some occasions. The demandís built, and then you get a gig out there. A good example is actually Hawaii. Iíve just been back there. They had a really good party and it was a lot bigger than the first party. The sceneís building there, and Iíve had the opportunity to go back and it was such a great event, Iím no doubt going back in a year or two.
AG: Iím sure the Hawaiian crowd is pleased to hear that.
Lange: Yeah, it was really brilliant. Theyíre a great crowd over there.
AG: For the aspiring DJs and producers, if you had to pick three characteristics for success, what would they be?
Lange: Three things I would say you need to have: one would be, perhaps, you need to be a bit of a perfectionist with production if youíre going along that route, and certainly if youíre looking to grow in this industry, Iíd suggest producing. You need to be almost ridiculously nerdy with your production. I think itís probably the way itís going at the moment, because the competition out there is really high, the standardís really high. There are some great producers. So you have to be prepared to not see the sunshine very often for a few years. (laughs)
AG: Not a problem in the UK, is it? (laughs)
Lange: No, in the UK, we just miss a grey day! So that would be the first thingóattention to detail. Second, youíve got to believe in yourself, but at the same time, keep a level of perspective when things get interesting. Itís very easy to absorb some of the accolades, and, you knowÖ
AG: Keep your ego in check.
Lange: Youíve got to keep your ego in check is basically what Iím saying. And a third thingóI guess youíve just got to get used to eating airplane food (laughs).
AG: Youíve got your podcast going, Intercity Radio, which is an amazing show. If somebody were new to trance, or if there are listeners out there who are trying to find out more about your podcast, why should they jump on right now and subscribe?
Lange: Well, thatís a difficult one, Ďcause so many people do shows, so Iím sure mineís not ďuniqueĒ other than itís obviously my taste and I would naturally be arguing that I have really good taste in music.
AG: He has great taste, ladies and gentlemen!
Lange: And therefore you should listen to my show for that reason! (chuckles) I would recommend my show because itís a good balance of having some mixed tracks, but also quick-fire sections, where I try and squeeze in as many as I can. Every couple of weeks, you get to hear all the best stuff thatís knocking around.
AG: You also re-launched your label last year. What was the inspiration behind that?
Lange: Well the label was never dead completely. I just put it on the back burner for a little bit around the time of my last album, ďBetter Late Than NeverĒ. We were working with New State on that one, so that was kind of taking the focus away from Lange Recordings. Last year, I decided that we were going to completely kick-start the label and really give it a good push. And things have been going really well, actually. Iíve been really pleased that Iíve got some really good artists involved now, so I think weíre onwards and outwards with the label.
AG: Why last year? What were some of the goals that you decided to accomplish through the label when you decided ď2009 is it, Iím going to get this thing off the ground!Ē
Lange: I donít know what it was about last year, but things have been going really well, and I felt that I had time to do the additional stuff like really getting the label rocking. Thatís largely down to taking on more people and having a better support group, because thereís so much to do. Thatíd probably be another piece of advice to people when theyíre up and coming in this industry. You have to have support, because there are so many things and if you get bogged down in all of it, you will struggle. You have to let go of things, which I perhaps havenít done over the years, but now Iíve got a great team.
AG: So youíre jumping around from city to city, and with all the administrative stuff going on with the business, when you finally get a chance to sit in the studio, whatís the first thing you do to finally gain focus and let the inspiration take over?
Lange: Well, the first thing I do on a studio day is go make a really nice cup of tea. Thatís the best way to get the day started, but thatís probably the British in me. Inspiration-wise, itís quite difficult to pinpoint how I do it these days, because you do have a very short period of time in between tour dates. Quite often, youíve just come back and youíre very tired. So, you have to force yourself to work on certain days. Sitting there, waiting for inspiration isnít really going to happen. From experience, the best way I can focus is actually if I work late at night. I do get up to work in the studio in the day, but more often than not, things really start to kick off around nine or ten oí clock at night, and before you know Iím thinking ďactually, things are going well, I should really stick with thisĒ and 5 AM, 6AMÖ then bed.
AG: Sun comes up!
Lange: Yeah, the problem Iíve got with this: that kind of fits in well with the DJing on weekends and the late nights, etc. But, I actually hate getting up late. I almost feel like Iíve been robbed of the day. So I have this fight all the time of working better at night, but not liking to lie in bed in the morning. So Iíve kind of turned into a little bit of an insomniac, as well, as a result of this kind of battle. I think itís been worth it, certainly with writing the new album. Iíve had to put some late nights inóbig time.
AG: Letís talk about the new album. You have two big dates coming up this year. You have your Intercity Spring 2010 album coming out pretty soon.
Lange: Yeah, thatís the second installment of that compilation. I thought it was about time I did another one. I did one in summer of last year. This is a bit different, actually. I think itís a lot darker. What I mean by that, Iím not sure! I was actually asked in a previous interview in Kuala Lumpur what I meant by ďdarkerĒ and we had a conversation for ten minutes trying to explain what I meant. Trust me, itís darker, itís a little edgier. Thereís a few tracks that I wouldnít normally play in the clubs, but the compilation is about the radio show; and in the radio show, I try and play a few things that I wouldnít normally play in my setsómaybe something a bit more progressive, or something really quite dark. Itís got some good tracks, as well. When I say darker, I donít mean that itís completely underground. Weíve got Ronski Speed, Sander van Doorn, Simon Patterson; loads as well from my labelóSteve Brian, Ben Preston, Michael Badal. And my new single, ďUnder PressureĒ as well!
AG: Awesome! And rumor has it that you also have something coming out this summer.
Lange: Yeah, the new album is coming out towards the end of June. Iíll be spinning the new single tonight, which will be the first single from that album. Probably at both events, actually, tonight and also on ďA State of TranceĒ tomorrow night in New York. The albumís taken a while, but certainly not as long as the last one. Iím getting there. Iím still actually finalizing a couple of tracks at this late stage.
AG: So summer-ish?
Lange: No, no, no, no! Itís going to be out in June. Itís just that my tour schedule has made it kind of tough to get a good, solid block of days in the studio. Itís been a bit of a battle, but I told you before Iím not needing too much sleep at the moment. So, weíll get it done, donít worry. (chuckles)
AG: Thatís great. So youíre going to be off to New York tomorrow to do ďA State of TranceĒ and then youíre going to be coming back to L.A. in May. What can we expect from you tonight? When you get back?
Lange: Well, tonight Iím going to be playing a lot of new stuff from the album. Iím still testing a few bits and tweaking it a little. Less so tomorrow night in New York, obviously, Ďcause itís on the radio and I donít want to play the entire album on the radio.
AG: Is tomorrow going to be broadcast live?
Lange: Yes, so obviously Iíve got to be careful with what I play. So, lots of fresh material which Iím very excited about. And, also, Iím pushing a lot of the tracks that are on the Intercity compilation, as well. So, ďfreshĒ is the name of the game at the moment.
AG: Right on. Now, for listeners that want to keep tabs on what youíre doing and when your next gigs are, and how they can subscribe to your podcast, why donít you fill us in on how we can stay up-to-date with you?
Lange: I would say the easiest way to keep updated with everything is just to go to my homepage, djlange.com. There are links to all the social networks, Facebook page, Twitter, and stuff. All the dates and everything are on there. Also, thereís a link to the radio show web site as well.
AG: Okay, excellent! Anything else youíd like to tell our listeners?
Lange: Thanks for listening and hope to see some of you out and about!
AG: Alright! Once again, ladies and gentlemen, Lange right here in the studio. More details over at lange-music.com. Thank you so much, Lange, for coming in.
Lange: Thanks for having me on. Cheers.