Pete Tong, as the U.K.'s Independent newspaper put it, is “the god of dance music.” With BBC Radio 1's “Essential Selection” and “Essential Mix” shows, he certainly is global clubland's most influential DJ.
He's the guy who every other A-list DJ jocks at the annual dance music retreat (Winter Music Conference) in Miami, hoping that he'll play their latest tunes on his shows. But Tong also keeps his ears tuned by jumping on the decks. He'll be at Monster Massive Saturday at the Los Angeles Sports Arena Saturday showing why when things have All Gone Pete Tong, it's not such a bad thing.
We recently caught up with Tong and asked him a few questions:
LA Weekly:You're famously the
subject of the inspiration for the film It's All Gone Pete Tong. Have you ever thought about coming to Hollywood and working on U.S. film projects?
Yes I think about it all the time! I know I could have made more progress if I was L.A.-based. I wouldn't rule it out if the right opportunity came along. Things are looking up for me in the UK though. I worked as music supervisor and on the original score for Harry Brown starring Sir Michael Caine and directed by Daniel Barber. I worked closely with the producer and director and hope to nurture that relationship on their next projects. I'm also working on an original scripted TV series with Big Talk (producers of Hot Fuzz & Shaun Of The Dead). I'm very passionate about music and film and think that my experiences as a DJ and A&R man can make a significant contribution. Electronic music is hotter than ever right now so why not?
With your radio show and A&R duties, few have been on the pulse of dance music like Pete Tong. Can you tell us what movements out there in club-land are exiting you these days?
It's a very creative and exciting time for dance and electronic music. Those involved just have to make the most of it. The European summer season was record-breaking on so many levels. Ibiza saw significant growth with visitors from North America on the increase. Trend-wise the two extremes are both doing very well: The likes of David Guetta ('Fuck Me I'm Famous') and The Swedish House Mafia draw in more and more new people to the scene with a more commercial sound. Whilst the underground house and techno movements get more and more popular too, with some of the most-inspiring events. My 'Wonderland' party really made an impact this year as well. From the UK the urban/dubstep scene is also exploding with the success of Magnetic Man, Rusko and Major Lazer. There really is a boom on!
A lot of dance music's heat has gone away from places like New York and London and toward places line Berlin and Barcelona. How do Los Angeles' clubs and DJs rate on an international level?
L.A. is the home of the BIG event no question. Electric Daisy Carnival, Monster Massive and Hard Festivals are all major priorities for artists now — drawing huge crowds and usually making the headlines for the right reasons. On top of that you have Coachella and Burning Man nearby, which again are seen as career-defining events. The world is looking at L.A. and the California region no question.
Can you tell us about three tracks that are rocking your box these days?
I have a new tune, 'Headstrong,' which I have just finished for Toolroom Records, inspired by the summer in Ibiza it will be available soon. 'Bianca' by up and coming UK producer Tom Flynn is huge and the Claude VonStroke remix of the Cajmere classic “Perculator” is going to go off at Monster Massice this weekend.
See Pete Tong and a few other DJs (Moby, John Digweed, Carl Cox, Judge Jules, Felix Da Housecat, Robbie Rivera) at Monster Massive Saturday at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, 3939 S. Figueroa St., Exposition Park. We'll say 18+. Info: monstermassive.com.