The latest, most-successful-yet wave of electronic dance music (Deadmau5, Kaskade, Will.i.am) might not have been if Benny Benassi hadn't unleashed his own brand of cross-over electro house in 2002 with his robotic hit "Satisfaction." Suddenly the hip-hop-loving club world understood the synth-fried grooves of up-tempo dance music.
Since then the Italian spinner has been at the top of the list of superclub dance stars, unapologetic about his over-the-top brand of floor-filling hits. But who knew that one of the denizens of the party-hearty after-hours world was a fitness nut who keeps in shape by riding a "fixie" bike? The DJ is, in fact, using his Iridefixedmodena bicycle as his main mode of transportation as he tours the West Coast this summer. He's donating some of the proceeds to World Bicycle Relief. As Benassi heads to the Music Box in Hollywood Saturday for "Decor," we caught up with him and asked him a few questions.
LA Weekly: What inspired you to take a bike tour of the West Coast?
Benassi: I've always been a cyclist. My dad put me on a bicycle before I could walk. In the area I live in Northern Italy, cycling is popular both as a sport and as a way of getting around town, like in Holland! I've always thought it would be cool to add the cycling element to my DJ touring and then when I drove down the West Coast with my girlfriend recently, it all fell into place.
How do you deal with transporting your media (CDs, harddrives, records)?
On the bike tour? There's a van following us :-)
A lot of folks might associate being a late-night superstar DJ with a not-so-healthy lifestyle (being up late, maybe having a few drinks). How do you balance your athleticism and stay in shape while touring?
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I don't smoke, I don't drink much alcohol and not very often! I'm careful about my diet and the quality of what I eat and I like sport. I also like running and swimming occasionally. Being fit helps me tour, because taking a lot of planes and staying up late is physically stressful. But, hey, I'm not preaching. It's just the way I am and it suits me fine!
Can you name us three of your favorite current tracks?
I can't name three tracks off the top of my head because there's a lot of stuff I'm enjoying now. Congorock (Fool's Gold) and AutoErotique (Dim Mak) work for me!
Benassi DJs Saturday at Decor at the Music Box, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 21+. Info.