Laidback Luke Interview
Born in Manila but educated in The Netherlands, Laidback Luke has come a long way since his days as a graffiti artist. "A lot of times I just produce in airports, on airplanes and in hotel rooms. I love producing as it's the thing I love to do most. If I have the choice between watching a new movie or producing a new track, it's always to produce. I'm a produce-aholic."
That's Laidback Luke for you. Lucas Cornelis van Scheppingen is quite a mouthful, so it's good that he's known as the Dutch Dynamo, Laidback Luke. If the windows are bulging, the speakers bursting and people dancing, chances are the crafty cat that is Laidback Luke is somewhere nearby.
Laidback Luke grew up in The Netherlands and made his name as a graffiti artist before he turned to making music. As a youngster, Luke loved guitars, graffiti, house and hip-hop - he took his 'laidback' moniker from Snoop Dogg's Gin & Juice. The first time Luke tackled electronic music was at a friend's digs who just happened to own a Commodore Amiga. He showed Luke that he, too, could make songs with bits and pieces of other songs using technology. It was then Luke discovered he wanted to make his own music. And the rest, as they say, is history.
His mentor, Dobre (Chocolate Puma), helped find his feet in the sometimes murky world of electronica, and by the time 1996 arrived, the Dutchman had released tracks, remixes and was DJ professionally. One achievement to note is his triumph at a Dutch DMC championship.
His first album arrived in 1999 before his 2002 album, Electronic Satisfaction, propelled him to greatness. Luke has worked alongside the stalwarts of electronic music - The Swedish House Mafia (Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell and Steve Angello) as well as David Guetta, Moby, Black Eyed Peas and Junior Sanchez. Oh, he's also remixed for the legendary Daft Punk, Dizzee Rascal, Depeche Mode and MSTRKRFT. And if that's not enough to wet your appetite, his collaboration with the Swedish House Mafia on Leave the World Behind became Pete Tong's Essential New Tune and one of Beatport's best-selling tracks.
Luke's not just a talented DJ, producer, remixer and artist, he's also a damn savvy operator as his Mixmash record label proves. What makes Luke a standout is his blistering approach to basslines - if the needle's in the red, it must sound good. Just don't be fooled by his laidback moniker. Sure, he's got over 190,000 Twitter followers and boards more flights in a year than many will board in their lifetime, yet get him behind the decks when the music's jumping and Luke is anything but laidback. Laidback Luke Tour Dates
25th January: IVY, Sydney
26th January: HARBOURSIDE 2012, Melbourne
27th January: The Met, Brisbane
28th January: Platinum, Gold Coast
1st February: Groove Saint, Albury
2nd February: Apple Adelaide
3rd February: Limelite, Perth
4th February: King Street, Newcastle
Interview with Laidback LukeQuestion:
What can audiences expect from your upcoming Australian shows? Laidback Luke
: I am very excited to be back in Australia because I only have time in my schedule to do a trip to Australia, once a year. I always tell people that I will bring as much fun and energy as I can to my shows as it should be a party between me and the crowd! I will be bringing new tricks and tracks.Question:
What's your inspiration when producing and remixing? Laidback Luke
: Basically a lot of my inspiration comes from DJ experience. I always try and make tracks and remixes as if they were the most functional and best track, I could ever play. I always look for the best track that I'm playing and my track should beat those tracks. I say I make DJs battle weapons! Question:
What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own? Laidback Luke
: Once of my favourite bands of all time is Phoenix which is more guitar pop-rock. Nowadays I listen to a lot of Drake although most of the time I tend to not have music around because I'm listening to so much music, all the time.Question:
Do you prefer performing live or recording? Laidback Luke
: I always say I am a producer at heart, I first started as a producer and after a couple of years I picked up DJing. The reason why I DJ the way I do (cutting up stuff, using acapella and always trying to influence the music) is because when I am a DJ I am also in producer mode and as a producer you influence the music.
I am a producer at heart but I love performing, obviously.Question:
What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry? Laidback Luke
: It was a friend of mine, actually. When I was 15 years old, my friend had an amazing computer and by that time one of my favourite tracks was Technotronic Pump Up the Jam and he would let me listen to the track on the computer and then show me how to mute elements or restructure the track. My friend was making music with the computer and I had never seen that before, I knew the moment I saw that, that it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.Question:
What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist? Laidback Luke
: The reason why I make music is because I am able to touch people, with my music and to give them special memories and special emotions of a certain time and era. It often strikes me when I receive a 'tweet' or an email from someone who says that my "track had been their track for the summer and they were on the rooftop, drinking Sangria, watching the sun go down and singing along to my track" - those moments are the goosebumps moments of your life and I am very happy that I am able to give that to people. Question:
You've worked with David Guetta, Diplo, A-Trak, Steve Aoki and Lil Jon - if you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be? Laidback Luke
: It's still a dream for me to do something with Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk or Madonna - other than that I am very open to any type of collaboration. Question:
Do you have a website fans can visit? Laidback Luke
: www.laidbackluke.com Question:
What is the story behind the name 'Laidback Luke'? Laidback Luke
: I am very busy, I am a workaholic at heart but as a person I am quite calm. I am not laidback as in 'lazy' but I am laidback as in calm. When I first started out I knew I wanted to do something with my real name, Luke and I always thought the alliteration of the double letter sounded great. I was searching for an L word that fitted me; when I heard Snoop Dogg rapping Gin and Juice "Rollin' down the street, smoking indo, sippin on gin and juice
Laid back" I knew that was the word I was looking for and my friends believed it was for me, as well.