Funk D’Void, the “DJ’s DJ” and industry veteran, lends us a moment of his time to discuss social media; his forthcoming appearance at Collect; and his entry into the Balance compilation series.
Words: Jamie Callaghan
Hello there. How’s the tour going so far?
Great! I’ll be continuing the tour until the end of the year, It’s been hard going at points but I’m so happy that people have given me such good feedback about the CD. Last week at Watergate in Berlin was phenomenal – it’s really given me some boost to keep spreading the word about this kind of music.
Balance 22 went down really well with the critics and fans of the series. Did you feel any pressure while making the album and how did it feel to be asked to do it?
Huge pressure! It’s like trying to make a ‘Best Of Music’ compilation; extremely difficult to put it all onto two CDs But, of course, it was an honour and a nice surprise to be asked to contribute to the series.
How did you choose the songs for the album?
The tracks had to have two attributes: be a personal classic to me, and ‘will it blend?’ Now, that narrowed it down to hundreds obviously, but I could whittle it down to two separate vibes over the two CDs. I could have done a 10 CD set, one for each of my favourite music genres.
What did you bring to the series that made your addition unique?
Little old me. I didn’t think about pleasing critics, or trying to better what had been done before – that would have been maddening. I stayed true to myself so I’m proud of my entry into the canon; not everyone will get it, of course, but that’s normal.
Do you have any favourite tracks from the album?
They all have a special memory attached to them, it’s like asking a father to choose a favourite child. I love them all equally!
What are your plans for when the tour has finished?
Do another Funk D’Void LP for Soma! I have to take advantage of all this wonderful press attention. [Laughs]
Why do you use pseudonyms like ‘Funk D’Void’ and ‘Francois Dubois’? – The reason behind them?
They’re more interesting than Lars Sandberg… I love playing with words. I have George Clinton to thank for FDV, and I deliberately chose the cheesiest French name possible for FD. You should hear how the Spanish say Francois Dubois, you’d die laughing. But the two are not that far off from each other musically – Francois is more deeper and musical perhaps.
Having been involved in the music industry for almost two decades, how have you been able to keep fresh and to keep innovating?
I keep trying to leave this business but keep getting dragged back in! I want to retire in a couple of years and open a ping pong-themed cocktail bar, so if anyone reading is interested in investing, get in touch. It’s been fun, the past 20-odd years… I wouldn’t call myself fresh or innovating – but my sound is honest.
Where do you get your inspirations from for your music?
People. And the vibes that resonate from a successful evening out together; the next day, I hear music in my head and try to replicate the sounds in my studio.
How has your music changed since you started?
The production has got better, I hope, but I guess it’s still about house & techno with me, even though I’ve dabbled in other styles.
You’ve quite a large following on Facebook and Twitter, is social media something you enjoy or is it just a necessity of the industry?
It’s an addiction, period. I wish I could quit it but people love that stuff, it really gets in the way of my writing music, although I do enjoy coming up with a funny tweet – it appeals to the writer in me. I think DJs are the worst people to follow on Twitter. I only follow my friends or interesting accounts…
You’ve played all over the world, what are your favourite venues?
I love small clubs where you can really get down with the crowd. I hate being on a stage, high up away from the vibe. I like to be able to ruffle someone’s hair and do a few high-fives.
Do you still live in Barcelona? If so, is there anything you miss about the UK and why did you decide to leave Glasgow?
I miss my old friends and family. I decided to leave Glasgow because I fell in love with Barcelona and knew I had to try it out. And I’m still here. Things are a little rough right now with unemployment but I’m still loving the lifestyle, plus my children are at school here and I’m fairly settled.
How do the British crowds compare to those you play in front of in other countries?
Best in the world. The Japanese come second, but I’m a total party animal so Brits come out on top.
What makes a perfect set for you?
Every track sounds made for each other in the mix… and some smiles on the dancefloor.
What can the Sheffield crowd expect when you visit in December?
Madness. And pristine beats…
Lars will be showing and telling in DLS at Collect on the 8th December 2012. Will you bear witness?