Laidback Luke interview

Creamfields star talks exclusively to eFestivals

By Scott Williams | Published: Mon 4th Jul 2011

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Saturday 27th to Sunday 28th August 2011
Daresbury Estate, Halton, Cheshire, WA4 4AR, England MAP
camping tickets £115, day tickets £60, Friday arrival £20 - SOLD OUT
Daily capacity: 40,000
Last updated: Mon 1st Aug 2011

Laidback Luke talked exclusively to eFestivals ahead of his appearance at this year's Creamfields, the clubbing world's large scale outdoor event for 40,000 ravers returns in 2011 on August bank holiday - Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August, again at the Daresbury Estate, Halton, Cheshire.

You've played Creamfields for the last three years in a row, what keeps you coming back?
Well, to me Creamfields is one of the leading UK festivals. I remember having my first break there too. I was playing really early in the afternoon, when there was practically no activity going on, and I just remember the tent already being filled with loads and loads of people just coming to see my set, and fter that I was sold on it.

What can Creamfield goers expect from you this year?
I'm hosting my own area this year. My own Super You&Me Arena, so basically the whole day will have my brand on it. I'm planning on bringing the whole Super You&Me fun package, we always have a little wink to Superheroes going on, and opportunities for people to get into the Super You&Me vibe we bring, with little photo booths. We're bringing our own decoration. The line-up is going to be all my favourite fellow DJ friends I have picked myself. I'll be closing there, and so I'll bring the energy for sure.

Will you be spending the whole weekend there?
No, I'm not actually. This will be one gig out of five that weekend, so as usual it'll be very hectic.

Do you wish that you were able to have more time to look around?
Yes, I would love to have more time because I have seen the line-up of Creamfields, and it's just ridiculous, it's spot on this year, and it would be great to have a look around.

Who would you most like to have seen?
Good question. Well, there's so many names. I'd really like to see the Swedish House Mafia, because my schedule is so busy, I rarely get the time to properly them out. I'd probably see them, and Example, he's on the line-up as well. I've not seen him before, and my next single will be a collaboration with him. He's been telling me it's been really going off at the moment when he's been performing it. I would love to have a look at that, and see how our new single goes down.

Do you both play the new single in your sets?
Yeah, we both get to play it, it's just full on, the more we play it the better.

I hope you have success with it.
Yes, we hope so too, it's looking really good. We're doing it with Ministry Of Sound and obviously Example is doing really at the moment, so I have a lot of expectation for it.

How does Creamfields compare with other European festivals?
The funny thing is about the Creamfields festivals is that it goes throughout the night as well, I believe the line-up goes on until about 5am. Most of the time, even in the Netherlands where I'm from, the festivals just go until 11. Most of those in the rest of Europe won't go past 1am or midnight. So, that's a really noticeable difference. Apart from the English corwds, who get crazy hammered and bringing the energy. That's really unique actually.

What was the first festival you ever went to?
My first festival? This must have been Dance Valley festival back in 95, I believe.

That's the one with the hill that confuses everybody, and they twist their ankles, isn't it?
Yes, exactly, wow you've heard of it.

And what about in the UK, what was your first one?
I believe that was Global Gathering. I went along with Roger Sanchez to see what happened there. It was good to see because before that I only knew the UK from the club scene. It was pretty wild, and the first time I experienced a festival going throughout the whole night - the amount of people crawling around on the ground at 5am was astonishing to me.

Who has influenced you in the direction you've taken with your music?
I always say I'm a combination of your typical Dutch sound, the Dutch sound which was very popular in my country for years. People who are doing the Dutch sound nowadays are Afrojack, and Chuckie, and I'm very much influenced by the Swedish House Mafia as well. So, I tend to call my style "Swe-Dutch" as it's a combination of the two.

When you were a kid, who did you most want to go and see live?
Good question. I think it would have to be Michael Jackson, for sure. I've actually never been, I think I was too young, or may parents didn't do concerts. But I remember being very envious of my friends who had been to see Michael Jackson in concert.

You're on tour a lot, what's your most essential item to take with you?
That would have to be my laptop because my laptop is my studio as well and I always make new tracks on the road. It would be a big problem for me if I couldn't do that anymore.

Do you always use a laptop for studio work rather than an actual studio work?
For sure, because I take about 200 flights a year, and so I spend most of the year in aeroplanes, airports, and hotelts. It's therefore a must for me to be making music where I can and so I'll just grab the laptop.

What's been the most memorable festival appearance you've made?
I have two I think. I once did the theme song for Dance Valley festival in 2003, and this was a dream come true for me because I was actually headlining the whole festival, and after that the theme song ended up really high in the national charts as well.

The other one was Roskilde festival in Norway. I already had a fairly big name in my own country, but outside was kind of hard. I Norway I closed down the Dance Music tent. It was actually a case of my trying to win the crowd over, and it worked. The tent filled up quite instantly, and over half of it was a real party going on, there were people on each others shoulders, stage diving, everything. This was in 2004 or 2005, I was only basically known in the Netherlands. I think a promoter just brought me over there and he put me in a tent, and said "okay, it's all you now", and it worked and I really enjoyed it.

I guess these days you don't get all that many opportunities to win over a crowd like that?
Yes, that's true, and when I do get those moments nowadays I'm kind of bum, but I still do my best. It was great though, Fatboy Slim was closing down the main stage, so it was a great feeling to have won them over.

What was the last piece of music you bought or downloaded?
Today actually, it was Bingo Players' 'Cry' which I really wanted to use for my radio mix that I did this afternoon.

Can you listen to a whole track and just enjoy it, or do you find you're always thinking of pieces to sample?
When you're a DJ you learn to skip through a whole load of mus. I remember going to record shops back in the day, and just skipping through track to save time, as on a day like that, you'd listen to around 350 records, and that has stuck with me ever since.

I can't really listen to a song without skipping. I'm always in a hurry.

What piece of advice would you offer to someone going to Creamfields for the first time?
Legend has it that it always rains, so bring your wellies. I'd also like them to be on the look out for my Cream compilation which I'll be putting out. It'll come out in July and it's the Super You&Me celebration of Cream this summer.

Headlined by The Chemical Brothers (live), and David Guetta, plus Tiesto, Paul van Dyk, Armin Van Buuren, Magnetic Man, David Guetta, Eric Prydz. Katy B, Sven Vath, Marco Carola, AfroJack, Ferry Corsten, Eddie Halliwell, Judge Jules, Example, Chicane, Calvin Harris (DJ Set), A-Trak, Sasha, Pete Tong, James Zabiela, Joris Voorn, Sebastien Leger, Steve Angello, Erol Alkan, Boys Noize, Fake Blood, Andy C, Joker, and Laidback Luke with many more confirmed, and more to be announced. For the line-up details as available please click here.

Tickets are currently priced at £115 with or without camping, with day tickets priced at £60 for either Saturday or Sunday. There is access to the event on Friday which is limited and only open to festival goers camping at the event. Any existing camping ticket holders wishing to purchase a Friday ticket for £20 (standard) / £30 (hospitality).

To buy tickets from Ticketline, click here.

To buy tickets from Ticketmaster, click here.
interview by: Scott Williams

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