Interview: Claude von Stroke
Interview: Claude von Stroke
Auteur de plusieurs maxis très remarqués et d’un premier album déboulant dans les bacs cet été, Claude VonStroke est un artiste américain à suivre de très près! Une découverte à faire d’urgence! Let’s meet the Dirty Bird from San Francisco…
TheClubbing.com: Hi Claude! How do you feel now that your album Beware Of The Bird is on stores and ready to smash lots of dancers? Are You satisfied by the first feedbacks and most of all will you defend it on live?
Claude Von Stroke: I am very happy that the album is finally released. The feedback from the press has been fantastic and I hope many listeners will try something new and give the album a chance. I will try my best to support the album with my DJ sets. I do not have a live show yet, but I will prepare one for next year I think.
TheClubbing.com: Could you decribed us what you expected from this album just before to start working on it and how do you feel about it now that it’s done?
Claude Von Stroke: I really wanted to make something that fully represented what we are doing over here at Dirtybird. I wanted to show the full range of the Claude VonStroke sound, including hard tracks, fun tracks, and deep tracks. I feel like I accomplished some of this, but it might take a few more albums to really complete the entire vision.
TheClubbing.com: All the critics and lots of DJ fell in love with Deep Throat and more recently with The Whistler. I was crazy when I first heard Chimps! How do you manage to produce addictive sick sounds? What kind of material do you use?
Claude Von Stroke: I mostly use just computer programs like Reason, Sonar, Acid, etc. I have been making music for over 15 years so I know how everything works and how to get interesting sounds. At one point before I was releasing music I would not use any sounds that I did not create 100 percent myself. I had a modular synthesizer and all that, so I learned a lot about sound manipulation that way. Eventually, I realized that the music itself is more important than how you make it, so I stopped being such an audiophile purist and actually started making better music.
TheClubbing.com: « Dirty » and « Sick », the perfect words concerning you music?
Claude Von Stroke: They are very good words, but there is a lot of « dirty » music out there that is just very harsh and no fun for anyone. So would also say that I try to make it fun or even emotional at times.
TheClubbing.com: At the first listening of your album, lots of sounds and your vision of house surprised, what inspired you?
Claude Von Stroke: Everything I ever listened to, but mainly 80’s hip-hop, 60’s funk, 90’s drum’n bass, and the whole Detroit sound. I also played cello for 14 years and I frequently use melodies in my tracks because of that.
TheClubbing.com: Your music fits on perfectly with Get Physical sounds, how did your recordings arrived on the berlin desk of DJ T and his friends?
Claude Von Stroke: I emailed them the Chimps track and they called me back and told me that they wanted it. I was really excited because that was the first record I made that was signed to another label besides my own, Dirtybird. I will also do another record for them this year.
TheClubbing.com: Did you meet them in Berlin?
Claude Von Stroke: Yes, they are all really cool. Somehow I managed to miss DJ T, but I met everyone else and they are all great, friendly people. I went over to the studio and I was really impressed with how ambitious the two guys from Booka Shade are getting with their live act. It is amazing what they are doing. They are actually spending more on their tour to make it cool than they are making! It is crazy, but awesome and inspiring.
TheClubbing.com: Is there any label you would be honoured to produce songs for?
Claude Von Stroke: I’m trying to limit my original tracks to Dirtybird but I would be really happy if I could release tracks on Playhouse, M_nus, Planet E, Ghostly International, etc. I know these seem very techy, but they are all the labels I looked up to when I was living in Detroit.
TheClubbing.com: As you live in USA, how’s the electronic scene there? Is San Francisco an interesting place for electronic producers? What are the main differences for you between US and Europe scene?
Claude Von Stroke: The US is not so great for dance music, but San Francisco is a really fun city. We have developed an audience over the last few years and our parties are really great right now. I have been asked to move my label to Europe many times, but I really feel like the US politics and George Bush is so bad that everyone is hating the US, so we need to have something positive and good quality coming from the US.
TheClubbing.com: How do you feel when you play in Europe? What are your favourites countries and clubs to perform in?
Claude Von Stroke: I love Italy the best so far. I really want to play in France but I have not played there yet. Germany is also very cool. I would say the UK has the most trendy audiences, who usually only want to hear giant tracks one after another so it makes it hard to play a good quality DJ set there, but I still have fun.
TheClubbing.com: Why must we be afraid of the bird?
Claude Von Stroke: Because he is a very bad bird!
TheClubbing.com: In 2003 you produced the « INtellect » DVD in which featured lots of legends of the electronic culture, what do you learn from all this experience? Which meeting was the most important for you?
Claude Von Stroke: The Intellect DVD was the hardest project I ever completed. I went out by myself and interviewed over 40 DJ from around the world on video. I have to say the best three interviews were Derrick Carter, Theo Parish and Derrick May. Derrick Carter taught me that it takes hard work to make it and even harder work to stay strong. Theo Parish and Derrick May taught me that the only really important thing is to stay true to yourself and never give in to the outside commercial influences that typically ruin artists.
TheClubbing.com: You released the first DJ tutorial ever made, how do this idea came to you? How do feel about DJ schools as a DJ?
Claude Von Stroke: I really like this idea. It may seem cheesy at first, but a DJ tutorial or a DJ school can really save you about a year of working on your own as a beginner. It also really helps to learn from someone good.
TheClubbing.com: If you had to release an annex of « Intellect » concerning 2003 to 2006, which new DJ would you like to see on screen and which part of the new club culture?
Claude Von Stroke: Steve Bug, Trentmoller, Switch, Tiefshwarz, Matthew Dear, and so many more.
TheClubbing.com: What could we expect from your label Dirtybird in the upcoming months? Which artist, known or unknown, would you like to release productions of?
Claude Von Stroke: I think we will break this group called The Bald and the Beautiful. We will also have a lot of other stuff by me and Justin Martin of course.
TheClubbing.com: When will we see you in France and Belgium? Hope to see u soon you Dirty Bird!
Claude Von Stroke: I hope so very soon! Probably this winter for sure. Thanks to everyone who is willing to take a chance on new sounds and doesn’t just follow the hot trends! See u soon partying!