Sep 13, 2016

This Never Happened

We linked up with Lane 8 at Electric Zoo to discuss This Never Happened, his new label and tour concept that encourages attendees to leave their phones in their pockets and enjoy the experience without the urge to capture it. 
Can you tell us about the This Never Happened tour concept and what inspired its creation?
I released an album last year in the summer and then we did a fall tour around the album. We noticed at a lot of the shows that whenever I played “Diamonds” or one of the better known tracks, we'd look out into the crowd and see a sea of cellphones staring back at us. It kind of struck us as unfortunate that people weren't really living in the moment connecting with each other and the music in a real first person way.
My team and I discussed and came up with the idea for a show where people couldn't use their phones. What would happen if we did shows like that? What would it be like for people to listen to 2, 3, 4 hours of music straight without having distractions from Instagram, email etc.? Could we create a space for people to actually interact with each other? Having strangers connected by shared taste in music - that was the main inspiration.
You tried it out in San Francisco, right? How'd that go?
It was amazing. It was by far the most amazing show I've ever done. Just to see a concept that we put so much time and effort into, that I, my tour manager, and my manager spent so much time preparing for, conceptualizing and executing. To see it go so well is so redeeming and crazy. The success of that show - seeing people really engage, get into it in a real way, connect with each other - it was the best thing we've ever done and inspired us to create a world tour with that concept for this fall.
Can you talk about this upcoming tour and what that will be like playing extended sets?
The show is exactly how we want it. We have the creative freedom to do the shows exactly how we want to do them, controlling the energy of the show both on the production and music side. It’s amazing for us and we really cherish the opportunity to do it. It's a big undertaking, but we couldn't be more excited.
Can you talk about remixing deadmau5 - “Strobe”?
It's simultaneously cool and terrifying. Remixing a classic track is always dangerous and there are a lot of traps people fall into and you get exposed to a lot of scrutiny you wouldn't normally get exposed to. For me, it's about taking a track that is great and incorporating the great elements into my own stylistic taste and production world and making it fit in my DJ sets. That's what it was about. I'm really excited to play such a cool and famous melody in my own version. To have deadmau5 and mau5trap ask me to do the remix is a big honor.
Have you played it out before or are you premiering it tonight?
I've played it once so it won't be the premiere, but this will be the first time I play the final, final version. I played it in Albuquerque where everyone debuts their music [laughs]. It was cool because mau5trap have since announced they were doing remixes of “Strobe” for the hundredth release, but back then, nobody knew it was coming and I got to see people's face go like, “Wow! What the fuck?!” This is my first time playing it at a big festival, so I'm excited to see how it goes down. Hopefully I won't get any tomatoes thrown at me.
What's it like preparing your seasonal mixes? (brand new Fall mix below with tracklist here)
The next one is coming up! It's kind of a disjointed process. I'm obviously constantly looking for music to play. Every few months I start a little playlist in my rekordbox for the next mixtape. I stick stuff in there I really, really love. I listen to a ton of music, shopping on Beatport or other stores and then music that I get sent. It all gets compiled. The idea with the seasonal mixes is that I don't want to play anything I wouldn't consider a 9 or a 10. The length of the mix will just depend how many 9s or 10s I have at the moment. I'll play a track that is a couple of years old or even just six months old - which in dance music is like a dinosaur. I'm playing it because I just found out about it. I missed it, but I just found out about it and want to share it now.
For a lot of people it can bring it back.
Yeah, exactly. There are some tracks that other people have missed and older tracks that people know but actually sounds current now even though it was made 4, 5, 7 years ago. The length depends on how much music I'm excited about and it all has to flow together in a certain way. That's something I get more into once all of the tracks are picked. It's a long, disjointed process, but very rewarding.
Be sure to experience the moment during one of Lane 8's extended sets when he plays in a city near you. Tickets can be found at
Connect with Lane 8: SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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