Introducing Andy Webb; Coordinator for Resident Advisor in Australia, label boss at Death Strobe Records, co-conspirator at Picnic Touring and Events and one of our special guest presenters at INPUT on Saturday 11 May. We sat down with Andy to talk Disco, blogging, and scary song requests.
What are your top 3 tracks right now?
Max Graef & Muff Deep – Am Fenster
Omri Sulieman – Empire
DJ Spearchucker – Hooked
Did you need to study for your line of work and if so what line of study / degrees are common in your field?
I did 3 years of audio engineering which probably ended up being kind of useful but certainly not essential. Tertiary education definitely isn’t a deal breaker in music – it can help, particularly if you want to do something more specific, and the things you learn from course work and the connections you make can be very handy, but the piece of paper you get at the end doesn’t impress people nearly as much as real world experience does.
Based on experience, what do you feel are the key stepping-stones to succeed in this industry?
There’s no real set guidelines for how to be successful in music, it just takes perseverance and patience. It sounds cliché but just put yourself out there, go to gigs and talk to people, soak everything up and be proactive. Sorry that’s woefully general advice.
What types of people do you mainly deal with in your line of work?
Producers, DJs, promoters, journalists, distributors, venue managers, drunk punters, asshole bouncers, too many cabbies.
You run many different businesses, how do you balance managing all your businesses at once plus being an artist and also Coordinating for RA?
I’m lucky that I don’t really have set hours for anything, it’s all very flexible. I’m not that sure how it actually works – sometimes it doesn’t – but it involves a lot of handwritten checklists stuck on my wall and a total reliance on Google Calendar.
On Disco Delicious, what is the most interesting thing you have had an opportunity to blog about in the past?
Can’t really think of anything – the blog has always been totally insular, since the beginning it’s just been kind of a cataloguing of my journey through discovering music over the past six years. I think I’ve only ever done one artist interview on the site, with Jacques Renault, everything else has been me writing a bunch of rubbish and sharing the new records I’ve found. It’s spawned some amazing opportunities for me outside of blogging though, there’s no way I’d be in the position I am now if it wasn’t for doing DD.
When A&Ring for Death Strobe, what qualities do you look for in an artist?
Nothing at all specific, I just have to love the music. It’s not really important whether it sounds radio friendly, DJ friendly, whatever (although that might dictate the format it’s released on), it just has to sound and feel good. Sure, we’re never going to make any money, but that’s not the point.
Who and/or what inspires you the most and why?
Music-wise there are a few current guys who I really strongly identify with, particularly Floating Points and Motor City Drum Ensemble. My ideal dance music fuses together deep soulful house (especially Detroit stuff), jazz, disco and psychedelic influences, and both these dudes make and spin music which covers all that stuff in the most perfect way. As a DJ I’ve always loved people who are truly eclectic behind the decks – DJ Harvey has always been a huge influence for me.
Which record labels are the ones to watch this year?
Geography Records from Sweden are my pick at the moment. Also Box Aus Holz from Germany, Really Swing from Italy, Eglo from London (Floating Points’ label), Mister Saturday Night from NYC, and Golf Channel who are still killing it.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on the dancefloor?
Too much to ever remember, but my all time favourite request was a girl coming up and asking if I could play Cruisin’ by Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis (that cringe-worthy ballad from the equally gruesome film Duets) and then presenting me with a CD of the track when I said I didn’t have it. That was about 5 years ago and it’ll always stick with me/haunt me.
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