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Interview

An Interview with Clint Stewart

13/02/14

Representing the stars and stripes, Clint Stewart has built up a formidable reputation with Europe’s electronic elite for his obsessive attention to detail in the studio and the sense of freedom he brings to the club. Well trusted with closing duties, Clint’s style of mixing is the perfect compliment to those early morning encounters where there is no end in sight. Immersing himself in an extensive palette of sounds has given Clint a dynamic quality which has seen him release on Bad Animal, Mobilee, AMAM, Poker Flat & Dessous. Clint will play at Pan-Pot’s first ever Second State showcase with LWE in March, press play on the mix he did for LWE and have a read of this to see what in store for you.  Clint will be releasing on the brand new imprint Second State, and London will get the first glimpse of some of the incredible music that is forthcoming on 2014’s most exciting label.

047 LWE Mix – Clint Stewart by Lwe on Mixcloud

Hi Clint. Thanks for taking the time to speak to LWE. What have you been up to?
No problem, I’m more than happy to chat with you guys for a few and really looking forward to the event. At the moment I’ve been in the studio as much as possible finishing a bunch of new EP’s and some remixes. I was doing the X-Tour with Pan-Pot until it ended in December and then was here in Berlin for the holidays and the New Year taking some time to chill. Now, I’m getting geared up again for more gigs the next few months. It’s been a nice time to regroup, get time in the studio and gather some music for upcoming dates. Also, I pretty much spend everyday, rain, snow or shine, at the park or riding the bike with my best buddy and partner in crime, Calvin. He’s my dog (literally).

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Now, the Pan-Pot showcase which you are playing at… What are you most looking forward to about the show?
This will actually be my first time in the UK. I’ve been wanting to check out London and the rest of the UK for some time now so I’m really excited. I’ve played loads of times in Detroit, Chicago, New York and Berlin, so for me London was one of those places where it was not only an important city to play, but a place that has a lot of history. Also, I think the thing I’m most excited about is that it’s actually the first Second State Showcase ever and that’s a really exciting milestone for myself and definitely for Pan-Pot. I’m looking forward to seeing the guys enjoy all their handwork to get to this first Second State show. It should be a really wild night.

What can you tell us about Second State?
Second State is the brand new label from Pan-Pot. The guys have been working on bringing it to life for a while now and like everything they do, they have poured their heart and soul into it. Everything from the image to the events to the music has been carefully curated and I think that will really show. Pan-Pot will be doing the first EP followed by records from myself and Hinz & Ruhmhardt. It’s one of the main aspects for the label to have a family style vibe with a small group of core artists doing label showcases regularly around the globe, so hopefully, everyone will have a chance to experience it very soon.

And what sort of set can we expect from you – What are the biggest influences on your style of mixing?
I never play tunes that I don’t absolutely love and think that everyone needs to hear. If I’m playing before Pan-Pot, it will get increasingly a bit heavier and thicker with more energy to set the tone right for the guys. If I end up playing after them (sometimes they just make me take over towards the end when they want to cut loose), then most likely it will be the other way around slipping more and more into deeper, psychedelic emotional tunes that I think are perfect after a long wild night. Either way, I always try to maintain a bit of soul and melody with everything I play and for me it’s really important to keep the crowd engaged and in the moment.

When it comes to my influences for the way I mix I would have to say that I don’t really listen to a lot of DJ mixes in my downtime. I try to experience the nights out when I hear really good sets and listen to music that I want to play and have that be my inspiration of how I want to put it together. It’s really hard to pick a few DJs who have inspired me over the years as there are so many, but if I have to choose one DJ mix that I have been listening to for the longest time and inspires me every time I listen to it, it would be Global Underground: Danny Tenaglia – Athens Disc 1. Still the best recorded DJ mix ever in my opinion.

Clint Stewart

What’s been your best experience behind the decks?
It’s really hard to pick just one so I’m going to have to name a few, but if there was a standout it would be playing for 9 hours in the morning on the water floor at Watergate for the last Love Parade party in 2010. I think I was originally supposed to play from 5-8 when another DJ was supposed to start. Around 7 or 730, Thomas (Pan-Pot) told me that the other DJ wasn’t going to show up and to keep playing. It’s always up in the air as to how long that place stays open depending on the crowd and the vibe so I just kept going. Around 930 or 10 when there was about 75 people on the dance floor, they closed the main room and about 200-300 people flooded the water floor. I ended up playing until 2 in the afternoon and got to play all this stuff I wouldn’t normally get to play. The crowd was up for anything and one of my best buddies from SF was there from the start until the bitter end, so it was pretty epic.

Some other incredible memories would have to be playing for Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream events in LA and BPM last year with Marc Smith, my partner from our project Safeword.  Those parties are incredible and I haven’t been to many that really capture an emotion and vibe like those. Also, anytime I played in SF at the infamous 222 club. It was a 100 person venue in a brick basement with a monster sound system, 3 turntables, a rotary mixer and one of the best booths I’ve ever played in. My friend EO from the group Moniker was the owner and he put his heart and soul into creating a place that you could tell someone with history and love for this music created. I’ll never forget those days. There are a lot more times too but not enough space here. Every gig is special in it’s own way and I try to remember that every experience only happens once. I try to make the most out of every one.

Going back to when you first started making music – what were the initial inspirations to help you carve out your own sound?

I think it’s a normal progression for DJs to want to start making music as time goes on. I was really inspired by all the Perlon records and the first releases and albums Matthew Dear did on Spectral Sound. Also, Ricardo Villalobos’ album Alachofa and the Lucien N Luciano album Blind Behavior were mind blowing to me. There’s a lot more but those are the standouts and ones I best remember making me curious and wanting to create. Of course, it’s a long process to be able to make music that good if it ever happens so when I first got in the studio I started doing edits. For me it was a way to take non dance music or dance music I loved and make it my own. It was a great way to learn the software and get creative with arrangement and all the experiences that are necessary to create your own music.

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Any forthcoming releases or plans for the rest of 2014 you can shout about?
I’m really excited about my EP for Second State as I mentioned before and I have a couple more EP’s in the pipe. I’ll be working on a follow up EP for Second State in the next few months as well and will hopefully get it out in 2014. I finished a remix for Acumen last month and am working on a few more at the moment for Liebe*Detail, RiffRaff, and Asylum Confidential that should be out before or right at the beginning of summer.

 

What labels and producers do you think we should be keeping an eye on in 2014?
Second State! Haha! Actually, there’s a lot of artists that I really believe are doing amazing things right now and have a unique quality to them. Like Tone Of Arc. Not only are they the coolest couple ever but Derrick is an absolute genius and he has the midas touch. Zoe has an incredibly beautiful voice and they both have a magnetic energy so listening to their music and watching them perform together is really special. Alland Byallo is a machine. His quality and output are insane and his label Bad Animal, where we’ve done some Safeword stuff, is incredible. Also, all the proceeds from Bad Animal go to a charity for helping animals so it’s a win-win.

Marc Smith, my partner from Safeword is a killer musician and all around eccentric music head and he’s working on a lot of solo stuff now that everyone should check out. Bells & Whistles from SF are two young guys that are two of my favorite DJ’s and they do some killer parties in SF. They will soon to be on the international radar. Ricoshëi from LA are my best buds and not only are the funniest and coolest dudes out there but they are about to put their debut EP out on Koze’s Pampa label and are destined for huge things. There is really so many I could go on and on so I’ll just blurt out a bunch of names of artists I think are insane…. Dave Aju, Safeword, Marceille, Christian Löffler, Jon Charnis, Kenneth Scott, Ataxia, Eduardo Castillo, Signal Flow, Dance Spirit, Clovis, Jordan Lieb aka Blacklight Smoke, Kevin Knapp, disCerN, Spacebyrdz, and Stefan Z. As for labels, All Day I Dream, Touch of Class, Faceless and I heard that Mathew Dekay is starting his own label, Fur Die Liebe, so I can only expect some insanely good music from that output.

Tell us something most people might not know about you?
The second semester of my first year of college I got the job to be the Resident Advisor of my portion of the dorms I was living in. Usually the RA was someone in their 3rd or 4th year of school who was actually responsible and took the job seriously. I applied for it because my Mom told me that she would give me the money that she was spending on room and board, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to apply. In my mind there was no way I would get the job so I didn’t even think what would happen if I did. Turns out, I was the only one who applied so I got the job. I still can’t figure out how they put me in that position, but I guess whoever was deciding didn’t really have many options.

I definitely got a reputation of someone who liked to “enjoy themselves” and “have fun” during the first semester so when my friends and everyone else in the portion of the dorm I was in charge of found out about my new position of authority they pretty much laughed at me and took it as a free pass to do whatever they wanted. I guess that it was fine considering I was going to try to do the bare minimum anyway. Looking back, it could have been one of those really bad college movies. Needless to say there was a ton of mayhem during that time.

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Couple of random ones…

What are your least favorite shoes that you see about?
Uggs, and Crocs for sure. The only thing worse than Crocs are a Crocs tan!

Do you follow a sports team?
I’ve been in the ocean and surfing since I could walk so I follow surfing year round. It’s tough not living near the ocean now and being able to surf anytime I want so the best I can do is watch the contests from the live streams whenever they are online. Also,  I’m a pretty big San Francisco Giants fan (Baseball). I’m not a crazy die hard lunatic but I always loved going to games and have been a baseball fan since I was a little kid. There’s something about Giants stadium in SF that is really special and going to any games there is a blast.

If you were to have any super power for the day what would it be?
To grant any wish and then grant my wish of having that power forever.

What makes you cringe?
Cruelty to animals, politicians and heart hands.

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LWE presents PAN-POT Showcase
Sat 15th March : 10pm to 6am
Hackney Wick venue TBC

Pan-Pot
Clint Stewart

Support from Mark d’Ground

Advanced Tickets: £15 to £25 + bf