DJ Christopher Lawrence conducted by Hugo Lunny  

DJ Christopher Lawrence Interview

June 2004

These are the transcripts of an interview conducted by Hugo Lunny with Christopher Lawrence in June of 2004.

Highly acclaimed Trance DJ, Christopher Lawrence releases his debut album of original material "All or Nothing" this month.

MVRemix: Ever had any aliases or monikers or was it that from the get-go you wanted to use your real name in full?

Chris: I just always wanted to use my name in full because I couldn't think of anything better.

MVRemix: Ever tried "Final Scratch"?

Chris: Yes.

MVRemix: What did you think of it?

Chris: I actually purchased it when it very first came out. It worked beautifully. I don't have a problem with the way it worked, but I stopped using it because it was BIOS system on a Sony laptop that was really fiddley. You couldn't record the audio directly into "Final Scratch," you had to record it directly into another application out of your decks, burn it to a CD and then take that CD and burn it to a Sony BIOS computer and then transfer that audio file into "Final Scratch" which took a really long time. I just didn't have the time to load everything into it. Now, "Final Scratch" works on a Mac and you can record directly into it. So I'm probably gonna start using it again.

MVRemix: Do you ever CD-DJ?

Chris: CD's probably comprise fifty percent of my set. First, because a lot of my stuff isn't available on vinyl. And a lot of my friends are producers, so I get stuff up front before it even hits vinyl. Secondly, I like to re-edit a lot of tracks for myself anyway.

MVRemix: Which DJ's influenced your initial set set-ups?

Chris: Probably one of the most influential DJ's was a guy named Tony from San Francisco and Jeno from San Francisco. They were DJ's that were playing out when I was first coming up. What I found most interesting about them was their ability to program a set. Anybody can beat match, it's programming a set that's the talent.

MVRemix: There's no school for DJ'ing. What was it that spurred your hobby into being something more?

Chris: [laughter] It was when I started getting paid. It was that leap from when I started doing parties for free to a bar or an event calling up and saying "We'll give you fifty dollars to play." And you suddenly go "Whoa, I can make money at this!"

MVRemix: How did things start though?

Chris: We'd been doing free parties in Golden Gate Park or break-in's in Warehouse's in San Francisco and I had a pirate radio station that I was doing on Sunday evenings. It was from playing at a variety of stuff that you get a following and a promoter called me up and said "You can open at this club that I'm throwing, and as long as enough people show up I'm gonna pay you." Haha. That's how it started.

MVRemix: Would you deem the drug scene in Trance music as lower than the past or higher?

Chris: It's a lot lower now. I mean, I think drug use in general is kind of lame.

MVRemix: What do you use to produce?

Chris: My digital audio workstation of choice is Pro-Tools. I still have Logic. I work with people in the UK and everyone in the UK uses Logic. Everybody in the United States pretty much uses Pro-Tools. So you have to know both pretty much. As far as Synthesizers, I used to prefer hardware only. But software is getting really good as they're getting away from needing to produce the sounds of the old vintage gear, instead people creating the alga rhythms are realizing you don't have to sound like something else. You can go from here and take advantage of working in the digital realm you can go wherever you really want. So a lot of the software's are making a lot of really cool new sounds.

MVRemix: Do you stick to using one brand of mixer/tables or does it not matter to you?

Chris: For mixers I like Allen & Heath mixers. For turntables I like Technics 1200 and for CD players I like Pioner CDJ1000's.

MVRemix: If you were to compare it to a luxury car or designer brand, which would you choose?

Chris: Luxury car - a Mercedes. Just because it's built with integrity, class and inspired by sophistication.

MVRemix: Tell me about "All or Nothing."

Chris: A collection of tracks influenced by the various styles of music that I'm influenced by. Music that I would listen to on and off the dancefloor. Hopefully, the way it's programmed is the way I program a set. Meaning the journey is worth taking.

MVRemix: A la "Fight Club," "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?"

Chris: [ponders for a while] That's a tough question. [ponders further] We'll get back to that one.

MVRemix: Ever explored the Australian Outback?

Chris: No.

MVRemix: Would you like to?

Chris: Yes.

MVRemix: What's your drink of choice?

Chris: Vodka-Cranberry, but that's starting to shift to Champagne.

MVRemix: How do you separate yourself from other DJ's?

Chris: I think the sounds that I play. Underground Trance... there's a lot of DJ's that play underground trance but the particular reference I choose, because I'll draw on any genre whether it's techno or house - it doesn't necessarily have to fall into Trance but a sound I prefer related to a genre.

MVRemix: If there's one thing you have left to do before you pass away, what is it?

Chris: Take a holiday in which I do not bring my laptop or my cell phone.

MVRemix: Any last words to your fans or potential fans that are going to be reading this?

Chris: I hope that they enjoy the album as much as I enjoyed making it.

MVRemix: Once again - a la "Fight Club," "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?"

Chris: I don't know her name, but the girl on Star Trek on TV right now, who plays the Vulcan. I would love to get in a fight with her.

MVRemix: Would you win?

Chris: Know what? I don't care if I win. I just wanna get tangled with her.

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