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5 Minutes with Mark Knight


Mark_Knight.png   You would think that there isn’t much else to say about Mark Knight that hasn’t been mentioned already, however the Grammy award nominee, now a father, has had another amazing year. With Toolroom he has been celebrating the 10th anniversary of the label with huge events worldwide as well as promoting a brand new documentary celebrating a decade of the imprint. Not being one to shy away from the main tasks of running a label, Mark has also been at the forefront of the new talent emerging on the roster, including Weiss, Prok & Fitch, Chus and Ceballos and Lora just to name a few. Upon calling Mark he was quick to mention the recent support of stalwart venue Ministry of Sound keeping its doors wide open after a recent scare from the local council that the club maybe closed in the very near future. After that we chatted to him about the debacle that is the award polls floating in the midst of social media, negative reviews and plenty about his upcoming show for Christmas at Ministry of Sound on Boxing Day. Hey Mark, where are you right now?   Right now, I’m in the car on the way to the airport to play some huge shows in Chile with 30c heat, so I’m happy about that.   Nice! First off tell us about the new documentary, talking about 10 years of Dance, happy with the results?   Yes, of course, really happy mate. It was a great representation of the label and what we have done and achieved. Not just that, it covers all angles of the industry that are outside of Toolroom which makes the feature different from any other film.  ( http://youtu.be/lAalGHaCFW8 ) Did you have a totally hands on approach with it? in making the video? Well Mikey and Miles took the reigns on a full time basis. We sat down and went through ideas and I weighed in with some bits we could look at. It was down to those guys though and it came out really well. What was your favourite part making it? You know, I loved all the controversy that is involved a we chatted about taboo subjects within the industry. I mean, its not completely filled with controversy but it has just the right amount and it will keep people talking. Nobody speaks out of hand or anything like that but it kind of gels the whole piece together with the clips and the music.You have some huge shows pencilled in for Christmas, big one being in London, what is it like playing at Ministry? You know I love it. I have been playing there for 10 years now and its still as good as it was back when I first played. The soundsystem, the management, the main room, everything just sits right. I used to go there back in 94/95 as a clubber and it was always somewhere I wanted to play when I was first getting into the industry. What can we expect from a Toolroom show and what has changed about the label? From a show? Well we are always wanting to do better and bring in new talent to push at our events. What we are doing right now is focusing on new talent for both the label and the parties. We have people coming on tour with me next year to boost their profiles around the world.Speaking on Ministry there has been a huge petition to keep the club open, what are your thoughts on the closure of the club? have you signed the petition?   I would be absolutely devastated if it goes, it will be a sad time for the whole of London clubbing. I really think it has a good few years left in the tank if I’m honest. I have signed up and will be very supportive of the team behind the petition. Its a great club with amazing people behind it.   Where else can we see you play Christmas and NY? I have a couple of amazing shows over in Canada, the first being in Toronto to around 6,000 people with a cheeky after party starting at around midday. Then I’m off to do Toolroom Knights at New City Gas, Montreal for New Years DayWhat are you looking for when A and R ing for the label? Very much along the techy side if I’m being honest; we have ballooned massively over the last year or so in terms of bringing in different genres. One minute it could be Dusky and the next we could do something more mainstream. If I’m being honest we are going to reign it in a little and not have such a mass index. We will keep it underground but with a commercial feel if you’re with me? At the end of the day we need to sell units.Do you have any productions of your own you can tell us about, have you been busy? Its been bananas. I have had about about 4 months on different projects. I’m working on my first album which is sounding great as well as working with Bat For Lashes and some other remixes. So its been a busy time for me in studio to be honest.As a grammy award nominee, do you have the harder task of being in the public eye more when you’re producing? Like you can’t put a foot wrong so to speak? Absolutely. My role is like the captain of a football team if you like? I have to set the standards If I put out a record half hearted or its not upto scratch or its not selling well then how can I expect the other guys to perform? For me, when I release a track, I have to be number one on Beatport or the guys on the label do as thats how we achieve and grow as a team.  A lot of the DJ polls are out right now, they seem to come under scrutiny (especially DJ Mag), whats your thought on them? You know, if I’m honest I think its a load of bollocks. Its a million miles away from the truth for a lot of the artists that make a living in this industry. For artists like me or a Nic Fancuilli we are sitting somewhere between the DJ Mag chart and the RA one. For me they (DJ Mag) should make separate charts for different genres. Don’t you think that would make more sense and create more hype for the viewers?Same with twitter, you see Sneak is after the closure of Circus in Liverpool after had a disastrous gig, do you ever get involved in twitter spats? Well luckily I’ve never been caught up in anything like that. I think it all gets blown out of proportion really? I do like a bit of twitter for a laugh and to pass time in the airports but I never get caught up in it really. You get a few donuts trying to give you some hassle on occasion but I step away from it.Finally, any new years resolutions?   100% getting back in the gym! I have had the excuse of being busy and traveling but next year I’m getting my fitness back. Its to noticeable that when I’m playing football, going in for a challenge and I’mm nowhere near it, then alarm bells start to ring.   Mark, thanks for your time and enjoy Chile.   Thanks mate, all the best.   Mark plays Ministry of Sound, London for Toolroom Knights Boxing Day – More information – www.ministryofsound.com

Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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