Davide Squillace: Better Lost Than Stupid
Born in Siena, raised in Naples, it took a trip to London for Davide Squillace to finally discover electronic music. Wooed by the mood and sound of the British scene, he returned to Naples flush with energy, excitement and a knowing that this new calling would consume him. Now living in Barcelona, he runs the This and That Lab, which is a unique fusion of label and think tank combining music, art and culture used as a platform for Davide and other like minded artists to develop creative projects in music, visual art, design, fashion and writing. He has also just created with Martin Buttrich & Matthias Tanzmann, the new super group Better Lost Stupid. We met up with Davide Squillace at Electric Daisy Carnival at the Milton Keynes Bowl to discuss his set, EDC and Better Lost Stupid further. You’ve just finished your EDC set. How do you think it went? We’d be interested to hear you overall thoughts and experiences of EDC UK today? First of all I want to say the organization is pretty amazing, normally when the festival is so big, there is always some issues and you don’t get any time, or something missing with the sound, but here everything was perfect almost German style organisation. The production is so good, the only random issue I had a light cube shining in my face, which was giving me a bit of a weird trippy, experience. The tent was rocking and really big, so that was really good and I enjoyed it a lot. Did you get to walk around the fields before hand?
No, we are going to do that now, we just landed from Ibiza and then we are off again tonight to Exit Festival for the first Better Lost Stupid show. Taking you away from EDC & back to Sonar, your random hotel/house parties of the This and That Lab – Davide Squillace at your house contest, looked insane and I guess a brave and exciting move to just pitch up at competition winners house, how did you come about the idea, was it something you will be doing again or looking to develope further in future? Since I live in Barcelona and Sonar is in our city we decided to do something special, between music, living theatre and gorilla marketing. We made a contest where we picked a few winners of a competition on Facebook and the winner would have me turn up at their place and play for 20 minutes. So I showed up with 4 actors doing different stuff, there was a sumo guy who banged a gong when I started and then banged it to tell me 20 minutes was up and yell random stuff. There was a lady pretending to be my aunt, who had a photo book showing photos of me as a baby. There was a guy who just got out of jail who was trying to cause trouble and there was a painter who was explaining what was going on. We’re also going to do an after show movie showing how these characters arrived at these parties. For example the guy who came out of jail, he was in a bar and he stole the wallet of the tour manager and he saw the party information, so he thought he’d go to it.
Cool. Your Better Lost than Stupid tour has just kicked off this week, how have the first few gigs gone, how does the dynamic between the 3 of you work, has it worked as you expected or have you had to make modifications for the next run of shows?Actually we did the first show at Kizgroove but they were like its weather dependent so 3 days before the show they were going to tell us if it was happening or not. So the first one will be Exit on Sunday night, so at the moment we are playing back 2 back and then there will be a transition period when we’ve finished the album to the live show. So we the computer are in sync. The flow is pretty natural as we’ve been friends for a while and we know each others music. We didn’t actually chat about what we were going to play it just kind of happened. Nice and organic then. Can you run us through the Kit you have in the booth between the 3 of you, from the photos we’ve seen it looks pretty extensive… We have a laptop, which Matthias Tanzmann runs as a delay machine, where he runs the music. We each have a mixer, which runs, thru my main mixer, so I will be in the middle. We have a iPad and “The Push” Loop machine to run some loops and bits. Martin Buttrich is running his laptop with ableton and he has a couple of effects with him and synthesizers. Awesome. Are there plans for Better Lost than Stupid releases?So, the album is like giving birth to a kid and Martin lives in LA, I live in Barcelona and Matthias lives in Berlin so it’s complicated getting together. Our way around this is having 3 day periods in each place and hopefully we can get it down this year. Music wise we are trying not to do what we normally do but at the end of the day we do dance music, but some of big rocky, punky sound, some of it’s going to be ambient and the stuff iTunes would describe it as alternative dance, which is a nothing meaning… From working with BLTS guys, has it brought anything new to your solo DJ sets now? Erm… I don’t think it has, but working with other people in the studio, especially very knowledgeable people will always leave a mark on you as an artist as you always learn new little tricks, which you didn’t know before which allow you to work in a different way or create a new idea or create a different texture on a sound by going through a different layer of working. It’s well documented that your relationship with London as a city has been a big influence in career so far, so with that in mind and you are taking the BLTS team to London’s big festival this summer in SW4, we guess this will be an exciting experience for you?
Yeah I’ve heard great things about SW4 from some of my friends who have described it to me as an insane day party which I need to do, so I’m super excited about playing there this year. We are going to be there all day so I’ll get to experience the whole thing. I think it sounds like an ideal place to do the Better Lost Stupid show. Finally, away from music what does you like to do to unwind?
I love to fish but I don’t get to that very often.
Better Lost Than Stupid are playing at SW4 Festival, which is happening from August 23-24. More information is available here: www.southwestfour.com