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Seth Troxler: “Everyone is so fucking serious in dance music.”

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Data Transmission’s feature on Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) earlier this week went into extensive detail on some of the big business that went down and was discussed at the conference this year. ID&T selling to SFX for $100 million. Nightclubs opening in Las Vegas casinos valued at $130 million. Talk of the entire industry packing up and moving to LA.

Luckily, Visionquest leader Seth Troxler was there to offer us some respite. He’s indicated he’s interested in moving back to the US at some stage; less so for the business opportunities though, as he’s more motivated by the “food opportunities” that dining out in NYC offers.

“Why is it so uptight?” Troxler asked on Friday, speaking to the crowd gathered for The World According to… Tiga. panel. “It’s ‘biz-world’. From the stage it’s all hedonism and everyone having a good time. Behind the scenes though, it’s a bunch of old CEOs playing records.”

Moderated by Troxler’s Canadian buddy Tiga, and also including Matthew Dear AKA Audion, it was possibly the least serious industry panel at ADE all week. However, amongst all the irreverent humour, there was definitely space for some serious discussion. The broader topic was the increasing commercialisation of dance music, and what was highlighted as the inbuilt obsession within DJ culture over “the numbers” – from booking fees and air miles, to DJ rankings and Facebook followers. And again, Troxler isn’t particularly interested. 

“When numbers come up, I tend to space out a little bit,” Troxler said. “Up until some point I did care about charts and rankings… Now I look at Facebook and I can’t really care anymore about the stupid shit they’ve got going on. But my management still checks it, probably.”

After the panel, Data Transmission got sat down with Troxler to hear how he defuses the seriousness; and we chatted with someone who was every bit as laidback and personable as his persona would suggest, and just as funny too. However, he also had a few serious words to say about the industry, his own career, as well as changes later this year to the ongoing role that he’ll be playing at the thriving Visionquest stable.

Your panel today was definitely one of the more different ones I’ve seen this week at ADE, in terms of it having a really strong sense of humour. 

Yeah, it was great. It was three friends hanging out and talking as we would in a bar, being really candid and honest, and I think that came across in the discussions. Tiga has some really great views, some very particular views, quite quirky, but there’s also a lot of depth there. And like that, that’s why we’re friends. It was cool, and it was fun to talk. It would have been nice to have Ali Dubfire there too, because he was the old guy we were talking about [laughs].

Something you said is that the industry takes itself too seriously. You’re someone who’s willing to turn that on its head? 

Yeah totally. And I think that I have done that. It’s not something self-conscious that I’m trying to do all the time. You know, how can I be more random? It’s just kind of me. But people do take things too seriously. I mean, I take music insanely seriously, when it comes to buying records and performing. But everything else… Some people just take themselves a bit too seriously, like they’ve been gifted with something. Like they’re entitled, and they’re god’s gift to the world. Entitlement is something that is really bothersome to me. I mean come on, get off your high horse. And it’s often working within a group of so-called friends. So, we’re friends and we’re working together; why all of a sudden have things become so serious, and you’re trying to fuck me? [laughs] 

You have your Visionquest ‘Superpleasures’ gig for ADE happening tonight. You guys have been really successful in turning that into a strong underground brand.

Yeah, we’ve been working on it for a while. There’s some changes coming up with it though, I’m gonna be taking a bit of a backseat and Ryan [Crosson] is going to be taking over as the head honcho. That will give me time to focus on making music, and I’ll be starting two other labels. It’ll give me the chance to have other creative outlets. It also gives them a chance to break step out of the shadows, be known for their own successes rather than people always bringing me into the picture. They’re really talented, amazing artists, and they have a great vision, but at times I just get credited for everything, and it’s not really fair for anyone. So it’ll be chance for them to take the next step, for me to take another stop, and for us to all stay really close as friends still. So I’m really looking forward to it. The ‘Visionquest 13’ stuff that we’ve been doing all year, it’s basically underground parties, the three of us providing the experience for the entire night. 

Continued on page 2

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