Les dejo esta entrevista que le hicieron a Hernán, si bien tiene un mes o un poco más, creo que recién la subieron ahora.
Nota: la entrevista está en inglés, ahora no tengo mucho tiempo como para ponerme a traducirla.. espero que no tengan problemas en entenderla
Hernan Cattaneo Interview
from Pete Kay
The only DJ with two Masters Series releases on Renaissance Recordings, Argentinean native Hernan Cattaneo has steadily climbed up the DJ charts to number six. With one of the most hectic tour schedules one could imagine, he has spun in places like Nashville "Music City USA" Tennessee all the way across the world to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. With a highly anticipated release set to come out in September on Bedrock Records with Warsaw from Cattaneo & Tonks, Hernan is now making his mark felt in the production world. We were privileged to talk to Hernan after the Sound of Spectrum tour about his career, music, and a few off-topic items.
Pete Kay: Can you tell us about how you got on the Sound of Spectrum tour?
Hernan Cattaneo: Well that was a Paul Oakenfold idea. Early this year they wanted to do a two-week tour around the country, in America, with different DJs joining in on different cities, and I thought it was a really good idea since I could work also on weekdays apart from the usual; usually I tour on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night basis, and it was like always the same, also doing all the different cities and, you know, having a chance to go to places I've never been before like Nashville or St Louis or Indianapolis, so I was really keen on doing it.
PK: Speaking of Nashville, I saw you play in Nashville last Wednesday and I was going to ask you about it? How did you think of the crowd, and as your first time playing in Nashville, how did you enjoy it?
Hernan Cattaneo: It's really good to get to see small cities where not many DJs go and play. And even when it was Wednesday night in Nashville, it was a really good crowd, rocking since very early, and they seemed to be having a great time, the same as we did, we really enjoyed the whole thing.
PK: That was a great set, thank you.
Hernan Cattaneo: Thank you.
PK: Is there a certain city in the US that you enjoy playing more than others or you don't really have a preference?
Hernan Cattaneo: Well, it's different, every city has its own charm I would say. It's great to play big cities, like New York or big clubs in Miami or LA, but also, going to a smaller city where we have smaller clubs and a more intimate atmosphere, it's also really, really interesting. It's not always about playing for huge crowds, great big crowds, it's also good to play in smaller clubs. So you go to a club to play for two hundred people, and you enjoy more than playing a set for twenty thousand.
PK: I agree, I definitely like the smaller, crowds myself, it's more intimate.
Hernan Cattaneo: Yes, it's always good.
PK: Definitely more intimate. Now I've talked to a lot of DJs and it seems like everyone enjoys playing in South America and Eastern Europe, is there a particular part of the world that you like playing more than others?
Hernan Cattaneo: Well those you just mentioned are really, really good at this at the moment, I mean and they've been in the last two or three years. And I think it's all about, Eastern European and South America are like new territories in terms of dance music globally. Like in Western Europe or in America, they've been doing this for more than fifteen/twenty years, while in South America or Eastern Europe it's more a newer thing, and you can really easily tell that they've been waiting for something like this to happen and they enjoy it a lot. They've been suffering from a lot of things so now they they go out, they enjoy the DJs, it's a whole club concept and it's massive over there. So I really enjoy it, also Japan, and all over Asia. Asia is really good to play, China is growing, I've been going to China in the last four years, and every year when I go to Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong, it's amazing the way that dance music is growing over there.
PK: I agree, it's blowing up everywhere in the world. Now let's talk about 2004 and how the year went for you. You released your first Renaissance Master compilation and you've climbed up the DJ poll to number six, how have you managed such a busy schedule?
Hernan Cattaneo: Well the only thing I did was work and work and work. I did like a hundred and fifty-five gigs in the year, every one in a different city, so that's been a lot of traveling and going on planes every day and arriving in different cities and playing my records, which was amazing. I got a chance to go, I did like five North American tours, four Asian and Australian tours, three South American tours, and then spent most of the year in Europe. So that gave me the chance to play for loads and loads of different people. And I think that's part of how I ended up on that position, I mean I think if you have the chance to play more and more, you end up being more popular, as long as people like what you do. I think there's some really good DJs, that they don't take the time to do a lot and I always learn, and I learned a lot from Paul Oakenfold who, for me, is a person in the business that has so much knowledge about it. And he always said to me 'you have to tour, you must tour, go every city you can,' as we were talking earlier, 'not just the big cities, but also the smaller cities. Take your time and go there, play, show who you are, show what you do.' And I think it's been paving the way.
PK: I know, it's probably another reason, you know, why you were so big in 2005. Now you are the only DJ who was asked to mix a second Renaissance Master compilation, can you tell us a little bit about how the mix varied or is different from the first series compared to the second one?
Hernan Cattaneo: Yes, yes, it was great because it's the first time they do a second Master series compilation with the same DJ, they've always been choosing different ones. So, you know, it was kind of rewarding to be asked to do a volume two. And the way I approached the CD is, usually I approach the compilations the same way, I mean I try to reflect who I am as a DJ at the moment of doing it. So that would mean I like a big variety of music, or I like deep house, I like big house, tribal stuff, breaks, a little bit of techno, not very hard, I like different things and I like to reflect that on my CDs. So on a CD, a set is like two and a half hours on a compilation, while in a club the perfect set for me would be like five or six hours. But still two and a half hours, it's a good amount of time to reflect the different styles I like. And I always, if you pay attention to all the CDs I've done for Renaissance or for Protector, I usually start the CD very deep and slow, and then build it from there, and that's the way I like to play, so I think that's the best way to as I said, to reflect who I am as a DJ at the moment.
PK: So how's 2005 been going so far for you other than the Renaissance Master compilation and this other tour that you've been doing?
Hernan Cattaneo: Well it's been great touring a lot, you know, now it's the middle of summer in Europe so it's been like, very, very, very, busy over there. I've finished two weeks in America, I'm going back to London tomorrow and on Friday I'm doing a whole week in Spain, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Tenerife, Canary Islands and then Barcelona, then going to the United Arab Emirates, then back to England to do the London thing, at the Gallery in London, and then Saturday, end of July, Global Gathering Festival, a big, big festival in Stratford. Then I'll be going to Ibiza to play Thunder or Pacha, and then to another beach in Spain called Majorca, Port Abana. Loads of gigs all over, you know, all over the Mediterranean and the beaches like Spain or Greece, I'm doing a lot of Greece in the summer, and many, many gigs all over Europe. As I said, it's a big time this summer, so the record for July and August is going to be kind of crazy really.
PK: Speaking of festivals you just played at Spin in Miami during the Winter Music Conference, which was an awesome set by the way. How many visits have you made to the Conference and what do you think about Ultra compared to say festivals like Dance Valley and Global Gathering in Europe and other parts of the world?
Hernan Cattaneo: Well the thing is, I think it's different. Ultra is a huge festival, still, it needs to improve the production level. Artistic-wise, it's making most of it, I would say that every single worldwide DJ is playing, or like ninety percent of them. But still I think production-wise they still need to improve. Like in the last few years when I play there's always been some small production problems, like the sound wasn't right or the lights weren't right or some tents weren't working properly. Then I think it's a shame because they have an amazing lineup, and the crowd is crazy and there's loads of people going there, and you have all the industry of the dance music worldwide here attending the event. So they should improve that, as I said, that production level. And that's in Europe, and maybe because they have more experience, but they never fail to do so. Like if you go to the big festivals in England or in Spain or Dance Valley, you know, those are huge festivals in every single level of, you know, everything that you think of is there perfect.
PK: Well hopefully they can get that together. Now moving on Hernan, you've recently worked with John Tongs and he's a new name for a lot of people, can you tell us who he is and how you guys hooked-up in the studio together?
Hernan Cattaneo: Yes, well John is a new name to the dance music scene, but it's not a new name to the music scene itself. He's a drummer and proper, you know, fully-trained musician. He's been working for years and years, when we was really young or even starting playing for big bands like, even doing I say like sessionist. You know the word, sessionist, like…?
PK: Session musician, yes.
Hernan Cattaneo: Yes, exactly, yes, for bands like Duran Duran and stuff like that. So he's a really good musician, and then he was the musical director for the Paul Oakenfold tour, Bunkka, two years ago. So he was the drummer on that, that's where we met, I was opening the tour in America, so we met, we were on the bus for like a month touring all over the US. And we met there, we got on really well together, and since then we've been talking about collaborations. And then last year when I had to do some stuff for my compilation and some remixes I had to do I needed someone to work with in England because my usual partner is in America and I could go back to do a remix or something. So we met, we talked in the studio and he worked really, really well. So we did some remixes for each label in Australia, then we did some mixes for Jeff Bennett for the Jane Tabiras label, then we did stuff for AGT label, for Atmos. Then we did our own tracks with a track called Warsaw which is coming out on Bedrock next month, and many of the things we are working at the moment mean I'm back and forth from Europe all the time so every time I have a moment to spare, I go back to the studio and work with him. So as I said, he's into the dance music, he's been doing music for ages and he's such a talented person, we get on really well together and he really understands, you know, what kind of sound I like to have, you know, on our stuff, and it's been great to work with him really.
PK: Yes, I really like the Warsaw track and Atmos is a great track also, it’s really well produced and really just edgy tracks, it’s great.
Hernan Cattaneo: Thank you, I'm glad you like them.
PK: You've also worked with Dean Coleman, can we expect anything in the future from you two?
Hernan Cattaneo: Yes, of course you will. The thing is, the only problem with that is that I'm as busy as possible, I mean I couldn't get more busy, and Dean is on his way to get on the same level, just getting up, doing a compilation for Yoshi and he's such a great producer, he's getting busier and busier. So when you have two really busy people like us, it's really hard sometimes to find the right time to get together and work, but yes, we really like each other so we're definitely going to keep working together in the future.
PK: A lot of the big-name DJs are going towards an electro sound, unlike yourself, you've stayed very true to your sound. What do you think of the electro trend and what would you call what you play today, is there a particular sound that you like?
Hernan Cattaneo: Well I always, as I said before, I always liked music regardless of the name of style, like I really don't care if it's called house, trance, techno, breaks or electro, whatever. I think yes, as you said, there is a big electro fashion going on out there, I'm not particularly really impressed about that, I mean it sounds a little bit too, almost all the same to me. Of course there is some really outstanding tracks within the electro scene, but it's not something that I would go and say yes, right, I'm going to be electro DJ now. So that's why you may see a few records in my sets, electro records, but I wouldn't turn like big time on to that because I think it wouldn't be fair to what I like. And also, you know, its like I believe in progression, and so it can change every day, I mean every day I hear hundreds of records that are really, really good, and the ones I think are more interesting, I just add them to my record box. So I try not to follow any sides or particular routes, I just try to play whatever I think is interesting at the moment and that's it.
PK: Yes, I think your fans are happy with your sound, I know I am. And Hernan, I know on your travels you get handed a lot of demos, do you get a chance to listen to some of the demos that you're given?
Hernan Cattaneo: Mostly yes, sometimes it takes time because, it's really difficult these days like, you know, since… it became easier to make a track, right, so since then you have loads and loads of people sending you CDs or handing you CDs or sending you links to download tracks. Sometimes it's more like, up to a hundred or more a week, so sometimes within travels it's really hard to find a way even to download them, like not to mention hearing them. So sometimes it takes time, but I usually try to hear every single thing I've got. Like, as I said, sometimes it might take me a month to hear something I've been given because I have a huge pile of CDs and a huge list of downloads to do. But sooner or later I always try to hear them all and the most interesting stuff I play on my radio show or in my sets or use it in my compilations. Most of the tracks that I used them on my lateral records CDs was stuff that has been given to me on the road.
PK: Now you're known for supporting new artists, particularly those from Argentina like Olivera and Deep Mariano. Have you thought about running your own label any time in the future?
Hernan Cattaneo: Yes, yes, I'm actually working at this moment, I'm slightly delayed because I wanted to have it before the summer but it's just been crazy, and then I couldn't. I really cannot do much at the moment, but after the summer, like September or so, it's going to be up and running. It's going to be a digital label so you can access that through all the usual download outlets. And we're just working, you know, on the name and a few things but yes, yes, I really, really wanted to have this digital label to, you know, to push all the… not just for American artists, any artists that I think they need, you know, like a big push.
PK: We're really looking forward to it. Now Hernan, lastly, what can the fans look forward to for the rest of the year and for 2006?
Hernan Cattaneo: Well for the rest of the year I'm going to be like all over the world, really. Loads of stuff in Europe, Asia in October, back to America in September and probably in November, South America in November, so it's going to be all over the world, so I'm going to see each one of them hopefully. Then for next year, I'm eventually I'm going to finish a new single after Warsaw. Warsaw is coming out in September with luck, and we're working on a new single that's going to be completely different than that, it's not breaks, like a house, summery track I would say. We're working on it at the moment, and probably a few remixes as well. I can see as I said before, the summer to slow down a little bit to have more time to go back to the studio. And then next year probably, this time, I mean I'm definitely going to produce a new compilation but we haven't decided exactly when and how, but that's definitely going to be a new one. But I just try to take a little bit more time. Like last year, I put out two compilations within thirteen months, alright, and so I don't want to have another one straight down, I mean in the same timeframe like you have a little bit more patience because three compilations within twenty-four months would be too much. So I'm taking my time to see exactly what kind of new compilation I want to do and stuff like that.