Spotlight: Tell us about the concept for Subliminal 2009, 'Be Bad', where did that idea and all the images we see on the billboards in Ibiza come from?
Erick: It’s just really about an idea I had at the beginning of this year about letting go, there are so many problems in the world, not only economically, but I just thought it’d be really good to give people the idea of letting go, forgetting all your problems when you come to my parties and focusing on having a good time.
It’s also about being bad, because everybody likes being bad, everybody enjoys being bad, everybody enjoys that feeling they have when they’re being bad, you know that cheekiness feeling. So it’s just a way to remind people that that’s what it’s all about.
How is 2009 going?
Other than the second week when our numbers were down 2%, Subliminal numbers have actually been up on last year. June was a great month here on the island and it’s been actually phenomenal.
We’re very fortunate, very lucky that we are the Wednesday night place to go and people still come to listen to the best music on the island. I feel like people all come for the music and I’m still happy that people here still talk about our night in the way they do after 8 years. So yeah, it’s been a great year so far.
How have Wednesday nights at Pacha changed in the last 8 years since you've been there?
It’s changed musically, the sound of what I considered to be house has changed in the last 8 years and the guests have really changed as well. We used to focus on a particular style of music and now it’s for Subliminal to be about good music not just about funky house or whatever. So we have people like Ali Dubfire, M.A.N.D.Y., Annie Mac who don’t really fit the mould of what Subliminal is about but that’s what it’s about.
Right now we want to have good music and with the people who play music that we like, so it’s not just soulful house or funky house. I know my style of DJing has changed and musically through the guests too.
Dubfire M.A.N.D.Y. Annie Mac
What's the latest with the label, you recently had the 200th release, are we going to see more activity?
We’ve come through a restructuring and now partnered with Defected and Strictly Rhythm to create a conglomeracy between the three labels, so the releases had slowed down and we’d only put out 3 or 4 records. Now after making this deal, we’re back on track doing 2 releases a month.
We’ve just released Subliminal Summer Sessions 2009, mixed by me, a compilation of the best music I’m playing right now. We’ve also released a bunch of records, my last one “I Get Lifted” with Deborah Cooper, who was the vocalist with C&C Music Factory and I’ve got another with Richard Grey that is coming out at the end of August. There is a record by these guys from the UK called 747, which is amazing. We’ve obviously had remixes of Shiny Disco Balls and our 200th release, which was ‘Believe’ with remixes from Harry Choo Choo and Antoine Clamaran.
I’m really happy with the releases that we have, all our releases are smokin’ and everyone is back on the label, we’re back on track again where we where a year and a half ago. So I’m really really happy about that and you’re going to be seeing a lot more action, we’ve got a digital compilation mixed by Richard Grey coming out in August and also a Winter Sessions compilation mixed by Steve Angello of the Swedish House Mafia coming out in October.
Classic Subliminal Records release:
SUB19: Da Mob featuring Jocelyn Brown - It's All Good (Full Intention Remix) - check out
Listening to you talk about the label, it’s obvious you’ve still got a lot of passion. Over the last years there was talk of you retiring, is that true?
I wanted to; my idea was to do it at 35, I wanted to not so much retire but slow down to the point where it was one or two parties a month other than Ibiza and start focusing on acting, which is something I’ve wanted to do. But things have gone so well and I have to say things have slowed down a bit, my quality of life has definitely improved, the people that surround me definitely improved, I have really great staff around and I’m surrounded by great people, so the stress is not as high as it used to be.
So, I’m not really sure when that is going to happen or when I’m going to be able to focus on acting like I want to, but I’m really happy doing what I’m doing.
Tell us more about the acting? What’s the plan?
Well, I’ve always been into, I’ve done a couple of independent films, I’ve had acting classes, I have a coach and it’s something that I’ve always had a passion for but I’ve never been able to devote any time to it because since I was 21 years old I’ve been on the road and it’s non-stop.
You know when you act, you gotta make yourself available for casting, you have to be around and you can’t be in Ibiza four months of the year and travelling every weekend. You kinda have to live in LA and do that whole thing and it’s just not something I’ve been able to devote any time to. So, it’s something I’m passionate about, but I’m also passionate about music and my schedule has definitely slowed down so I’m enjoying my life a little bit more.
What about after the Madagascar movies, surely the idea of never working again crossed your mind?
You know I’ve made a lot of income over the last few years and when something like that happens, it’s like money you didn’t expect and just happens, which is amazing, but more importantly, it’s amazing how we’ve been introduced to a whole new generation that’s gonna live on. SO all these kids that are 5, 6, 7, 8, 9…..when they grow up, they’re gonna know that song and it’s an amazing thing to have happen. Now it’s like part of a whole new phase, but quite an amazing thing.
What ambitions do you still have in dance music?
For me, it’s just creating a conglomerate and to the best at everything. I want to be the best label, I want to be the best DJ, you know just being at the top of the game and see how long I can stay at the top of the game.
I know a lot of guys in the industry who’ve been around and they’ve done their thing and sooner or later, it’s time for them to move on, for me it’s like I don’t feel like I have that, I still feel like I look around and see what everyone else is doing and I have to say, not many people do what I do, not many people can rock ‘n’ roll like I can, not many people read a crowd and create an atmosphere the way I can.
I still have the passion to do it so, so that’s what it’s about, still loving what I do and as far as what I’d like to do….well, I’d still like to have a couple more hit records, small records that start in the underground like ‘I Like to Move It’ did but the grow into the overground and become commercial successes. Let’s see what happens.
Do you ever see or speak to the Mad Stuntman, what's he doing these days?
Absolutely, he’s at me every 6 months hounding me for royalties *laughs*, so yeah sure I see him. He’s got his own studio and he’s working on reggae but he’s not doing dance music anymore and he still does his thing. And for sure, every 6 months like clockwork he’s calling me and coming around to get a cheque.
Fellow pacha DJs like Roger Sanchez and Pete Tong have left the club in the last few years. I know you go to Amnesia a lot, what about Subliminal on the Amnesia Terrace?
I love Amnesia and I love the terrace… …..for me Pacha is like family, you know I own a Pacha in New York City, I have the brand for North America and I really get along with everyone at Pacha and I love what I have at Pacha. So, anything happening….who knows what could happen in the future, but for the time being I’m very happy where I am and I love the vibe we’ve created and I love what Pacha is all about.
Does the new music live up to the old name?
...because egg-white omelettes aren't for everyone.
As they say... music heals.
The Brighton based festival will be revealed in full on Thursday 29th January.