60 Seconds With...Pete Tong | DJMag.com Skip to main content

60 Seconds With...Pete Tong

Dance music giant Pete Tong should need little introduction.

The hugely popular DJ and host behind Radio One's Essential Mix, Tong is a regular fixture in Ibiza with his crowd-pleasing sets, and he's set to play at both events of the SW4 weekender on Bank Holiday - on 25th August at London's Clapham Common and 26th August at Coopers Field, Cardiff. We caught up with the radio champion to find out his thoughts on the festival and where dance music is at right now…

You're playing at both SW4 events on the Bank Holiday weekend - are you looking forward to them?

"Of course! I was thoroughly impressed last year so I'm looking forward to doing it again."

What can we expect from your sets?

"That they'll be good! I dunno, I never really say what I'm going to play. All I can say is that the intensity coming off the back of the Ibiza season means you're well and truly fired up."

What's exciting you most in dance music at the moment?

"I think that the way this summer's been, the underground has been very vibrant again. Probably more this year than many years I remember, you've got a lot of DJs playing a lot of different music and they're all doing well. I remember before when you went around Ibiza at night, you quite often heard 15 songs all the same in everybody's set, but now the underground is flourishing and its less obviously major tunes, its more about variety. It doesn't really matter if it's a new tune, dates of when things came out are irrelevant really, it's quite a creative time. Techno underpins everything, for the first time in a long time, and there hasn't really been a traditional house song. When you look at Axwell or David Guetta, or the Robyn record, the music that underpins them leans more to techy electro than traditional sort of garage."

What do you think of the ghetto house sound being produced by Sinden, Hervé and others at the moment?

"It's really creative, it's ingenious. Like anything there's some stellar records and there are some average ones, but the creative process that all those guys are working in, pushing the boundaries out sonically, tearing up the rulebook, I admire them for that. As long as it's really funky, got some point to it and not just one loop, then I'm really into it."

You recently remixed Robyn's 'With Every Heartbeat' with Dave Spoon. Are there any more Pete Tong productions on the way?

"I've been dabbling on and off since I stopped working behind a desk in a record company in 2001. It's really been a case of teaching myself Logic and Ableton. It's a case of bouncing off production partners and getting myself comfortable in different relationships. There was a good one with Chris Cox in LA, but it was difficult to go anywhere with it. But with Dave Spoon, hopefully we've worked out a better way of working together, even though he's not in London. We've already remixed Razorlight's 'Can't Stop' which was a special that we did for the Radio One Preston weekend, and it's in great demand, the record company are looking at getting it out there now. "We just did James Blunt's '1973'. James moved to Ibiza and got into the whole Ibiza life last year, spent the winter there, got to know the history of Pacha and the fact that it opened in 1973, so the first single, as unlikely as it sounds, is a tribute to Pacha! We've got something with Rihanna on the go, and we've promised that we've got to do some original stuff now, too."

Are there any particular gigs coming up that you're looking forward to?

"The thing with being in Ibiza is that I take a lengthy break from my London residency, so the gigs at Ministry can't come around quick enough. It's going to be the 1st November, which sounds scarily far away! But on the SW4 weekend, squeezed in between the two days I'm going to be doing Nic Fanciulli's birthday in Maidstone, which is a gig I rarely get to do these days, but because I'm at SW4 and it finishes early I'm going to be able to shoot down and do that, which should be fun."

What's next for Pete Tong?

"A new haircut! No, hopefully more music, and more film. I really want to do more, since I did 'It's All Gone Pete Tong'. I'm actually in negotiations with a company now to do something so I want to get back in the frame doing film soundtracks."

Pete Tong joins the likes of Sasha, Roger Sanchez, LTJ Bukem, Goldie and Eddie Halliwell at SW4 on bank holiday weekend. Tickets for the London event are sold out; tickets for Cardiff are still available at £30 from www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/17003E7792C16EE8?artistid=943167&majorcatid=10001&minorcatid=1. Make sure you check it out!