Eric Prydz didn't used to have far to go when he played the SW4 festival in its early days.
“I used to live right on the Common in Clapham, so whenever I did the SW4 festival I just walked straight across the street into the artists' entrance,” he tells DJ Mag. “I moved from Clapham in 2007 to Chiswick and stayed there for a few years, and then I moved to Los Angeles at the end of last year. The weather in LA is better than in London — you can't argue with that.”
It's the fourth time in the last five years that Eric has played SW4 — and this is his only London show this year. “Every year has been special for me, sometimes I've been doing the main stage and sometimes I've been doing other different arenas and tents, and last year I played under my Cirez D name,” he says. “This time I'm going to be doing something different again. The SW4 festival is special to me because it's my old 'hood — it's where I used to live. It's great to come back.”
Eric is playing John Digweed's Bedrock arena alongside some of the finest DJs in the world — including Sven Väth, Laurent Garnier, Boys Noize, James Zabiela, and Diggers himself. “Yeah, the line-up is crazy,” he affirms. “I'm so excited to see each and every one of those guys.”
The Swedish DJ/producer says he only really gets nervous before a big gig if he doesn't come that well prepared. “I never plan my sets, I always improvise when I DJ,” he admits, “but I always like to know what track I want to start with — and work myself towards ending in a certain kind of way.
“Sometimes you come to a festival and you have some EDM DJ just banging out pop-electro dance hits, really high energy, and I normally like to play a bit deeper,” Eric continues. “That's the time when I can get a bit like, 'What am I supposed to do with this?' There's no point then going in and dropping everything down, energy-wise. It doesn't really work like that. That can make me a bit nervous sometimes, but I don't think that'll be happening at SW4 — it's gonna be amazing. I'll be in the Bedrock tent all day.”
The last time Eric did his EPIC — Eric Prydz In Concert — live shows in the UK was a couple of years ago at Alexandra Palace in London. “We're actually working on EPIC 2.0 — the next version of it,” he reveals. “The problem with EPIC, as cool as it is, is that it's massive. It's bigger than a jumbo jet, which comes with the problem that there's not many venues that you can do this show in. So we've been working on a way of making EPIC more tour-able, so you can pack it down into a few trucks and drive to the next place, and so on.”
Now that he lives in the States, he says he has to fly less — something to be grateful for, as he still has a huge fear of flying. “Whenever I'm on a plane that's just me jumping off a cliff, y'know?” he says. “I do it anyway, but it's the most absolutely horrible thing in the world for me to do.”
He now has a tour bus with his own studio in it, “so we do it old skool,” he says. “To be honest, I really like that way of travelling.”
Eric starts listing some of the other gig highlights of 2013 for him, such as Coachella, Ultra in Miami and the Electric Daisy Carnival. “EDC in Las Vegas is 350,000 people — how crazy is that?” he says. He thought when he moved to America, he says, that with the EDM explosion he'd only be playing enormous festival shows, “when you have your one-hour slot, where Afrojack is playing before you and Calvin Harris is going on afterwards. It's not like I can go on and try to be clever.”
“But that's been one of the good things — there's been so much for me to do in the spectrum of the club scene,” he continues, emphasising how he's frequently been able to play long sets.
“There is a really healthy underground scene in America at the moment which is just getting stronger and stronger. I think people are getting fed up of hearing the same music that they hear on the radio all day long, then they go to these festivals and all the DJs play the same music that they already know. There's a really good music scene out here — you just have to look for it.”
Final Sunday tickets are available now from southwestfour.com.
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