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Rampling's Tips

Following the special souvenir Danny Rampling issue of DJmag, guest editor Danny inteviews Layo & Bushwacka!. Extra questions not in the magazine.

Well, he's hung up his headphones now, but house music legend Danny Rampling certainly bowed out of DJing in style.

A string of epic farewell gigs and the emotional 'Back to Love' mix for Defected marked his departure from the scene, but not before he took on the role of guest editor for a special souvenir issue of DJmag.

For the cover story, Danny asked if he could interview Layo & Bushwacka!, as he was so impressed with their forthcoming album 'Feels Closer'.

Here are some extra highlights from the interview that we didn't have space for in the magazine, where the boys give some useful advice for aspiring DJs and producers on surviving the tough, ever-changing dance music industry.

Danny: "What tips can you give for up and coming DJs and producers?

Matthew: "For DJs; always practice a lot and don't let anything go to your head. That's important."

Layo: "Put in a lot of hours. I improve all the time. Its never like I stop."

Danny: "Striving is the essence."

Matthew: "And in the studio; don't be afraid to try new things out. Don't try to sound like somebody else or let other people dictate what you do. Do what comes into your head. Be creative."

Layo: "It's the same with playing records. Don't play what you thing other people want to hear, play what you feel, not what you 'should' be playing or what's 'cool'. If you're really feeling the records, it comes across so much more than if you think you should play them. That's a thing people get caught up in."

Danny Rampling interviews Layo & Bushwacka!

Patience

Danny: "What other qualities are vital in the studio environment, other than a passion for music?"

Layo: "Patience. Although you can write something good in five minutes, you need to craft your music by listening to it a lot of times. You can hear records that are made by people who have spend a lot of time really getting a feeling for where they are going."

Matthew: "It's about having that self-belief. Don't think about earning money. Really, don't bother.

Layo: "Just try to be good, because if you're good, the money comes. Focussing on the money is a terrible road to go down as fundamentally you're never doing it for the right reasons. Sportsmen don't do what they do for money, they want to be the best at what they do."

Relationships

Danny: "How about your relationships, both outside work and in the studio. How do you manage those?

Matthew: "It's a massive challenge to hold down a good home relationship with the amount of travelling you do and also with the nature of the environment you are in as a DJ."

Danny: "DJ work is like a passionate love."

Layo: "Yeah, you need to make sure you've got a good home balance. Considering how much time me and matt spend together and how many stressful situations we find ourselves in I think we get on exceptionally well.

Danny Rampling interviews Layo & Bushwacka!

Changes?

Danny: "Looking back at your careers so far, would you make any changes?"

Matthew: "I wish I'd been more aware of running my labels. I was so wrapped up in DJing, partying and writing music I wish that I'd taken a bit more time on the business."

Layo: "Mistakes I made at the time were natural growing pains learning about everything. It's impossible to know that all from the beginning."

Matthew: "I would have loved to be able to become a good engineer without sacrificing so much time away from my family and being away from my son so much in his early years. I'm trying to make up for that now."

The End

Danny: "Layo, how do you keep The End (the club he co-owns with Mr. C) at the cutting edge? That's an amazing achievement for London."

Layo: "I think that the team who work there are very clued up musically. Its not like something new comes along and we're so stuck to doing one thing that we can't say 'we're interested in this'.That enthusiasm, combined with a very focussed way of working is what's kept it there. It's not an accident, but it's not a plan either."

DJs To Watch

Danny: "Which DJs do you think are currently the ones to watch?"

Layo: "From my perspective, most of the DJs to watch are coming from one of two places. They are either making exceptionally good music, or they're part of a club that is exceptionally hot. Without those routes it's difficult, not impossible, but there aren't that many opportunities."

Internet

Danny: "How do you think the internet is changing dance music now?"

Matthew: "I think it's great. It's constantly improving, and bringing loads more choice. You don't have to go anywhere to listen to new music now. I've sat in a hotel room in Brazil, bought a load of brand new tracks for 99c each and played them out that night."

Layo: "Some people complain about the quality, but the 320kbps thing you guys do on DJdownload is fine. I wouldn't want to play that all night, but it works fine and for budding young DJs to buy music at that price is a revolution."

Check out the current issue of DJmag for the main interview, along with features on Danny's favourite clubs, DJs, peer tributes and career moments from his 18 years in the biz.