“Do you mind if I play this while we talk?”
Guy Gerber is brandishing a cherry-red Fender Strat and puffing casually on a cigarette. We’re holed up in an impressive villa on the west of the island, complete with sprawling gardens and minimalist architecture, as two lazy Dalmatians sun themselves aside an Olympic-sized swimming pool. DJ Mag Ibiza is here to talk about Guy Gerber’s Rumors party, an event that’s grown from clandestine beach gathering to swanky rave-up over the last two years, and is set to kick off at Pacha’s Destino resort for 19 weeks this season. “We’ve built something very special and this party turned out to be much better than we thought, a lot earlier than we thought, too,” Gerber explains when we ask about the party. “I love having something that’s my own, something that we do every week.”
His Rumors night follows on from his eclectic ex-Pacha residency — the bizarrely titled Wisdom Of The Glove — which confounded much of Pacha’s VIP crowd over its two year run. Not that any of that bothers Guy Gerber — from the moment we meet, it’s obvious that this man has a clear vision of what he wants in every aspect of his career. Speaking candidly as he paces around the villa in a pair of custom cuban heels, DJ Mag Ibiza spends a few precious moments in Guy Gerber’s world...
You just launched your new season of Rumors at Destino. How was the opening?
“I was very nervous, but in a good way — I think I’m in a great position right now, but I still wasn’t sure how it would be. I felt like towards the end of last year’s season, the party had almost become too easy, so this time it was something new, a new venue, a new playground.”
You said Rumors was a challenge for you — how important is it for you not to rest on your laurels professionally?
“[Laughs] Very important! Otherwise I just get bored, especially as I’m more of a studio guy rather than a promoter. But it was important for me to create a party that gives something back to the island, something that continues the great legacy of this island. So I guess I kind of became a promoter of the party, and the challenge keeps you creative. Otherwise it becomes too easy and, as David Bowie once said, “If it’s working, it’s out of date”.
Why is Ibiza special to you?
“First, there is a long legacy of art and hippy culture on the island. I wouldn’t classify myself as a hippy at all — but Salvador Dali used to go to Pacha, Pink Floyd made an album on the island, there is a long history of playing music and watching the sunset. As someone who grew up on rock music, I had this vision of Ibiza as somewhere people only come to party but when I got out here, I was so surprised at how spiritual this place is.
"I would say people here celebrate rather than party, it’s a celebration of life out here — celebrating freedom. Coming here definitely changed my perception of dance music, and coming here and living here later on changed it too. I bring my family here and I really want to be part of the history of this place.”
Line-ups, who are you playing with?
“We tried to start out as more of an alternative party, one that didn’t have a line-up and making the concept of ‘rumors’ that you don’t really know who is playing. The thing is, I have a lot of friends who wanted to play and a lot of artists who we wanted to book, and out of respect to them I thought it would be better to announce the line-up.
"So people know who they’re coming to see, not just like, ‘Oh, it’s Guy Gerber’s Rumors party’ and not knowing. We have Bob Moses, Sasha, Cassy, Bill Patrick, Dubfire, Chaim as well. Red Axes who are also from Israel, as well as Matthew Dear.”
How would you define the Rumors sound?
“What I’m very proud of is that I’ve always been fascinated with places that have their own sound. For example, if you play in Fabric in London, you would prepare your set for that particular sound. If you play Panorama Bar, then you prepare for that. DC-10 is the same. And it was really important for me to know that when people come to play Rumors, they are preparing a special set, something for the Rumors sound. It’s really important for me that we maintain that sound.
“I think a lot of time when people play it’s very easy to go really up, to make it too pumping, to get carried away, so it’s my responsibility to keep it deep. I think it’s also a good opportunity for the DJs who come to play this kind of sound too and not demanding for people to go higher and higher…”
You’ve always said Tel Aviv is your home, do you think you’ll ever feel that way about Ibiza?
“In a way I already do. When I come to Ibiza I know it’s the only time in four or five months when I won’t really be moving, that I’m staying in the same place. I feel really connected to a lot of people on this island, I have a lot of great friends and family through this island. I think there’s a strong group of people that want to maintain this island, keep it the way it once was — and that’s very inspiring to me, and every May I do have this feeling of coming back home.”
You’re travelling a lot throughout the year, what’s your creative process when you’re on the road?
“Anyone who knows me knows that I make music 90% of the time I’m awake, but I don’t release that much of it. I constantly make it, though. Sometimes I make music at the after-party in my room, just with some smaller speakers or whatever.
"Sometimes I go to a friend’s studio and even though it’s not always like being in your own, I get to try out lots of amazing equipment and loads of amazing synthesizers. I always try to think of it more as sculpturing sound, rather than knowing exactly where I’m going all the time, adding more and more layers.
“There are pros and cons to that kind of process, though — sometimes when you change studios, something you’ve done before sounds completely different. I’m enjoying making a lot of music, I’m having fun [laughs]. I’ve got two EPs coming out actually, that’s my plan so far!”