Who the fuck, indeed, is Haezerby Roger Young / 11.06.2010
Haezer produces and remixes some hard, dirty electro and has just come back from a European tour. We had a brief chat about his single being released on Beatport, vinyl and crowd interaction.
MAHALA: How long was the tour? How many dates did you play?
HAEZER: Three weeks. We were supposed to play six gigs but we only played five ‘cause the Poland one didn’t work out. We went there, but then the sound fucked out, like we were drinking at the hotel at the bar, and the promoter came in all fucking amped, like “people are bouncing, the club’s full, lets go!” And then we were a bietjie dronk hierso, and were like, “no wait have a drink first”. So we took about forty minutes and when we got there, there’s loads of people but everyone’s scattered outside, like chatting and looking not very happy. And we went inside and it’s only one bass bin working, so he just took us out to get drunk.
MAHALA: So you had the Dogbox gig in Pretoria where the power fucked out, the one in Poland and the power went down on Saturday for a bit at Die Antwoord……
HAEZER: I think I’ve got a bad EMP.
MAHALA: What’s the crowd reaction to your shit overseas, compared to a South African crowd?
HAEZER: Well it’s very different there because people only go out at 2AM. So it’s from two till six, so when I start playing it’s not to a full audience and then about half an hour into my set the club gets full. But compared to Cape Town the energy is like a good night at the Assembly. And people do fuck out a lot, I give credit, they flippen rock out. So I would say it’s kinda the same, people really gooi it. But I wouldn’t say they rock out more there.
MAHALA: When you first started playing did it take a while for people to start getting what you were doing?
HAEZER: In the beginning, ja, obviously.
MAHALA: Were they as slow to catch on in Europe?
HAEZER: That’s the weird thing, all of them have heard it before, I heard people singing to the tracks. That happened in Solothurn, in Switzerland, and it happened in Landshut [in Bavaria] where people where actually chanting the tracks. I was actually very surprised, but I think the promoters there put in a lot of effort.
MAHALA: Do other DJ’s here in South Africa play your tracks?
HAEZER: Generally, if they do, it’s from promos that I give out, like when people request it, that’s when they’ll play it. I’ve heard some people say they’ll play “Smut Me” and “Monkey”, it’s probably like three or four popular tracks that they will play.
MAHALA: How much of what you do is created live?
HAEZER: It’s definitely important to kinda of not just press play and let it go, you have to build up a track and manipulate it but I don’t play live. That’s one thing I have to make clear, because people sometimes think that I do a live show and I don’t. I DJ. But because I make the tracks, I can break it down in vocals and bass and synth and drums and I can do that and manipulate it live. But its not live, it’s just DJ’ing with four channels instead of two.
MAHALA: But when you play it’s all HAEZER?
HAEZER: 80% my stuff. I don’t have enough material to play for an hour and a half only my stuff, so I throw in new promos I get and songs I really dig and I just put that in between. But sometimes you get a weird crowd where I can see people are not vibing, they’re not used to this loud hard music. And then I have to scrape in my crate and find tracks that they can relate to, but still like, cool but most of it is flippen old and I’m kind of bored of it already. You put two tracks of that in and people start dancing and then I put new stuff in and then they’re kind of, conditioned.
MAHALA: So what countries did you play?
HAEZER: It was just Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Poland and Italy.
MAHALA: How was Italy?
HAEZER: That was cool because people I normally play in my DJ set played with me. It was cool to experience that. Congorock, Tom Deluxx and Reset and guys who remixed my single but they couldn’t play, we ran out of time.
MAHALA: So there is a HAEZER sound, right?
HAEZER: I hope so, that’s the point.
MAHALA: But it obviously mutates, how quick is the mutation?
HAEZER: At the moment it’s quick because I’m doing a lot of remixes. I did one last week and before I left I did three. Today and tomorrow I’m working on a new one. Espcially now that I don’t have a full on day job, I want to do one a week and keep on doing it.
MAHALA: What equipment do you create on?
HAEZER: I use a Waldorf Blouveld desktop synthesiser and plug my MIDI keyboard through that and my Macbook Pro, sound card and monitors. And then I use Reason, Logic and Ableton.
MAHALA: Do you sample your own found sounds?
HAEZER: Quite a lot, I experiment with weird little sounds that you record or that you make.
MAHALA: So are you looking to put out an album, does that format even work anymore?
HAEZER: It’s hard, you need to spend a lot of time on an album. And with a band it’s cool, you do the album and you can tour with that but with blogs and the internet and dance music, it’s happening so fucking fast that you hear a single and after two weeks it’s old and then people want to hear new stuff, so at the moment I’m just trying to push out a lot of remixes and I’ve just released my single now. And then an EP, like end July and then I’m going to pump out another two to three EP’s and then take it from there, and see what happens.
MAHALA: So, in terms of making a living out of this here, it’s impossible right?
HAEZER: It’s funny because even overseas its tough, you need to do a fuck load of gigs to actually make money. You really have to become a brand, so that people pay for your name to be at a party to draw a crowd. But I’m not there at all yet, I’m a baby still. Like I can draw a crowd but not at that scale, so for me I just have to tour and tour and tour and just be busy. And then obviously freelance editing to bring some bacon on the table.
MAHALA: So are there a lot of DJ’s who crowd surf?
HAEZER: I didn’t see any.
MAHALA: Except for you.
MAHALA: Did you get a good response from this last tour?
HAEZER: What’s interesting is that I get I lot of support from other artists, from people who I really respect, so that’s encouraging for me. But I’m not popular, I don’t have massive blog love, you know, like, this guy is the shit. But I get a lot of personal emails and FB messages from artists that I respect and I always have DJs saying they dig it and asking please give me your promo. That for me is enough for now to encourage me to keep on doing it.
MAHALA: Have you ever pressed on vinyl before?
HAEZER: No. This, hopefully, will be the first one.
MAHALA: Can you even get vinyl pressed in South Africa?
HAEZER: African Dope are pressing all their artists on vinyl.
MAHALA: But you don’t play turntables?
MAHALA: Can you beat mix?
HAEZER: [Laughs] I used to play on CDJs, ja, but the whole computer/CDJ thing, I don’t even care enough to talk about it. I find it’s a very old debate. And if people think it’s premixed or what then they must think that, I’m not going to try defend something that I don’t care about.
MAHALA: What does it matter, as long as the sound is coming out of the speakers and it’s fucking awesome then…..
HAEZER: For me DJ’ing is about making people party. So if I go to the front and perform and drink a bit and make mistakes, if that mistake doesn’t make people stop dancing, even if the music stops, I press the wrong button and the music stops when that silence is for ten seconds and the music starts again, people are so amped, they like oh, cool, the party is carrying on. I actually dig that, I like when mistakes happen because it’s like interaction, and you can see that I make mistakes, it’s not like a premix when there will be no mistakes. I do fuck up, a lot. I try different mixes and different techniques and when it doesn’t work it’s cool because the beat still kicks in and people dance.
MAHALA: You really enjoy getting up there and pulling the crowd along with you.
HAEZER: It just makes it a bit more interactive, you’re partying with them, you’re not a preacher preaching to them, you’re with them, there, partying. I don’t want to become the worlds best DJ, I just want to have fun with it. My biggest thing is to produce good tracks and play it out to people.
Haezer’s new single with remixes by Cyberpunkers, Trumpdisco, Belzebass, Deadbots, Gehts Nocht, Noize Generation and Saint Pauli has just been released on Beatport. If it gets enough interest it will be pressed on Vinyl and distributed by Rough Trade.
He also plays at The Assembly tonight!