A name synonymous in the underground world of house music, Lee Spence AKA Pirate Copy has been ramping up the releases as of late, including tracks on Sola, Kaluki and more recently Moon Harbour. The Manchester based DJ, producer and Kaluki boss recently shared a stage with Marco Carola at a packed out Manchester Albert Hall, not to mention playing at the biggest venues and festivals in the business: Parklife, Pacha (Barcelona), Blue Marlin (Ibiza), Forbidden Forest and shed loads more. His overflowing tour diary brings him to Leeds this weekend (16/03) for a set at Mission’s Teatro night, and we caught up with him to discuss the show:
Good to talk to you Lee, looking forward to being back in Leeds? What are your memories of playing in this city?
Yes, I first started coming to Leeds to party when I was about 18 years old. We used to drive over for afterhours at 4am from Manchester to the Corn Exchange, there was a breakfast club in the basement back then. I did my first gig at the Warehouse many years ago, and played for Basics a couple of times and then more recently at Canal Mills on a Kaluki tour. The atmosphere is always electric, and the party never ends, just how I like it!
Teatro at Mission is really starting to make a name for itself as a club night, what have you heard about it? Do you think production and showmanship is the future of dance music events?
Yes, I’ve heard great things actually and yes, I think for a few years people got a bit lazy with that aspect of promoting events, but I’m glad to see it's made come back.
You seem to be constantly on the road nowadays, upcoming shows in Dubai, Mexico, Wales, Spain and all over England, where are your favourite places to play? Do you prefer a big festival stage or a smaller club atmosphere?
I actually love both, but they are very different experiences. Some of my favourite gigs have been long after hours sets in South America as the sun is coming up. I really like it when I get to play long sets sometimes - that can be hard at festivals, as the programming can be tight.
After such relentless touring you must look forward to some time off – how do you wind down and relax in your spare time?
Yes, I do like to get out and wind down in the outdoors, I often go to the Lakes and the Cotswolds to be outdoors and do some fishing with my mates, it’s a good way to decompress.
Moving away from the touring side of things, you’re about to release some new music – can you tell us a bit about the Moon Harbour release you have coming out?
It came out last week and just hit Number 15 on Beatport as I write this. It’s a groovy tribal track that was inspired off the back of last summer in Ibiza as the season came to a close. I had been playing some similar records and wanted to create my own tool for those types of occasions. It’s been getting some great support and it seems like people really dig it, so that makes me really happy.
You’ve had music out on some of the biggest imprints in the business now; Elrow, Kaluki, Natural Rhythm and Sola to name a few. Are there any other Pirate Copy productions you can tell us about in the pipeline?
Thanks! Yes I have just signed something big to Danny Howard’s brand new label that will come out this summer, it’s been getting lots of plays from Richy Ahmed, Monki, Andrea Oliva and myself. Nobody else really has it yet, I think that could be a big one this summer - watch out for Pirate Copy – Piano Track.
Only 3 months into the year and you’ve already played alongside Marco Carola, your ‘Para Dice’ EP smashed Beatport and you’re showing no signs of slowing down. What would you like to have achieved in a years’ time?
I always want to create more, achieve more, keep pushing. I have no targets, just to do my best and keep working hard and enjoy myself and see where I end up.
Pirate Copy plays at Mission Leeds’ Teatro on Friday 23rd March, then appears with Kaluki in Liverpool and Hull in April and May respectively. He can also be caught at Hideout and Parklife this summer.
Photo courtesy of Pirate Copy
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