Earlier this week we were lucky enough to pick up the phone and chat to Detroit starchild and one quarter of Visionquest, Seth Troxler. Chipper as ever, he talked Burning Man, naked epiphanies, Ibiza, switching to vinyl, cooking brain, the pressures of being named RA's Number 1 DJ and more. Check out the full interview below.
You're just back from Burning man again, how was it this year?
Yeah, it was fantastic, I had a really good time. I was just saying I had this crazy epiphany, I was out in the middle of the desert by my camp tripping, then just ran into the desert naked based on this epiphany that all you need is life and that life is the ultimate win and I was like 'wow, I've already won the lottery, I'm alive this amazing'. After that I was pretty happy, I had a cry, got a lot of stuff out – it was amazing.
What parties did you play at?
I played a Disco Knights party, and this Nexus party and another party for Robot Heart. It was cool, the Disco Knights and Nexus ones were the best but the Robot Heart was really nice too, I played with Sean (Reeves) for like six hours for a load of people who were really up for it.
Since you were named number one in the Resident Advisor Top 100 DJ Poll has much changed for you?
Yeah, it's kind of funny. You're always going to have people who are going to say things about you so you want to prove to yourself and everyone else that you deserve it. That's when I switched to playing all vinyl at the beginning of the year, which has been amazing. It's brought me home and honed my own DJ skills.
But then it's also made people more critical and there's more people coming to see you play who don't really know much about you so it's opened the range a lot. It's changed with time though, at the beginning the whole thing was quite stressful but then you come to terms with it.
It's been crazy really, people talk to you differently and act differently around you which is something I didn't really expect. A lot of friends taking the piss too!
Was that the main reason you switched over to vinyl?
Well I had already been playing vinyl, but one of the main reasons is I was finding better music on record and I get so sick of going online looking for music, computers messing up at gigs and all that. I was just over it. Then there's the purity of it, without effects just mixing 2 songs together.
I was actually at Fabric last weekend for Ricardo (Villalobos) – and he played phenomenally – but it was so brilliant to see how a DJ can work the crowd with just those two elements. You don't need a f***ing delay and reverb every thirty seconds to get people's attention.
As a punter too it's definitely better to see someone manning the turntables.
Yeah, exactly. You see someone moving around and really working. Rather than playing with an iPad...
So, how've you found Ibiza this year? Everyone's always taking about how much it changes from year to year. You spend so much time there, how do you see it?
I think it's been a great season. It's kind of like Burning Man, everyone always says it was better last year but I think they both just keep getting better. It's been amazing, I mean there are a lot of nights now for our music which is pretty crazy and I haven't been able to check them all out. I'm kind of like a home body. I sit at my house a lot and try to be lazy when I have a chance to. I've been playing 4 or 5 times a week so it's nice to to be at home with my feets up, like now I'm looking at the ocean, right now in real time. Boats, waves and stuff – completely calm.
Have you ever considered hosting your own regular party over in Ibiza?
No, not at all. I love being part of the Circoloco family and they've taken really great care of me and I think it's just great that way. I'm able to play at the best party on the island every Monday and I think it'd just be greedy for me to want to do my own thing, and a lot of work as well. Too much extra s**t to do!
You're going to be back at ADE in Amsterdam soon. What have you got planned for it this year?
I'm gonna be there the whole week but I'm only going to play the one party (Visionquest presents ADE Superpleasures) and then I'll just be out partying and hanging out. I'm also doing the cooking again this year.
Have you got anything planned for that yet? Any special dishes on your menu this year?
Well yesterday I cooked brain... I'm in Spain so I couldn't really figure out what animal it was but it was delicious. So I think I'm going to start with a brain starter, then people will say; 'he can make brain taste good this guy, he's got something!'
Sticking with food, how have things been going at your new meats bar (Smokey Tails) you've opened up in London?
Yeah it's been going amazing. Everyone's really stoked and happy, we're really blown away by the whole thing. It's going so great, the food's amazing, the drinks are great – we're only open for little bit of time though so it keeps it a little mysterious.
Do you have any plans for other similar ventures outside music?
We'll see, only time will tell. I like to keep a few up in my sleeve and not let everything out at once...
You're playing at the Circus Birthday later this month with Yousef, Cassy and Scuba. You were booked for the last Circus Birthday too, are you looking forward to going back?
Yeah it's always great to hang out with Yousef. The old venue was always a bit weird for me so I can't wait to check out the new venue and everyone always has a great time up there.
Interview and article by Alex Ogilvie
Images courtesy of Seth Troxler, Smokey Tails, Circus and Purple PR