Exclusive Interview with Vancouver’s Own Lazy Rich
As 2012 draws to its end I was lucky enough to have a chance to sit down with Vancouver resident, DJ/Producer, Lazy Rich. The intent may have been to talk about his upcoming slot in the soon to be historic Contact Winter Music Festival but the conversation meandered. Whether we were reflecting on the year in its entirety or discussing preferences regarding the quintessential live EDM experience Lazy Rich offers a level headed insider’s perspective representative of someone intricately involved in the scene.
EDM Insider Ryan: It’s no surprise that 2012 has been a busy year for EDM as a whole. Looking back on the year, what has been the biggest highlight for you? Why?
Lazy Rich: Overall, it’s been a really good year. Oh man, that means using my memory doesn’t. Hmm, highlights of this year, it’s really been a good one. There has been a lot of steady progress this year and I am quite happy with how it has all gone. The best shows I have done this year would have to be Avalon in LA and my Australian shows.
EDM Insider Ryan: What stood out for you about Australia?
Lazy Rich: Australia stands out because it was really fun just hanging out with the guys down there. They had a really cool creative team that ran the gigs. I did five shows and I got to hang out quite a bit with Vegence, an Australian producer. That was really cool. It was great to be a part of the local scene. Since that trip, I have signed a couple of tracks by local producers to my label. Really that’s the best thing to do, find a bunch of new DJs, uncover new tracks, work on collaborations and really just expand the scene.
EDM Insider Ryan: Speaking of expanding the scene, being among the first artists to play an EDM show at BC Place in Vancouver must be a nice way to cap off a big year. What significance, if any, does the show hold for you as a Canadian DJ?
Lazy Rich: It phenomenal. I was so honored to be on the lineup. I’ve been working with Blueprint for quite some time now and they have always been amazing to me, but this was a step above and beyond what I could have ever expected. I was incredibly pleased. It’s a land mark event and it is going to be incredible. Seeing my name in lights amongst all those other huge names is honestly phenomenal. When you get something on the scale of this Contact show, it’s really more then just a DJ set, it’s an experience.
EDM Insider Ryan: Yeah, that giant sign outside BC Place is amazing..
Lazy Rich: I also did a gig in Detroit with Porter Robinson and Mat Zo as part of his Language Tour. That was an incredible show. I have never gotten a better crowd reaction in my life and Robinson and Zo are cool guys, it was a lot of fun to play with them.
EDM Insider Ryan: What is the difference between a gig like yours from the Language Tour and Contact Festival? How do you prepare differently, if at all, for a festival set opposed to playing in a club setting for a longer period of time?
Lazy Rich: Personally, I prefer playing the club scene just because you get to feel the crowd more. You get to experiment and try different stuff. With a longer set you can try out brand new tracks. I usually don’t plan out anything when I do a club set. For a festival set because you have to cram so much into that one hour you really have to create a list of tacks that you want to make sure you play in that small window. Even though I usually prefer club sets, when a festival set works, it is the most amazing thing ever. It’s just the intimacy of a club venue I really enjoy. Being able to play strange tracks, you know, tracks that are funny. I love just throwing something random out there to see what happens.
If I was really to have an unlimited budget for myself I’d probably have a throne room or something crazy and ridiculous.
EDM Insider Ryan: With a big festival setting you have to be more mainstream because you have so many more people to please…
Lazy Rich: Exactly, when you play a club people usually came to see you. Whereas at a festival people come to see everybody, so you do have to cater to a more diverse crowd. You play more anthems, big room stuff. Whereas with a club crowd you can get away with stuff you think your fans might like. They paid to see you as an artist so you have more leeway.
EDM Insider Ryan: I like the intimacy of club shows too, they feel more authentic to me.
Lazy Rich: I do too, I really like them. But then again when you get something on the scale of this Contact show it’s really more than just a DJ set, it’s an experience. And that’s what festivals have that clubs don’t. That’s why they have a broader appeal.
EDM Insider Ryan: That perfectly ties into my next question. Like most festivals, Contact will be filled with high quality production. Do you think that the production should play a large role during the experience of an EDM set? How do you decide what your personal production will include for live shows?
Lazy Rich: I think there is a limit. There is nothing wrong with some awesome visuals and a kind of theme behind who you are. I would try to stay away from gimmicks because that’s not really my thing. But there is nothing wrong with having a nice production to look at. I mean, if I was really to have an unlimited budget for myself I’d probably have a throne room or something crazy and ridiculous. Maybe I’d surround myself with big piles of money. You know, just something to match my logo.
I kind of struggled when I was just DJ’ing and trying to make it in the local scene.
EDM Insider Ryan: Sometimes, for me, over production can take away from the artistry of a live set.
Lazy Rich: Yeah, a little bit. I mean, there’s that now infamous Steve Angello thing when he played three tracks in a row, that were mixed in before so it all fit in with the fireworks. I mean that’s taking away from it a bit in my opinion. True, it is a spectacle and is very impressive, but it does take away from seeing that person perform live. If you go to a concert and the person is lip syncing, you’re just not impressed.
EDM Insider Ryan: On a more positive note, what advice do you have for individuals looking to become DJs and producers within Vancouver and the EDM community as a whole?
Lazy Rich: The best advice I can give, I gave to Rukes on twitter yesterday. “Whatever you do, don’t check your luggage!” That’s the best piece of advice you can give to any DJ! *chuckles*
I’ve got so much stuff in the works right now that I need to sit down and get it all finished.
EDM Insider Ryan: I saw that, the community between all the DJs on twitter is crazy. Any advice about Vancouver specifically though?
Lazy Rich: Vancouver is hard. I kind of struggled when I was just DJing and trying to make it in the local scene. I played a few events and I gave my demos out religiously. Really, I did everything I should’ve done. Attending all the shows and talking to all the promoters, everything you need to do to try and make a name for yourself. But I didn’t really get anywhere serious until I started producing, and even then I stopped playing in Vancouver, because if you actually want to make money in a city, there is no point in playing every single week because people get tired of you. I decided to treat Vancouver like to do every other city, so I literally didn’t play in Vancouver for a year. Then I started playing big shows for Blueprint. So, I think you need to make a choice early on whether you are going to be a DJ or a producer. It’s difficult to do both.
EDM Insider Ryan: I suppose you can get stuck in one scene and it can be hard to get out.
Lazy Rich: Exactly, it’s very hard to change yourself from being a local DJ into a big name DJ. I mean, I would be getting offers of like multiple thousand dollar gigs in some places, and then someone in Vancouver would offer me something like 200 bucks for New Years Eve, you know?
EDM Insider Ryan: Well you broke free and people are eager to hear what is coming next from Lazy Rich. What can fans expect throughout the beginning of 2013? Can you give us any hints on upcoming tracks, tours, or collaborations?
Lazy Rich: I’ve got so much stuff in the works right now that I need to sit down and get it all finished. I have got a new release coming out on Spinnin’ next year called Brain Freeze. I’ve got an original coming out on Rising, quiet a progressive track and it may be coming out before New Years. It’s called Insomnia and it is really a different track for me, but I really like it. I am doing collaborations with Morgan Paige, Sinkhole, Cazzette, and lots and lots more people. I also took some time off this year, and it’s kind of unrelated but I got married. That was really the highlight of 2012. That is the reason why I haven’t had many originals out for awhile. We took a month off to go away and do that. Also, I run a distribution company and a label as well, so it’s a lot to catch up on.
EDM Insider Ryan: Wow that’s a lot; you sound really busy right now.
Lazy Rich: Yeah it’s weighing on me a bit to be honest. The two originals are all done and signed but the rest is sort of all in the works. It been a while since I’ve had an original release so it’s good to get a few decent releases out.
EDM Insider Ryan: That’s good, I mean it keeps thing interesting right. You can switch from one to another and you don’t always just have to DJ.
Lazy Rich: I find all the programming stuff a nice little escape from producing. Keeps things from getting stale; overall it’s been a really good year.