To be a successful DJ in 2009, you must split your time between playing gigs and producing, right? Not necessarily. Eddie Halliwell puts all of his attention into live remixing, and he’ll be doing just that in front of legions of dance music fans on Friday just a few hours outside of Las Vegas at the Electric Daisy Carnival in LA.
You played at Electric Daisy Carnival in 2008 as well, correct?
I did. It was absolutely fantastic. Actually, it was very short but sweet because I was playing and [Dutch DJ/producer] Menno de Jong missed a connection on his flight and missed his set… So I split my set with him and gave him half of my set because he had traveled for hours and hours and hours. … I’m looking forward to playing a longer set this year.
How do you think all-ages events such as EDC compare to 21 and up events?
I think it’s different because you’re going to have a wide variety of people; some people might be a bit more experienced musically than others, I suppose. If you’ve got all ages going to EDC, you might get some people going to the event who are very new to the scene.
It’s amazing to watch you spin because not only do you use CDJs, but you’re also scratching vinyl. Can you explain more about what you’re doing for people who are waaay in the back at EDC?
When I started touring around, my setup live consists of three CDJs, an EFX 1000—sometimes I have four CDJs and working with the 800s and just manipulating and reworking and re-editing tracks as much as you can live… I feel the DJ world has evolved so much, the setup that I’m using at the minute has become more of a basic one compared to how you can DJ today.
I’ve just recently setup a new platform, which is called ED-IT, which is all about new technology. If you go back five years when the CDJs came out, it was a big step from turntables and then the DJ could be a lot more creative. The setup I’ll be playing on at EDC just consists of a basic setup for myself … but I’ll be working with that and be trying to manipulate the music as much as I can with the tools at hand.
Do you still consider what you spin to be “tech-driven trance”?
When people ask me what do I play, I play across the board musically depending on where I am, what time I’m playing and what venue I’m at. You can play differently at a festival than a club gig. I always describe my sound as energetic, uplifting and interactive, and that can span from house to trance to techno.
You focus specifically on DJing, which is rare because a lot of big DJs are producers, as well. Do you think it’ll ever be necessary to create your own productions to stay in the game?
I think the way things are changing now, the sort of production world and DJ world are coming together more, where if I look back when I started DJing, everything was analog. Producers had to be in the studio, working away and then maybe producers got an opportunity to DJ.
By launching this new project, the equipment I’ll be using and various things I’ll be using on stage are ultimately production tools and allowing me to remix and reedit tracks in a form of production, but doing it live… My agenda is actually using other people’s music to sort of create your own stuff to play to an audience. … I definitely see the DJ being a creative artist on stage… When I want to stop travelling, I suppose that’ll be the day I’ll say, “Alright, I just want to put some sounds out there for other people to use.” As long as I’ve got the opportunity to do this as I’ve been doing it, performing in front of people is my number one passion, and that’s what I want to do.