British techno/electro icon Damian Lazarus’ upcoming album, Message From the Other Side, sonically re-creates the natural experience, evoking deserts, sunrises and the open-night air. So it’s only fitting that he—along with a full band, The Ancient Moons—will perform at Further Future.
You’ve previously played Electric Daisy Carnival. Do you feel you need to play non-club events here? I only started playing in Vegas a handful of years ago. I get the city, but I’m not a fan of all it involves. I agreed to play for EDC regardless and I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I guess I’m not a “spectacle” kind of guy when it comes to music, but it is a cool place to come and be part of something that’s so big and brash and colorful. The opportunity to come and play something cool in the desert [like Further Future] has got me really excited.
What can we anticipate? We play at sunset, which is just perfect. During the final stages of completing the new album, I decided that this new music would translate amazingly with a live band. I hadn’t really considered it before, but I thought about what it means for me and realized that if I’m going to take the plunge and create a live band, it would have to be f*cking amazing.
Do you think the presentation of electronic music in a live format will become more prevalent? For me, the prospect of working and collaborating with talented musicians was the next step. The worlds of DJs and live bands are generally quite far apart from each other, but I wanted to create an exciting middle ground that was fresh and new and ticked all the right boxes in both areas, and in doing so, I created something super-different. We have only had three preview shows, but the energy [we’re] experiencing is like nothing else I’ve experienced before.
What is the story you’re hoping to tell with Message from the Other Side? There are mini-stories within the stories, but essentially the big picture is one of the special feelings you experience at sunrise and sundown, looking up at the sky and realizing how precious we are. And about acknowledging the feelings that we have when we are with the right people at the right time. It’s a little bit mystical, a little bit weird, but also quite open to all listeners. It’s not particular elitist or cooler-than thou. It’s odd, but the kind of odd that everyone should have in their life.
You’ve incorporated some worldly influences on the album. How have your travels affected the music? I’m a really lucky guy to be able to travel to all the amazing places I get asked to DJ at. I like to use these times to dip into local culture—music and art. My eyes and ears are always open, and the beautiful connections that I make with people around the globe needed to be put into some kind of practice, so I’ve worked with musicians from Egypt, Mexico, Africa ... many different voices all somehow brought together to create this new sound. I was lucky to find the right talented people when I needed them, but I guess having been working in A&R for many years and running Crosstown [Rebels], this is a natural thing for me. Thing is, usually I’m doing it for other people—artists signed to my label—but this time, I realized I needed to dedicate some time to my own artistic needs. I’m a man with needs!
Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons May 2, 7:30 p.m., Further Future, Moapa River Indian Reservation, $300, ($160 for Saturday only) with passcode requested from Further Future's Facebook page.