House hero Laidback Luke mentors new EDM stars

L is for Laidback: When not mixing beats, these hands get busy in the kitchen.
Sam Glaser @sammyglaser

You’ve had parties named Nighttime Superheroes and Super You&Me. What’s up with the superhero themes?

The vibe and energy I want to bring is being able to take on the whole world. Not only the DJ should feel like a superhero, the crowd should feel like superheroes, too. That’s why it’s Super You&Me ... My favorites are Spider-Man and Wolverine—I always see myself as a crossbreed between them.

How did Roger Sanchez and Steve Angello impact you early in your career?

Roger meant my international DJ breakthrough. At one point I was his opener and he really pushed my name out to the big venues he used to play. Steve Angello helped me perfect my production techniques. I learned a couple of tricks of the Swedish House Mafia to make my tracks sound really fat.


Laidback Luke at Haze
March 9, doors at 10:30 p.m.
$40 men, $20 women

And you helped Avicii and Afrojack launch their careers?

Afrojack was a Luke groupie at first. I remember his first message to me on my forum was, “I can’t believe I’m actually chatting with the Laidback Luke right now.” Like Avicii, I gave him tips and tricks and his first couple of big remixes were released through me as well.

Describe the Dutch sound and how it became so successful in the U.S.

It’s based on a soca type of beat with a lot of bleepy noises. We owe a lot to David Guetta. David played in the Netherlands a couple of times and saw the Dutch sound would work with hip-hop artists. He made the sound popular outside of the boundaries.

You’re a self-described bootleg machine. Why the interest in bootlegs?

The level of DJing in the Netherlands is very competitive. To stand out and be original but play tracks that are known, it’s often best to have your own take of it. My bootlegs are my DJ battle weapons.

You’re obviously a laid-back dude. What excites or bothers you?

What gets me excited at the moment is cooking—I’m a hobby chef. For me, it’s like mixing, but mixing ingredients ... without the whole world watching. What bothers me: I’m a napper. I have morning grumpiness in the afternoon.

What’s exciting in the music world?

The whole crossover of dubstep going into house music, what Knife Party are doing for instance ... combining uptempo house beats with all the new syntheses that come with the dubstep sounds. The way Kill the Noise is manipulating his synths is very next-level for me.


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