Interview with DJ Yoda

Hi Yoda!

Obviously you have been busy prepping hard for this interview with us at Click Surf….. as well as for your AV Tour and New up and coming AV Show at the Kentish Town Forum in London which we can all agree here is going to be phenomenal.

Let’s set the scene for the readers – where are you? What have you been up to the last couple of days?

I’m on a plane! On the way to Switzerland to perform an AV show. I just got back from a massive Australia and New Zealand tour, and in between all this travel I’m putting the final touches to a new artist album, called “Chop Suey”.

Tell us about how you got into the industry. How did you get started?

It was a slow, gradual thing – I was always DJing and making mix tapes for my own enjoyment, and the whole thing just grew really organically. Making tapes for friends, and then for 50 people, then 500, then 5000!

Seeing as we are getting hyped about your future tour date at Snowbombing Festival in Mayrhofen – for those Snowbombers who have not had the pleasure of seeing your AV show live what can they expect from your show and at a venue like this?

In my AV shows, I scratch and mix video alongside the music – so I take my favourite stuff from YouTube, movies and TV and make it work alongside the kind of tracks that I normally play when I’m doing regular DJ sets. The venue for Snowbombing is amazing – I played there last year and it was one of my favourite shows of 2011 – so I’m expecting big things!

As the master of cut and paste, you must be constantly tuned in, seeking out new snippets of sound for projects – where do you find your inspiration?

I think as the years have gone on, I’ve just trained myself to stay constantly alert for things to sample – so if the radio is on, or I’m watching TV or whatever, I’ll just always spot stuff that I think would be cool to use. I watch a lot of movies too, and the rules are simple – if I think something was cool then I use it.

DJ Yoda on the turntables

Tell us about your AV tours, how does the introduction of Audio Visual elements transform the club experience?

I guess it makes the DJ performance more of a “show”. I’m not really a fan of DJs who don’t do much – I think there’s little point getting a “celebrity” DJ to travel somewhere far away from home if all they are going to do is play a CD and wait to then play another CD! A computer can do that! So I feel that a DJ needs to bring some kind of skills or originality to a performance – whether it’s with scratching, or even just their personality on the mic. For me, having the AV show gives me something unique.

 Your style has been described as post-modern, radical, surreal… how do you feel about the labels you are assigned by critics and fans?

I don’t have a problem with being labelled – a lot of artists complain about it, but as a DJ I understand that you have to try and find a way to describe music, and have it sit in context with other stuff. So I don’t take any criticism or pigeon-holing too seriously!

We love the humour that makes your work so unique, how important is a good sense of humour in the music industry?

To me, it’s essential! I think a lot of DJs tend to forget that they are there, in the first place, to entertain! There is a tendency amongst DJs to be really serious – but to me, I’m just as happy if the crowd are laughing as dancing.

Bit of a clichéd one this, but having worked with some of the biggest and best names in the business, which artist, living or dead, would you most love to collaborate with?

Wow – it’s pretty hard to answer that. I would love to have collaborated with some of the biggest names in country and western – like Johnny Cash or Dolly Parton! How about that?

Each of your tracks sounds like it has been crafted with absolute precision – would you call yourself a perfectionist?

Not at all! I think I’m the opposite of a perfectionist – I just get an idea “out” and then move on without worrying about crafting it to perfection. I find that the second part just holds me up, so I just move on, even if things don’t sound perfect to me. It’s for that reason that I never go back and listen to old mixes, as I would just hear all the flaws.

Where is your favourite place to perform? Any dream venues you have yet to hit?

I’m really lucky – I’ve got to play all around the world, and I still can’t believe that I’ve been able to DJ in places like China, South Africa and Brazil! My favourite places to play? There are loads. Anywhere where it’s nice and sunny, anywhere where the crowd are ready to just have fun and let themselves go, anywhere with a big massive cinema screen for me! Dream places to play? Well the two places that have eluded me this far are India and Russia – so they are top of my list at the moment.

Are you going to find time to hit the slopes while you are in Austria? Any memorable mountain moments?

I’m more of an apres-skiier! Actually I like to use my time in ski resorts to make beats, as I find it really inspirational with all the scenery. That said, Snowbombing 2011 was probably the drunkest I’ve been in the last year!

What’s next for DJ Yoda – what are your plans for the future?

I’m concentrating on finishing up this new album, but first I have mix CD with Dan Greenpeace coming out called “Unthugged 3D”.

And finally, if you pressed play on your <generic Mp3 Player> right this second, what would we hear?

An album by the Carolina Chocolate Drops – it’s like new/old banjo music.

Keeping with the snow theme we will leave you with a little snow joke to pass around!
Q: How Do you know when Will Smith has been out in the Snow?
A: There’s Fresh Prints

I’ve just Tweeted that. Sorry for stealing your joke.