Before his massive Australia Day show at Laundry we had a quick chat with Z-Trip to talk about what to expect on his tour, how he keeps his sets fresh after over 20 years in the game and what keeps him coming back to Australia.
Why did you decide to have entirely different setlists for each show on the tour?
It’s actually something I always try and do when I’m on tour. I’ve found that keeping a few key moments in the sets I play is crucial, but changing everything else up is healthy. Not only does it keep my fans guessing, but it also keeps me on my toes as I’m not 100% sure what each night has in store. I love reading a room by watching what the crowd responds to when the opener is playing. To base your set off of that info is a skill. It’s something I’m seeing less and less of these days as most people plan the whole thing. That’s not a bad thing, but I’ve found that some of my most memorable sets happened because I took the crowd into uncharted territory.
Do you have any hints as to what we can expect for these ‘special sets’?
I have some specific things in mind, but I don’t want to give away too much. I’d rather people come to the shows and experience it all live.
What do you expect from an Australian crowd that you might not elsewhere?
Australian crowds are the best! They’re some of my favorite people to play for. So open minded and always down to party. You guys love music and it shows. It’s amazing when a crowd puts as much energy into the show as I do. Australian crowds never let me down when it comes to that, I can’t wait!
Do you prefer huge festival shows or intimate venues at this point in your career?
I like both for different reasons. Intimate shows are great because you can really look into people’s eyes. The interaction is way different when you’re closer to your audience. Festivals are equally as dope though, as you get to impact thousands of people at once. The energy you get back from that many people is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced.
What do you find most appealing about mash-ups rather than producing entirely new material?
I like them both equally. Blending and mixing music is the foundation of what I do, original production is just an extension of that. To me, it’s all about manipulating sounds. Whether I’m sampling or creating something from scratch, it’s all about getting those ideas out and sharing them with other people.
Tell us about your experience attending the DJ world finals recently and what excites you most about the future of DJing?
The ideas! It’s so great to see and hear up and coming DJs do their thing. Every time I think we’ve pushed the boundaries as far as we can with this art form, you see some new person from the other side of the world do something brand new. There was a lot of that this year. It’s also great to hear individual styles shine through the music and performance. People are really utilizing technology to get their ideas across, but they are still doing it with their hands, live, within the performance. It’s great. The art form is still growing. I’m happy to see that.
What’s the most crucial part of a set for you personally?
The intro. I’m talking about like the first three songs. That’s the most crucial moment. That’s where you can really set the tone. I’ve seen people lose the audience at that point and then struggle to get them back. On the flip side, if you get them right off the bat, the trust level is set and you can really push on from there.
Do you have any fond memories or experiences in Australia that you can share with us?
I remember one of the first times I played in Perth, it was the end of a festival tour and all the bands and DJs were staying at the same hotel. They had turntables in the bar and we just took them over. Basically, we had the entire line up rocking in this small little bar for just ourselves and the crew. I kept waiting for the hotel to shut it down or for some fans to catch wind of it and flood the place, but neither happened. It was the best. Everyone played what they really wanted to play and people got on and sang and rapped. There was so much talent in that bar that night and we all got to throw down as a release. I’ve never had anything like that happen on a tour since.
Have you ever heard of Laundry Bar before, or have any stories you’ve heard from other people who have?
I’ve heard Laundry Bar is an amazing spot! Can’t wait to get over there and see for my self.