HigherFrequency  DJ Interview


Funk D'Void

A George Clinton inspired tattooed Scotsman with the proclivity for hanging out on Barcelona beaches. Sound like a character from Trainspotting? Well itís actually the long enduring Soma artist Funk Dívoid, who by the way is actually half Swedish.

DíVoid, real name Lars Sandberg, has recently been spotted gallivanting with DJ Magís 35th favourite DJ Phil Kieran, and can being even heard lending a hand on Kanzleramt regular Alexander Kowalskiís recent album ďChangesĒ. On the solo tip Sandberg, masquerading as Francois Dubois, released the single ĎBloodí not too long ago, a track which has been remixed by Groove Armadaís Andy Cato and the artist formerly known as Cosmos, Tom Middleton.

While taking a bit of well-deserved R&R shortly before his DJ set at club Air in Tokyo Mr. Sandberg kindly tore himself away from his pre-dinner snack and had a little chat with Higher Frequency.

> Interview & Introducion : Nick Lawrence (HigherFrequency) _ Photos : Boogie Man Jeff (Official Site)


Funk DíVoid : I was on a boat last Saturday. Fucking rave cruise, a prog cruise. Horrible. Swedish progressive cruise. I was trapped on the boat for two days man. It went from Estonia to Stockholm and back again. I was only on it for the last part of the journey.

Higher Frequency (HRFQ) : Yeah, Petter was telling us about that cruise a little while back.

Funk DíVoid : Yeah he was playing live. I heard him in my sleep man. I was trying to sleep and all I could hear was that ĎSome Polyphonyí track in my dreams. It was weaving in and out of my head. But it was good fun watching all of these people out of their minds listening to horrible prog and then I go on and I was the last fucking set at six to 8 in the morning. It was a Sunday morning and no fucker was there. Everyone was fucked up and asleep. I was playing to like ten people. To me the best part of the cruise was the thirteen hours sleep I got. It was a good cruise but there were only a thousand people and they were expecting two thousand.

HRFQ : So you are wearing your Funkadelic tshirt and the name Funk DíVoid comes from George Clinton. Do you see any similarities between the funk and techno sounds?

Funk DíVoid : Absolutely not (laughs). I donít see any. Funky as a general term just means a bit of swing to me. You donít see it in techno really but it depends what type of techno, there are so many different forms. Mostly it is in house. I just like the name, I like the band and itís probably one of my influences musically. I donít really sound like it in general but I like the attitude and that kind of funk thing.

HRFQ : Now do you find yourself following the Funk Dívoid sound or Francois Dubois more?

Funk DíVoid : Yeah Iím kind of schizophrenic. I enjoy doing the harder stuff, like the stuff I do with Phil Kieran is cool. We have fun but for the soul man on a musical tip I think Francois Dubois wins it by about a hair. Just because Iíd be able to listen to it more than the Funk DíVoid stuff. It depends really, you hear soulful elements in the Funk DíVoid music but Dubois is just going for that straight out deep house vibe. It seems to be working and it is just something fresh for me. Iíve been doing the Funk DíVoid stuff for fucking years now so itís nice to start a new project and its nice to reach a new base of people who havenít heard me before. Even borderline progressive people or deep tech house people who have never listened to Funk DíVoid before so it is a whole new demographic.

HRFQ : Has this change got anything to do with moving from Glasgow to Barcelona?

Funk DíVoid : I dunno. Barcelona if anything kind of hindered me working. It took me six months to get settled. As far as inspiration goes I donít get inspiration from where I am. I get inspiration from people and relationships Iím in. Itís just a nice place to live basically. Maybe when I lived in Glasgow my music was a bit darker or whatever but it doesnít really make any difference. It doesnít really have any effect it just affects how much you work. I probably get a lot more work done now that Iím 35 and Iíve got a lot more responsibilities. Iíve got a different outlook on life than I did when I was 25. It is a job for me but itís not something that I go to work thinking ďFuck Iíve got workĒ. I donít go to work and just do tracks. If Iím not feeling it then I concentrate on other stuff like clothes design or myspace for twenty hours (laughs). The important things in life. If Iím inspired then Iím in the studio and it comes like a rush or a flurry of creativity. Iím not one of these producers that goes in the studio from nine to five and makes tracks.

HRFQ : Do you have a studio at home?

Funk DíVoid : Oh man no. Iíve got two kids so I donít have a studio at home. I wouldnít get any work done. So I have a sepearate studio and I share it with a good Spanish band and Andy Cato from Groove Armada shares it with me so itís a good vibe in the studio. We are starting a club night together called Antidote. Thatís the precursor to my actual club. Weíre starting a club called Antidote next year but this is the precursor to get people used to the name. We are doing it in the Moog club which is a famous techno club.

HRFQ : So is Antidote going to be a house club?

Funk Dívoid : Itís going to be everything apart from hard music. Itís not going to be a hard techno club. It is going to be music that comes from the soul you know. Whether it is disco, soul, funk, jazz, afro or tech house but we are not venturing into hard techno. Thatís why we are calling it Antidote because there is so much of that stuff there.

HRFQ : Are you going to be relying on local DJs or will you be inviting a lot of internationals?

Funk DíVoid : All of my friends. They could be locals or they could..Itís just going to be a mates vibe. Internationals if their in town or people that weíll just pay for their flight and theyíll come and DJ. We are going to be open seven nights a week so we need help from everyone.

HRFQ : We wanted to ask you about the Ministry of Sound CD you are doing with Phil Kieran.

Funk DíVoid : Yeah, that is definitely happening. We are going to do a double CD and itís probably going to come out and in March. Then weíll do a tour for that.

HRFQ : What sort of vibe is the CD going to be?

Funk DíVoid : We donít know man, we donít know. We are still thinking. We donít want it to have a time stamp. We want it to have tracks that we like. It isnít going to be a deep house double thatís for sure. Itís going to have tech house elements to it, maybe some old stuff. Itís going to beÖI donít know. Itís going to be funky and a bit quirky and not staying in the one genre. Itís definitely going to be for the club. It is going to be a departure for Ministry of Sound because theyíve never used any of that underground shit before. The ĎWhite Liceí thing did really well and weíve been really well received all across the board with these kinds of tracks. I mean they are kind of like approachableÖI donít want to say the ĎMí word but they are approachable in a dancey way and they crossover a little bit.

Funk D'Void

HRFQ : Your ďiFunkĒ mix sounds just as good now as when it was released so is it going to be a similar kind of thing?

Funk DíVoid : I donít know. Well that ďiFunkĒ thing Iím glad you like it because that kind of went under the radar. I spent a lot of time on that mix you know. That Konrad Black track that is on it is very today, itís kept its theme you know. Itís got that emotional techno and that funky club stuff. Thatís what I am playing at Air tonight, that kind of vibe. A bit of everything and I always try to incorporate a bit of humour, nothing that is up its own arse. Thatís why I love the stuff that me and Phil do, itís funny. Itís fun to make, fun to listen to and fun to dance to.

HRFQ : Do you actually dance a lot yourself?

Funk DíVoid : (laughs) No. I used to dance when I was younger man. Not since Glasgow man, not really gone out on the dancefloor. I feel a bit self conscious. You know, Iím a tall guy and Iíve got a giraffe thing going on when Iím on the dancefloor. Then you start thinking, ďShit! What am I gonna do with my hands? Oh my god my hands are flopping round! Ok Iíll put them in my pocket. Wait, I should have a drink or cigarette in my handĒ. Itís just a fucking nightmare, Iíd rather be behind the decks. Maybe thatís the whole point of getting into DJing, so I didnít have to dance.

HRFQ : Are you thinking of bringing a new album out?

Funk DíVoid : Thereís twoÖNo threeÖGod. Mine and Philís album, separate to the mix CD, we are going to put the singles on there plus three or four tracks. The Funk DíVoid album has just started, Iíve only done two tracks and then the Francois Dubois album is further down the line next year. So there are three albums, I mean Iím doing too much.

HRFQ : Do you get confused in the studio whether you are being Funk DíVoid or Francois Dubois?

Funk DíVoid : Yeah, for instance the new Funk DíVoid single is very Francois but because Soma like it they wanted to release it as Funk DíVoid. So itís confusing me, itís confusing everybody. It doesnít sound like Funk DíVoid it sounds like Francois Dubois. Oh god, I donít know. Itís a vocal house thing with Aqua Bassino on vocals, itís on myspace so you can check it out. I mean I donít know, Soma are dying for something from me apparently soÖI didnít want to give it to them but they demanded it. Iíve gotta do a B-side as well.

HRFQ : Will you always release from Soma as Funk DíVoid.

Funk DíVoid : Yeah, Iíve signed a contract man (laughs). I signed a contract written in my own blood for twenty albums or something. But weíll see. Soma is nice but dance music needs to keep constantly changing. I found that out from doing this Dubois stuff. Peope get more interested when you change your style. There arenít many producers out there who have stayed the same and constantly produced good material. People have fallen by the wayside and there is something to be said for re-inventing yourself.

HRFQ : Do you run your own label at the moment?

Funk DíVoid : Funk DíVoid : No, Iíd never dream of running a label. I have done in the past and it was a fucking nightmare. But mind you nowadays with the digital stuff all you need to do is come up with the material and the art work, then just send it out. Mind you the returnsÖYeah, maybe Iíll start up a digital label. Itís easier than going with a label right? (laughs) Ok, bye Soma! Thanks, Iíll blame you.

HRFQ : Are you thinking of bringing a new album out?

Funk DíVoid : Thereís twoÖNo threeÖGod. Mine and Philís album, separate to the mix CD, we are going to put the singles on there plus three or four tracks. The Funk DíVoid album has just started, Iíve only done two tracks and then the Francois Dubois album is further down the line next year. So there are three albums, I mean Iím doing too much.

HRFQ : Well if youíve got a good graphic designerÖ

Funk DíVoid : Well, for the clothing company Iím starting Iím releasing mini CDs with two exclusive tracks. Iím starting with ten designs in February. Iíve got the ideas for the slogans but Iíve got a graphic designer to sort of tszujy them up a bit and come up with the background ideas. Iíll be making the music for the CDs. Thatís the DíVoid Clothing Company. I did a tshirt for Sonar this year and it said ďFuck Berlin- Barcelona Has A BeachĒ and the amount of people that have asked me about that tshirt! People like Magda calling me up asking for a tshirt and it is just such a simple thing to do.

End of the interview

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