HigherFrequency  DJ Interview


Space Cowboy

For a DJ / producer who places Glasgow mod-revival foursome Franz Ferdinand at the top of his chart, there should be few surprises that French-born, British-raised Nick Dresti's live sets boast an element virtually alien to the dance music set - the mosh pit. Add that to his moniker Space Cowboy, a nod to one of his all-time favourites The Steve Miller Band, and influences as diverse as Chaka Khan, The Killers, and Daft Punk thrown into the nexus, and you're left with one of the boldest partnerships of dance and rock ever to grace the decks. Nick's following in Japan has hit stratospheric status, and his remixing accolades extend to the legendary likes of Paul McCartney and Bobby Brown. We caught up with him before his set at Ageha, where his incendiary blend of guitar driven house and belting rock left us gasping for air in one of Tokyo's biggest venues.

* If you would like to view the video interview...Click here !

> Interview & : Matt Cotterill (HigherFrequency)


HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : Well Nick, thank you and Hello.

Space Cowboy (SC) : Hello!

HRFQ : And welcome back to Ageha.

SC : Thank you very much.

HRFQ : It's your second time isn't it?

SC : Yes it is.

HRFQ : What do you think of the place?

SC : It's pretty awesome, I love the speaker system and the sound, it's just very cool, the sound system is great, it's huge and I like the different areas as well, the pool area, the swimming pool, it's great.

HRFQ : Excellent. Five times in Japan, is that right?

SC : Yeah the fifth time this time.

HRFQ : And we saw you at Fuji Rock last year, and that was maybe the first time you had played a festival.

SC : Oh yeah sure, it was pretty awesome, incredible.

HRFQ : So when it comes to rock festivals, how far do you think are the influences which you pick up there - given your production work and your live sets that are kind of rock oriented - in your music?

SC : Definitely just with the energy of rock, you know at the moment with Franz Ferdinand and these kinds of bands, The Killers and what have you, we share a similar kind of style, so to watch really cool bands and just pick up on the energy of it is really good. It gives you lots of inspiration so you go back to the studio and feel energized, so it's cool.

HRFQ : Have you done any festivals this year?

SC : No, not this year. Just concentrating on production in the studio, DJing a little bit. I go in the studio almost everyday, as much as possible and create ideas.

HRFQ : Well, you have been busy. There's 'Big City Nights', which was quite closely released after your first album, 'Across the Sky', wasn't it ? How long did it take you to do ?

SC : Well I guess... it's hard to say... I would say just under a year, maybe nine or ten months, and one or two of the tracks happened right at the end of the project you know. Because I am in the studio all the time, it's about trying to mix the tracks and give them a cohesive flow. So yeah, I guess you could say it was done quite quickly, but because I am at it all the time, it's more of a consistent process.

HRFQ : Well, you listen to the album, and as it says, it has a nightlife feel to it. I mean you could play that in the middle of the day and you could be in the middle of the night! What concepts did you bring to it and are you happy with the result?

SC : I just tried to bring some variety to it, a variety of different influences you know. Because I listen to a lot of music, all day, every day. So I try to bring the energy of those tracks, whether it's disco, hip hop, house, rock, and just basically put it into a pot and start creating, you know. So I try to have as much fun as possible.

HRFQ : There are all the different voices on it. Kele Le Roc, who worked with Basement Jaxx, Tony Wright of Terrorvision, why did you think you would choose these people; can you tell us any stories behind that?

SC : Well, basically it is always different for each case. I had always admired Kele Le Rock, particularly with the track she did with Basement Jaxx, 'Romeo', I though she had a really great voice. And I read an interview with her and she said that she liked different styles of music so I thought let's try and give her a call, and fortunately she was happy to collaborate, and we talked and then she came down to the studio, you know. And yeah, she has a beautiful voice so that was really cool. And Tony Wright of Terrorvision, I did a remix of a Terrorvision a while ago, and I always liked his voice, he has a very powerful rock voice you know, so it was a just question of calling his management going through the correct channels and yeah, he agreed to do it also.

HRFQ : Great. Well you might be able to clear something up for us, Nick. There was a Japanese press release not so very long ago, which said that you had remixed The Steve Miller Bands' version of 'Space Cowboy', the fifth track... but that sounds like an original, is it really a remix ?

SC : Well, it's basically a version of that song. Because I hadn't heard of the Steve Miller song called 'Space Cowboy', I'd heard 'The Joker' and the intro line to that "Some people call me the Space Cowboy...." and then somebody told me about the Space Cowboy track, and I thought 'No he couldn't have done that', so I had a look through his back catalogue and there it was, so I thought excellent! And I thought it would be a really fun track to do. To put a new spin on it and maybe make it slightly more disco, and also quite rocky, I mean it is rocky in itself, but I thought I would bring it up to date and that it would be a fun record to do. And clearly because of the name as well, I thought 'why not!'

HRFQ : And also the other one 'Are You Gonna Go My Way' by Lenny Kravitz, what attracted you to that track ?

SC : Well, that was basically done for the main part, for Fuji Rock. Picking tracks that would suit the audience maybe, you know. It is a cool track and I thought to just update it a little bit and make it a bit more for the clubs and the festivals. And Fuji Rocked actually, it is such a powerful funky rock track, you know.

HRFQ : Great. Any artists you've got your eye on at the moment?

SC : Well, basically I am playing a little bit more myself now, the new single 'Across The Sky' is basically a little more original in terms of subject, so I am trying to focus more on that now. Rather than take other people's tracks - I mean I will still do that for sure - but basically trying to work my own songs and instrumentation, but focusing on different styles, say The Rolling Stones, but rather than just sampling them, just take ides and enjoy that and apply that to my music and see what happens.

HRFQ : Good luck with it.

SC : Thanks.

HRFQ : And tonight's set, any sneak previews? What can we expect?

SC : Yeah, there might be a few sneaky bits in there. It is always good to test the reaction you know. But for the main part, go through the different styles mainly House Music, but with some Rock and Hip Hop and test a lot of things out and have some fun you know ?

HRFQ : Great. Is there anything in the pipeline from Tiger Tracks at the moment?

SC : Yeah, basically we are focusing on some new Space Cowboy material of course and the web site has been getting hits from all around the world, which is fantastic. And we are handing out the acapellas to a lot of producers to remix and send it in and also send in their own stuff you know. There are a lot of producers we would like to work with on Tiger Tracks, there is a young guy from Holland called Roz 72, and he is like a mix of The Strokes with some darker music, which is interesting. He is a cool young guy and he is also a professional soccer player, which is quite different, so that's cool. And we have something in the pipeline with Jason Nevins, which will be really cool to do a project with him, because he is a cool guy. So hopefully we are just going to keep motoring on, you know.

HRFQ : Good stuff. On a final note Nick, if you wouldn't mind looking into the camera, you have a lot of fans in Japan, is there anything you would like to tell them ?

SC : Yeah, sure, just thank you very much, you know, it is really appreciated and thank you so much for your support and hopefully I can continue to play music you like and enjoy, and hopefully I will see you soon. Thank you very much.

HRFQ : Thank you very much Nick, we would like to wish you all the very best with your career in the future.

SC : Thank you.

End of the interview

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