HigherFrequency  DJ Interview


Wally Lopez

"I'm not a fan of VIP places or VIP parties and I haven't had the opportunity to meet any of those people. I'm quite normal."

Chatting down the line from his Ibiza home, Pacha's in-house producer/ DJ Wally Lopez admits he's never met P Diddy or any of the other celebrities the club's well known fo,r though stresses he still adores the club.

"I feel something different in the club when I'm there, I don't know if it's because of the story behind the club or what. I've certainly seen better clubs with better sound systems that are newer, but Pacha is still somehow really special," he muses.

"Even the logo of the cherries is special but if you think about it, why?- it's just a pair of cherries. But people love it. They sold 300,000 T shirts with the logo this summer. It's amazing."

Quiet and unassuming, the Madrid based Spaniard speaks slightly less than fluent, though enthusiastic, English, laughing that he understands the British sense of humour ('I have loads of English friends and love to eat beans and toast') and stressing that he's a firm anglophile.

"The english invented this club business, and the British have so much music culture ii's amazing," he continues, "Here in Spain we still have a 'town' culture rather than a 'music' culture and its up to us to change it."

One way he's hoping to help change it is via his new Perceptions of Pacha, an artist/ mix album hybrid that he's been working on for over 18 months. Featuring contributions from fellow Pacha residents Gordon Edge (DJ and trumpets), Mucho Muchacho (MC duties) and Beatmaster G (who plays the trumpet AS he DJs) the album is still very much Wally's baby and comes out 5 years after the first Pacha Perceptions CD (mixed by Farley & Heller). Ironically, Wally first visited the club that year as a punter, though within six months had signed up as a resident, which he remains to this day.

> Interview : Jonty Skrufff


Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff) : Perceptions was first mooted for release some six months ago, what's prompted the delay?

Wally Lopez : It was supposed to be released at the beginning of the summer but there were some problems with rights. I started working on it last summer, making tracks, collaborating with people and spent a year on it, in total.

Skrufff : When did you decide the whole thing was finished?

Wally Lopez : I don't know, I tweaked a few things and at one point decided to change one of the singers so had to redo the vocals on one track, but I didn't change too many things. I was thinking about a night in Pacha, and made the tracks with that in mind. I ended up making fourteen tracks, twelve of which ended up on the album.

Skrufff : What's been your perception of Ibiza this year?

Wally Lopez : I feel the same as Danny (Danny Whittle, Pacha's brand director). Where's the crisis? Pacha was packed every night, the island seemed busier than ever. If I see any crisis, it's in the people because they don't have quite as much money to spend as in previous years. So people are staying for seven days instead of 15, though maybe twice as many people came, so for us it was even better than last year.

Skrufff : Is it right that you first went to Pacha as a clubber and decided you were going to play there?

Wally Lopez : Yeah, that was four or five years ago, not that long ago actually. I was playing at El Divino and I went to Pacha with my girlfriend just to have a look around. Paul Oakenfold was playing there for one of his Perfecto parties, my girl asked me 'do you think you are going to play here one day?', my answer was 'if I work harder and harder then maybe in seven or eight years I might'. Though in fact I ended up playing there as a resident that winter, within six months.

Skrufff : How did that happen?

Wally Lopez : I was releasing some good tracks that summer and Danny sent an email to my label just to book me. I played there, they liked my music and that was it.

Skrufff : You mentioned having a girlfriend, presumably being a Pacha DJ means you get countless gorgeous girls throwing themselves at you constantly, how do you handle them?

Wally Lopez : That is an urban myth I don't need to handle that situation because there are no such people around my booth. Only nice people who love your music; that's all.

Skrufff : Do Spanish people regard Ibiza in the same way as many Brits, i.e. as this magical rave island?

Wally Lopez : A lot more Spanish people visited the island this summer, more than in previous years. This summer lots of people came from Madrid where I'm based.

Skrufff : Were many Spanish clubbers going to Ibiza back in the 80s?

Wally Lopez : Not so much, the problem was about the culture. English people had a big dancing and club culture even then and we didn't back then. In the 80s some hippies used to go to Ibiza but not really clubbers; not like it is now.

Skrufff : The police started raiding clubs at the end of the season if they stayed open after 6am, what did you make of that?

Wally Lopez : It's a new law or something, connected to the fact that the schools had re-opened, I think they saw the clubs being open as being a problem for the kids. I played with Ministry and the club was closed precisely at 6am. I understand that kids have to go to school but having said that Ibiza is an island that's totally involved in music, I think it's important the authorities don't forget it.

Skrufff : Do you see yourself as very ambitious, for example to be as big as Erick Morillo?

Wally Lopez : No, no, the only thing I want is to be happy and happy with my music. I don't know if I want to be like Morillo, I want to be me; myself.

Skrufff : What tips do you have for any DJs out there dreaming about being big stars In Ibiza?

Wally Lopez : First of all, it is important to not want to be a big star; I reckon that is a big limitation for somebody just starting out. For me, this job is still my hobby, I used to say that I got paid for all the travelling and being on a plane while they let me have fun playing music in a club. DJs should always remember that it's all about fun and music culture, not just about wanting to be famous.

End of the interview

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