Behind The Beat I John 00 Fleming Interview
Label boss and Trance producer John 00 Fleming took time out of his busy schedule to talk with Only The Beat prior to the release of his sophomore artist album One.Hundred.Ten.WKO, which came out yesterday on Beatport. With One.Hundred.Ten.WKO, John 00 Fleming has delivered an album that plots a course back through the history of trance music, whilst simultaneously hurtling headfirst into the future.
One.Hundred.Ten WKO can only be described as a journey: both a musical journey for the listener and a personal journey for John as he has pushed the boundaries of his hard-edged club sound into the realms of experimentation. Read the interview with John below and make sure to pick up his incredible new album!
OTB: You’ve said ‘One Hundred Ten W.K.O.’ is an album where you truly expressed yourself as an artist. What is the impression you want your fans to walk away with after listening to this album?
JF: Albums these days seem to be mass marketing tools, each and every track is made for big room, to get Beatport charts. It’s a tool for the artist to fast-track their careers. I’d hardly say that’s an artist album, a place where you hear the true artist within? I’d say singles are for this, and the album gives the artist more musical freedom to express themselves. Thats the stance I’ve taken.
OTB: Back in July, Porter Robinson told Rolling Stone that Trance would be the next major advancement for American dance music. What are your thoughts on his prediction and the direction of EDM in 2013?
JF: For decades the USA called any form of electronic music as Techno, today they call it EDM. The more commercial form of Trance has toured all around the world for the past few years and seems to be in its final destination of the USA. Other territories seem to be moving forward exploring new musical directions, after all, these are the natural cycles of club land.
OTB: What’s your ‘Go-To’ track that we’ll find in all of your sets?
JF: I dont have one, or pre plan any sets. I watch the crowd and play to them.
OTB: Do you have any pet peeves?
JF: Bad warm up DJ’s. They see this set as a chance to break their careers so play a full-on peak time set when the doors have only just opened. It ruins the musical experience the for paying customers and pisses off the next DJ who has to reset the night.
OTB: We read that you’ve sold over 10 million records to date. When you first began did you ever think you would be this successful? What do you credit to this success?
JF: I had no idea. I was really shocked in the early days when these huge sales figures were given to me because I’ve never been a guy that wanted commercial success and my music has never reflected this. I don’t make the right music for mass consumption, so these huge sales figures didn’t make sense! I think staying true to my musical roots has helped me sustain such a long career.
OTB: In the past you’ve created film and TV scores. What brought you from producing trance to producing for studios? Any notable projects you’d care to mention?
JF: I’ve always wanted explore different sides to my production. It’s natural wanting to improve your skills in the studio, working on scores is really testing and takes things to a new level. Due to my love of cars, I’m proud my music has been used on the BBC’s Top Gear!
OTB: We’ve also heard that you’ve been working with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. What was the project that you were commissioned to do?
JF: This is a very exciting project, we recorded this at the famous Abbey Road studios in the same studio where The Beatles recorded all their hits. It was an amazing experience. I can’t give too much away at the moment what it’s for.
OTB: EDM is expected to continue growing in 2013. Where would you like to see the genre go?
JF: Electronic music has always been huge since the 80’s, its only now the commercial side of things has exploded in the USA and the term ‘EDM’ is being coined. If journalists researched more into the musical roots they were writing about, they’ll see most electronic scenes that we know and love today started off in the USA in the 80’s/90’s. If anything I see the more underground side of things growing as they want to distance themselves away from ‘EDM’.
OTB: What are your thoughts on the recent heat from the U.S. media on EDM’s connection with drug use and overdoses? (see the LA Times article here)
JF: The media should firstly take a look at the amount of problems and death alcohol causes. In the UK, more people died eating peanuts last year than club drug related incidents. Kinda wakes you up reading these stats. Instead of constantly tarnishing club drug use and pushing it underground where it gets made by gangsters, they should take a leaf out of the Dutch books and create safe houses in the clubs where you can get your drug tested before you take it.
OTB: We saw you will be playing in Miami during WMC. How have your experiences in Miami changed over the years? Will you be attending any of the other shows during that time? If so, which ones?
JF: WMC has changed since I started going years ago. I don’t feel its a music conference anymore, just a big excuse to party for a week. No business is done. No discussions on what the future holds. No platforms for new producers or DJ’s to break through. All the events are run by the same usual big names and corporate companies getting what they want from it. It’s the same thing recycled every year, so how can things move forward? I’ll only play my event then go home, I learnt my lesson from last year.
OTB: If you could see any DJ perform live, who would it be? Any DJs you would suggest our audience to see before they die?
JF: There’s far too many to mention. I recommend people go and discover the local scenes on their doorstep and support them. Here you find the best most passionate DJ’s on the planet. You can do this at a fraction of the cost too!
JOOF also released the supporting single from his album titled ‘WKO’ earlier last week. ‘WKO’ showcases his dark pounding beats complimented with rich pads and driving leads. JOOF Recording’s main man, Cosmithex, stepped up for remix duties adding his trademark rolling baselines and sequenced driving melodies. Check out the fan video made for it below.
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You can purchase ‘WKO’ and the Cosmithex remix on Beatport HERE.
On March 8, John will kick off his album tour in India, with stops in Seattle, Southern California, Finland, and Miami for Winter Music Conference. For full dates, see John’s Facebook page.