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After mixing EG.700 we sat down to talk with longtime friends and artists, Danny Howells, Dave Seaman & Darren Emerson. Here’s how it went…
Electronic Groove: Hello guys. As longtime followers and fans, we are really humbled by the chance to talk with you. We also like to thank you for mixing EG.700. It’s been a long road since we started and to have 3D do this episode means a lot! So to get things started where are you right now and what are you up to?
Danny Howells: Thanks so much for having us, and for all the support throughout the years! Right now I’m in Sussex visiting family, then I’m going back to London for some studio work and to prepare for a North America tour which begins next week.
Darren Emerson: Hi guys… Just sitting here in the studio getting things ready for a couple of shows in Bali next week.
Dave Seaman: I’m at home in Nottingham catching up on label work for Selador whilst prepping for my gig in Manchester tomorrow at Hidden. I’ve only just got back from a family holiday so my inbox is bursting at the seams! :-/
“It’s nice to be able to travel with mates and enjoy the whole process as a team rather than individually” – Dave Seaman
EG: Tells about the experience of touring together. Is it “all love” all the time?
Danny: It’s such a new thing for all of us, seeing as how we’ve been playing solo for so many years now. The thing is that we are all really close, and passionate about what we do, so there have been a couple of “moments” but they are always resolved very quickly and on the whole, it is a big love-in!
Darren: As Danny mentioned it’s still quite a new thing for us. It certainly keeps us on our toes as we’re all a bit different when we play individually. But that’s what makes it fun as we all really like so many styles of music.
Dave: Yeah, after 30 years of us all playing our solo gigs, 3D is a bit of a challenge musically which is definitely good for us at this point in our careers but I think the touring side has been a lot of fun. It’s nice to be able to travel with mates and enjoy the whole process as a team rather than individually.
EG: What’s the easiest and hardest part of djing as a trio?
Danny: I’m not sure about “easiest” but it gives us something new to think about, a whole new way of playing and adapting to each other’s different styles and working how to pace a night whilst keeping the crowd, and ourselves, entertained.
Darren: The easiest thing is having a good time. The hardest thing is waiting around to play when we’ve done marathon sets.
Dave: Yeah, what Darren said is true there. When you’re only actually DJing for 20 minutes out of every hour, the 6 or 7 hour sets mean there’s a lot of waiting around for your turn in the DJ booth, which is not something any of us are used to!
EG: Who sets the mood? or the groove? or the party?
Danny: I tend to go on first but we do mix things up generally in terms of how many tracks each we’ll play etc. It all boils down to where we’re playing, how long for, crowd size etc.
Darren: Definitely, Danny brings it up nicely and gets the mood set. Then we’re off…
Dave: It tends to work best musically with Danny starting followed by me and then Darren but we do swap it around occasionally. We can all be party starters in our own way! 😉
EG: We know for a fact that Danny’s a vegan as well as a strong activist for animal rights. Are you both (Dave & Darren) also inclined to that lifestyle? Has he influenced you both in any way?
Darren: Danny has definitely made me think a bit more when we eat out… I’ve had some great vegan dinners with him, especially when we’re in Los Angeles. I do like my veggies so not a problem.
Dave: Ha! Yeah, he’s slowly chipping away at us. I’ve changed quite a few eating habits since we started 3D namely, swapping my dairy intake for other alternatives. I think as it becomes easier to choose vegetarian or vegan options, more and more people will kale that lifestyle choice. There’s already been a massive shift on that direction in recent years.
“Trying to improve and always give the best I can is something that I always focus on, both in work and my personal life” – Danny Howells
EG: What’s the hardest part of being who you are?
Danny: Individually? I don’t know really. I think I’m very lucky with my life and don’t think there’s anything particularly “hard” about it. Trying to improve and always give the best I can is something that I always focus on, both in work and my personal life.
Darren: The thousands of fans I have waiting for me when leaving hotels, etc 🙂
Dave: Probably finding the right balance between family and work which I suppose is the same for a lot of us. Sometimes I’d love to spend more time with the family but then the kids play up and I’m only too happy to escape for the weekend! (laughs)
EG: With so many years of traveling you must know many places to enjoy a nice dinner. What would be your recommendation (anywhere in the world)?
Danny: I do try not to always go to the same places because there is such a rapid growth of vegan restaurants worldwide at the moment and I want to try them all! Recently I have to admit I was blown away by the quality of food in Neuquen and Lima. A few places I went to were creating some of the best vegan food I’ve ever eaten.
Darren: I usually just go with recommendations from the local promoters. Japanese, Italian and a bit of Argentinian cuisine for me.
EG: How about your favorite record store?
Danny: As I live in London I have to say Reckless, Sister Ray, Sounds of the Universe, Music and Video Exchange and Phonica. I visit these weekly, at least! I still buy a load of vinyl but mainly rock, jazz, r&b, alternative etc. Outside of London then I guess Amoeba, obviously!
Darren: I don’t buy vinyl these days. But nice to take a look around to see what’s out when we’re on tour. ~especially Amoeba
Dave: Rough Trade is my local in Nottingham but like Danny, I love a visit to Amoeba when I’m in Los Angeles. It’s easy to get lost in there for hours. A proper treasure trove.
EG: Playing at festivals and clubs is always different. What is one of your favorite festival to play at?
Darren: There are so many great festivals. For the UK – Glastonbury and Latitude have been great ones for us. We also did some great shows in Holland and Belgium this Summer.
Dave: Glastonbury is still the biggest and the best for me. But I have to give a special mention to Creamfields where I played for the first time in a while a few weeks ago. They’ve really upped their game since the last time I was there with a very impressive production. Hats off to them. And finally, Burning Man which is just like nothing else on Earth. It’s an incredible experience.
“I don’t buy vinyl these days. But nice to take a look around to see what’s out when we’re on tour. ~especially Amoeba” – Darren Emerson
EG: At the moment, what’s your favorite tune on rotation?
Danny: For electronic, I’ve been listening to the new Kompakt ‘Total 18’ loads. Non-electronic, the new BC Camplight album is awesome, as is the new Tunng. And I’ve been going a bit mad over this bizarre 60s/70’s album called ‘Trip Thru Hell’” by C.A. Quintet.
Dave: Loving the Tune-Yards album as well as George Fitzgerald and Young Fathers ones. All have been on heavy rotation at my house.
EG: Who gets the middle seat on the plane?
Danny: Not me! Unless I’ve upset the airline staff and they decide to punish me.
Dave: (Laughs) True story! 😉
Darren: We all tend to go for windows and aisles 🙂
EG: Thanks again guys and all the best!
Danny: Thank you and congratulations on the 700th birthday!
Darren: Thanks for having us guys!
Dave: Our pleasure. Thank you!