For music fans who were lucky enough to catch Plastic Plates’ unforgettable set at SnowBall Music Festival last March, they know seeing the talented producer in an intimate venue like Summit Music Hall is a rare treat. Plastic Plates will bring his remixes to Denver this Friday, performing alongside Flosstradamus and headlining artist and former Aeroplane member, The Magician. Little is known about The Magician, so our friend Brianna Hernandez of Early Bird // Night Owl chatted with the Belgian producer to discuss parting ways with Aeroplane, touring the festival circuit, and his upcoming show in Denver on Friday.
BH: How did you first get into electronic music? What made you want to be a DJ?
TM: I got a magical feeling the first time I saw my uncle DJ. He played electronic disco music, but also all the records I knew from the stereo and radio at home. He was an incredible DJ and used a microphone to present each track. I was very young – it was in the '80s. When he stopped his career in 1988, he gave me his material and record collection. From there, I learned how to deejay, without a microphone [laughs] in my bedroom and started to buy electronic music records.
Finally, I had some opportunities to play in Belgian bars and clubs in the mid-90's.
BH: Which artists were you influenced by growing up? Who influences you now?
TM: Michael Jackson, ABBA, Queen, Alan Parsons Project, Supertramp, Serge Gainsbourg. Also, all the pop, synth pop and disco music from 1976 to 1988.
Nowadays, I'm influenced by Daft Punk, Mark Ronson, Erol Alkan, M83, Metronomy, Perseus, Lindstrom & Prins Thomas, Gonzales, Sebastien Tellier and more.
BH: Has it been difficult for you trust your own instinct since parting ways with Vito aka Aeroplane? Now that you are working solo, do you second guess yourself?
TM: It has been difficult indeed because I never trusted myself in the past projects. I had to make difficult decisions. Now, my mindset has changed. I do what I feel and I'm a better man for it. We only live once.
BH: You recently played Rock in Rio Festival. What was that experience like?
TM: It was my first festival experience in Portugal. The festival is great – it is in the top 20 best festivals in Europe, in my opinion. However, I felt that almost 50% of the crowd didn't know about me. But, I did my thing and it worked amazingly well!
BH: You also played Camp Bisco last year. Do you enjoy playing large outdoor festivals or smaller, more intimate shows?
TM: I have such great memories of Camp Bisco last year! I would have loved to do it again this year but it didn't work because of schedule conflicts. I like small clubs because it's warmer. Closer to the crowd, you can share a smile, dance with people, talk to them. The approach is completely different at festivals. I like it though, especially when the sun is shining!
BH: You reached Number 1 on Hype Machine with your remix of RAC’s “Hollywood (featuring Penguin Prison).” What made you choose to remix this track? How have blogs and MP3 websites like Hype Machine helped and/or hurt your career?
TM: They asked me to remix it, and I was pretty sure that I could make something cool with the vocals. Vocals are actually my first selection criteria. Being ranked on Hype Machine means that your track is the most popular. It can be for an hour, for a day, two days, etc. For sure it helps your career, your name is on many blogs and social networks. It's a great promotional tool, it helps to build your fan base.
BH: Where are some of your favorite places to play in the US and outside the US?
TM: In the US, I really like playing in New York because it's my favorite city in the world. As for the crowd, it is different in each city. I like San Francisco, New York, Washington DC, Philly, Chicago and LA. Outside the US, I love London, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, Brussels, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Tel Aviv. I used to hate playing in Paris, but since last year it's become one of the best cities to play.
BH: What do you miss most about home?
TM: My cat, my studio, good food, friends, my bed…
BH: You are playing alongside Plastic Plates and Flosstradamus in Denver on June 8th. What is your favorite Plastic Plates track/remix?
TM: I've chosen Plastic Plates to tour with me, because he's good to warm up [the crowd]. My favorite tune that he’s made? I would say his remix of Adele’s "Set Fire to the Rain."
BH: Who haven’t you remixed that you would like to in the future?
TM: I would have loved to remix Lana Del Rey’s "Video Games." In the future? Metronomy, Santigold, M83 and Daft Punk. Drake or Kanye West would be an exciting new challenge.
BH: Any crazy tour stories?
TM: Recently, when I was playing at a festival, I looked out at the crowd and they were looking at me and the stage, but not as usual. Only after having played, I saw some videos and on the stage behind me, there was a big magician’s hat and guess what came out of it? A guy with a bunny outfit, drunk and dancing during the entire set!
Catch The Magician with Plastic Plates and Flosstradamus at Summit Music Hall this Friday, presented by Euphonic Conceptions. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online here.