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ASM Interview: DJ Hatiras, Blow Media - page 3

By Jeff Ferrantino on May 31, 2007

DJ Hatiras, pictures, picture, photos, photo, pics, pic, images, image, music, albums, remixes, interviewsASM: Speaking of the Internet, what are your thoughts on the impact the Web has had on the music industry?

Hatiras: So far it's been a double-edged sword. On one hand, the net has facilitated mass music piracy, but on the other, it's leveled the playing field so that artists could connect directly to fans without a major label or heavy expenses. It's still sorting itself out, but I'm confident that in the coming years the music industry is going to boom because of the power and reach of the Internet.

ASM: In addition to the Internet, satellite radio has also changed the music scene. In your eyes, how has satellite radio impacted electronic music?

Hatiras: It's quite brilliant really. Before satellite, radio people were limited to the few songs rotated on the handful of radio stations in their city. Satellite radio gives people the choice to listen to what they want, when they want. That's huge for the progress of all kinds of different music.

ASM: Is it important that electronic music keeps an underground feel and doesn't go overly mainstream?

Hatiras: A lot of people confuse the term 'mainstream' with selling out or cheesing out. As long as the music isn't compromised or watered down, then I have no problem with the notion that more people would be exposed to it and have the opportunity to enjoy it. With that said, I personally make some songs strictly to innovate and experiment, and others to move a crowd and make people smile. It's important to have every kind of music; they all have their place.

ASM: Do you have preference when you DJ as it relates to using either vinyl, CD or digital?

Hatiras: I used to be a strict vinyl supporter. However, I'm all about CD right now. I'm a little paranoid about bringing a nice laptop to a club that might get stepped on or have beer spilled on it. The beauty of CD is that I can make a song on the airplane, burn it, and then test it out in a club. CD also allows me to make edits of tracks, shorten the boring parts, and create more dynamic, exciting sets. It's also quite durable, light and transport friendly. I'm completely opposed to the concept of downloading music illegally. However, as long as a DJ is purchasing their digital music, being creative and working the crowd, then they're doing their job. It's all about stage presence, selection, flow and performance — some people do that with vinyl, others do it with CDs, others with a guitar, a mic or a flute — take your pick. The main thing is that the artist challenges himself and the crowd while still pleasing the room.

ASM: So would you say there is a definite place for vinyl in the future?

Hatiras: Absolutely. Some DJs will completely make their careers through the novelty and challenge of playing vinyl. It will continue to shrink as a market, but there will always be a niche for it.

ASM: Along with Peter Weingarden, you formed and operated the promotion venture Liquid Adrenaline from 1993-2001. How did you and Peter get started?

Hatiras: I met Peter in junior high school. We became great friends early on and have gone on many adventures together, including forming and organizing the massive Liquid Adrenaline raves with our third partner, Craig.

ASM: Liquid Adrenaline proved to be an enormous success.

Hatiras: When I discovered Toronto's rave scene in the early '90s, I was instantly hooked. It wasn't long before I started a 'smart bar' with my friend, Craig. We called it Liquid Adrenaline. It was basically a juice bar where we sold shakes that contained fruit, vitamins, protein powders, etc. Within a few months we were running our booth at multiple rave events per week. People really got to know about the booth, so we decided to throw an event in 1995. We rented the basement hall of a church and snuck people in through the back alley entrance. About 700 people showed up. From there, we went full steam ahead and ended up throwing over 40 events in warehouses, airplane hangars, convention centers, cruise boats, hotel suites, etc. By the end, we were attracting 5,000+ steady, with upwards of 10,000 at some of our shows. It grew into one of North America's largest event promotion companies. By 2001, the intense negative media pressure and political obstacles led us to finally stop. I could write a really unbelievable novel with all of my experiences from those days!