Few names these days are as synonymous with house music as that of Darius Syrossian. Following in the footsteps of the forefathers of the sound he loves, Darius has learnt from the very best of Chicago and Detroit. Luminaries such as Kenny Larkin, Danny Tenaglia, Carl Craig and DJ Sneak teaching him the true nature of house music. Our 97th instalment in our mix series was recorded live from Viva Warriors at Sankeys Ibiza. It’s an hour of high-octane fun fuelled house music that will keep you firmly tied into your dancing shoes throughout! Impressive stuff. We caught up Darius to chat about all this electronic.
Hi Darius, thanks for taking some time out of your hectic schedule to speak with us. We spent the afternoon last week listening to the stream from the ViVa Warriors opening at Sankeys Ibiza… it was sounding fierce! How did you find the party?
Hi Guys, thanks for the kind words, yeah it was as I expected! I remembered how good Sankeys was last summer and I didn’t expect it to be any different this year, it has a great crowd and I was really pleased with it. It was a great way to start the summer.
Your sets are always brimming with an energy that seems completely limitless! Do you have any rituals before a gig? Any essential pre-drinks or anything?
Haha, no not really. But yes well obserevd when planning my music, thats what I want to happen on the dancefloor I want energy. And I want it to be relentless but relentless without having to play bang bang heavy mindless music, so i have to search hard for my tracks. There is a fine line between playing too heavy and forcing energy on the crowd and trying to play cool but not having any impact. For me when making a track or DJing what I try to aim for is a full on energetic vibe, those basslines that grab you by the scruff of the neck and say, here yo go, dance, and dont stop! hahah
RE rituals: Well i dont like to come 5 mins before I play like some DJ’s I like to turn up and assess the situation, the crowd, the venue, the vibe of the place, the sound system, the DJ before. Then I take notes, if you ever see me before a gig I am jotting notes on paper with a pen, and keep it by my side throughout my set. I never plan a set as i need to see what vibes are going on first, so I pretty much do that once I arrive, I know my music, I see what’s going on before I play and plan from there.
You’re incredibly vocal about your love for the music, the scene, and of course the crowd. Who is to thank for getting you hooked on music in the first place?
For anyone to love music it is instilled in them from the day they are born, it is an instinctive thing. Some people love music more, some people love other things. For me, I couldn’t live without music, and not just house music, I love ALL music. But yes when I was younger I was surrounded by it growing up. I have sacrificed a lot for it, but it is paying off now, I dedicated my life to it. I have a degree but i didn’t pursue a career in art & design because I just loved music too much and for 15 years worked in vinyl record shops for hardly any money, like hardly ANY money, but i loved it,.
I was with a girl for nine years but she said I was married to my music and that also ended because I couldn’t give up my dream. Then again I was with another amazing girl who was full on marriage material, but when both the shop and my relationship ended I turned to producing, and it got me to here now where i am. Its like a dream come true, i’m sat in a hotel in Berlin and about to go play Watergate. Its not even about the money, I still live in the same house as I did 5 years ago, and still dont drive a car. I’m earning great money but I dont even care about that, that money can go towards making sure my parents are looked after well at old age and my kids have a good upbringing. If i meet a girl worth having kids with of course, hahA.
Looking at both your discography, its clear you’re equally at home behind the decks or in the studio, having played everywhere under the sun, and with releases on Get Physical, OFF Recordings, 8 Bit, VIVa and of course your fresh release on Hot Creations… would you say you’re more a DJ or producer first and foremost?
My answer to this is I LOVE MUSIC, i love it all, can’t even compare the two. Hahah there is a first, a one sentence answer from Darius.
You have a very particular style when you play out – very dance floor orientated. Are there any tracks really doing it for you at the moment that you wouldn’t necessarily play out for whatever reason?
YES, Massimo Girardi, called “75/6” on Little Helpers. Damn this is exactly what i’m about, the energy of it but still full of groove and rhythm and not just bang bang mindless noise. And those snares and then just as you think it’s breaking down, it isn’t, it is just a little break, and snares roll and boom your back to the full on assault of rhythm and groove and bass. I’ll play this for a long time. Also Sidney Charles has done a good track called ‘Need’ but really i could go on forever, so many good tracks out.
2012 was a massive year from you, culminating in your nomination for DJ Mag’s ‘Best Breakthrough Producer’ award. You’re by no means a newcomer to the scene, but things recently are progressing very fast. Where would you like your career to be in 5 years time?
I am happy how I am, I dont need to be some mega famous huge DJ that people come to see because magazines said I’m cool. I just like it when people are coming because they like my music. Honestly loads of people know my music but no idea what I look like and I like it that way hahahah. But then again recently in airports I keep getting stopped for pictures, hahaha but no seriously, if things progress more cool. if not, i’m happy as i am. All I want to do is enjoy my music and share it with like minded people. That’s what I love about Sankeys ibiza, proper music heads, underground real music heads, not like some super club full of hype and champagne tables and all that nonsense. I just want to enjoy music and make people feel what i’m feeling when i’m hearing the music, that’s it. For example, I was totally shocked I was voted in the RA top 100 poll. Totally. I really didn’t expect it. Of course it was an honour, thanks to everyone who voted, but honestly if im not in it this year, no worries. It is not about that, it’s about people who KNOW my music loving what I do, if thats 5000 people fine, if it’s 500 hundred thousand people fine… i’m NOT hungry for the power lets say, hahaha.
Leeds and Ibiza seem to be very special places for you. What is it about places like this that makes them so magical? Are there any other cities that have this magic which are generally underrated?
WOAH! DONT MISS OUT MANCHESTER, I LOVE MANCHESTER, and it’s where I started clubbing loads at raves and clubs like the hacienda. Manchester has been one of those places that has always had the REAL clubbers, straight talkers like me. I admire that in people. But yes i’ve done some ace parties in places like eastern europe, you can have some of the best parties in places where people have less. The beauty of house music is that it is like a release, takes you away from things and when your really in the zone nothing else matters.
Where are you most excited about playing this summer?
Eveywhere, any gig can be good. I’ve done so many awesome gigs lately. Sometimes I have had such a good time I just wanna say so on my Facebook. But it’s like every gig i’m trying to thank the crowd and i’m sure people on my facebook are thinking “oh shut up darius”, hahahah. But I really do wanna thank them. I see some people in the crowd really buzzing from the set, you know, really feeling it, and i just wanna say, “Yo, thank you mofo!”. This is exactly why I do what I do, to make people feel like that on the dancefloor, lose it and go some place for a couple of hours.
I have some ace gigs coming up, Love fest in serbia, Eastern Electrics Festival in Knebworth, Vertigo festival in Italy, a gig in Barcelona with Carl Craig, of course every Sunday at Sankeys ibiza.
What is your favourite non-electronic track of all time?
Joy Division, ‘love will tear us apart’
Thanks a lot Darius, we look forward to seeing you tearing it up somewhere soon!
Thank you for asking me to do the interview and the kind words in some of your questions 🙂
Catch Darius Syrossian next at Viva Warriors in London Friday 4th October – More info and tickets > HERE
If you are attending ADE , you can also dance to Darius at : Sankeys at ADE Friday 18th October 2013 – More info & tickets > HERE
By JAMES ELLIS