jeudi 30 mai 2013

A day in the life of Damian Lazarus

Have you ever wondered what a week in the life of Crosstown Rebels' chief, Damian Lazarus is really like? Well, we certainly have. Our vision of the caped crusader's party escapades shaking dancefloors, beaches and jungles worldwide with his close family of artists that all do their part in keeping the rebel spirit alive and have lead us to the conclusion that Lazarus may just have one of the best jobs on the planet. So at the concluding chapter of his global tour celebrating ten eccentric years of Crosstown Rebelsthat have just taken the crew on a four month voyage across five continents and eighteen countries; we felt extremely lucky to be given a personal insight into some of his thoughts, adventures, musings and dreams whilst on the road in May, all before he transports us to some early morning madness here in Farringdon on 15th June. 

Wednesday May 8th

It’s Wednesday morning and I am crawling into bed after playing at the marvelous Island Festival in Paris. Today will mark the end of the Crosstown Rebels 10 Year anniversary tour and I am exhausted.

I have just played in more than 30 cities in the last 13 weeks – from Sydney to San Francisco, Tokyo to Tel Aviv, Moscow to Mantova. It really has been a whirlwind world tour of wonder. I've been so lucky to bring along with me all the Rebel artists – old and new – it’s so much more fun traveling and playing with your friends than on your own. But now I need to sleep so that I am fresh for the final stop on the tour – Berlin.

I sleep for around 4 hours; this is generally one hour less than my average 5 a day (not including the quick nap on a plane, usually as we take off, but only lasting around 20 minutes) – I think I used to sleep more, these days a solid 8 hour sleep is a rarity, I’m envious when some of my sleepier friends tell me about their long slumbers; Jamie Jones and Jonny White both like a good long nap. I just bought this book “Dreamland – Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep” by David K Randall, which is study on insomnia, I was hoping it would help my cause but no change yet; except a fairly decent amount of weird nightmares (the worst being the ones where I turn up to a gig with all the wrong music).

So, taxi to the airport and we are on our way to Berlin. I really like Berlin, always have, ever since the first time I went there for the Love Parade many years ago – I almost moved there a few years ago but chose LA instead, opting for sunshine and isolation over rained on concrete and 4-day parties. I’m actually looking around for a new place to park myself at the moment; it’s turning out to be one of the trickiest thing to decide, where to live. Is there any one city that is perfect in every way? I have just spent the last months pretty much in every potential city on my shortlist but so far I am yet to find the right place. Trying to find the ultimate place to relax in between your travels, a place to write music and be an “artist” – but also be just in touch enough with the outside world to ensure madness doesn’t set in (too early). I toy with the idea of moving to the Mexican jungle and becoming a hermit and tinkering with alchemy and strange rituals but I’m also liking the idea of doing a stint as a farmer – quite fancy getting some goats and raising sheep in the Tuscan hills. 

Maybe I’m finding this so hard because I’ve become so used to traveling every week – one thing is for certain, I will definitely be spending more time in London in the near future as I miss my family and it’s great to be around them.

When my team and I looked over the tour dates for this special Rebel Rave tour to kick off 2013, it soon became apparent that there was only one place to rightfully end it in Europe and tonight we host the Panorama Bar.

We eat dinner at the Soho House, gather our things (music, headphones, change of top, sunglasses) and I am inside the the hallowed turf above the Berghain by 2am; just in time to see Francesca Lombardo smash the living daylights out of it inside on her first playing experience at the club. I have good news for her that I give to her after she finishes her set – she is a very happy lady. Infinity Ink are up next and they too totally kill it; Luca C has been sounding better and better all year, every time he has played on the tour he’s impressed me and having the addition of Ali Love popping up every now and then to drop some lyrics works so well. 

Amirali plays an amazing live show next - he hasn’t been doing so much recently as he is busy in the studio working on a new album, this time with other musicians – I’m so excited for this one to be ready but we have probably another year before it will see the light of day. In the meantime he drops a taster as his final track and everyone is going crazy inside the place and now it’s 6am and I’m ready to start playing. There is only one way to play the Panorama Bar and that is to simply be yourself – and tonight I just go for it, I get into the zone in the booth immediately and lose myself in it for the next 3 hours. Occasionally I’d look up and see various mates on the dancefloor pointing at me laughing - I know that regardless of how silly I may look “totally lost in the moment”, I don't give a fuck because I feel completely at home, at ease and at one with my music and my environment (and I also know that there are no cameras allowed in there, so its anything goes anyway!)

Art Department are up after me; unfortunately there has been a slight mishap between Paris and Berlin and Kenny has lost his passport which means that he can only play for an hour before he leaves Jonny alone to close in order for him to be driven to Prague to get a new passport from the Canadian embassy so that he can travel later (this mission fails by the way). I am just thankful that he has made it to every show on this long tour and that this only happened on the last day. He really has been a star performer on this trip – if you saw him at the party in New York you’ll know what I’m talking about!

Like I said earlier, this tour has been a massive celebration of everything we have achieved as a record label over the last 10 years. It has been 10 years of great teamwork and great music and we owe a massive debt to our many artists, the posse that we have built over the years that continually deliver the freshest music in our scene and always give everything they have when they turn up to play at one of our events – but it’s also largely down to the people behind the scenes that never get their faces in the music media, the label managers and distributors, the graphic designers and the promotion team, the film makers and the party production crew, the agents and logistic guys. We wouldn’t be where we are today without this finely tuned engine where everyone plays their part and takes pride in their work on our behalf. I am so thankful to all these people, my friends who work their asses off day in, day out, to help me get our messages of music out there to the world.

So we leave the Panorama Bar at around 3pm Thursday afternoon and I am ready for a short four day holiday in Tulum before getting straight back into it. I’m feeling really good about my sound and my music right now, I also feel that after these 10 amazing years of Crosstown Rebels I have a achieved something very special on a personal level, a global fan base of amazing people who every week come out to party with me somewhere on this fine planet of ours. 

And I play fabric on June 15th and I look forward to seeing you there for another of our special mornings together!

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