Citizen Kain is one of those producers whose sound isn’t really easy to define, but with every new release and show he presents his incredible skills. After more than ten years his track Doppelgänger still rules the dance floors, and this year he gave it a new life which confirmed why it is one of the biggest hits. Domestic audience will have the opportunity to hear him play for the first time at the club Drugstore. We had a little chat with him, and we found out which producers are his inspiration, how does his process of creating a remix look like, and of course, what does he like to do in his free time. Enjoy!
First of all, thank you for making time to do this. It’s a pleasure.
Hey guys, nice to meet you ! 🙂
For starters, can you make a small list of favorites songs that influenced you at your adolescent age. We know that you loved New Wave and punk bands like Joy Division, New Order, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, The Cure, Biohazard, Madball, Sick of it All, Bad Religion etc.
If i have to make a top 10, i think it will be this:
Depeche Mode – Behind The Wheels
Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence
The Cure – Close To Me
Joy Division – Love will tear us apart
The Stooges – I wanna be your dog
Biohazard – Tales From The Hard Side
Madball – Set It Off
Helmet – In The Meantime
New Order – Blue Monday
Faith No More – Midlife Crisis
How did you first become immersed into the DJ world and what/who were your original DJ inspirations? Who inspires you now?
I start going in rave parties in 1994, at this period i was a guitar player and singer in a Metal band but it was pretty hard to have regular rehearsal with my band partners because they were at high schools and often very busy… I quickly understood that deejaying was a very good way to make music alone without waiting for my friends and i had always been very impressed by a local dj of east of France, his name was DJ Bouto, an incredible technician and also composer, he gave me the motivation to learn to spin and was my inspiration at the beginning of my career… From this point, all started ! Today, i think my main inspiration come from guys like Maceo Plex, Solomun or John Talabot to name a few.
You started Neverending more than 10 years ago. Tell me a bit about how that started and what is the main idea of the label?
I started Neverending in 2005 with my old friend from Paris dj Meda, cause first it was an easy way to release my music. Later, another friend, Phuture Traxx from Germany joined us and we began to organize some label parties and release more and more music. By my name becoming bigger, i had more & more opportunities to meet a lot of artist and bring them to sign on Neverending. It gave us the envy to be more and more involved around the project and now, 10 years later, we are still here.
You’ve released quite a few awesome tracks in 2016. and we can hear them in dj sets of Maceo Plex, Laurent Garnier, Adam Beyer etc. What is your favourite track so far?
I think it’s Meantime or Doppelgänger (2016 rework) … Hard to choose between both, i play them in all my sets 🙂
What can you tell us about your new live act project that you’re preparing for next year?
Indeed, i’m preparing a live act, of course only build with my own tracks, it’s something very important and special for me, when i started Citizen Kain, i played live during several years and i stopped to only play as a deejay and now i feel i miss it… The first live show shall be in march 2017 and i also plan to spin audio with video. It will certainly take a little bit time to make all i want, so i cannot speak too much about it until it’s getting more concrete.
You’ve toured all around the world, recently you’ve been to South Africa and China. Does the audience “listen” and react to music differently in Europe and in the rest of the world? Do you have a favourite place to play?
Not specially, each party is different, you can go 5 times in the same country, 4 parties will be great and one a little bit less … It depends of the organisation, the promotion, the sound system, the light show etc… If you put all the good ingredients in a party, it can happen everywhere, it will be good ! Of course a party in Europe will be a little bit different than a party in China for example, techno there is something more recent, the audience is less excited, they don’t have by example youtube or facebook and certainly cannot imagine how exciting and crazy is a party in Europe, their culture is different and they are more disciplined…
Do you take Charly on your travels or is he a stay-at-home cat? 🙂
Ah ah unfortunately no i can’t take him with me, it would be too difficult, so he’s a stay-at-home cat ! 😀
You did some wonderful remixes, and our favourite is the one you did for Moby. How did you get involved with him?
Well, i didn’t been directly involved with Moby, it was a contest that he made some years ago and i just participated because i love so much the original song. So i did 🙂
Can you tell us more about that process? What is it that you search for when doing a remix?
Usually, first i sort my favorites parts of the original song, just keep the essential, i’m trying some effects on it, then i’m searching for a good rhythm, then add my kind of bass and when i feel i’m in a good direction, i start to build up the structure.
What does Citizen Kain do for fun, how do you chill out and recharge for your next gig? Are you watching movies? Sports?
I take care of my wife, spend time with her, indeed watching some movies, read, we go to walk with our dog, i make a little bit of sport like running or playing badminton, i try to go to see my friends as often as possible, i also love to stay calm in our house and tinkering and of course make some cuddles to Charly ! : ))
You’ll be playing in Belgrade, at the club Drugstore 1st of October (what a way to start a new month!) and you’ll be playing with Boryana. We know you guys are good friends, right? She played her first bigger gig with You. What can we expect from you two this time?
Yes indeed we are good friends and if i don’t make mistake she played her first time with me at Club Mania in Bulgaria. It’s a long time we didn’t seen ourselves cause now she’s leaving in Miami but i think you can expect to have fun with us, we are party peoples ! : ))
In an interview you gave for Mixmag last month you said that you have a new track with Phuture Traxx coming up on Neverending in October. Can we expect some unreleased tracks in your Drugstore set? Will you be treating Belgrade audience with something exclusive and is that maybe something you do in your sets?
Yes of course, i will play some unreleased stuffs of myself and also i’m still trying to have some exclusivities from others artists, i like to be the first to play the latest tracks of my friends and i’m lucky some of my closest friends are finest producers … 🙂
People in Serbia are really excited to hear you, it’s gonna be a great party, what do you have to say to them?
I’m also fucking impatient to come for the first time in Serbia, i heard a lot of good things about the crowd there, i can’t wait to be there, i’m sure we will spend an incredible party together !