Hey Lamprey, how are you? How has 2023 started for you so far?
This year has been great so far I’ve been super busy not so much working on music, but focused on photography, which is my day job basically. I travel around the world, photographing action sports, surf, skate, snow, saltwater fishing. Till now music has been kind of a side project, but hopefully I am able to move it to the forefront here in the coming future, depending on how this next release does of course. If people, djs… end up dropping this release, perhaps the folks reading this interview will get a chance to hear me play.  Drop it! 
Tell us what goals you have for this year, what are your personal and musical aims are?
You know, it’s interesting because I’ve been DJing for more than 30 years, I’ve played shows all over the world. I’ve had some great moments out, getting older though, for me the appeal of the night club scene has faded kind of into the background. When it comes to playing shows, what’s not to love? The crowd, the energy, etc. but it’s hard to find that these days for me. If I have one musical goal would be to play some bigger shows in some far off countries. But short of that, I would say I’m more living in the moment rather pursuing any specific goals.
What inspired the new one for Hype & Soul, what was the aim? 
As my musical story has evolved, so too has my taste in music. When I first started DJing, I was into this really hard brand of house music, over time though I was being more and more influenced by the group I was hanging out with, and they were all real clubby house heads. I on the other hand was always was more on the harder edge of things. As my DJing skills have improved, so too has my desire for a more edgy sound.
This lamprey “climbing the walls” release in many ways embodies that evolution for me. As time went by, I found myself playing music that had more of a pumping tech-ish, low end, and more of a tracky sensibility, overall. I think this record in many ways captures the sound that I’ve been trying to find for many years, but only now I have finally been able to take what’s in my head and put it down concisely; for other people to share and play.
Do you make tunes to playing around sets? Is that how it works?
You know this is an interesting question because I think for a producer who also DJs, whether they play their own tracks in their sets is indicative of where they’re at in their musical evolution. If they’ve reached a place in their production where they are able to translate what’s in their head into a track, then, a lot of times, you will find an artist playing their own tracks in their sets. If they’ve yet to reach that point where they are able to make that translation from thoughts to sound…
You’re going to hear less of their own music in their sets. For many years, I did not play my own music in my sets, for whatever reason I liked the tracks I was making, but I did not find myself playing them. These days that has changed I end up playing a lot of my own music in the sets that I perform, and I imagine as I continue forward, I will be doing more of that.
Tell us about the vocals do they need to say anything specific or is it more about the sound?
You know there’s this really funny meme out there from the show family guy where they talk about how techno vocals are made. Basically it’s just this guy sitting in a booth with this repetitious acid loop or some shit playing and then Peter Griffin is leaning over the mic every 30 to the beat just saying “ketamine“.
It’s funny how much truth is in memes these days. I think a lot of times, especially with tracks that are more on a techno edge, you do find the vocals are more like … samples I should call them … that are being used as “elements” rather than being used for their “message” as you might find in a house track. In one of the tracks, I use the phrase “whatcha doin”… I think there’s a lot of things you can read into that. It’s short and sweet, and it’s presented as a question. I tend to look at these phrases as talking to the people on the dancefloor, as such the words should be interpreted in that context. 
What gear did you use? Have you got a proper 303 for the acid sounds?
I’m glad you asked that because it tells me that it sounds like a real 303 that I’m using. The truth is these are 303 samples that I’ve manipulated myself. I have worked on the 303 before, but I found it extremely complicated, prohibitively so, to the point that it was easier to work on something like a novation bass station or the rebirth soft synth… That said, ultimately nothing properly emulates the 303, let’s just admit it, there’s no reason to get into a spat with the studyists out there.
The bottom line is I like how the acid rips came out in the song, they sound good to me. It took me a fairly long time to program those sounds. They are original notes and sequences. I work in Ableton, and I find it to be about as powerful of instrument, as you could possibly have in the current state of affairs with electronic music production. You’re always gonna have other people using things like logic, or ProTools, but ultimately to me, the most valuable thing about Ableton is the warp feature and as far as I know that’s a proprietary feature that you can’t find elsewhere which is why I tend to stick with it.
Tell us about the name lamprey and where that came from… 
The lamprey is an ancient bloodsucking creature that lives in the ocean, and brackish water, and they basically attach themselves to people and suck their blood. As bad as it sounds, it, reminds me of a lot of the people that I’ve encountered in the underground club scene. Some people like to call them vampires but to me lamprey is a bit more fitting. They attach themselves to you, vampires don’t. Lampreys have a tendency to suck your blood, and many times without you even knowing it, they use a numbing agent that makes it so you can’t feel the bite. To me, this is very descriptive of many of the people I’ve encountered in the underground. While sure yes that is a criticism, it’s also what gives the underground scene its colour. If you’re asking me whether I would change anything about it…  absolutely not.
How much do the tools you use define the sound you make? 
Ya know, tools come in a lot of forms. Some will say “oh Ableton is the program I use therefore it is the tool by which all my music is made.” The truth is that there’s a lot of tools involved, many of the samples I use come from every day experiences. I record them on my phone and bring them home and put them in the computer, some of them will sit on my phone for months years before I drag them over.
I think, and I’ve been quoted as saying this before. But I believe how you get to the final destination is irrelevant. It’s all about that sound is coming out the speakers, if it’s good, if it’s quality, if it moves people, regardless of whether it’s loved or hated, as long as it’s generating an emotional response by the listener, it is done its job.
What’s next for you after this one?
The label hype and soul recordings that I run with my label partner, Cody Nasir, a.k.a. DJ 5657. We are about to release number 40 on the label which we started in 2012 and we’ve kept it going. It’s mainly been an outlet for our own music, we are looking for new artists to put out. But what a lot of people don’t understand is labels like this are a labor of love, there is very little money involved. These releases don’t make a ton of cash, so people expect these big paydays when really if you get 100 downloads, you’re stoked over it. Ultimately, I am in many ways disgusted by the state of record in music distribution…
I find it to be extremely closed off when you look at how much the music comes from just a select few sources. Long gone are the days when I used to be able to buy releases in my record store, and yeah, I’m not some kind of vinyl junkie, who carries around a crate of records, and preaches to anyone who will listen about how they should bring back vinyl. Of course, I don’t think that. However, I do miss being able to go record shopping, almost more than anything! And when that was gone, it took a huge piece out of this world and experience that was for me one of the most important aspects of it all, so what’s next? Hopefully just keep cranking out quality tunes that people will actually play.
Is social media an important part of being a DJ today?
That’s really hard to say I mean I think everybody uses social media as their default to promote their releases, and their shows, and their, etc. etc. I think too many people rely on social media, and then, when their things don’t do very well, they sit there and wonder why… I had this one artist Dirty Dan tell me recently, that the reason his songs chart so much is because he makes personal contact with a lot of artists. He reaches out to them through email or phone calls, he makes direct personal contact, and as a result his tracks get a lot of traction. If you rely on social media only, you’re really not gonna get anywhere. That’s just a hard truth of it. A lot of people do that and then wonder what the hell happened. So yes, I think social media is important, but it’s not the be all and end all and anyone who tries to use it in that way is going to ultimately not get to where they’re trying to go.
Wanna send a big shout out and high-five to some of the people that really helped me on the way and have been hugely influential in my musical path… Ralph Falcon from MURK records, he’s been influencing me since I was in my early 20s back in the early 90s. These days he’s become a good friend and fishing buddy, and I’m grateful to have his inspiration as well as his friendship in this crazy world.
My label partner, Cody Nasir, he also has been a great friend. He and his wife, Lally have been so hospitable to me and gracious, and allowing me to spend time at their place, make music, hang out, their generosity is unmatched, and I’m grateful for that. Also want to send out a big hug to my mom, who, despite not really understanding what exactly I do, she has been 100% supportive in my musical journey, and I’m grateful for her unconditional support, love and appreciation.
And to the folks, Pete and the crew Jukebox, they’ve really helped us get on the HEAT map. Big shout out too for all those who plays our tunes!  DO it!

Lamprey EP “Climbing The Walls” is out now on Hype & Soul Recordings

Grab It Here