Before his extended Oceanic tour, we caught prog master Nick Warren to discuss his extensive experience in the game, the highly-anticipated return of Way out West and more...
RR: Thanks for joining us Nick. We're looking forward to your sets at Café Del Mar and S.A.S.H. Talk us through your previous experiences of playing in Sydney.
Nick: Sydney has always been very special for me. One of the highlights was the first time I played at Home Club in Darling Harbour. At that time it was the number one club in Sydney and had an incredible atmosphere with people dancing in every space they could find. All the great festivals you have in the city were also a joy to play at, of course.
RR: Congratulations on being nominated in the ‘Progressive house DJ’ category at the DJ awards last month. How did it feel to be recognised?
Nick: It's always nice to be acknowledged for what you do. My great friend Hernan Cattaneo won and it was well deserved.
RR: Speaking of Hernan... we caught your live B2B set with him at the Ocean Drive sky bar recently, which brought back memories of 2016’s Electric Gardens festival for us. Tell us about your relationship, both musical and personal.
Nick: We have been the best of friends for a very long time and both really enjoy playing together. Music is a funny old business... you get to meet tons of people but very few actually become very close friends, but I am proud to have him as a close friend. He is also a bloody good DJ which makes the B2Bs even more enjoyable.
RR: "Progressive house" is a term that's associated with a variety of different sounds. As one of its pioneers, how would you describe it in your own words?
Nick: It covers so many bases these days but in a nutshell - I would describe it as melodic house with drive and energy.
RR: Your latest ‘Land of dreams’ EP with Nicolas Rada has been well received, including the Stillhead remix. Was there a concept behind the release?
Nick: There was no real concept as such, I had these ideas I was working on for a while and when Nic heard them he was keen to get involved. I have always been a fan of Alex (Stillhead) and he delivered a great mix. We have just signed a super good track from him for The Soundgarden label too.
RR: 2018 has been a big year for your label, The Soundgarden and you still to do A&R for Hope Recordings. What are the most important things you've learned in your years of working with labels?
Nick: Releasing music these days is not an easy thing to do. There is just so much product out there each week that it is easy for music to go unnoticed. We are striving to release music that people will love and want to listen to. That's all we can do really - show support to our great artists.
RR: You and Jody Wisternoff returned as Way out West last year with ‘Tuesday Maybe’. Can you tell us about the LPs production? Why the long hiatus before its release?
Nick: Weirdly there was no hiatus, it was indeed 5 years between albums but we started and continued to work together on tracks the whole time. Years just seem to slip by so fast but we promise the next one will come much quicker!
RR: Now, you've worked on 8 Global underground mix series to date. Can you tell us any stand out memories you have from the countries you visited to record them?
Nick: My favourite of my albums was Reykjavik. I absolutely loved Iceland, the people are super cool - they love music and drink and have great food, plus they have some of the finest salmon rivers in the world. It's a dream place for me.
RR: Nice. Ok, big question… what would you say has been the most memorable gig of your career?
Nick: There's one coming up next year at the start of June. More info coming soon...
RR: The life of a top flight DJ involves a lot of travelling, disrupted sleep and environments where alcohol and drugs are freely available. Have you experienced times when the lifestyle was getting on top of you? How do you cope with those pressures?
Nick: Lots and lots of sleep. I tend to sleep 3 times a day when I'm touring. If there is any chance to shut your eyes then do it!
RR: Finally - what have you got planned for the rest of the year?
Nick: The label is stepping up with lots more releases and more 'The Soundgarden' events all over the globe. And some new music from myself and Nicolas Rada.
RR: Sounds good. Enjoy your time in Australia Nick, cheers.
Catch Nick on tour Down Under in the coming weeks. Details here.