The Secret DJ on Ibiza: "Fuck all that heritage nonsense"
His book is out on June 21
Towards the end of the book you make DJing sound like eternal cycles in a new level of hell. How are you feeling about it today, right this second?
At the peak of the game it is very much an endurance test. The events in the latter half of the book were a particularly bad time, and my circumstances were very much reduced in lots of ways. It’s a cautionary tale in that respect. I think there are definitely elements of DJing that are hellish, especially my being trapped in a cycle of parochial travel, drugs and illness. But that was a different time, and unusually tough. Things have improved immensely since then. I wouldn’t swap it. I think if you’re deadly serious about what you do there are testing times when most people give up and get proper jobs. I know I’m a DJ ’til I die ’cause I was presented with oblivion and chose to stay being a DJ even though it meant having nothing. It was character-building, too. I was definitely a rampant ego who needed a large reality sandwich!
Do you have a favourite club in Ibiza, extant or defunct?
The best Ibiza club was called Extasis. It was just as you drive into San An and was the 1980s labour of love of a mad audiophile Frenchman. Looked like the Star Wars cantina and sounded like a Dolby presentation. Seemed to open and close at random. I suppose that sounds quite cool, but if you’d seen it you’d realise it wasn’t.
I don’t subscribe to the things-ain’t-what-they used-to-be brigade. I like to be involved in the now. Fuck all that heritage nonsense! Gives me the juddering fear, dude.
What is the strangest place you’ve ever woken up?
Ooh, there’s been a few. I woke up in a helicopter once with no idea how I got there. Inside a huge bass bin at a festival; I was cold and the vibrations felt a bit like heat. Fell asleep at an afterparty in east London once and when I woke up it was a full-on bondage joint. At the peak of touring, waking up at home used to be very odd sometimes. I used to reach for my own landline expecting room service to answer! [laughs] That’s quite glam, isn’t it? If not totally deranged.