As we continue our month-long spotlight on Chris Lake, we’ve come to our favorite part of the Residency Program. Don’t get us wrong, we’re always excited about sharing some brand-new music or a wicked custom mix, but an interview gives you insight into an artist like nothing else.

Seeing how it’s Friday, we’re guessing today is going to be a lax day around the office, which makes the perfect situation for you to take 10 minutes off to get to know one of our favorite musicians.

TMN: Hey Chris! Thanks for taking some time to connect. It’s been a long time since we last spoke – all the way back in 2012! It’s good to connect and it’s great to have you as our Resident Artist.

CL: Thank you for inviting me!

TMN: First things first, let’s talk about the shift you’ve gone through this year. What inspired it?

CL: It came off the back of isolation from the rest of the world. I was a little bit disillusioned as to where I found myself positioned. I got a bit sick of some of the events I was playing, some of the bigger festivals, the main stages, and some of the things I found myself doing to make people dance.

I had lots of time by myself about a year ago and started to mess around and try new things. I went back to what I did years ago, and tried to put a new spin on it. I just loved it. It felt like an 18-year-old kid again, just producing and having fun. I was innovating in my own way, creating a sound that no one else has. I’m confident I’ve got that now. I’m confident you can listen to a record and say, “that’s a Chris Lake groove.” And, that makes me feel good.

It’s the sound of my heart, so to speak. I know it’s quite as attention-grabbing as some of the records I’ve done over the past few years, but I love it.

TMN: It feels like fans today are getting more into the soul and groove of dance music, rather than the intensity, or jarring nature that was popular years ago.

CL: Yes. Look, there’s not one genre that’s better than the other. There are good artists. There are bad artists. There are people who interpret a genre better than others. I’m not dissing Big Room music at all. I think there’s some fantastic Big Room out there. I think there’s some absolute garbage Big Room out there.

It’s exactly the same as the underground genres that I love. There’s some fantastic music there, but there’s also some absolute horse shit.

I’m dissing anyone, saying one thing is better than the other. The one thing that’s an improvement in this whole situation is this – Chris Lake feels shitloads happier and content making records that might not be quite as commercially viable. God, I fucking love them. I crank them out so quickly and effortlessly, rather than craft a drop that will sustain a dance floor at a festival.

At the end of the day, I’d rather play a small room that’s right for the music that I’m making and just give those people an incredible experience.

TMN: Speaking of new sounds, “Stomper” with Anna Lunoe dropped a bit ago. How did that collab come about?

’Chris Lake & Anna Lunoe – Stomper’

CL: I was on tour in Canada, playing at Celebrities in Vancouver, and on the same night, Destructo was doing a pre-party for Holy Ship. We went out to dinner beforehand, and we started speaking, and got on well. We got each other’s emails and I sent her a load of records, and she said “this is sick!” We live not too far from each other, and we got together and made “STOMPER.” That’s pretty much it.

It’s obviously her on the vocals, and she sounds amazing. It’s so unique to her. Her vocal style is unlike anyone else. She has this really unique perspective of a girl who really gets dance music. She doesn’t try to write something that’s overbearing for a record that’s “verse. chorus. verse. chorus.” It’s just simple little vocal tags that are easy to remember.

She’s got a great tone that sounds great it a club. It really, really works. She’s very talented.

TMN: Word on the street is, you share your studio with some interesting characters. Care to elaborate?

CL: Well, I don’t share it with anyone. I do have a lot of friends who use it. Tommy Trash was in here the other day, Nom de Strip was working here for a couple years, TJR is downstairs. We’re all mates. We’re all doing very different things, but we’ll be up in the kitchen talking about what records we’re doing. We’ll listen to each other’s records and say “that hi-hat is shit,” or “that clap is amazing.” It’s a nice, collaborative vibe going on.

TMN: Any shenanigans go on in there?

CL: Always. Every single day. Although, it’s not something I care for you to be reporting on. (Laughs)

TMN: How about the PG version?

CL: You know what it’s like. I don’t know if you’re an iPhone user, but you know those group chat things you get going on with your mates? They can get quite out of hand at points. Take that away from iMessage and put it in real life – that’s what goes on here.

There’s a huge dose of inappropriateness.

TMN: As someone who has transcended multiple shifts in the industry, what’s your take on the landscape of dance music today? What’s the best part about it?

CL: There’s just so many different ways to make people dance. It’s a good time. It’s not a good time for people stuck in their ways, who think that they can release records how they did in 2000 or 1995, or 2010. It’s a different landscape. It’s a different generation. There’s a different way to consume music.

What’s nice about all of these things – like streaming platforms and all that – is it’s made it a lot easier for people to legally listen to music and enjoy music in a way they couldn’t do before. It’s kind of like interactive radio essentially.

I personally think that it’s bringing the song back. It’s more of an opportunity to enjoy electronic songs, rather than electronic beats. I think it puts a bit more emphasis on the musicians side of being an artist. I think that should be encouraged.

You know, there hasn’t really been enough of that in dance music. I’m not saying it’s bad to make club records, or making vibey records that are good for dancefloors. I think it’s nice when you can take those vibes and upgrade them with a musical element that transcends effectiveness on the dancefloor and you can actually enjoy it when you’re in the office, when you’re doing reports with your boss, in your office, at 3PM on a Tuesday. Or you can listen to something at 7 o’clock in the evening while you’re digesting your dinner. Rather than just enjoying it on Friday night when you’re getting ready to go out to the club and get wasted for the rest of the weekend.

It’s nice to have that scope to try and be more musical. I think there’s an aspect of electronic music that’s very undervalued. I think it’s been very underserved for a long period of time, and it’s great to see a lot of people doing it.

TMN: Conversely, what’s the worst part of the scene today?

CL: A lot of the negativity coming from artists. Here’s the thing – there’s certain artists who get criticized very regularly in the EDM space. Mate, who cares? If these artists are not good, go and listen to the good stuff. Focus on the positive, not the negative. If you don’t like a genre, move onto another one. Don’t piss and moan and bitch about it because you think it’s inferior to what your genre is. Grow up.

TMN: Again, as someone who has been around for a while, we’re curious how much of a toll the constant touring takes on you. How did you maintain being a marathon man, traveling around the world for sometimes multiple shows in one day?

CL: Ah you get used to it. The travelling is tiring but I find ways to just go into autopilot mode and the time passes by very quickly.

TMN: One thing we remember about our last conversation is that you like some off the wall questions. So, here we go. If aliens landed on earth today and asked what music was, who would you play them first?

CL: I’d play them some Amon Tobin. That would play with their heads. It would also give them a little insight into the weirder parts of the human mind

TMN: If you could get any band, past or present, to play one more show, who would you pick?

CL: Queen. What a group. Freddie Mercury was an unbelievable writer.

TMN: If you retired from music today, but still had to keep a job, what would you do?

CL: I dunno, something like property development or something like that. I’ve always enjoyed building things. I’d also probably do more for music education. I’ve done quite a bit of that over the years and I love it!

TMN: If you had the ability to eliminate any piece of pop culture – song, movie, show…what would it be?

CL: Urgh, where do I begin? I do sometimes wish I could block the word Kardashian from my computer. It grows to be very tiresome seeing that nonsense all the time.

Related items::

Chris Lake