Michael Woods Podcast 028 Miami Special

There’s a handful of producers who embody how much fun the EDM scene really is. One of those people is long-time house music favorite, Michael Woods. This tall drink of water has been around the game for longer than most think. For example, most of you wouldn’t remember his track “Warrior,” which came out some time in 2000, but Michael has a list longer than our arm of hits like that from the past decade and beyond.

Our last day in Miami we were lucky enough to head over and catch Michael’s set at the Lake Woods Pool Party on Collins Drive. After watching him throw down with the likes of Chris Lake and TJR, we finally had a chance to talk business. Well, we thought it was going to be all business, but with him, it was pretty much all fun. Check out what he had to say about Teisto’s Jager machine, crowds in Chile and his superstitions:

TMN: First of let’s talk about what it is like to be in here for WMC, obviously the largest weeks in electronic dance music. What does it feel like to be here? Is this something you look forward to every year?

MW: You know what, I DJ worldwide, there are many big events worldwide, but Miami is probably one of the bigger ones. It’s one that I do look forward to. However, it’s kind of like a double edged sword because I know I’m going to be completely fucked out of my face [laughs] and there is going to be a lot of recuperation afterwards. Last year I was here for 3 days and did 2 shows and my God! It took me a week to get over it. This year I’m here for a week and I have like eight shows, so I am trying to pace myself.

TMN: Doing some Jager? We do read your facebook updates.

MW: Oh my god, I hate Jager. The only time I drink Jager is when I am with Tiesto and Max Vangeli, and I hate those fuckers. Never again!

Tiesto has got its own personal Jagermeister dispenser machine, which serves at exactly 12 degrees centigrade. He is always trying to throw them down my throat. Now I know better and know now to do it.

TMN: So let’s touch on your past a little bit, you and your sister are both accomplished musicians, is that something encouraged by your family or is that something you naturally got into it?

MW: No, it’s from my family. My dad is a piano teacher, so from an early age, when I was 4 years old, my dad had us sit down on the piano. He then sent us off to music school and from the age of 4-5 we went to Saturday school where we would do a lot of piano as well. I did all my grades, from grade 1 to grade 8 on the piano. Then, as a result of getting into music school, I picked up other instruments like the guitar, the drums, and the trumpet. Music is quite natural in our family and to now do it professionally it’s really cool because I’m doing something that I love doing and something I have been doing from day one.

TMN: What would be your favorite instrument to play outside of playing the keyboard?

MW: The triangle! [Laughs] You know what I actually do enjoy playing the guitar, but I am not as good as I am playing the piano. Playing the keyboard is like speaking English; its natural to me.

TMN: How do you deal with traveling the world, producing music and also being the founder of Diffused? What is your balance like on a day to day?

MW: Drinking a lot of Patron! [Laughs]. You know, that is probably the most difficult thing to do, is trying to balance everything. There are only 24 hours a day, and so much you can do. Lucky, I have got a really cool management company like Three Six Zero who looks after Deadmau5, Calvin Harris etc. Within that company they look after my label. I have a management team that looks after the label and works with me so I do have got a good team around me that helps me out. Basically, all I have to do is make sure I am producing good records but outside of that I have people that help me out.

TMN: We have to give a shout out to Rising Digital and James Bevan and Seb…all those guys.

MW: Yes absolutely! I love those guys. Seb is really cool, he helps me out a lot.

TMN: You’ve traveled all over the world, what are some of your favorite cities to play at?

MW: I will say Philadelphia is actually pretty cool, there was a really good vibe there.

One of the most recent cities I went to, that I wasn’t expecting to tour was in South America: Santiago, Chile. Oh my God! It was insane! I got onto the stage but I wasn’t looking up, I was trying to keep my head done and as soon as I looked up I saw 10,000 pairs of arms in the air. It was crazy, they were literally jumping up and down for 2 hours. Chile was ridiculous.

TMN: Different cities have different understanding of dance music, do you find that the crowds differ from place to place? The energy, the vibe? The feel?

MW: A little bit. Like I said about Chile – that was probably the craziest I’ve seen a crowd. Generally, the crowds around the world seem to be pretty vibrant and have a lot of energy. I don’t notice too much of a difference. A place that I would say is not as crazy is actually, believe it or not, Miami. Personally, I feel like it’s a lot about people caring about their appearance, so it’s a bit more calm. No one wants to be too crazy and the same goes for Vegas. They seem a bit more reserved. Cities like Philadelphia and New York they like to get fucking crazy. They don’t seem to care so much about what people think but they just care more about the music.

TMN: Just out of personal curiosity, where does Denver rank?

MW: Denver is cool man, Denver is up there. I played at Beta a few times. Beta was one of the first international places I’ve played that where I got underwear thrown at me! So I was like “I like this place!” [laughs]

TMN: You’ve had endless list of monster tracks from “Vodoo”, “Warrior”, “If You Want Me”, on and on, which one is your favorite? If you could pick one.

MW: Well, the first track that I ever released which was 12 years ago was “Warrior”, and it was the track that put me on the map. When I signed it off, I did not know anyone in the industry, I was literally a nobody. From actually making the track to signing it and releasing it, it was such a short period of time. It actually went to the top 20 in the UK charts, which was unheard of. And so many people tried to do the same thing as I did and it didn’t quite work. So that track was quite a special track because it was the track that gave me confidence. That told me I could actually give up the day job and do this for a living. The track that I think has put my name on the map in recent times is the remix that I did for Deadmau5 “I Said” which was I done about 3 years ago and it did pretty well, everyone seemed to like it.

TMN: So where does Platinum Chains rank in all that? You just released it not too long ago.

MW: I am actually very happy with that track. I made that track about 2 years ago believe it or not and only now found the window of opportunity to releases for stupid reasons. Calvin Harris heard and he was like “Michael we have got to release this track”, and so I said “Boom! Lets do it!”. I had been sitting on it for 2 years which is killing me because I should have released it then. But a lot of DJs are playing it; Gareth Emery, Ferry Corsten and Pete Tong played it for like 3 weeks in a row on radio 1, so it’s going pretty well.

TMN: One thing that we noticed that you did a lot of releases in early 2000 and then it kind of went on a low for a little and now you have been coming on very strong as of late, what was the low in there or why are you coming on stronger right now?

MW: I guess it was trying to find a new sound. Because what happened was towards the end of 2000… it was quite trancy and I started actually playing trance music and everyone started doing the same thing… and all started the sound exactly the same. So, I was like, you know what? I need to break away and let me just try to find another sound. I didn’t want to release anything thing unless it sounded different. Then I found something that sounded a little bit different and I came out with it. The funny thing is that I can see the same thing happening now. A lot of music especially, progressive house music, sort of sounds the same at the moment, so I can foresee myself actually doing the same thing now and breaking away again for a little bit of time and trying to find something different. At the end of the day I just want to make music that sounds different and sounds fresh and people enjoy it.

TMN: It is a great philosophy. Last question before we go onto rapid fire, which will just be a bunch of random question to get to know you a little better but before we do that, anything else you would like to share with our reader, what is on the horizon for 2013?

MW:I am working a collaboration with Gareth Emery, it sounds pretty tight. I am really excited about that and we are looking to release it perhaps early May. We do not have a name for it yet but you will find out about it.

TMN: Let’s go onto rapid fire, random questions and please say the first thing that comes to the front of your mind.

TMN: Who is your favorite James Bond?

MW: Sean Connery

TMN: Who makes your favorite pizza in the world?

MW: Tesco is the finest pizza, it’s quite big in the UK.

TMN: If your music were an animal, what would it be?

MW: A lion!

TMN: If you ordered a shot outside of jagermeister what would it be?

MW: Patron! C’mon that’s easy.

TMN: Do you have any superstitions?

MW: [Hesitates] Ummm if I sleep on the left hand side of the bed its gonna be a bad day, so I always sleep on the right!

TMN: Name one person you would like to collaborate with.

MW: Actually, some of the guys that are playing GTA are awesome, they have done a remix of one of my tracks “Last Day On Earth”, I would just love to collaboration with them

TMN: If you are stuck on a deserted island and you only had one musicians collection to listen to who would it be?

MW: That would be Michael Jackson.

TMN: Who is your favorite dj?

MW: Chris Lake

TMN: That is all we got! Thank you so much for taking the time to talking to us.

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