Photo credit: aLIVE coverage for Insomniac
As the newest style of music in town, EDM will attract its fair share of haters. Joining the club is American musician and songwriter, Tom Petty. After getting interviewed by USA Today, he shares the following statement about electronic music:
“Watch people play records?That’s stupid. You couldn’t pay me to go. I’m not oversimplifying it. That’s what’s going on. I don’t think it would be any fun without the drugs. It’s a drug party.” – Tom Petty
It seems amusing that DJing to Tom Petty is just “watch people playing records.” Anybody who has not attempted to mix by himself/herself will have the same view on the subject. Many people think that the computer does most of the mixing work for you, but it does not conduct some of the most important tasks: track selection, mixing, timing records and equalization.
The DJ is important in selecting the next track. Live EDM concerts are a little different from band performances (excluding the performance that Derek Vincent Smith does with Pretty Lights, which is phenomenal). The next track selection is crucial in keeping the crowd dancing. If the DJ is playing a genre that the crowd is not enjoying, then the stage will start emptying out. Mixing and timing records is also important. The right time to lower the volume of the current track and bring up the other record after the break, is one of the biggest DJ practices. In order to make all those actions sound good, the DJ has to manipulate the EQ of each track on the mixer. Mr. Tom Petty, these are just the basics of DJing, and I am pretty sure you won’t be able to do them successfully during your first time on the decks.
As for EDC Las Vegas, one can not oversimplify the concept as a “drug party.” Sure, people have the freedom to do whatever they want. From my current knowledge, rave culture started that way. However, all the people enjoying this music is not because of substances. It is due to their love for these melodies, sounds and bass. The goosebumps that they get, when their favorite track is played. When I first listened to “Higher State of Consciousness” by Josh Wink, I fell in love with the music. However, I still listen to old Jazz records when I relax. Each genre of music is ideal on certain occasions.
Here is a little video of Laidback Luke, tearing it up on the Pioneer’s Nexus line:
Tom Petty, if you have skills like that on the decks, then please upload your own video!
Update: Insomniac Founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella responded to Tom Petty’s remarks:
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about records, DJs and dance music, including Tom Petty. We’re living in a very electronic era with constantly evolving forms of entertainment, which may be a daunting thing for a classic rocker in search of contemporary social relevancy as he starts promoting new music. But I would think that someone who played shows with Dylan and the Dead—someone who lived through and actively contributed to the counterculture era of the ’60s and ’70s—wouldn’t be so quick to drink the overhyped media Kool-Aid about our festival experience. If he wants to come to EDC Vegas next year and see what it’s really about, we’ve got a ticket with his name on it. If he doesn’t want to wait that long, Nocturnal Wonderland is right around the corner. My Mama Irene would be stoked to meet him! Who knows? He might just have a “Change of Heart.”