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A humble one to watch

Interview with Daniel Avery

A humble one to watch

22-02-2013 | 16.57

The English have a desire to reach for the stars, without getting arrogant. Daniel Avery shook off his Stopmakingme moniker because he was ready to present himself. In that respect he’s just getting started, but he’s not a all a beginner.

Do you consider yourself English?
‘Yes, I definitely do. I just spent 2 weeks in America, on tour. And although I think America is fun, I can’t watch American TV. It’s so fast and hectic, and every single news reporter has to look a certain way. It has a certain arrogance to it. English people hate being called arrogant or above their station. When you hear Bernard Sumner sing in New Order, it’s a very true way of singing despite the fact that he can’t really sing. My favorite English bands strive for greatness, but with something humble to it. In fact New Order is a very good example of what I love about English music. They took that punk idea of just picking up instruments and not having any technical ability yet still having ideas and running with it, creating their own sound. Listen to those early Joy Division performances, they’re so messy but great because of it. It seems to me that there’s a sort of desire to reach for the stars. Not in a ‘we’re gonna take over the world’ kind of way, but a desire to reach out further than where you came from. I genuinely believe English music is the best in the world, and I feel proud to be a small part of it.’
 
What’s it like for you, as an humble Englishman, to be constantly called the most exciting fresh guy ever?
‘It’s weird, and it’s flattering. But if there’s one thing it made me do, it just encouraged me to keep going. I don’t feel very different from how I did before Andrew Weatherall picked me as his ‘One to Watch’ for the year in Time Out London, or before I got signed to Erol Alkan’s label. To be honest I still feel as if I’m only just getting started.’
 
Before you were making music under your own name, you were using the moniker Stopmakingme. So you’re actually not just getting started.
‘The whole Stopmakingme thing was just a hobby, I never expected it to go anywhere. But doing it I reached the stage where I knew exactly what kind of music I wanted to be making, and what clubs I wanted to be playing at. It felt like the right time to start using my own name. You could say I was ready to present myself: this is me now. So in that respect I’m only just getting started. I feel I have a lot more to prove and a lot more to get out there.’  
 
What’s the plan?
‘I don’t have a plan. When people say they have a plan, it sounds to me like ‘alright, we’re gonna make this track and it’s gonna be big the next year’. My brain doesn’t work like that. In my early twenties I did have a few moments in which I thought about making something that a certain DJ could play, and I even did it a couple of times. But those tracks never came out because I went back and listened to them and I was like *shrugs shoulders*. As soon as I realized that was not the right way to do it, I started thinking about the unusual background I have in terms of dance music. It is a fact that I own more Neu! records and Tangerine Dream records than I do Carl Craig records. I thought ‘wow, I should just let those influences come in’. Now I’m only making music that I like and that I believe in.’
 
But in theory you could make a big mainstream radio hit?
‘It’s very arrogant to say I could do that, but I definitely think I could make a good attempt. But the thought of even trying makes me feel bored. It’s not me. It bears zero resemblance to the dance music I love, other than maybe the kick drum and the 4/4 beat. I think daytime radio right now is going through one of the worst patches ever. Every track starts off like a ballad and then it goes just like ‘eh eh eh eh eheheh’, and a huge trance breakdown. Every track! Are people not bored of this yet?’
 
I can tell you spent 2 weeks in America...
*laughs*

Text: Tessa Velthuis