- Wed, 2007-12-05 15:56
Lisa Lashes is the undisputed Queen of the decks. Heralded as the world’s best female DJ and the world’s best Hard Dance DJ (Top 100 DJs Poll 2007) she continues to storm clubs around the globe with her blend of hard house, techno and breaks. After 11 years of satisfying clubbers around the world she has finally released her debut album ‘Lisa Lashes’ on her own label entitled Lashed Records. Not stopping there, clubbers are in for a trip back to the old school with Lisa launching her mix of ‘The Very best of Extreme Euphoria’ which includes 3cds of classic anthems.
Mid-way through a global tour with Anne Savage I Like Music caught up with the very lovely Lisa Lashes to chat about choosing records, becoming a world class DJ and mixing and scratching with your boob. (if you’re a girl!)
''I Like Music because.... it makes me feel happy, joyous and music makes the world go round! Lisa Lashes
ILM: You and Anne Savage are touring globally together. The pairing of the world’s two biggest female DJs continues into 2008, finishing in Miami. What’s it like going on tour with someone else? Have you had a laugh?
Lisa: It can be quite lonely going and doing the tours on your own. Quite often my friends will come with me if there is a spare seat or whatever, but, if its long haul and you're away (for example - we've just been in Canada) then you can't really get many of your friends to come away for that long, because they've obviously got normal jobs and they work in the week. To go away on your own can be quite daunting. Meeting new promoters and new clubs can be a bit scary really. I’ve been quite enjoying having a friend like Anne to go in with to be honest. Just at the airport and the flights, it’s quite nice to have somebody there.
It's been fab having Anne there and doing shows and that with her. We've tried to do this for years and years. We played in South Africa ten years ago in Cape Town. A back-to-back thing that we weren't supposed to do but we were like, 'ooo lets try it!' and we did it, and we've been wanting to do it ever since. Because of our diaries it wasn’t possible, but now Anne is on my label so we've been able to do it! We roughed up our manager and said we wanted a tour together and he made it happen!
This weekend I’m playing on my own for the first time since, because we started in Ibiza at the closing parties, so this weekend was the first time I did one gig on my own and I was quite frightened without Anne. It was a bit strange doing it on my own! I’ve been used to having a pal there, having a bit more fun and a bit more of a relaxed time behind the decks.
ILM: Your debut album - Lisa Lashes is out now. Which track did you enjoy laying down in the studio most?
Lisa: I kinda like ‘Has It Come To This’ because I was doing the whispery vocals on it and I was working with BK and we just had so much fun. When I go down there it’s not just a day in the studio. I do a couple of days in the studio and stay down there in his new house. He’s just had a new baby so I can't use my usual guest room, I have to stay somewhere else! But I like going down to London from Leicester to see the crew down there in the studio. Ben's a brilliant producer and I’ve enjoyed working with him really on lots of tracks on the album.
Because I’m whispery speaking on it - not singing (you wouldn't want to hear me singing!) I quite enjoyed that tune. It’s kind of like a middle of the road tune, but I think, in a big club, it needs to be played in a proper set to accommodate that, because, it's not hard house, it's more kind of house-y, trance-y - I don’t really know how to describe it - but it needs to be played out nice and loud on a big sound system.
I never ever used to play my own tunes, but now people aren't making that many and I’m happy to. It’s a good thing, because I quite like it now. Before, people would play my tunes like 'Looking Good' in a set before me and be like 'Oh sorry' and I’d be like, 'No play it, because I wont play it anyway!' Before I did the album I felt like when I made a tune and saw it on the computer that it was just colours on the screen and not real music! But I’m coming round to it...but I still have that with my own tunes, I’m kind of embarrassed, I don’t feel like they're good enough or real - but obviously they are - I should do more of that really shouldn't I?
ILM: You should. So, can you describe your process of making music for this album?
Lisa: I don’t have a process. With the album I didn’t intentionally go in to make an album. I went into the studio over a few years with a lot of different producers and engineers because I enjoyed it - making tracks and stuff. I’d go on the decks the night before and find what I liked and I probably had some bits n pieces and snippets I liked anyway and then I’d go to the studio.
But I didn’t go in to make an album and in three years I’ve made 26 tracks. When I booked into my manager and agent they were like, 'you've been going into the studio, where are all these tracks?' and I was like 'I’ve got 26 of them' and they were like, 'get us twelve – that’s an album'. So I went back into the studio to re-edit, because they were all tracks that were like 8-9 minutes long and I can only do 4-5 minutes on an album for each tune.
That was the longest process, having to edit them all down. Also picking out the 12 tracks I wanted - this one or not? Do I put the couple of breaks tunes on? If I do, should I put them at the beginning or the end? It’s really tricky to fine tune it. I had to think about the people who would buy my album, who are mostly people into hard house and so, if I was to put breaks at the beginning, would they switch it off? So the breaks are in the middle. It invites you in, then there’s a bit of breaks and then house at the end.
ILM: The Very Best Of Extreme Euphoria has just been released – you spent weeks in the studio sifting through 100's of tracks to find the finest anthems for this mix, settling on 50 of the very best. How did you find the ones that made the grade? Were you working to a certain criteria?
Lisa: I’ve moved house, so I got rid of loads of vinyl, but the vinyl that I saved is the best stuff and I spent weeks and weeks listening to that. I kept putting tunes on the decks and just forgetting and dancing to them and being like 'oh yeah...I love this tune' and forgetting I was trying to find tunes for an album! It actually took me hours and hours, but I had so much fun. Also, just asking my friends, 'what do you remember from ten years ago?' and 'what’s your favourite tune?'
So that is 3CD's of old hard house anthems and I loved doing that. I had something like 170 to choose from and I only needed 50 or something...so I was trying to snip it...two minutes for each track! Haha! It actually took me eight days in the studio to get it all down and edit them and put them all together. When it was all over, I was like 'thank God for that!'
ILM: You’re now ranked as both the world's best female DJ and the world's best hard dance DJ (Top 100 DJs Poll 2007), how does that feel?
Lisa: That kind of chart is more important to promoters abroad...I don’t know... Obviously I’m pleased that it’s happened but I kind of get a bit shy about it really. I don’t think that I’m the best, but I know that I work hard and deserve to be in that category. It is nice to have people say that about you. I don’t like the accolade of that, but thank you - that’s all good!
I think it’s more to do with promotions abroad though, because they book DJ's for where they are in the poll. I’m already sorted for next year, Poland, Denmark and Norway and places like that who haven’t heard of me that I can play at, so that’s starting to open up for me and I’m thankful for that.
ILM: What advice do you have for young fresh DJs starting out, particularly girls?
Lisa: I’ve heard that in Uni’s, schools and the curriculum you can take up DJ’ing which I think is fantastic, because it is a career and I’ve been doing it ten years and it’s not just the couple of hours that you're playing, it is a full time job. I work every day including weekends. There are people who think it's just those four hours that you play - i wish it was! It would be fantastic - but unfortunately it's not.
ILM: Kim from our office loves filthy breaks and loves you. She saw you play a breaks set once and reckons she saw you drop in a record with your boob. Did this actually happen?! Male DJs can't do that! Discuss…
Lisa: Hahah! Yeah, I did! That’s one of the things we can do! I imagine the guy would get chucked out if he tried to do it with his willy though! Haha! I can scratch with it when I get a little bit drunk too, but its not the best thing, because you might get caught up...!!
ILM: You are heavily involved in promoting the Pink Ribbon breast cancer charity through your role as a patron. How did that come about?
They just contacted me and asked if I'd do some parties for them. I give them my fee for DJ’ing and I go down and do their parties and get more people in and make some money for them really. It’s a cause that is close to me; one of my friends died from it a couple of years ago and I know all about it. It’s a brilliant charity.
ILM: You’ve recently launched a new label, Lashed Music. What are your plans for the label?
Lisa: I’m going to be releasing some of the tracks on the album and getting people to do some remixes. I think I'm ready to do my third release now. I’m in the process of moving labels and, the label I worked with went bust, so Lashed Music was on hold, but I‘m all ready for 2008.
ILM: Can you describe your ideal night out and your ideal night in?
Lisa: My ideal night in was like last night. I had a bottle of red wine and I watched the Good Shepherd with Matt Damon on DVD with my boyfriend - in my new house. I only moved in a few months ago and I’m hardly ever home.
My ideal night out would be at The Custard Factory in Birmingham. I recently went to see the Stanton Warriors, they did a breaks night over there and I went out with my girly crew - all my friends who I don’t get to see very often.
ILM: Can you name one piece of software or hardware you couldn't do without?
Lisa: I suppose it has to be my Cubase really. I couldn’t listen to any music without that!
ILM: What are your plans for the New Year?
Lisa: At the moment I’ve got a mixture of things. From Boxing Day being in Wales, then Scotland on the 27th, 28th Ireland, 29th Norway and 30th I think I’m going to Korea - which I’m still fine tuning at the moment - and for New Years I think I’m going to be abroad somewhere - if not then I’m not sure. Everything is being booked so late at the moment, so I’m just waiting to get it all down.