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  Articles >> Interviews : Cloudskipper
Interviews with artists, DJ's, promotors.
Author: milo
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Q: So for those out there that have been living under a rock in North America, who are you and what do you do?

Hello everyone, my name is Chris. I haven't had a drink in six weeks... wait, this isn't the AA meeting is it? Erg.. well that's embarrassing. (Laughing)... I'm Chris, aka Cloudskipper. I'm a hardcore DJ/producer living in San Francisco.

Q: How did you get involved with the hardcore scene?

It first began back in 1995, when my friend Rudy went to a swap meet and brought back a mixtape of a music we hadn't heard before. We had already been listening to house music for a few years via Richard Humpty Vission's Powertools radio show, but this music was new and instantly addicting to me. It was by a DJ named Strange Love. It was mostly Dutch stuff, like Wonderful Days, Don't Leave Me Alone, Promised Land, etc. I had my friend burn me a copy, which I wore out in about a week. I got a Paulina Taylor tape not long after that, and around then my brother began to DJ, playing U.S. Hard House. I never thought I'd get into it because I was a musician and felt at the time that DJing wasn't musicianship, but I soon found myself playing his records on 45 trying to duplicate the sounds I had heard on that tape. I placed my first record order with Indepth Records in Miami when they were still around, and the rest is history.

Q: Where did you come up with the name Cloudskipper?

I think this question is probably asked the most, and to be honest I really don't have a clear answer to it. My brother and my friends were trying to give me a DJ name, and every name they came up with was terrible. I don't even want to make them public, they were that bad. One morning I woke up and it just came to me. The name was perfect and it definitely fit the music I play. Everyone I ran it by really liked it, so it stuck.

Q: Who have been your biggest influences along the way?

I've had many influences along the way. First and foremost would probably have to be my brother, because without him I wouldn't have even started DJing. In terms of music, I'd say the biggest influence for me has been Paulina Taylor, because without listening to his early tapes I probably wouldn't be playing this stuff, either. My musical influences are endless, but I'd say the biggest ones have been Brisk, Scott Brown, DJ Promo, DJ Shadow, Uberzone, Dmitri Shostakovich, Samuel Barber, and Gustav Holst.

Q: What labels have you been paying a lot of attention to lately?

I'd say the two labels that I'm hammering the most at the moment are Raw Elements and KFA. I also play a lot of tracks from labels like Raver Baby, Evolution, Pitched Up, Camel, Bedlam, Uprising, Remix Reloaded, Bonkerz, Warped Science, and some others.

Q: You've been able to release several tracks, including one featured on Bonkers, how does it feel?

It's an awesome feeling. When Sketchy and I released Supernova 001 in 2001, it sold fairly well and we were quite pleased with the success of it, being that was really the first track I had ever seriously done. I dabbled in production for two years after that but nothing too serious until Reese and I went over to England in March 2003 and did Raw Elements 006 and Bedlam 003, which was an awesome experience. We did Great Escape in October, and then went over to England in December and did Revolution, which turned out to be a huge success. When I found out it was going on Bonkers 12, I was ecstatic. Definitely one of my top 5 moments.

Q: Now Cloudskipper, you're one of the hand full of people from the US to make it big, including international bookings, what's the secret to your success been?

That's very flattering (laughing)... I think that I've been successful, but not as successful as I want to be. I still have lofty goals that I want to reach. I don't think there's really any secret to my success.. if there is, I don't even know what it is. I work hard, I do my best to present this music that I love to the people who want to hear it, and if any success comes along with that I'll be happy.

Q: Since you've on the forefront of things here, what direction do you see it all going in the future?

Well it's actually looking up for hardcore. There's much more interest now than there was two years ago. I can go to cities around North America and be able to play just about anything upfront that I want and not clear the room, which is a huge difference. Not only that, but the music is much more diverse than it used to be and just about all styles have been accepted anywhere I go.

Q: Any big plans coming up for you?

Yeah, some really big ones but I really can't say them just yet. Just stay tuned and you'll know when I can share them

Q: What has been your most memorable moment in hardcore?

For playing parties, there are two instances that really stand out in my mind. One of them was an event called Movement in January 1999. It was a free party on the University of California San Diego campus, on a Sunday during the day, and about 3,000 people turned up. Simon Apex and I did a 2x4 for two hours primetime in the main arena. The one memory of that I recall vividly is watching kids in a balcony at the opposite side of the courtyard going nuts. An amazing experience. The other is one of our parties, Happy Together 2. We had 1,200 people turn up and packed the place raw for Luna C, Uplift & Cris E. KManic, DJ Storm & Euphony, and locals. That was awesome. In terms of production, I think having Revolution get on Bonkers is my most memorable moment so far.

Q: The worst?

Mostly the business end of running a label. Whoever thought getting paid from a distribution company would be so difficult when they sold all the records you sent them?

Q: When you're not rocking crowds or in the studio, what do you get up to?

I'm just a normal person otherwise. I like to hang out with my friends, spend time with my girlfriend, follow sports, especially baseball, have and go to bbqs.. that's about it, really!

Q: Thanks for talking with us today, any parting shots?

I love everybody! (laughing).... Thanks to everyone who supports our music, we wouldn't be anything without you.

Added: 2004/07/21  Hits: 4035    Votes: 3  Rating: 

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