Q&A: Daniel Avery
The acclaimed techno producer from London shot to prominence last year with his debut album Drone Logic and will be bringing his skills to the decks next weekend in Belfast
You're coming to Belfast to DJ, but you're a producer too. Do you think of yourself as more one than the other?
Yeah, I definitely think of myself as a DJ first and foremost. I've been DJing 10 years this year. I kind of fell into it by accident, but the second I started doing it I loved being able to affect the mood in a room, just by playing records.
Have you noticed much of a difference in the kinds of bookings you've been getting since your album came out?
I feel the album is a good calling card for what I am and what I do. It's made a lot more people aware of me, and it's been a great feeling to play those tracks that I've worked so hard on and road-tested.
I feel that the album is a good summary of me travelling around the world as a DJ, making tracks for dancefloors, and now here's the album. They feed into each other, which has been a good thing.
Is it true that you grew up listening mainly to guitar music?
Yeah, my background isn't particularly in dance music so I come at it from a different angle. I'm quite happy, actually, to occupy this position as something of an outsider.
Do you feel that people relate to you and your music for that reason?
I don't really know, but I know that when I was getting into electronic music for the first time, I was attracted to the lone ranger, outsider characters, whether that was Aphex Twin or Erol Alkan or Andrew Weatherall – people who couldn't be further away from the whole 'superstar DJ' thing, or from the lad culture that follows dance music.
I don't do anything for a reason – this is who I am – but I have had a few kids say to me, 'You got me into dance music'. That's an incredible thing to hear, and it inspires me to continue.
You've been compared to big dance acts like The Chemical Brothers, Orbital and Underworld. Do those comparisons make sense to you?
Well, yes and no. The first dance acts that I really loved were people like the Chems, Massive Attack and Leftfield. Listening back to those records now, I still think it's pretty amazing how massive they all got, because it's still quite underground music.
It's been enjoyable to see my audiences grow, but I don't have any plans to do a live show. To be honest, I like DJing too much and I don't want to lose that.
How much do you enjoy the travelling and the touring?
I've always been more than happy to spend some time on my own. I think there's a certain mindset that you have to put yourself into. You have to enjoy reading, I think! No one likes airports or long plane journeys, but the potential euphoria that you get from DJing at the end of the night makes everything worth it.
Do you have family at home that you leave behind to go on tour?
I live with my girlfriend in London, but she's used to me being away at weekends. It's a strange job but a rewarding one, and I'm lucky I have someone who understands that.