EP 002 / 19.01.2022
TEARING UP THE
Alan Fitzpatrick 00:00
I mean, I think it's it's certainly something we should be be focusing on. I think equality on line ups and stuff is a big thing as well and making sure that kind of everyone with talent should be getting a look in, you know, everyone, everyone that's got ability and kind of that should be online apps should be online is wherever it doesn't matter what kind of gender race or, or sexuality you are, you know, you should you should be on there, we've we have definitely been for a period where the industry has been quite male dominant. And I think we're now starting to see a shift and the right movement where people are kind of being represented a bit more and, you know, lineups are starting to look a bit more diverse and stuff. And I think we just need to keep on pursuing that
Farah Nanji 00:42
you're listening to the mission makers show, a podcast that inspires humans to get into the mindset of success. My name is Farah Nanji, and I'm the founder of a business in the motorsports industry that explores leadership lessons from things like Formula One. I'm also a DJ and music producer in the underground electronic scene, and a public speaker on key topics like resilience, building high performance teams, overcoming learning difficulties and stimulating creativity. And to tie it all together, I love writing thought provoking content as a journalist for these industries, which is so unique in themselves. On this show, I'm sitting down with some of the most inspiring and driven people I've met around the world to talk about their processes, their failures, the lessons they've learned, and how they're truly making an impact to this world. Hey guys, and welcome back to season three of the mission makers podcast. For today's episode, I'm joined by possibly one of the biggest DJs in techno Alan Fitzpatrick. Alan has succeeded in challenging all of the rules of techno while carving a very unique niche in his field. He's released on drumcode cocoon bedrock to name a few, and he commands dance floors around the world with his robust, raw and emotive sound, regularly guesting in the most prestigious stages around the world from DC 10 to Bergheim, fabric and everywhere in between. In 2016, he founded his own label, we are the brave, and in just five years, the label has already accumulated 30 million streams on Spotify. There has been no stopping Alan in the pandemic either with 2021, seeing his first album released in a decade, released on anjunadeep, and titled machine therapy. The album is a fantastic Sonic understanding of how Alan has challenged the techno playbook, and carved out his own therapy in the studio with all of those incredible machines. We talk about making music during the strange times, breaking boundaries, defying expectations and so much more on today's episode. So just before we begin, if you're interested in watching the video version of this podcast, head over to YouTube and type in Alan Fitzpatrick mission makers to see the show and also you can see where he recorded his album. And if you're interested in some really cool rewards like DJ lessens the chance to ask our guests questions and exclusive merchandise head over to patreon.com/missionmakers to check out how you can access these exclusive rewards. And thank you to all of you've been writing into us and subscribing to the show. It really makes a difference. So don't forget to hit that subscribe button if you love the content that we're making here at Mission makers and help us take this show to the next level this season. Hey, Alan, welcome to the show. How you doing today?
Alan Fitzpatrick 03:32
Yeah, not too bad at all. Not too bad. Thanks for having me.
Farah Nanji 03:36
It's an absolute honour and pleasure. So I hear you're in Southampton. And that's where you grew up, if I'm not mistaken. And you know, you got into the scene from what I hear from a very young age. So what were the kind of key moments that drove you to the electronic scene and what was the scene like in Southampton growing up?
Alan Fitzpatrick 03:54
So in Southampton, when I was younger, I wouldn't I wouldn't have said there was a huge amount of a kind of electronic scene that I was really involved in really we might my first kind of explorations into kind of nightclub in and listen to electronic music was actually in Bournemouth, I would go down with friends, which is obviously fairly close to us. It's probably 3540 minute drive. We go down to Bournemouth and go clubbing in a club called the Opera House and the event was called slinky at the time, which was born in around 1999 Going into sort of the millennium, but that's where I first sort of cut my teeth as a sort of clever I guess and was hanging out down there with with what sort of school friends and going into sort of college friends. Yeah, basically, first time walking into into kind of a room with lasers, smoke machine lights and kind of just got absorbed by that whole culture of nightlife. All sort of started in in that venue rarely.
Farah Nanji 05:02
Hmm. And so what did you kind of learn from your early observations in your early years as a young DJ,
Alan Fitzpatrick 05:09
just basically to sort of soak up the culture of performing I think when I was first I had turntable was quite an early age I was 14, when I turntables said I was clubbing in and around that sort of time, we had some fake IDs, and we're getting into clubs for about 1516 years old. And I just got immersed into the culture of hearing different sounds and different cultures of people. And everyone kind of danced into one beat really. And when I took that on, as my kind of approach to DJ was just to make sure that I try and capture that energy in my DJ sets.
Farah Nanji 05:48
Did you always knew then, when you got your turntables, like this was the path you wanted to take, because it definitely wasn't. So I defined back then it was quite quite ambiguous as to how to like become a DJ and how to sort of make it.
Alan Fitzpatrick 06:00
Yeah, I mean, there was never any, certainly back in the late 90s, going into sort of early noughties, there was no, no sort of, I guess, yeah, like rulebook on how to get into music and how to get into DJing. And stuff like that. It was all very much kind of word of mouth, someone knew someone that was a promoter, or, you know, kind of you kind of just drifted through a network of people and maybe found the right people to contact in terms of getting into DJing and stuff. But for me, you know, being a being in those, those early experiences in nightclubs and seeing being kind of miserable, mesmerised by the light lights to music, and I think from those early days, I was like, this is this is what I want to be doing, as a career
Farah Nanji 06:44
did you decide to go to university or just go full throttle into, into the music industry.
Alan Fitzpatrick 06:51
I went to, I did a BTEC diploma in music technology, shortly after leaving school, but I think I did about I got about eight, nine months into the course it was a three year course I went got about nine months in. And during the process of the start or finish of those of that nine months, I was kind of both spending my salary on my plan, that I had a job and I spending my salary on buying equipment and building up my own sort of home set up studio wise. And during that nine months, I was writing music at home, I actually ended up getting a track signed in 2002 to a record label called toolbox with my friend, Dave Robertson reset robot. And I think I just decided, wow, I've I've made it now I've got a release coming out. And I don't need to be doing the course I can spend more time at home making music and I dropped out of that course, and just was focusing on writing music at home. And naively really, I should have stuck the course out and I would have probably learned a lot more quick. I'm feel like I know everything that I need to know now in terms of what I would have learned from that course, but certainly probably should have stuck out back in the early days, but got overexcited that I had a track signed and thought right this is it, you know and went and went for it. But what I will say is that did give me the I guess the sort of balls to make that commitment and to sort of jump into stuff to fit in and see if we can make it work and it paid off.
Farah Nanji 08:22
And was it always techno from from that age? When you're
Alan Fitzpatrick 08:25
always making kind of harder edge music then is it still sort of techno or hard techno UK hard house and there is some some like trancy bits. But overall the the kind of core basis of my music all the way through has always been
Farah Nanji 08:42
techno lead. Yeah. And so if I may ask how were your sort of family supportive through that process?
Alan Fitzpatrick 08:50
Yeah, very supportive. I remember my when I was making my the track that I got signed in 2002. I remember making it in my bedroom studio with my Mr. Say, my friend Dave, and my mum bringing us up cups of teas and biscuits, and let us kind of just do I think in the bedroom, which is they've always been supportive of my music, you know, they've never been one to be banging on the door asking me to turn it down and stuff. They've always been pretty, pretty easygoing. And, yeah, I think that's massively helped. Because having their support is it's not an easy career to explain to people, especially parents and staff when they don't maybe fully understand the scene or what it is you actually do. So to try and explain to, to us maybe in a different generation, what kind of being a record producer and DJs is about is, as I say, quite ambiguous, as you say it's quite random. So having their support has been massive. Yeah.
Farah Nanji 09:45
No, absolutely. And something we always like to sort of go a little bit into on this interview, or on this podcast is the meaning of our guests name. So we looked up what the meaning of Alan has and it has a couple of days. meanings depending on the origin, but something we picked up on most notably is that it can actually mean harmony in this sort of Celtic background, so which, obviously quite interesting given your musical background and experimentation with harmony through your music, do you think this meaning might represent your character in any way, shape or form?
Alan Fitzpatrick 10:20
Yeah, I mean, that sounds like a perfect fit to me. I've never really looked into all that sort of stuff. So that's pretty cool. But yeah, I guess harmony is a good word to use when you're when you're a producer, and you're playing with a lot of different instruments and different melodies, different kind of soundscapes that that's, that's quite cool.
Farah Nanji 10:39
Yeah, no, definitely sometimes, you know, it is sometimes there's a subconscious role in your life, you know, even when you may not be so aware of what your name may sort of represent. So moving into into your musical career, one of your recent projects was a track called take control that you worked on with your 10 year old son, Milo over locked down and talking about family earlier. So how did it feel to kind of have your son working with you in this kind of in this kind of environment? And do you think more and more kids are becoming more drawn to electronic music? Even, you know, at that age?
Alan Fitzpatrick 11:18
Yeah, I mean, it was quite an exciting project to get to do that with with Vietnamese ease, obviously, from from, since birth, I've always had service, wherever, wherever it's a relatively small or large studio set up at home, in different places where we've lived. So he's always been around me, being in this sort of environment. And I guess, from an early age, seeing the flashing lights on equipment, and it looks quite exciting. I guess it's quite spaceship II for a child. But he, yeah, during during that whole lockdown process, it was a lot of time spent in the studio really not wanting to show what was happening in the world. And we have an opportunity where he his school was closed. And it just felt right to maybe do something that's kind of half educational, interesting and stuff together and gotten in the studio. And he was kind of playing a GarageBand on his iPad, and he's making kind of loops and melodies and stuff on that just just for fun. And he let me hear a few bits and the the actual hook melody of that track, he played me and I was like, alright, let's let's record that in. And let's do something. And it was quite exciting, I think, for him to be involved and, you know, be part of making some music with his dad for the first time. But, um, to touch on the other part of your question in terms of the younger generations and kids getting involved in electronic music, I do think that the scope for that is getting younger and younger, based on the fact that you have all these relatively cheap and easy, easily accessible applications to write good quality music on whether it's on iPads, or tablets, and even even, you can even get really good apps now, at the most basic level to write music on your phone. So it's a great way of introducing people into kind of electronic music or just music making in general doesn't necessarily have to be electronic. But it's just interesting for, for kids to get to play with that sort of stuff. I mean, if I had that when I was 10 years old, I mean, you're a bit mind blown. But now we take it for granted. There's so many apps for everything, but it's quite exciting that kids can do that now.
Farah Nanji 13:26
Yeah, no, definitely. I mean, not sure if you know, but music in in music GCSE now DJing. And music production is, is a thing like 40% of the syllabus, which is amazing considering obviously, the what it used to what what kind of sounds what used to be music GCSE, and talking about, you know, the fact that you were sneaking into clubs at a young age, and I was kind of the same actually, I think my first club at age 15 was fabric, which was not, not the worst place to, to discover music. And there was that lightning bolt moment when you know, you hear you hear all these things at home, and then you hear on sound system and interest, the sound of a kick drum and it changes your mind, you know, and so many things. So, with that kind of generation younger generation coming in, do you think that there should be more accessible electronic events for people under under the age of 18? They don't have to sneak into clubs necessarily, to hear these kinds of things on sound systems.
Alan Fitzpatrick 14:23
Yeah, I mean, I think it would be a great thing to enable younger people to be able to experience that sort of stuff. Earlier on in in life. Definitely. I mean, I think there's a few there's a few opportunities now for there's a company called Reva tox, which is kind of specifically aimed at kind of children and under a certain age group to be in that kind of environment and I guess kind of play around with glow sticks and see the lasers and run or run around through the smoke machine and kind of listening to music. Which is kind of quite a cool concept. But I think that I guess that sort of stuff is more aimed at quite young kids. I don't I do think there's a quite a void for teenagers as it were, like, I guess between kind of 14 to 18 There's definitely a gap there for them to sort of experience that, that kind of thing, I think. I mean, in one way, it'd be good to have stuff more stuff available for kids that age, but I also think it's quite an exciting age to have to almost wait for your first opportunity to go into a nightclub. And maybe sometimes if we, if we bring that experience forward too much. It takes away from that kind of, you know, when you first enter a club legally, you know,
Farah Nanji 15:49
I mean, yeah, it could be used to the flip side there that like maybe, you know, experiencing that atmosphere but without all the you know, the devices perhaps Yeah,
Alan Fitzpatrick 15:59
we met that'd be quite That's That's enough. I guess it's a bit more of a safer environment to do that. Maybe there's a maybe there's an opportunity maybe it maybe some clubs should pilot some events where they're doing stuff for a an underage teens kind of event, you know, I mean, they do happen sometimes I remember being a kid and going to a nightclub like a I guess it was locally in Southampton. It was like a phone pie or something one of these kind of gimmicky things, but that was aimed at underwriting and I remember that been pretty cool. But the music was a bit more kind of, I guess just like pop pop music you know, nothing specialist. It wasn't like an under 18 going to fabric to hear kind of Ricardo and a logo or something like that, you know, it's kind of a crazy thought. But I guess it would be quite cool. If kids could go and see the Jays a younger age, I guess festivals is the only opportunity really?
Farah Nanji 16:55
Yeah, no, definitely, I think it can be quite cool because you can learn how to enjoy these music, that music and without anything and then you know later on when you go down that path and you go on the clubbing journey, you know, don't always have to get completely, you know, smashed as it were to you to to really enjoy. Enjoy it. How do you feel about about that? Do you feel? Do you? Do you feel like people need things to enjoy music? Or, you know, are you are you an advocate for sort of a clean, cleaner dance floor?
Alan Fitzpatrick 17:23
I'm not really I mean, oh, ultimately, I think not necessarily a cleaner dance for this, for me, a safer environment, really, you know, if you're going to go in, if you're going to go and take anything to enhance your musical experience in a club, then make sure you're doing it correctly, safely with the right amount of advice and don't be doing it under pressure and that kind of thing, really, but I do, I do think that our industry and certainly electronic music has been kind of is where it is today because of kind of certain aspects of drug culture, acid, house, and ecstasy and all these kind of things were, were a big part of the head heritage of music. That's not to say that anyone getting into the scene needs to experience that side of it. But ultimately, it's very hard to picture nightclubbing without knowing that sort of history that has with it, you know?
Farah Nanji 18:21
Yeah, no, definitely. And with the kind of recent times we find ourselves in and obviously, you know, being a incredibly busy touring DJ in the past, how has this kind of time changed, perhaps like how your, your time has been balanced between life as a DJ and producer and then as a family man as well,
Alan Fitzpatrick 18:41
in terms of the pandemic or just injecting Jim Crow?
Farah Nanji 18:45
Yeah, I mean, maybe you could tell us how was it before you know, and then how has it changed during during this time?
Alan Fitzpatrick 18:53
I think with the, with the pandemic is just a perfect opportunity was for me to kind of realise how hard I was probably working before how much I was almost on a bit of a fight or flight you're touring a lot, you're not sleeping a great deal, do two flights in and out or grabbing sleep when you can when you're extremely busy on tour, how much I wasn't in the studio as much as I kind of wanted to because it was touring. And when I got home, it was a case of not wanting to really listen to music and more spend time with the family and stuff. All of that stuff was really kind of highlighted when we were forced to stop doing everything that we were doing due to the pandemic when everything closed down. We're all locked in our homes of no clubs, there was no anything you know, you barely go outside for just for exercise and you couldn't really do much at all. And I think when I settled into that I kind of realised how much I valued being with kids and being able to go and spend time in the kitchen cooking food or going out running or doing sport and being a family man and It's definitely something I've taken into consideration going back on the road that I know that stuff is equally as important as touring. So my work life balance is a lot better now, or at least it will be going forward. The tail end of this year is quite difficult because since we opened in July, We've obviously had so many shows that have been rescheduled from ones that didn't happen over the last 18 months, it's actually funnel heavy, quite a lot of shows, there's quite a lot of things going on. So next year, going into next year, I'm going to hopefully have my diary planned out a lot more efficiently. That gives me enough time to be at home. And as well as touring, maybe I have a weekend off a month or something like this to structure my schedule a bit more to allow for the kind of time that I've been enjoying at home for the last sort of 18 months.
Farah Nanji 20:54
Would you ever see yourself? If a promoter said, you know, would you be out for doing like a hologram sort of gig where you know, you wouldn't have to leave your place and they come in and do all the setup? Would you? Would that? Would that world interest you to kind of free up the schedule a little bit.
Alan Fitzpatrick 21:09
I think I would be interested in doing that sort of stuff, just because well, from the point of view of that, I would find it interesting on how it would all work. And they're sort of in a sci fi geek of me that I would like to see how that kind of operates. But ultimately, I would philos like that, like live streams and stuff like that. I think ultimately, I'd struggle. Because I feed off the crowd a lot when I'm playing. I prefer it to be a live experience. And I can see people's reactions firsthand. So yeah, I mean, I think that hologram type approach would only really work for me if there was a way that you could still feel connected to your audience.
Farah Nanji 21:50
Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely agree. So you've released many tracks across many labels over the over the years. And notably, you know, you're very well known for your affiliation with drumcode. And you've had a close relationship with Adam bear over the last decade, collaborating on many events and many tracks. So what has been the sort of origins of that partnership? And how has it sort of influenced your performances in your creative processes?
Alan Fitzpatrick 22:16
Yes, so I've, I have been a artist on drumcode For as long as I can remember, really, I mean, I sent Adams and demos back in August 2007 2008, somewhere around there, and we've we've, we've been close friends and label kind of partners, artists, partners, ever since we've done lots of music together, as you say. But I think drumcode was very much a pivotal part of my career, really, my when I signed to drumcode. In around 2007 2008, I, that was where my career really sort of took a shift. And I really felt part of a sort of a label collective. And back then when I was signed to drumcode. It was a obviously, it's always been a huge label, but it was a just a record, like, kind of huge events and festival stages and stuff everywhere. And so it's been great to see that grow and be part of of that kind of process. But I would be me and me and Adam go way back. And I've got a lot of lot to thank that label for for really kind of putting my music on the map for me.
Farah Nanji 23:25
Definitely. And so now as a producer, do you do you? Do you kind of prefer working solo? Or do you do do you still really like the kind of collaborative approach
Alan Fitzpatrick 23:34
I get about doing doing both really, I think it's always fun to, to bounce ideas off of other people and work with other artists. So I do a lot of collaborations. But yeah, there's nothing quite like being able to just sort of do your own thing in your studio or on your own and, and get to lay down those ideas about any other sort of outside influence, really. So they go hand in hand, I think sometimes I go through periods where I don't want to be collaborating with anyone and just solely sort of focus on my vision. And then other times I might have, I might go back to an idea or a track that I've done and struggle to kind of see where I want to take it and then it might need me to send it over to someone and say like you want to maybe work on this one together. I'm a bit stuck for where I want to take it and maybe you've got some ideas. And sometimes that's how, you know, some of the collaborations I've done I've been I've been born just out of sharing ideas of sort of my producer friends, you know, lucky in my kind of in my Kumbhakarna role, I've got a lot of producers that are friends. So we bounce ideas off of each other quite a lot. And sometimes collaborators just come out of that.
Farah Nanji 24:45
Definitely, yeah, no, it's really nice sometimes to have that additional pair of ears in the studio and just to kind of get open up the door to a way that maybe you know, you just can't in that moment for whatever reason. Or just kind of come in with some fresh fresh ideas. And he's talking about kind of doing your own thing. Your label we are the brave has been doing extremely well, unsurprisingly. And the motto is we do what we want. So does that kind of relate to producing, releasing whatever you you really want to want to do?
Yeah, I mean, ultimately that we do what we want phrase is a kind of a way of a way of us th inking that we can kind of approach music in a, in a format where we aren't restricted on boundaries of what style we want to release. When we want to release it, who we want to sign how we want to promote it, we kind of just ultimately don't have any rulebook. So we wanted to go against the grain sometimes do things a little bit differently. And ultimately, that that sort of punk ethos of like, if you're doing this, then we're gonna go do this sort of thing. So yeah, with that culture, we try and instil in the artists that we sign as well as have that kind of view. And we're listening to demos that ultimately, we will approach this in the way that we want to approach and we won't be like conforming to any other normal methods, really.
Farah Nanji 26:15
And so this is a very extreme, sorry, very exciting time of the year, and indeed, your fans, because by the time his interviews aired, you would have just released your brand new album machine therapy in November. So this is the first studio album he released in over a decade. So obviously really excited to hear, you know, what's, what's gonna, what's it gonna sound like? So tell us a little bit more about the album and kind of what inspired you to write it and what that journeys been like writing, writing machine therapy.
Alan Fitzpatrick 26:46
Yeah, I mean, most of the album was actually put together during the whole pandemic lockdown process. And I think it was a good opportunity for me to be able to explore all my different creative kind of paths that I sometimes want to go down. I mean, the beauty of that album, the real tally about about the title, the reason it's called machine therapy is 90% of the album is written with hardware equipment, because over the years, or at least, it's my last album, I've been collecting and buying new synths and old hymns and building my studio. So a lot of that music has been quite hardware based. And the therapy approach is that sitting in the studio, writing music, during that kind of strange time in everyone's lives was quite a therapeutic thing for me. So me, machine therapy is based around that, that sort of theory. But yeah, it's just exciting to be able to get back in the studio and work on a project that was on that scale. We, I mean, obviously, it's been 10 years, it's the last album, but I've been very prolific in music. So I haven't really gone anywhere, I've ultimately been spending a lot of time on singles and remixes and collaboration. So during that whole period of 10 years from the last one to now, there's still been releases for me probably almost monthly. So it was nice to be able to sit and do something on a larger scale, really. And I just think with the pandemic, it allowed me to work with some artists that I've never normally get to work with, because we are kind of touring schedules or production schedules weren't in sync, but where everyone was kind of stuck on hold, we effectively got a few things over the line, which were quite exciting. And the album is not a club album, it's much more of a kind of musical experience for my kind of creative processes and more of a kind of, I guess, a Spotify kind of stream listening album with a few club bits in there. It's certainly an album that I'd appreciate that people have a start to finish approach and listening to it really because it does for me, present itself best if you give it that time, as opposed to kind of jumping in and listen to tracks here and there. It's it's definitely much more of a sort of processing album of sitting and listening through. And that's sort of the way I intended it to be made really very exciting, very exciting to be able to have it finally come out. It's been a long time in the making. And I don't know what I'll do another one because they obviously well, this one took 10 years, maybe a bit maybe another 10 years. Who knows but I'm excited and and interested to see what people think.
Farah Nanji 29:34
Definitely, and the machines will look very different in 10 years time. Hey, you, we hope you're enjoying today's episode. We're on a serious mission here to create one of the world's best podcast series and we'd be so grateful if you could support us in any way by becoming a patron of the show. There's a tear to every level from earlybird here's where you get downloads to all my music with some super cool ninja stickers to our VIP mission make it here's where you get Epic Rewards like if solicit that agent never gets add the chance to submit questions to our guests with signed copies of books from them, DJ lessons one to one coaching and a whole load of super cool ninja measure maker merchandise, you can start supporting us for less than what it costs you to fill up your car for a month by simply heading over to wwe.patreon.com forward slash mission makers. Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the show. When you when you write music, do you kind of do you have an idea of the song name or the EPS name before you write? Or does that kind of come to you sort of after when you've painted the creative canvas.
Alan Fitzpatrick 30:39
A lot of the names of tracks generally come either during or after the process really. Sometimes it might come quicker if it's if it's I'm playing with a vocal sample or if I'm playing with something that immediately triggers a title. But ultimately, a lot of the things like names and kind of themes of tracks generally developed during the same creative processes music
Farah Nanji 31:09
what's the shortest time it took you to produce a track on the album and what's what's the longest time
Alan Fitzpatrick 31:15
the longest and the shortest? Yeah. I think the longest probably warning signs with Lawrence Hart my favourite track on the album it's my goosebump track, I'm think it's one of the best tracks I've ever been a part of, of writing. And that took a long time because we were really kind of precise in terms of adding and taking away bits and bobs changing vocal but aspects to the track and adding in layers. It took a while but now sounds great. And we actually got that track mastered at Abbey Road. Obviously famous of the Beatles and many other huge bands, but wanted to get that one right. So that one that one was one of the tracks took a long time. Quickest track on the album is probably the end track called unite. Got a large sample in there from Charlie Chaplin sample from The Great Dictator movie, I think it's from the 20s. But I'd originally had these this kind of orchestral chord sequence written for a little while was didn't take too long to do. And I was struggling with what I wanted to put on the track. And I ended up coming across that sample using it and it seemed to fit perfectly. But that one came about much quicker than, than some of the other more intricate tracks on the album. But yeah, I think what inside is definitely the longest and I think you know, it was probably the shortest
Farah Nanji 32:43
would you be able to quantify quantify it?
Alan Fitzpatrick 32:50
Probably not. Okay. Wave in terms of the those two tracks,
Farah Nanji 32:59
yeah, in terms of these two strikes, we don't have to include like the whole mastering process and everything, but just more just the creative aspect of like, you know, writing writing the, the concept that the most of the arrangement being kind of just Yeah, happy with it.
Alan Fitzpatrick 33:14
Oh, yeah. I mean, in terms of sorry, I feel like so just in terms of those two tracks. Yeah, I mean, myself and Lawrence were kind of back and forth quite a lot in terms of their arrangement. on that track. We were like, he's, he's as vocal though the entire tracks. So we were kind of playing with multiple chord sequences. And with the Moogle arpeggios, I'm trying to make it sound kind of coherent. And for me, that track really felt like a piece of music as opposed to a kind of track that you go and play on a DJ set. Although you people will do that. For me, it's like one of those tracks that really fit like my Radiohead moment, I think, is one of those tracks that I really feel is a piece of music as opposed to just a club track.
Farah Nanji 34:01
Yeah, and, and so for this album, you've teamed up with anjunadeep to talk to me about that relationship and why anjunadeep For for this album.
Alan Fitzpatrick 34:10
So I think they've got a greater history in terms of kind of more deep melodic and kind of ambient type music really, I think they've got a huge, huge following with that kind of melodic sound. And, you know, originally I when I started the album process, I was pretty dead set on doing it on my own label brave. But down the process of making the album and the kind of twists and turns that it took musically. Just didn't feel like we are the brave record. It was a lot more I guess, to sell out and probably a lot more musical in terms of what sort of stuff we would normally put out you know, is less less techno on there and a lot more kind of emotive sounding music. So I needed A new home really needed to go to a fan base that we're gonna be receptive to that pretty early on, and I'd send some demos of the of the album over to to Angelina, and just just gauge what they thought about it. And the they loved it and they kind of grabbed it with, with two hands and we went for it. I do think that looking back now looking at where I was looking at position in the album, I think that that's gone to the best choice really?
Farah Nanji 35:32
Absolutely. So what would you like to see kind of reset for our industry from from this time that we found ourselves in.
Just people appreciated it more, I think then let's sort of look after each other and kind of, from from, I can only really speak from my own experience, but from my own experience, it's just taught me to kind of life comes first really, you know, don't don't be rushing into everything can kind of allow, allow space to kind of enjoy things that you enjoy, but also to live kind of in the moment and experience life before work, if that makes sense.
Farah Nanji 36:15
Absolutely. In a previous interview with DJ Mag, you talked about your vision for the future and your desire to branch out further than just the electronic realms such as clothing and film and TV scoring. So if you could film school, one movie, what would be what would it be?
Alan Fitzpatrick 36:32
Oh, it would probably be something something obvious, like Blade Runner, because they're the sort of movies that I get inspiration from in terms of kind of electronic soundscaping in sound design, stuff like that, you know, a big fan of Bangor, les is score on that movie, and that will be a if I had the opportunity to rescore BFP a film like like Blade Runner, I think which lends itself to synthesis and electronic music.
Farah Nanji 37:05
Nice. And so with your kind of evolvement into sort of releasing this, the more ambient and more sort of harmonic sounds like do you see yourself? Maybe one day like doing that, and going into that into that world of film scoring and stuff?
Alan Fitzpatrick 37:21
Yeah, certainly, I'd like the opportunity to be able to move into doing that sort of stuff. I have had a conversation, in recent times with my publishers about maybe going down that route and doing kind of Maven, whether it be sound design for computer games, and music for TV and film and stuff. So it's certainly something I'm interested in doing. Again, even at my kind of profile level, it's it that is another one of those always closed markets for trying to get into that sort of scene and do that sort of stuff. But I'm in touch with a few people, I know a few directors and stuff that have expressed potential interest. So you never know. I mean, the difficulty at the moment is I'm I'm still very much I guess, busy touring and writing music on what I'm already doing that it would now probably not be the right time to go into that just based on the fact that I wouldn't be able to get it 110%. But certainly, as I get older, and as I get more time to do certain things, I'm 100% certain that I will get the opportunity to at least at an amateur level, do something and then we'll see where it goes, you know, maybe I'll maybe I'll approach do site with my local university seranthony University and see if I can help some of the kind of students there score stuff for their own amateur projects and get involved that way. So that'd be quite a cool way of giving. So back I think maybe I'll let them use my studio or something.
Farah Nanji 38:56
That sounds pretty cool. Do you collaborate with the university already?
Alan Fitzpatrick 39:01
And in terms of done some guest lecturing and stuff like that, there really been been in there a few times and given some talks about kind of label management and touring and setting up as a sort of DJ and, and things like that, really, it's more of an opportunity at that stage for students to ask me questions, because I'm in a role that they may be aspiring to go into so I, I'm more there. So as a kind of, to be fired out questions, find out really, and hopefully that gives them some insight into what it is that is involved in being a professional artist.
Farah Nanji 39:44
Fascinating. And in that same interview with DJ Mag, it was 2016 and he stated I don't want to be DJing when I'm 50 and everyone in the club is 18. Do you still maintain that statement? And do you think maybe age can kind of stunt growth in this kind of industry?
Alan Fitzpatrick 40:01
I think when I've when I was quoted saying that I was probably touring heavily and getting tired, but I think now I've had now I've had the reset of so much time outside of clubs with, with the kind of pandemic stuff, I do think that without putting an age on it, as long as I'm enjoying what I'm doing, I'm still getting the same satisfaction of performing and, and making music I, I don't know, if I would ever be a time when I'd stop, I'd certainly slow down at a certain point, you know, when you're there must be there must come a time and your body's tired of getting up at two in the morning and kind of, you know, being subjected to sort of low sleep and bad diet if you're on tour and grabbing food when you can. And a lot of that stuff went by there will come a time when that is not as fun as it maybe is now when you're in your 30s. But yeah, I mean, ultimately, if I'm enjoying it, I'm still getting the same kick out of it that I do now. I guess I'll do it forever,
Farah Nanji 41:10
you know, wave to the grave, as they say. Right to the grave. Yeah. And how was this kind of summer for you like with everything changing? Were you able to kind of talk quite nicely, what was the whole vibe like?
Alan Fitzpatrick 41:25
Yeah, summer has been great. I mean, I say we opened in 2/23 24th weekend in July. So it's been pretty flat out all of the summer, getting in all the shows that we missed out on the big festivals and stuff. Obviously, a few few didn't happen like Glastonbury and stuff like that. But Parklife Creamfields and some of these other big festivals, I was doing a getting over to Amsterdam for AV and playing warehouse project Manchester. And all of the shows so far have been amazing, the crowds have been great, because everybody's been excited to get back out. And you know, I've been enjoying performing and playing music again, and basically getting back to what we were doing before. So it's been exciting. It's been great. And now I'm looking forward to the next stage, which is kind of darker, early, darker evenings and back into sort of nightclubs and stuff. Because one thing I will say is I haven't done a great deal of I've done a few obviously, I haven't done a great deal of nightclub stuff extensively since we've been back because it's all really been festivals, day events and kind of, you know, summery things. So approaching now coming into sort of November, December time, we'll we'll certainly see DJs getting back into the low ceiling sweaty clubs and stuff,
Farah Nanji 42:47
you know? Absolutely. It's like, nothing's changed, but everything's changed. I went to a club for the first time recently. And yeah, it was, it was definitely an experience. So one thing I want to ask you is, you know, only 2% of females being music producers, what are your personal thoughts on empowering more women into the scene?
Alan Fitzpatrick 43:08
Yeah, I mean, I think it's, it's certainly something we should be be focusing on. I think equality online apps and stuff is a big thing as well. And making sure that kind of everyone with talents should be getting a look in, you know, everyone, everyone that's got ability and kind of that should be online apps should be online as wherever we doesn't matter what kind of gender race or, or sexuality you are, you know, you shouldn't you should be on there, we've we have definitely been through a period where the industry has been quite male dominant. And I think we're now starting to see a shift and the right movement where people are kind of being represented a bit more. And, you know, lineups are starting to look a bit more diverse and stuff. And I think we just need to keep on pushing that. My only progress my only my only thing on that is just to make sure that we're all doing it all for the right reasons and making sure we're pushing the right, not just not just for the sake of it, I believe that people should be in a position if they are good enough to do that sort of role. You know, and I think there's so many great female artists that should be online apps that sometimes don't, don't necessarily get a look at. And I think that we've promoters, I think have been guilty in times of just sticking with, you know, almost repetition. And what works is there's quite a lot of lineups that you can sometimes look at and be like, yes, the same people every year like that mix it up a bit. But I mean, I think the game not to keep referencing the pandemic, but I think it's been another blessing in a way that we've allowed, we've now allowed an extra couple of years of like new up and coming talent to be able to kind of hone their craft through that time and be able to kind of really start pushing some boundaries and breaking through into the scene. So coming out of it. We've now got like lots of fresh new eyes that we should be getting excited about.
Farah Nanji 44:58
Yeah, absolutely. He couldn't agree more. And as the label owner, you kind of excited about the world of NF T's.
Alan Fitzpatrick 45:07
Yeah, to a degree. I mean, we haven't. We haven't really delved into that. Yeah, I mean, I've got I'd like to start doing some stuff with the guys that I've worked with on my albums, some of the, the design guys that have done the artwork and stuff on that we've discussed about maybe looking at doing some NF T stuff. But I think that that whole thing's in its infancy at the moment. So going forward, and just what I want to make sure with stuff like that is that if we're going to go down that route, and do a few NF T's and kind of embrace this new technology that needs to be accessible for, for all fans, really, I mean, there's still a lot of people that have no clue about crypto and no real clue what NF T's even are. So I think we need a bit to educate people a bit more on what that's all about. Because what I don't want to do is alienate certain aspects of our fan base by doing stuff that maybe isn't accessible to them. So I think it's something we'll definitely we'll explore we won't we definitely won't be the last horse to the race, we'll definitely be checking out that technology and keeping a close eye on it, right?
Farah Nanji 46:20
Definitely. And so what's the kind of management style at your at your label, like what's the kind of day in the life for you as as as the sort of label owner how many people kind of work with you to kind of bring this vision to life
Alan Fitzpatrick 46:33
so we've now reduced we've got quite a small team really, I mean, I've got my label manager and Pa Robin, she is the kind of main life and soul of the way other brave really she couldn't do it without her really she is the day to day I guess runner of everything in terms of the logistics and the admin side of the label, whether it be looking at the mastering tracks, the deadlines for when releases are coming out, preparing the artwork along with another guy we've got working with us Chris, he is our social media and kind of artwork design guy. So yeah, they are pretty much flat out and I am just the king of delegation I guess in that sense where I'm I'm more the music side so I will be on a regular basis listening to the demos that we get sent in planning kind of where we're going to be next doing were the brave events looking at new artists to sign going through the kind of release schedule with Robin and planning out where we're going to be putting releases out and we're actually in quite an exciting period at the moment because we're going through a or we're just in the early stages of going through a kind of redesign for for 2022 So we want to approach next year with a bit of a refreshment on the artwork new kind of look for our events and our kind of figurehead lion head logo is getting you're getting a re a makeover as it were still with the same kind of looking thing but we were just kind of finishing everything up and going into 2022 with a new kind of I guess a new vision a new plan and a new a new approach to to just bringing on new music and new artists and pushing the label bigger than it is now we're like it's just growing the brand we're in a nice position where we're doing large scale events and we've got such a lot of music to come and loads of Fresh Artists now now feels like the right time to basically give the whole brand a bit of a facelift and and and push it into the next the next century really, but yeah, we're only only a fairly small team obviously have a pride promotional team that we use. And as myself as Robin is Chris and we've got a lot of good loyal friends that come to our events and help out with backstage in the kind of hospitality side of things so yeah, it's been it's an exciting, fresh young and vibrant Teymur
Farah Nanji 49:16
definitely we're excited to see where the vision evolves in 2022 on the website it the label states that you dare to be different and rip up the rulebook. So how do you kind of like to push the boundaries of this scene and and also encourage like others to kind of do do similar.
Alan Fitzpatrick 49:34
I think mainly we just trying to let that visions or talk for the music and when we try and with the whole name of the label we are the brave we just try and make sure that we are sticking to our I guess ethos of releasing brave records and music that is pushing boundaries and is not playing safe or formulaic or copying kind of What's currently popular and just trying to stay in our own lane and away and do stuff that we that excites us. I mean, I, I sign a lot of music that if people always get confused when they're sending demos, a lot of people send you a demo and it's sounds like you're the last few releases that you've just released, you know, because in their head, that's the sound of the label and that's their way of getting on the label. But for me, what excites me is listening to tracks that make me go like whoa, like, this is mad and it's something different that I haven't heard before. They're the ones that kind of stop you in your tracks and get you excited. So yeah, that whole ethos of like ripping up the rulebook is just just trying to get people to know that we like to just like to do things a little bit differently really,
Farah Nanji 50:46
definitely life is is boring to not do things differently. What do you think your team would say about you as a leader what would they what are they what do they say Allen is like as a as a boss
Alan Fitzpatrick 50:58
I'm probably pretty easygoing I'm probably one of the easiest bosses you get i would say i mean, i i Let I don't micromanage I just let people do their thing and they know they know what we've got to do they know what we kind of have as a sort of team goal and we regularly are in in meetings and regular in terms of like, knowing how we want to present stuff and it's a pretty well oiled chip it runs pretty well I don't I don't feel like I don't feel like they would say I was anything other than supportive and driven really. So well fingers crossed Yeah, we'll say maybe though we'll say something different there's lots of here this podcast who knows
Farah Nanji 51:42
it's no secret that you know the dance music industry is highly political and and obviously the life of a DJs is pretty not like the other not not like many other career paths. So when the kind of going gets tough or just generally like how do you like to kind of take care of your mental health
Alan Fitzpatrick 52:02
I have a couple of different past times that I guess the opposite to a hectic touring and in loud music spaces type life i mean i I'd go kart fishing a lot so I'm you know to be if I'm not in a nightclub playing 138 BPM techno with a strobe light in your face and stuff like that I am sat on a lake with surrounded by nature, wildlife and No, no sound at all other than maybe the brushing of trees and sat fishing with either on my own or with or with or with friends and just completely chilling out in nature. One day, I'd like to own a fishery and kind of maybe have like a glamping pods and have some sort of, I guess, farmland and Fishery where I could grow that as a sort of luxury campsite type thing where people can come and spend a weekend fishing at your lake and maybe, you know, staying on the facilities and that sort of stuff. Which is obviously wild worlds away from from from DJs and touring and music sitting via a lake and picturesque kind of fishing and stuff. So that's one way and the other way is I do I do try to be good golf, I'm not but I do try, I play socially with friends and try and get away that way. But one of the other pastimes is boxing I box a couple of times a week and I quite like to get rid of energy by picking the bags and stuff and, and getting a sweat on that way. Rarely. So though those three things are the best way for me to sort of keep my head clear. I think. I do bits of bits of meditation and stuff like that, really. But ultimately, I think for me, keeping my mental health in check works by having the yin and yang of a hectic touring schedule and a hectic lifestyle in terms of music and then that tranquil side of chill.
Farah Nanji 54:04
Do you have a relationship with music and driving if you drive?
Alan Fitzpatrick 54:10
I never listened to dance music when I'm driving. We I never listened to dance music. Oddly, outside of kind of getting ready for gigs and stuff. I generally when I say when I say dance music that's a bit vague, I should say I don't listen to kind of the music that I DJ when I'm not working. I genuinely am listening to stuff that's kind of a bit more, more more chill and I guess kind of downtempo and some of the more suits my frame of mind when I'm when I'm not working but yeah, I mean, I do quite enjoy putting on playlists and you know, if you're if you're on a long drive and just soaking in music that way is another good way of chillin. But, yeah, it's quite often not what you'd expect. It might even just be that I'm singing along to kind of it Old 80s love ballads on smooth radio, whatever, you know, but I mean, I enjoy that, you know, I've got a very large eclectic taste in music from from from youngsters. And now so a lot of the time I might be listening to whether it's something from the 60s 70s 80s or 90s I'm not often listen to new stuff, especially dance stuff. I like people like Radiohead of Ben Howard and the dma's and still listen to kind of all Britpop stuff of Blur and Oasis and big fan of Kingsley on. But mainly one of the main artists I listen to a lot of. It's been how and I listen to Ben Howard, quite a lot.
Farah Nanji 55:40
Very nice. So we're going to move into our audience q&a, we've got two questions we selected from our, from our listeners. And the first one comes from Joe Kim in Paris. And he asks, What's the weirdest thing that you've seen someone do on the dance floor from behind the decks
Alan Fitzpatrick 55:59
i Very recently, which is on I mentioned this one because it's a nice one. But very recent, there's obviously a lot of weird stuff there. The guy played Berkheimer was a resident there for many years, I've seen a lot of stuff I won't even say on the on the podcast. But in terms of nice things recently, I've seen which is also quite weird. But a couple got engaged right in front of me on the dance floor at Docklands Festival. In Amsterdam, which I thought was pretty nice. That's a special moment to be able to witness someone being proposed to while you're kind of music's been playing. That's pretty exciting.
Farah Nanji 56:39
You got me curious about the bug hind stuff there. But, um, so the next question we have is from Neve in Ireland, and she asks, As a fellow DJ herself, do you have any rituals for preparing for a gig when you go on stage?
Alan Fitzpatrick 56:59
Um, I guess nowadays, now I'm so sort of seasoned in playing in that whole environment of going on stage. My process is probably the only one thing that runs from start to finish from when I started to sort of now is, I love tequila. So generally, I will have two shots of tequila before I start to play. But in terms of like that, sort of when you're onstage, I always just find that like, you know, that just sort of gets me in the mood really. But in terms of like rituals in terms of preparing music and stuff like that, I if I'm a hotel room, I also always like to sort of make sure that I've got everything prepared, going through music, making sure my playlists are in order, not stressing too much about stuff, you know, I would like to kind of think that the music should run pretty freely on staging rather than you kind of already knowing in your head, what you're going to play. If I've got a two hour set, for example, that might be 35 tracks, my playlist will probably be 100 tracks, and I'll go through and fill that out while I'm playing as opposed to being too stringent.
Farah Nanji 58:09
Interesting. And so we're gonna move on to our quick fire round. So not more than 60 seconds on each question. The first question is, who's been the biggest inspiration in your life?
Alan Fitzpatrick 58:22
And biggest inspiration in my life is probably today, they're my kids, I think, watching them, watching them grow into kind of little humans and knowing that's something that you as a person kind of mould and shape. That that's kind of incredible for me, I think when the day I became a father, I've kind of I get inspired by them daily. That's awesome.
Farah Nanji 58:47
That leads quite nicely on to the second question, which is, Do your kids enjoy listening to your music,
Alan Fitzpatrick 58:52
they do certain tracks, certainly, certain certain tracks, they'll play and that's kind of cool. They get to kind of watch little YouTube clips of me playing maybe to 25,000 people on festivals, and that's kind of exciting them to say, I think so. They're always a little dance to stuff. They know a couple of tracks.
Farah Nanji 59:09
Nice, nice. Number three, what's the best purchase you've ever made?
Alan Fitzpatrick 59:16
Um, I guess the best purchase I've ever made would be my Roland 99 drum machine. For me, especially for music wise, it's the is the techno machine, you know, and going back to the days of the master Jeff Mills, my drum machines is actually called Jeff, half to me I was but yeah, that, that that machine was something I'd always dreamt of having as a kid and I never could afford so having to the ability to own one of those now is is pretty special. I'll never ever get rid of it.
Farah Nanji 59:55
Fantastic. I love it. Number four, who's your favourite DJ to play by backwards
Alan Fitzpatrick 1:00:02
and I played back to a lot of people actually, I think historically my favourite back to backs have probably been with Adam Beyer. We've, we've done it a lot and our musical kind of minds work quite similarly. So it flows very naturally. And we are always have a lot of fun. We haven't done a back to back for a long time now for a few years. But in terms of historic back to backs that I've done, I would say that I've had my most enjoyment playing with Adam,
Farah Nanji 1:00:33
to kind of just break the rules a little bit here with the 60 seconds. I just want to ask real quick like how do you prepare for back to back with Adam? Like do you guys collaborate before? Or is it just completely on the night in the moment of the set?
Alan Fitzpatrick 1:00:47
I mean, every single back to back I've ever done in my career right through from whether it be with all of the artists I play back to back remember it's made suplex out and by Luigi Madonna screen eats everything, all these people I've never prepared. We always just feel our onstage.
Farah Nanji 1:01:06
Nice. Awesome, I love it. And lastly, Alan, something we'd love to ask all of our guests as a closing question on this podcast is, what are you most grateful for this month, and I know the month has only just begun to maybe we can reference it to last month.
Alan Fitzpatrick 1:01:23
Last month, I am most grateful for the United States Government granting me my exemption letter which is going to allow me to go on tour in America. I haven't been to America in over two years. And I miss performing for people over there. So I'm actually going to LA and then Austin very soon. And yeah, I'm grateful that they finally allowed touring artists into the country and so that I can fulfil playing to fans over there.
Farah Nanji 1:01:58
What's your favourite state to play in there?
Alan Fitzpatrick 1:02:01
Um, I really enjoy New York. I do like Miami. But to be fair, it's it's such a vast place to play music in in terms of the size of the country and the states that they're all they're all unique. You know, they're all very different. But New York does hold a special place. It's the first day I ever played in when I was touring over the states the first place that I ever, ever performed. So that would be my go to for nostalgic reasons, I guess.
Farah Nanji 1:02:38
Yeah, it's pretty crazy how we Brits have not been allowed into the states for almost two years as you say that yes, hopefully the tide is changing now. And it's all systems go stateside. So good luck, when you do go out there and all the all the best hope you get to make it. And Alan, thank you so much for your time and your insight. It's been an absolute pleasure speaking with you and hearing more about your journey and of course learning more about the album as well, which was super excited to listen to you as well.
Alan Fitzpatrick 1:03:08
No worries. Thank you for having me. It's been an absolute pleasure.
Farah Nanji 1:03:12
Say guys, if you haven't already, go out there and listen to Alan's album machine therapy. It's super interesting to hear how he's used sci fi Sonics with dystopian samples and taking inspiration from the early days of raving to transport listeners into his therapeutic zone. And if you want to grab a copy of today's show notes, then head over to mission makers.com forward slash Alan Fitzpatrick, where you'll also find notes from all of our previous episodes. We've got some amazing guests coming on the show this season, so be sure to share the show with your friends, and subscribe to us on Apple, Spotify, YouTube and wherever else you listen to your podcasts. You can reach out to me on missionmakers or dj.n1nja on instagram And if you're interested in supporting the show and getting some really cool rewards like DJ lessons and exclusive merchandise, then don't forget to visit www.patreon.com/missionmakers . Thank you for listening and until next time, keep it laser focused