Having traded in the humble Brighton club scene for roaring crowds in their masses across the globe, Tim Mason has packed one hell of a punch into his relatively short career as the golden boy of Steve Angello’s label Size Records.
Boasting the support of Tiësto, A-Trak, Calvin Harris, Laidback Luke and the entire cohort of the Swedish House Mafia, Tim Mason is a proud asset to the Size Records family. With a year of adrenaline-fuelled releases and globetrotting live endeavours including a performance at this year’s Creamfields and Cream in Ibiza, we managed to catch up with him to talk about the past 12 months and what his plans are for the future.
Hey Tim. Good to talk to you. You’re signed to Steve Angello’s Size Records label. How did this affiliation happen?
I finished making ‘The Moment’ then sent it over to Size. Next thing I know Steve’s calling me, that was crazy! Size is Steve’s baby and he has some wicked ideas. We were all in the studio together a couple of weeks ago, that was serious!
Are you close with the other Size Matters artists?
The studio session we all had together over a few days was pretty cool. We actually got to hang out where we weren’t rushing off to get to the next show or shouting over the club sound systems or being forced to drink shots! But yeah we all hang out where we can and talk to each other and stuff which is cool.
We’ve seen a few photos of you all in the studio, what are you guys working on at the moment?
I’m afraid you’ll have to wait and see (laughs).
How do you stay focused in the studio?
I switch my phone off, turn the monitors up and just get really into it. For the late nights I might make a coffee or two as well.
Have you learnt any Swedish?
få en frisyr [get a haircut].
How did you feel about the Swedish House Mafia news?
Fair play to them. Did you see the footage of them at Coachella? To be fair after that I would have retired the project as well. I got goosebumps watching it on a 3inch by 4inch YouTube video. SHM has been going for years and it’s been a massive success but it was always just three guys getting together and producing and performing together. Them moving on is not a big deal, people need to cheer up!
How did you start out making music?
My older brother was into dance music when I was growing up so he used to play me all his music. I loved it so much I started DJing when I was like 13 years old. I did that for years and production was a natural progression.
How would you describe your sound to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Someone once described it as “trademark beats and rolling riffs” which I thought was pretty cool!
Who were your DJ inspirations?
Daft Punk have always been up there for me since day one and to this day. Even if they don’t DJ any more their whole approach to music has been a massive influence.
And do you have any dream collaborations?
I’m working on one at the moment... Watch this space!
Oooh, can we expect to hear any of your new tracks when you play at Creamfields / Cream Ibiza?
100%! There will be two definitely at Cream Ibiza, maybe three. At Creamfields I’ll drop a few more. I need to name them first for the track lists. Shit!
Talking of tracks, what are your top 5 festival tracks?
Liquid – Sweet Harmony
Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar
Josh Wink – Higher State of Consciousness
Prodigy – Firestarter
Muse – Plug In Baby
Last year you played in the Size Matters Silent Disco Arena at Creamfields, was that a strange experience?
That Silent Disco was something else! I had to drop a couple of sing along tunes like my remix of ‘Otherside’ by Red Hot Chili Peppers, and take my headphones off and listen to the crowd. Unreal!
Will your set be different this year now that you’re playing on the Saturday instead of Friday night’s Silent Disco Arena?
I don’t think it’s going to be too different because of Silent Disco vs Saturday, it’s just my set is always changing and it’s been a whole year. Plus when I played there in 2011 I’d only been going a few months so really looking forward to going back now.
Are you sticking around for the whole festival?
We’ll see how I feel (laughs). I’ve got shows on Friday and Saturday so will be heading up to Daresbury after my show at SW4 Festival in London Saturday afternoon, play my set in the evening then definitely sticking around Saturday night, and then I’ve got Sunday off so I might check out the Sunday as well.
You’ve played across the globe, where is your favourite venue?
As far as venues are concerned my highlights would have to be Ministry Of Sound in London, Santos Party House in New York and Amnesia in Miami. I’ve been to Cream Liverpool as a punter a couple of times and love it there, haven’t had a chance to play there yet but I’m sure it will happen soon.
How do international crowds differ to those in your home country of the UK?
The European crowd is quite educated when it comes to music, they really get it and love it, although it is borderline snobbery with some clubs. The US by contrast, it’s quite new over there and it shows. The crowd is either more concerned with posing and being there so they can say they were there as opposed to loving the music and being there for the music, or they’re really, really into it. The College scene over there is where it’s really happening. Those college kids are really embracing dance music, doing their research with the music, getting into it and showing everyone how to have a great time.
What’s the craziest thing a clubber has done when you’ve been playing?
There was this guy at one of my shows recently who told me he loved me, then he wouldn’t let go of my leg. That was pretty crazy/weird.
And what’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done when working?
(Laughs) What sort of question is that?! Nothing that naughty I’m afraid. I had a bit of a gathering at mine once and everyone was smashed and having a great time, I got my laptop and headphones out, went to the garden and started making a tune (inspiration comes at the weirdest times!) when I was definitely half cut and then some. I listened to the track the next day and it’s actually pretty good! Finishing it at the moment, it’s one of the collaborations I’m working on.
If you weren’t a DJ what would you be doing?
Trying to be one.
Do you prefer producing or performing?
I love them both equally. I love being in the studio and making music but the real enjoyment comes when you see other people enjoying it
You’re playing for Cream Ibiza on Thurs 2nd August, are you a fan of the island?
Fuck. Yes. Best place in the world.
So we take it you have been there as a punter?
Of course! It was in Ibiza that I wrote ‘The Moment’! I was in Cream Amnesia as a punter, dreaming about playing there one day. I then wrote it by the pool whilst I was on holiday over there and my career was launched. Now I’m going back to Ibiza but this time I’m going to play for Cream at Amnesia. It’s a dream come true - really excited!
What are you most looking forward to over there?
Just being there, there is something magical about that place. I feel at home there, from the moment I step off the plane and feel that warm air. Just wow.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m just pleased to be here you know? I don’t think about the future or the past. Just love the moment, where I am and what I’m doing. Always.
And where do you see dance music?
Hopefully not being called “EDM” by everyone.
Talking of ‘EDM’, Paris Hilton as a DJ – thoughts?
Fuck it why not. She’s not the first and won’t be the last. That Brazil performance video was terrible, no wonder Afrojack dumped her. It did make me think differently about her though, these days I see Paris Hilton and I think 'Flange'. Whereas before I probably thought 'idiot'.
Your surname is Mason, do you ever get people coming up to you with funny handshakes?
(Laughs) No but if anyone reads this and then meets me PLEASE do a funny handshake, I will piss myself
And finally, tell us a secret?
I like you more than friends.
Tim Mason plays the Size Matters Arena at Creamfields on Saturday 25th August. Limited Creamfields weekend tickets are still available through Skiddle below.
- Date: Friday 24th August 2012
- Event: Creamfields 2012 at Daresbury Estate
- Venue: Daresbury Estate
- Artists: Annie Mac, Eddie Halliwell, Andy C, Erol Alkan, Fake Blood, Sub Focus, Maya Jane Coles, Riva Starr, Deadmau5, James Zabiela, Gareth Emery, Shy FX, Calvin Harris, Skrillex, Skream, Above and Beyond, Seth Troxler, Jaguar Skills, Loco Dice, Caspa
Tim Mason also plays Cream at Amnesia in Ibiza on Thursday 2nd August. Cream Ibiza takes place every Thursday from 14th June – 20th September. Advance tickets on sale here.
Tickets are no longer available for this event