He may be laidback by name, but a quick glance at Laidback Luke's global touring schedule suggests him to be anything but.
The Dutch DJ, producer and all round electronic hero has risen to the ranks of planetary superstardom, with a reputation for monster tracks, roadblock performances and collaborations with fellow dance royalty including David Guetta, Diplo and Steve Aoki. And all this while managing his label Mixmash Records.
After a string of sell-out Super You&Me parties in Miami, Amsterdam, London and Germany, Luke will be continuing the success in Ibiza, together with Cream @ Amnesia.
In the midst of his less-than-laidback schedule, Luke found the time to talk to us about his plans for this year’s SuperYou&Me parties for Cream at Amnesia.
You headlined the Mixmag Terrace for the Cream Opening Party recently, how was it?
This was my first ever opening and it felt like coming home! I feel the Terrace at Amnesia is my spot on the island and definitely one of my favourite places to play in the world.
Your first SuperYou&Me party of the season is coming up, what can we expect? What’s new for this year?
We're bringing bigger decorations, acts and fun stuff. We will properly represent the Super You&Me brand I have going. It should be about going back to the roots of having crazy fun. I feel those are the best nights out. This combined with the euphoria of feeling like heroes - not only the DJs should feel like that but the crowd too, it adds up to the whole experience.
Have you sorted your superhero costume out yet?
Yes I have! And they are hilarious too. I'm still thinking of going as Bruce Lee once too. It will be very easy for me. I'll just go topless and will write three stripes on each side of my chest ha ha.
Why SuperYou&Me, where did the concept come from?
I felt a lot of the dance music experience was getting to be too cool. I was wondering where the fun had gone. I remember having stupid fun with my friends being the best nights out. The anticipation of dressing up, or at least actively being aware of what you will look like going out adds to living up to a night too. I always have had a weakness for comics and superheroes. And hell, always wanted to be
one too! Now I have the best excuse to actually feel and dress up like one!
What is your favourite thing about Amnesia?
One is the fantastic people that work there. I feel having a good team and having the right people behind you adds up. The Terrace room works its magic for me too. The way the room is set up now it feels like a festival inside. One of the best things I feel is when they turn
up the CO2 too. As if you unleash a tornado onto the people!
You’re also hosting your very first SuperYou&Me Arena at Creamfields. When we walk into the arena, what can we expect to see and hear?
I'm bringing the Ibiza experience to Creamfields. My Super You&Me experience. The fun, the energy, the euphoria. I'm bringing my favourite DJs around the globe to my area too. We should all feel like heroes stepping into the arena!
Will you be in the arena all day or are you going to have a walk around the festival?
I'll try to be there the most I can! Honestly though, I'm probably flying from somewhere without sleep and leaving early the next day again. But I'll represent for sure. On the other hand though, the line up of Creamfields is a killer this year. Everyone is talking about it. I should walk around too ha!
Every year your audience at the festival grows, do you get nervous stepping out to 20,000 people?
Not really. It's just excitement. And the rush that comes with grabbing 20,000 people by the balls. That's how I roll behind the decks. You&Me should have the best party ever, let's go for it!
It must be overwhelming at times?
Only when I stop and think about it. A good time for that is always after my performance. I sometimes compare it with good sex. I step off the stage and will go like: 'God, that felt good!'. Best feeling in the world!
Have you ever been to any festivals socially?
It's been ages, but yes back in the day I did. I did quite some partying as a teenager. That's why I fell in love with this music. Unfortunately, with my schedule (200 flights a year, and a 150 shows), it gets really hard to have spare time to do anything else really.
Tiesto and Sebastian Ingrosso have turned up to watch you perform many times before, is it important to have support from your peers?
Been thinking a while about this question. And although I'd love to say it doesn't really matter, it actually does! Tiesto's love for our style of house music is also because we are all friendly and supportive to one and another. House music was always like that. The feeling of one love. It should remain like that, and yes, having support from your peers means the world!
Do you feel under pressure DJing in front of them?
Yes kind of. These are all professionals yo! People that operate on the same level. And although they’ll probably not judge me the way I judge myself, I do keep in mind that they are watching over my shoulder too ha.
What are going to be the big ‘summer tunes’ this year?
That's a good question! I don't know yet really! I mean Swedish House Mafia tracks are always big and the Example/Michael Woods ‘Changed The Way You Kissed’ me is absolutely massive at the moment. Let's see at the end of the season though.
Tell us about Wynter Gordon, how did you start working with her?
I basically started working with her after doing the remix of Dirty Talk. Her label Atlantic/Big Beat and I got closer and started to do demos. She's an amazing human being. And a killer performer and singer too. To me she should be the next big thing as we need amazing human beings like that on top!
Tell us about your new album for Cream Ibiza?
It's a little Laidback Luke two hour energy package to celebrate the summer. I'm happy and honoured to do it with Cream as a lot of my summer evolves about us working together.
Which CD matches your personality the best?
It's a continuous mix of two hours so I'd say the both of them. I really put my imprint on there. I feel a good DJ should always try and bring his own signature sound and feel. This is one of the things I try to advice new talent too.
How did you set out choosing tracks for the album?
It always starts with making a huge wish list of your favourite tracks you want on there and try to reach out to the record labels to get clearance to legally use them for the CD. Before starting the mix I'll have a selection of at least fifty tracks to choose from.
How did you put the album together?
I tried to put a bit of everything in there. My main quality, and what I think makes life interesting, is variation. Variation makes you love the thing you start with good. For instance, the music I love most is house music. But after doing it for twenty years now, I sometimes get bored listening to it for over an hour. When I switch it up to Dubstep, or to a genre of house that's not that close to me, it's all about the return to my sound after that that counts. It feels refreshing again.
What’s your favourite track on the album?
Such a tough question! I put so many favourites on there! I absolutely love that Nero 'Me and You' track. Such a next level song slash dance slash pop slash energy kind of track. 'Me and You' was my inspiration to make Speak Up for instance. I'd say my remix of Alice Deejay pretty much covers the whole Super You&Me feel. The crazy stupid fun and the energy. Guaranteed for a great time!
There’s a lot of your own production on there, any plans for an artist album?
I always say I'll do an album if there's the demand for it. I could easily do one as I make music very quickly. However I don't feel the time is right yet.
If you were hanging up your headphones and playing your final ever set, what would be your closing track?
Amazing, what a great question! A very tough one though. I actually hope it never happens!
Have you got any collaborations on the cards this year?
Yes I sure have. My two new singles with Ministry of Sound will have some great singers on them collaborating with me and after that I have collaboration ready to go with Sander van Doorn.
What’s next for you? Do you have a five year plan or go with the flow?
I do go with the flow, every year we try to step it up a little though. It's definitely a goal to still be around in five years and to rock it as hard as I do now.
What's been your biggest achievement professionally and personally to date?
Professionally doing an official remix for Daft Punk for Crescendolls as I'm such a huge fan. Entering the world DJ top 20 was a good look to my family too. They finally got it lol! But the best is yet to come, that keeps me going too. Personally, my two sons and finding a new way of living my life last year. A non pressured personal life with renewed energy for life where my music is an integral part of it.
What’s your advice for aspiring DJs?
Make music, work harder and practise a lot. Stay humble and friendly to everyone. Always be open for criticism but do keep fully believing in yourself. Try and bring something unique, set yourself goals and never ever give up! Also, visit my forum on www.laidbackluke.com as it's a breeding ground for new talent.
What is your first clubbing memory?
Dancing and losing my mind to Westbam's 'Mayday' and realising this was the music I'd forever want to dance too.
What music do you listen to aside from dance music?
Anything from classical music to rock. As I'm classically trained as well, I just love music in general.
If you could send a message to all of your fans, what would that be?
It would be a thank you message. A massive one. You make me who I am and I'm happy we can share parties and memories together for years to come!
And finally finish this sentence: Creamfields is…
Going to blow your face off, mark my words ; )
Laidback Luke headlines the SuperYou&Me Arena at Creamfields on Sunday 28th August Bank Holiday weekend.
See all of Laidback Luke's Cream Ibiza events and buy tickets here.