Over the weekend, A-Trak addressed the GQ article on Avicii, specifically the idea that a DJ "reading a crowd" is something older DJs would be doing to stay relevant. At the time, Avicii said it was taken out of context, and today, he decided to speak out at length on what he felt was incorrect about the article, and ends up exposing a freelance reporter who he feels got everything "wrong":
GQ, my thoughts on the article. I would normally not even care but this article really got to me, how it could even be published with so little truth and misquotations.
So this interview was made over the course of 4-5 days where a freelance reporter followed me and my crew around on tour up until new years eve. Reporter Jessica Pressler BEGINS by describing my fans as "douchebags" - not as a quote - but as an (her) obvious impression in the introduction to the text. The preamble to that describes people attending to my shows as drug addicts!
She goes on to describe how I plan my sets only to contradict herself saying I go over my planned time cause I'm having so much fun with my crowd. Anyone reading this article should know it's very subjectively twisted by someone who has a) no experience of this scene or insight to a DJs profession at all and b) has no interest in really understanding it either. How on earth the fact that I complain when an opening DJ plays some of the peak time tracks I usually play somewhere in my set becomes the conclusion that I only touch volume faders is beyond me and even though I could beat mix in my sleep doesn't allude any kind of respect which I find deeply insulting. I would never lay down a pre-programmed set and performed to a pre-mixed CD, I would never cheat my fans like that. Period. For the record, the only planning I do is check transitions so that I don't have to pre-program anything and still make sure I bring it to my fans. A lot of work and thinking goes into my DJing. I want the entire night to progress seamlessly and when I have to adapt the energy on the fly for the crowd on any given night, I can do so with harmonic mixes that I've practiced over and over again. I am far from the only DJ that does this and it's something I take pride in being able to do. Truth is that at bigger festivals or solo shows I know what people want to hear and my set is a compromise between what I want to play for them and what people come and expect to hear me play for them. At a smaller club show I can wing it completely.
Some people are known for certain things, some DJs like A-trak, Steve Angello and Laidback Luke are excellent technical DJs, something I will never be, and have a whole different approach to their performances.
I mean everything even down to the tracks I play she got wrong in this article. I wouldn't adress this and bring more attention to it if I really didn't feel that this article was truly unfair and incorrect. She draws up this disgusting picture of the electronic music crowd being constantly high, ugly, uneducated, dumb and "douchy", while I feel they are caring, loving, positive and the complete opposite of what she says. Sure people do drugs and party but that is nothing exclusive to this music genre. It looks like the journalist wanted the GQ readers to buy into that stigma.
We agreed to let GQ into our camp to actually portray a serious side of this music to the masses who might not now and might not understand. We hoped they could unveil and communicate the reason for there being so much love within, and how such a great community has risen organically for, this music genre. The problem was that a journalist that knows nothing of electronic music was sent to be on the road with me for a couple of days and then tried piecing together what it's all about. She failed miserably
That's Avicii's story, and he's sticking to it.