Revered DJ and Dirtybird label head, Claude VonStroke has won fans across the globe with his unique perspective on music, touring relentlessly and sharing his love for chart-topping hits and underground beats alike. Dirtybird, meanwhile, has influenced an entire generation—especially in the States—where Claude has managed to tempt party people away from "EDM" and bring them back over to the brighter side of house music. One fan in particular, Doorly, joins Claude this year on the bill for MADE Birmingham (July 25, 26). Doorly is a top-billing DJ, and producer, who has followed VonStroke's career closely and has seen him play out many, many times. In this exclusive head-to-head interview, the Ibiza Rocks resident and Cajual Records mainstay lays down some questions before the pair reunite for the second edition of the Midlands' metropolitan festival, as well as a special back-to-back set at the official after-party.
Doorly: Hey, Barclay. I miss you, dude. Where are you right now and what are your plans for the rest of the day in Claude Vonstroke world?
Claude VonStroke: I'm on a train to Liverpool from London, right now. I'm playing there and then Made in Leeds festival the following night... I wish you were here so I could play you some new tunes, man.
So, you've just celebrated ten years of Dirtybird. How the hell have you and the label stayed so current and ahead of the curve all these years?
It's not a conscious effort—I just listen to all the demos and sign what I like and what I'm feeling in the club. I think because I tour all year, I can feel what's going to work for me the best. I go a lot on intuition, and just imagine how a track will play out in a club environment.
Where did you find the treasure that is Justin Martin, along the way? Tell us about your early times together.
Originally, Dirtybird was going to be all Justin Martin and I was going to be his manager. He's on the first three records. But eventually, I just said: "Screw it! I've been making music in my bedroom for a decade so why don't I try and make a house track and see what happens." But Justin is actually the original Dirtybird producer. His records established the concept so that we could have fun with it.
You're now living in Los Angeles; do you miss living in San Fran or are you just as comfortable there?
Everyone in SF will shoot me for saying this, but I prefer Venice Beach to San Fran. It's like the exact same vibe but warm all year round. Some things about LA are really stupid, but it's not really the same LA from 20 years ago that everyone bitches about, with all the fake boobs and douchebags on every corner. It really has evolved... Quite a bit, actually. Even still, there's no knocking SF. It's quite possibly the best city in America.
If you could go back and tell an 18-year-old Claude one piece of advice, what would it be?
Why are you being such an idiot? Get on top of your dream right now!
What's your favourite non-social network or movie streaming site to go on when bored?
This is so stupid but I love seeing what the box office is doing for movies. I go to boxofficemojo.com; it's a carry-over from when I worked on films and this was often a daily discussion on movie sets. For some stupid reason, I want to know how much money the new Jurassic Park and Star Wars movies will make.
Worst job you did before all this music nonsense kicked off?
Selling fake perfume out of the back of a car at the unemployment line in East LA right after people collected their cheques.
When you get forced onto a karaoke stage, what's your favourite jam?
I would never let this happen, but if it ever did, "Jam On It" by Newcleus would be the one. I can still do the whole thing, even the Chilly B part!
What's the weirdest place you've ever unintentionally vomited in?
Last week, I ate a super-bad piece of chicken on a flight and I ran up to the front of the plane to puke in the bathroom during the landing and the flight attendants weren't down with that at all [laughs].
What are you most looking forward to right now, more than anything?
This exact moment, I can't wait to try out this Chemical Brothers remix of "Go". I haven't had a chance to test in a club yet so tonight, we will see! There really is nothing like the very first play of a new track; it's either exhilarating or soul crushing but the whole process is fun.