The weekend is almost here people, and that means we’re making the final preparations for Saturday’s extra-swank affair, VELOUR @ Table 31 hosted by The New Philly, World Town and Le Bump Philly. To get everyone in the mood to rage this Saturday night, I thought that we should familiarize our readers a little more with the evening’s headliner Tony Quattro.
I sat down with Tony to chat about his musical roots, his big year in 2012, and what the future holds for this rising star.
Mike: Can you tell us a bit about your background musically? / What were the local music scenes you grew up around that influenced your taste?
Tony: Sure. I grew up in Connecticut and started playing drums around the age of 9. There wasn’t much of a music scene in my town at all, so my early influences were just stuff that my Dad put me onto like Zeppelin, grunge rock and the blues. Then I moved to London in 8th grade and lived there for five years. I started playing more jazz and funk and traveling around Europe playing with my school, which I think has definitely had a big influence on my sound. Then senior year I just went clubbing a lot more and started to develop an appreciation for UK funky and the sounds of early dubstep. T2’s “Heartbroken” was my senior year anthem.
Mike: A lot of your original songs and remixes capture a very vintage, 90’s vibe. Is this a conscious decision on your part to go back through the stacks for inspiration, or does it come up more naturally just based on what you like to hear and create?
Tony: I don’t see myself or my sound as purely 90’s throw-back, and I don’t really scour the internet for throwback tunes that I want to emulate. That having been said, I think that the early 90s hip-house sound should have been embellished more/pushed further, and I feel like in a lot of ways that sound was short-lived. I’ve just tried to pick up the pen and continue the story of that sound. That’s where the NY Anthem comes in. If they were to do a 2013 Jock Jams I would hope that NY Anthem would be considered for the compilation ;) But I also don’t want to be pigeon holed you know? I love that sound but I love a lot of sounds. All I really want to do is make fun creative music that people like and can dance to. I’ll play you some of my new stuff Saturday – sounds more like Bollywood meets getting lost in the desert meets the club.
Mike: After many years spent as a fringe scene, electronic music is quickly becoming a bigger and bigger part of mainstream pop music and some deep house tracks are even starting to rise through the commercial charts. As a producer that samples heavily from R ‘n B and hip hop hits of the 90s, what’s your take on this recent resurgence?
Tony: I think it’s awesome and I think it’s terrible at the same time. It’s awesome because it’s becoming more accepted and it’s a lot easier to play the fun club tracks without clearing the dancefloor. People’s tastes are growing and expanding, it’s a beautiful thing. But it’s terrible because now you have all these kids that see how popular it’s getting and want a piece of the pie ASAP. The issue is they don’t care about creativity, or making good music per se, they just want to make the next Harlem Shake and pop bottles in Miami. No one is striving for greatness; no one wants to be Prince, or Michael Jackson. To me that’s extremely depressing.
Mike: The last few months seem like they must have been ridiculously busy for you with all the touring, new releases and massive live mixes for some major tastemakers like Ministry of Sound. Have you gotten a chance to kind of sit back and bask in all the attention or does it just seem like one big blur?
Tony: I wouldn’t say it’s a blur. I definitely appreciate everything that’s happened so far, but I always try to stay hungry, and try not to “sit back” ever. One of my best friends James has the best phrase for dealing with all this stuff. He just says “no pats” (no pats on the back). Keeps me in check, keeps my head down, keeps me humble.
Mike: Does working with major labels like Trouble & Bass and Bad Taste and getting support from major artists like A-Trak, Drop the Lime and more ever seem surreal to you?
Tony: Yeah definitely. It’s just super humbling. I’ve been listening to dudes like DTL [Drop the Lime] & A-Trak for years even before I started producing so it’s an awesome feeling.
Mike: What’s been your favorite experience on tour so far?
Tony: There’s been a lot this year…probably playing with DTL in Texas, or my release party in Brooklyn.
Mike: Any new collaborations in the works you can tell us about?
Tony: Nah gotta keep that under wraps for now, sorry.
Mike: When you arrive in Philly on Saturday, the first round is on me. What are you drinking?
Tony: It will be a game time decision between whiskey ginger and gin and tonic. Or just a cheesesteak.
So there you have it: he’s talented, he’s humble, he’s making big moves in 2013, and he wants a cheesesteak. What else could you ask for?
See you Saturday.