Interview: Phuture with DJ Pierre & Spanky

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Chicago Acid House since 1985, a recent major live session at Boiler Room, live at Berghain on May 28th with DJ Pierre and Spanky, and at the Sydney Opera House a couple of days later, PHUTURE are still that big and that good. With a release coming out soon on Boysnoize Records, a first full album in over 20 years and more worldwide tour dates including new band member Rio The Musician, Acid House might become your only EDM friend…

So, Phuture at Berghain, are you guys excited?
Pierre: We are looking forward to playing Berghain. I’ve played it quite a times solo, but as a group this will be a new one under our belt.
Spanky: I am very excited about the new chapter we are about to embark on with DJ Pierre re-joining the group and the new addition of Rio “The Musician”.

Do you think Berlin understands Acid?

Spanky: Yes I think Berlin understands Acid by the overwhelming positive feedback we have been receiving. We are very excited about going and can’t wait to perform for Berlin!
Pierre: We know Berlin is one of the cradles for the evolution of this music, so we are convinced Berlin knows Acid House. It took Ron Hardy, the first DJ who captivated us as kids in Chicago, four times to explain what this sound was. First time he played Acid tracks it cleared the floor. But he kept at it…and said to the people, there is something here. He played it a fourth and final time and there was pandemonium. There had been nothing like this before and it took some time for people to see what we saw.

You are quite picky with touring dates and venues, how do you like to tour?
Spanky: When we first started this was a goal of ours. Now it’s time to showcase what we are all about on a different level with some live instrumentation.
Pierre: And yes, very picky because we have a legacy to uphold. We love the touring aspect because our fans are so loyal and we respond to what they bring. They show up and they give us 100% attention, it makes the energy in the room crazy hyped…and full.  

What do you think about the newer generation of party goers and electronic musicians?
Pierre: Newer generation are open and ready for something new – which is something OLD but they weren’t around then. So perfect time for Phuture to baptize them in Acid. The labels and musicians are very different from when we began. But that’s ok, nothing stays the same. Phuture has always been ahead of the game in our vision and style so the outside world has no big influence on our perspective.
Spanky: What I think is that they have a bigger advantage with the new technology. In the 80s and 90s we used drum machines, keyboards and sequencers. Nowadays with a computer and some samples you can produce a track. As far as the labels you can have your own label or a digital download site you can release your own material. In the 80s you had no choice but to connect with a record label and that was a problem because you were not in control of your music.
 
How do you guys manage making and performing music being three people with individual careers?
Rio The Musician: I am very happy to a part of this iconic group and looking forward to adding to the legacy they’ve already created.
Pierre: Spank and I had to get that rhythm we had going over 20 years ago and at the same time I had to manage my DJ Pierre solo tours. So it’s taken us about two years to get to this point.  W
e have set up a structured way and we abide by that, right now we need to come together as one – as Phuture. We also incorporated Rio “The Musician” – as he is known. You will hear and see his contribution more in our productions because he is a true musician. 

Tell us just a bit about your live tech set-up and how you have evolved technically these past few years.
Spanky: Our live PA consists of some of the equipment we used to perform back in the day. Still keeping it analog. With the new Aria machines we do not have to rely on the computer as much. Now we can do some raw Acid with a drum machine because it’s a one stop shop. It has the TT 3 and 808 and 909 all in one.
Pierre: It’s based on our old analog set up anyhow. The vocoder for the Cocaine voice, the 808, 909 and the TB 3. That’s all Phuture.

Your Only Friend
, Fantasy Girl, do these tracks still make you as happy as they make the crowd happy?
 
Pierre & Spanky: Ab
solutely!
Pierre: I can’t even begin to explain the smiles on faces when we play these tracks. It’s very satisfying as an artist to experience that, even 20 years later. 

Spanky: Hearing music from anybody from the guys I started working with back in the 80’s makes me very proud and happy to be associated with a bunch of true talented guys. The best thing about our music, you can still play it today and get a rise out of people.

How do you see Phuture’s future, and the future of Acid and dance music and clubbing in general?
 
Spanky: Phuture’s future is looking very bright! With DJ Pierre and myself in the same group again that’s plus in itself, and Rio “The Musician” that’s an added bonus! We are going to incorporate different sounds, we will keep that raw energy with the ACID but at the same time we have to add other elements to it. Clubbing changes because the average listener isn’t so average any longer. When the music changes so do the people who listen to it.
Pierre: Amazing future ahead, nothing but good things. We have nothing to prove so that hustle is not needed and we can just concentrate on being artists and making music. Acid House is here with a vengeance, it’s taking no prisoners. Kids want Acid!

Win 1×2 tickets for the Berghain show, best comment before noon on the day gets the tickets!