Interview series ‘From LA to Berlin’: DJ Hell

From LA to Berlin will feature a series of artists and their gigging habits all the way from LA to Berlin and throughout Europe and America.

What the Hell? DJ, producer, label owner, electronic music durable icon; you have heard his tracks or seen him play somewhere. Hell has covered many kinds of electro, and we still remember him for the electro-clash days at Gigolo; and we also still recognize that not many DJs can take a raving or a fashion crowd through a journey on the dance floor with the maestria he’s demonstrated time after time.

Some facts: from Munich, lives in Berlin, 50 years old, been making music for 32 years.

Number of gigs: 3500

Number of tracks produced: 5 albums, about 80 tracks.

Potpourri of artists who influenced your work: David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Tom Ford, Andy Warhol, Klaus Kinski, Martin Margiela, Stanley Kubrick, Banksy, Carl Craig, Gigolo Records.

LSD: How do you compose your set list for a live show?

Hell: There is no order – chaos theory is always the best here. Just don’t think too much.

LSD: Can your set change in reaction to the public? 

Hell: As a DJ, you can switch the whole atmosphere or situation and reaction of the public , as a DJ you have every freedom to go where no man has gone before.

LSD: You know many bands/DJs who play the same set on every gig of a tour?

Hell: Most of the DJs I know play it safe and do the same set with little changes over and over again for a whole season. It can become a routine and a regular job. That’s why I always like to play all kinds of musical styles and all kinds of electronic music – it’s not very clever to limit yourself as a DJ.

LSD: How do you get yourself ready before a gig?

Hell: I need to be at the venue one hour before I start playing to check the light, the atmosphere, the people, the technical set up… everything to make it a perfect situation and the night special .

LSD: What is special when playing in other countries, when you prepare for the journey, the flights, etc.?

Hell: This is very important when you sleep in hotels or spent most of your time at airports over the year. Every DJ has to find his way of make it as comfortable as possible and enjoy every weekend as much as possible – choose the right gigs and the right clubs or the best festivals and not doing it only for the money.

LSD: A shortened list of your recent gigs:

Hell: Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, NYC, London, Madrid, Ibiza, Venice, Milan, Zurich, Berlin…

Video: DJ Hell – The Angst

Stream: DJ Hell – Teufelswerk Remixes Part 2

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