Interview series ‘From LA to Berlin’: John Lord Fonda

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.

Here we are in old Europe in Dijon, France where one of the best French electro labels thrives: Citizen Records; among its artists, Rebotini, Teenage Bad Girl, Vitalic and John Lord Fonda. John lives in Nancy in between touring and studio time, playing or creating his music high in energy and layered with goodness – just call it the French touch.

Some facts: from Dijon, France, 39 years old, been making electronic music for 8 years, with a start in the mid 90s.

Number of gigs: 200+

Number of tracks produced: 2 albums, 6 Eps, a compilation Composite, and about 20 remixes.

‘Established’ electronic artists who influenced your work: Aphex Twin, Thomas Bangalter (half of Daft Punk), Giorgio Moroder.

‘New’ electronic artists: Max Cooper, Popof, Apparat.

Other influences: Beethoven, the Pink Floyd, Jean-Michel Jarre and the Pixies.

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

JLF: I played as a DJ for 2 years and there was no special way of ordering my set list. It depended on my feelings when I was preparing for it. Now, as I started again to tour with a live set, it’s completely different because I play my releases or remixes with Ableton live. So, even if the order is not the same for each venue, I still play approximately the same 15/20 tracks.

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

JLF: I have seen a lot of live sets that are really good like Rebotini, Vitalic, Deadmau5, etc. They often play the same the same live set when they tour, but this is only inherent to live gigs.

LSD: Is there much space for wishes from the audience?

JLF: Sometimes people asked me to play a special track of mine. But I don’t do this very often. More generally, I can’t play ignoring how the audience reacts, so I have to adapt my set during the show to keep the heat high. There are no set rules in my live or DJ gigs. If I want to be able to react to any input from the public, I must leave all logics behind.

LSD: Is there a special tune you always start or finish your gig with?

JLF: When I play live, I often finish the set with my cover of Personal Jesus from Depeche Mode.

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

JLF: Before going to the venue, I like to rest at the hotel. And just before my set, I enjoy having a drink with my friends to relax.

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

JLF: The only thing when you play far from home is that you travel one day long or more for a 1 or 2 hour set. So during the flight, I sleep, or I do some puzzles like sudoku, or I watch a good movie. And if I have some free time, I become a tourist; I visit some good spots or test some exotic food I’ve never tasted before, these kind of things…

LSD: A shortened list of your recent gigs:

JLF: Grenada, Barcelona, Istanbul, Dublin, Paris, Bordeaux, Marseille, Brest, Nantes, Tokyo…

Download the mini mix of his last two EPs and stream his whole last album here!