Talking to Seth Troxler: 2015 interview

We are very excited to have been given a chance to speak with Seth Troxler during his hectic summer touring schedule.  Never one to shy away from choice quotes and issues of awareness, whether they be scene-related or part of a wider social dialogue, we spoke on his early days, launching Tuskegee, Amsterdam memories, and much more.  Be sure to catch Seth at Free Your Mind on 6 June, where he will play alongside Jamie Jones, Art Department, and Guy Gerber (to name just a few).

I wanted to ask you about the “way back,” picking up and moving to Berlin with your friends. Can you look back and give us some of your impressions on the move?

It’s been a while now! Like 8 or 9 years.  There’s a whole story about how Ryan Crosson and myself lived and moved together, which all started as he was my first customer at the record store I worked in Detroit when I was 15.  It is insane!

We were a bunch of kids raving just like everyone else; much like the kind of thing going on in Amsterdam right now.  We were listening to the German House/Techno stuff, like Micro-House.  I was in High School and everyone else was in college.  We would go out to parties, and eventually headed to Europe.  There, we saw these parties that would happen during the day and we realized that we didn’t have that back home so we started throwing these kinds of parties in Detroit.  Lee (Curtis) and I had been living together for a while, which was already a very experimental period.  We would spend long periods of time in the basement experimenting with LSD and playing records for days.  At the time, Lee was a used car salesman, Ryan sold machinery, and I was in University.  After a while we just decided to pick up and move to Berlin.

At first, we stayed on Shaun Reeves couch for about three months. Imagine three guys laying on a futon together for three months looking for an apartment, trying to save enough money to buy a donut.  It was very funny!  These were the best times of our lives!

We had this one summer, maybe in 2005, where John Roberts, myself, and six other creatives were living in a one-floor flat.  We would have these pull down projector screens separating our “bedrooms”. It’s so nice to see all those people now succeeding in their creative careers.  It was all a dream!

If an 18 year old came up to you and said they were thinking of picking up and moving to [insert dance music hot spot name], is it something you would advise them to do?

It’s a lot different now.  Back then, everyone wasn’t trying to be a DJ.  At that time, at least in America, no one wanted to be a DJ.  Considering now, everyone wants to move to Berlin to try and make it happen, which makes it harder.  For me, I had a couple of records out and also had an agent, so my career was already starting. I would say, to anyone on the cusp or has had the dream forever, definitely go.  If you want this to be your job, give up on everything else and focus on it.  If you truly believe in your talent and you have the possibility, Fuck it! Just go for it.  Take the risk!


Interview by Steve Rickinson. Many thanks to Deep House Amsterdam.

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