Our gorgeous friend Cila spoke to Carl Cox recently and gave us this exclusive interview with Carl Cox:
Carl Cox is one of the world’s most revered DJs and one of Ibiza’s most successful promoters. His award-winning Tuesday nights at Space are a rare beast – an underground techno night with mainstream appeal: a British-run night that enjoys a fervently loyal Spanish and international following. The erstwhile King Of Clubs kicked off his season of Carl Cox and Friends, which features luminary guests like Josh Wink, on 8 July and the parties run weekly till 9 September.
We caught up with the cheerful, soft-spoken techno maestro as he relaxed in his London home and he shared his thoughts on the state of clubbing in Ibiza, dodging gunfire in clubs and cooking with Laurent Garnier. Buen approveche!
Another season is upon us – have you been doing ayurvedic detox and yoga a la Sven Vath to prepare yourself?
[Laughs] I wouldn’t go that far. I can’t even cross my legs! I have a house in Australia, though, and I take a couple months off to ride motorbikes, go fishing, go swimming and just take five.
How hands-on are you with preparing the club?
I book all the DJs and artists. And I’m involved with all the production – it has my name on it! It’s difficult to come up with new colours, new concepts and new decorations. It takes six to eight months but everything is in place now. We’ve managed to pull it off again…
What are your feelings heading into the season? It’s been a quiet start – what are you anticipating?
I’m not concerned. People don’t start to arrive till the beginning of July so we arrive when things start to happen. Space is going to rock ‘n’ roll!
Where do you see Ibiza in terms of the global dance scene – is it still Number 1?
It is. Ibiza has stood the test of time, it is numero uno. People have been hoodwinked into thinking Ibiza is over, but it has stood the test of time. If you want a peaceful little island go somewhere with no electricity and catch your own fish… Ibiza has a concentration of the best clubs in the world. The people who live there are very proud of it. I’m an outsider but I feel like I’m part of one soul. Nowhere else has the spirit Ibiza has.
Last year was King of Clubs – this year it’s Carl Cox and Friends. What do your ‘friends’ all have in common?
Most of them stay at my villa in the summer and they all chip in and make food. If you can get Laurent Garnier in the kitchen it’s amazing. He does good casseroles and chicken dinners. There are at least 10 of us at the house at any given moment, so we all lend a hand to make sure we get fed. We get Green Velvet chopping onions!
You experienced a traumatic moment last year in Caracas, Venezuela, with a fatal shooting at your gig – have you ever experienced anything like that before?
No! I’ve been going to clubs for 30 years or more. I’ve seen stabbings and beatings but I’ve never seen anything like that. I didn’t believe it was happening. I couldn’t believe it. It was a sold out party with
7,000 people. The security was pretty lax, there were no metal detectors, but the promoters assured me it would be okay. For security to allow that to happen – to allow three people with guns into a club to find their victim – and for four people to die… was one of the worst things I’ve ever endured.
Would you go back to Caracas?
Would you? The people in Caracas are very, very sorry about what happened. But it’d be stupid to think “I’ll go back.” There’s a lot of civil unrest right now, it’s a hostile city. Anyone would be clever
to stay away. There are nice people there and I had a great time, it’s just a shame how it ended.
You travel almost constantly, which must be exhausting. What would make you consider retirement?
Not much! Travelling is difficult. It becomes harder and harder because I’m going further and further. It takes a toll on your body and mind, but I love doing what I do.
One of your regular summer stops is the SW4 festival in London – what makes a great festival for you?
A great festival is when people are open minded and dancing outdoors. People’s attitudes change in the open air… my sound changes. As much as I love playing clubs it’s nice to play festivals. Plus, SW4 is in
South London, where I grew up. I hung out in Norbury and Streatham and Crystal Palace as a youngster so it’s a homecoming for me.
Two years ago you arrived at SW4 with Brazilian dancers… whose feathered costumes promptly got soaked! How do you cope with those moments?
Yeah, as I went on it poured with rain. All these umbrellas were going up. It just added to the excitement, though. That’s the ethos of festivals. You have to rise to the occasion.
Can you nominate three of your summer anthems?
Guy J ‘Under Pressure’ on Bedrock
Jamie McHugh ‘H2O’ on Underwater
Michel de Hey ‘Simultaneously’ on EC Records.
You must get sent a mountain of music – is the quality getting better or worse as more people have access to digital technology?
I like to think that people are making the best of it. Before, you had to spend a lot of money to get a record onto vinyl and it was a long process. If no one liked your record you’d wasted a lot of time and money. At the moment, I’m getting good stuff.
What are your plans for summer and beyond?
I’m working on a new album, which has been a while in the making. I don’t want the money, attention or fame, or a Number 1 hit single. I just love making music. I’m also making a DVD which is a fly-on-the wall documentary about my life. It’s been fun trying to cram 32 years of my life into a 90 minute DVD.
It has my sisters and nieces and parents telling stories about my childhood and stuff. You get to see behind the scenes, school friends, that sort of thing, rather than just two hours of me rocking the house. It’s an insight into me as a person. That should be out for Christmas.
In Ibiza, where are your haunts away from the club?
I’m not a massive beach person. I’m black already, I don’t like going any darker! But I love Sa Caleta. The restaurant is amazing. They treat me like family. I can go for lunch and spend six hours there. If you’re ever going to see me out on the island, you’ll see me there.
Is the price of fame constant attention?
Oh yes. My face is on billboards all over the island! People want their holiday snap or their tee-shirt signed. People wanting an autograph comes with success. If I didn’t want that I wouldn’t put myself out there. If I were Brad Pitt or David Beckham I couldn’t go to the beach – so thank God I’m not that famous!