Nick Slater Interview
When people in the world think of rave, house, or techno music. The first country they usu
ally think of is NOT South Korea. I guess some think of North Korea because everyone knows that Kim Jong Il, the leader of North Korea, is a big raver!!!
There's a little North Korea humor. I hope he doesn't bomb my apartment. If he does then I'll have to stop the shipments of XTC to his mailing address. A little more humor for you. Don't mean anything by it though. I love Kim Jong Il!!! Actually, you have to admire the North Koreans for believing in him so much that they would eat bark off of trees and starve for him. You have to look down on those American kids who cry," Hamburger Helper again?"
Anyway, rave music has finally come to Korea. It's about a decade late but it's here. Those glow sticks and crazy outfits and people dancing until 5am has hit Seoul. Actually, about 4 or 5 years ago rave music entered Korea, but on a really small scene. Mostly expats with a few crazy native Koreans mixed up in there.
Recently though individual event promoters in Korea have started to hold huge raves in Seoul. The only thing that hasn't hit Seoul yet is the drug scene. Sure it's there, but on a really small scale. At raves in Tokyo, New York, or London drugs like marijuana or XTC are freely sold in the clubs, but here in Korea it's done behind SUPER HEAVY closed doors.
The first real big name to hit Seoul was Paul Van Dyk. This past week a local promoter brought in 3 DJ's from London. I've only heard of one of them and that would be Nick Slater. Who is Nick Slater you ask? I'm not really sure either, but that's what I'm here for.
I arrived at the rave around midnight to check out the scene. Nick was in the DJ booth spinning and the mostly Korean crowd was moving hypnotically to his beat. Some people actually had their own dance style but most were just jumping up and down or moving their heads back and forth. I was supposed to have an interview after the party, so I decided to leave and go get something to eat and come back around 5am.
Miss me? Dinner was great! A little kimchi soup will always do the body good and obviously rice and some side dishes. Good times!
It's now 6am and I'm DYING!!!!!!!!!! I'm getting old and I just want to go to bed or go home and watch "The Godfather" for the 70th time. I love Sonny! He's got so much passion. What a fink Tessio was!!!!
Ok, it's now 6:30am and I've already thought about my favorite "Godfather" scenes. Finally the music begins to fade and the last 20 or 30 people are hobbling off the dance floor. Nick Slater is completely bald and wears glasses. He looks like the principal in "Back to the Future". After relaxing and saying hello to a few pretty fans, Nick finally has some free time. By now, my clothes have gone out of style and I've received my first social security check.
J: Hey Nick, great set! I thought you were gonna play all day.
N: I would if people still wanted to dance.
J: Luckily for me almost everybody already left. First time in Korea?
N: Yeah never been to Asia before.
J: What do you think of it so far?
N: Haven't seen too much of it. We just got in yesterday afternoon and I slept and did a little shopping.
J: When do you go back?
J: So what's the difference between playing here in Seoul and in London?
N: In London, the crowd doesn't really get started until 2am or even later sometimes, but everyone was already getting crazy at 10pm. Also the decks aren't as good. It's difficult to scratch here compared to London.
J: That's because a lot of kids have to go home before midnight, so the scene in Korea starts a little earlier. Any other differences?
N: The crowd's a little different but I think it's because of the culture.
J: Did you know that most of the crowd was drug-free?
J: Yeah, there isn't much of a drug scene in Korea. That's a natural high you've seen, or an alcohol high.
N: I'm pretty surprised.
J: So how did you start?
N: Just started when I was a kid messing around, finding my own sound. Practicing mixing. Going to local clubs and watching other people mix.
J: How did you find your way over here?
N: This guy Dave contacted us to come over and everything looked cool so we said OK.
J: Who else came with you?
N: Carl Sayers and Sean Smith, real good DJ's from the UK.
J: What did you think of the local Korean DJ's that played first.
N: Nice stuff. DJ Frankie is real good. His mixes are tight and he's got good style.
J: What DJ's do you like now?
N: DJ Kenny out of Japan is smooth and obviously Carl Cox out of the UK and Derek Carter from the US. I also LOVE Massive Attack!
J: How can the rave scene improve here in Korea?
N: First they need to get more vinyl's!! There isn't a big enough selection of music yet. And second they need to promote this style of music more and get away from mainstream top 40 music.
J: What do you think of Yngwie Malmsteen?
J: That's what I thought. Hey thanks for doing this. When do you think you'll be back?
N: Hopefully soon but it's up to the promoters.
It's a little funny. I asked Nick if he could introduce me to the promoter and he said no problem. I was expecting to meet a few people, but instead he just introduced me to some guy named Kevin. This guy named Kevin brought the DJ's in. I was surprised to find out that the DJ's were staying at some really cheap motel. Hey, whatever works for you. Anyway, the rave was cool and I was super tired, but I get to tell my grandkids that I met Nick Slater!
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