Filed under: Interview
With a career spanning over 10 years, Junior Sanchez came to Japan for the first time on Oct 18 2003 to play at the event Nouvelle Discotheque @ AIR, a party organised by Soundgraphics. His turntable skills and wide ranging track selection had the dancefloor packed all night, the crowd demanding 5 encores past 6a.m.! Before performing what was one of the best sets @ Air in 2003, Junior Sanchez sat down with samurai.fm’s Matt for a chat, drawing from extensive experience in the industry he told us the problems of the music industry today and his future plans. Junior Sanchez gives an interesting insight into his observations and ideals on music.
Interview & Introduction by Matt Cheetam
HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : So your first date was in Osaka last night, how was it?
Junior Sanchez : It was cool, venue was cool, people were cool, technical difficulties with the set up but I think everything was pretty cool. Overall people dug it.
HRFQ : What do you think of Japan?H
Junior : It’s a cool place, the people are cool, the culture, its cool.
HRFQ : What Impression do you get from the scene out here?
Junior : They’re learning, when they’re into something they’re really into it full on, if they’re into deep house they’re into it full on. I think they’re learning that dance music is just the act of dancing to whatever music is playing, and not worrying about all these different categories
HRFQ : What Japanese artists do you respect and are influenced by?
Junior : Satoshi Tomie, Towa Tei, Stephane K, they’re all doing good stuff@
HRFQ : So how’s the scene in America now, I heard that it had been dying down a bit over there?
Junior : I think Kids are bored of Djs and they just want something a little bit more and right now it’s in a state of rebellion. People just want to have a good time, they don’t really care who’s Dj’ing, what’s going on, they just want good music.. It’s not that serious… it’s just dance music man, it’s not like rocket science.
HRFQ : The scene globally is being affected a lot now by the internet, global music sales are down, are you being affected by this?.
Junior : I don’t think it’s declining dance music sales as it never really sold. It was never a medium of mainstream culture and so never really sold millions of copies. There’s never been an album from an electronic music artists that’s sold 2-3 million copies. The only person that did it was Moby because he was smart enough to put his show on the road and do an act, that’s why he sold so many records. Because he made people believe he was a band instead of one man behind the scenes.
HRFQ : How do you think the internet’s affecting the industry?
Junior : I think the internet is affecting anything, I think MP3s are affecting the music industry, downloading is affecting music in general but it’s hurting more mainstream than it is underground music, people don’t buy underground music, they just buy a compilation or download a song, go to a club or get it off a friend. I think mainstream music is getting hurt, people like Dixie chicks, Shania Twain any thing from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Queens of the Stone Age.
HRFQ : Do you think it has a positive side to it?
Junior : I think it’s being blown all out of proportion, it was the same when 8 tracks died out and tapes came out people started recording off the radio. It was easy, just press record and take the music. the RIAA started bugging out and the record companies were saying ‘No-ones going to buy music’. I think this is just a little bit of a weird time but people are always going to buy music, I just think the problem is not the MP3s, I think it’s just too much money to buy a fuckin CD. Point Blank, they don’t need to sell a CD for $20 – $30, it’s ridiculous.
HRFQ : Yeah I heard the apple i-tunes store is doing well, where you can download a track for 99 cents.
Junior : Yeah it’s 99 cents for a download, it’s 9.99 for an album, I think a record should cost $10, it shouldn’t cost more than that, the companies would still make money. Once the record companies realize that it’s not the MP3s that are hurting them, more that they’re hurting themselves by charging so much money for the music I’m sure people will start buying more music.
HRFQ : So how do you think the scene will change over the next few years?
Junior : I think kids are smarter, I think they know what they want more. They’re not going to be stupid and pay some excess amount of money to go and see a DJ. I think the whole phenomenon’s dead. It’s over and done with… I think kids want more for they’re money, they’ll still go out and catch a DJ but they also want something more, they want to see a show, they want to see a band they want something else… They just want more stimulation. Kids aren’t stupid anymore, my little nephew, has on the internet, he knows what’s going on.
HRFQ : So what are you doing now project wise?
Junior : A couple of things… As far as other people’s projects I’m working on Princess superstars album, my band, Output, we’re finishing up an album and touring in November/December. I’m working with this other artist called Carmen, doing some remixes for Placebo, for The Bitter End. also remixing a group from LA called The Moving Units, they’re a punk band on my label,.. yeah, just working on projects, keeping busy.
HRFQ : So now you’ve got your own label would you like to work more on the business side of things?
Junior : Well I’ve always made wise decisions with Cube, it’s just a label for me to express what I like. People have no idea I released Kitten In The Glitz, Felix the Housecats Record. I’m the first person to release that record. I licensed in the US and I licensed it to City Rockers. Cube has been dormant for a while but now it’s doing a lot. Besides having singles from myself, Christian Smith, Rhythm Masters, Jaques Lu Cont, we’ve got a new record coming out with him called Vicar. So many things…a now this band called the Moving Units, I’m releasing they’re album in the States on vinyl.
HRFQ : You do a lot of Collaborative work, now and in the past. What people do you work best with?
Junior : Just people I respect, people who are just pushing buttons like me. I don’t work with someone just for kudos or because they’re hot, if something happens naturally it happens y’know.B
HRFQ : Who would you like to work with?
Junior : If I could have the chance to sit in a room with Trevor Horn or Prince that would be a dream come true but I think the chance of that happening is nill so… working with vocalists I would love to work with Kate Bush, someone like that.
HRFQ : You’re now 26 and you’ve already done things that most people twice your age haven’t, what’re you’re plans for the future?
Junior : I just want to continue making good music, writing a lot more and working with a lot more bands. To me Djing is just fun, it’s not serious, it’s not the art form people think it is. I mean if you’re Q Bert or the Scratch Pickles or someone like that then ye, that’s an art form, that’s they’re career. But when certain Djs just go out and play some records and that’s all they do and think they’re Quincy Jones by doing it, sorry but it’s not reality. Djing’s supposed to be fun, it’s an expression of ones self to other people, it’s playing music that you like to people that you think will appreciate the music that you like. So, it’s supposed to be fun. I have fun when I DJ, it’s not dark it’s not moody, it’s happy, I want to see somebody smile and laugh.
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