Funk D’Void Interview (Nov 2006)
May 8, 2007, 2:55 am
Filed under: Interview

A George Clinton inspired tattooed Scotsman with the proclivity for hanging out on Barcelona beaches. Sound like a character from Trainspotting? Well it’s actually the long enduring Soma artist Funk D’void, who by the way is actually half Swedish.

D’Void, real name Lars Sandberg, has recently been spotted gallivanting with DJ Mag’s 35th favourite DJ Phil Kieran, and can being even heard lending a hand on Kanzleramt regular Alexander Kowalski’s recent album “Changes”. On the solo tip Sandberg, masquerading as Francois Dubois, released the single ‘Blood’ not too long ago, a track which has been remixed by Groove Armada’s Andy Cato and the artist formerly known as Cosmos, Tom Middleton.

While taking a bit of well-deserved R&R shortly before his DJ set at club Air in Tokyo Mr. Sandberg kindly tore himself away from his pre-dinner snack and had a little chat with Higher Frequency.

Interview & Introducion by Nick Lawrence (HigherFrequency)


Funk D’Void : I was on a boat last Saturday. Fucking rave cruise, a prog cruise. Horrible. Swedish progressive cruise. I was trapped on the boat for two days man. It went from Estonia to Stockholm and back again. I was only on it for the last part of the journey.

Higher Frequency (HRFQ) : Yeah, Petter was telling us about that cruise a little while back.

Funk D’Void : Yeah he was playing live. I heard him in my sleep man. I was trying to sleep and all I could hear was that ‘Some
Polyphony’ track in my dreams. It was weaving in and out of my head. But it was good fun watching all of these people out of their minds listening to horrible prog and then I go on and I was the last fucking set at six to 8 in the morning. It was a Sunday morning and no fucker was there. Everyone was fucked up and asleep. I was playing to like ten people. To me the best part of the cruise was the thirteen hours sleep I got. It was a good cruise but there were only a thousand people and they were expecting two thousand.

HRFQ : So you are wearing your Funkadelic tshirt and the name Funk D’Void comes from George Clinton. Do you see any similarities between the funk and techno sounds?

Funk D’Void : Absolutely not (laughs). I don’t see any. Funky as a general term just means a bit of swing to me. You don’t see it in techno really but it depends what type of techno, there are so many different forms. Mostly it is in house. I just like the name, I like the band and it’s probably one of my influences musically. I don’t really sound like it in general but I like the attitude and that kind of funk thing.

HRFQ : Now do you find yourself following the Funk D’void sound or Francois Dubois more?

Funk D’Void : Yeah I’m kind of schizophrenic. I enjoy doing the harder stuff, like the stuff I do with Phil Kieran is cool. We have fun but for the soul man on a musical tip I think Francois Dubois wins it by about a hair. Just because I’d be able to listen to it more than the Funk D’Void stuff. It depends really, you hear soulful elements in the Funk D’Void music but Dubois is just going for that straight out deep house vibe. It seems to be working and it is just something fresh for me. I’ve been doing the Funk D’Void stuff for fucking years now so it’s nice to start a new project and its nice to reach a new base of people who haven’t heard me before. Even borderline progressive people or deep tech house people who have never listened to Funk D’Void before so it is a whole new demographic.

HRFQ : Has this change got anything to do with moving from Glasgow to Barcelona?

Funk D’Void : I dunno. Barcelona if anything kind of hindered me working. It took me six months to get settled. As far as inspiration goes I don’t get inspiration from where I am. I get inspiration from people and relationships I’m in. It’s just a nice place to live basically. Maybe when I lived in Glasgow my music was a bit darker or whatever but it doesn’t really make any difference. It doesn’t really have any effect it just affects how much you work. I probably get a lot more work done now that I’m 35 and I’ve got a lot more responsibilities. I’ve got a different outlook on life than I did when I was 25. It is a job for me but it’s not something that I go to work thinking “Fuck I’ve got work”. I don’t go to work and just do tracks. If I’m not feeling it then I concentrate on other stuff like clothes design or myspace for twenty hours (laughs). The important things in life. If I’m inspired then I’m in the studio and it comes like a rush or a flurry of creativity. I’m not one of these producers that goes in the studio from nine to five and makes tracks.

HRFQ : Do you have a studio at home?

Funk D’Void : Oh man no. I’ve got two kids so I don’t have a studio at home. I wouldn’t get any work done. So I have a sepearate studio and I share it with a good Spanish band and Andy Cato from Groove Armada shares it with me so it’s a good vibe in the studio. We are starting a club night together called Antidote. That’s the precursor to my actual club. We’re starting a club called Antidote next year but this is the precursor to get people used to the name. We are doing it in the Moog club which is a famous techno club.

HRFQ : So is Antidote going to be a house club?

Funk D’void : It’s going to be everything apart from hard music. It’s not going to be a hard techno club. It is going to be music that comes from the soul you know. Whether it is disco, soul, funk, jazz, afro or tech house but we are not venturing into hard techno. That’s why we are calling it Antidote because there is so much of that stuff there.

HRFQ : Are you going to be relying on local DJs or will you be inviting a lot of internationals?

Funk D’Void : All of my friends. They could be locals or they could..It’s just going to be a mates vibe. Internationals if their in town or people that we’ll just pay for their flight and they’ll come and DJ. We are going to be open seven nights a week so we need help from everyone.

HRFQ : We wanted to ask you about the Ministry of Sound CD you are doing with Phil Kieran.

Funk D’Void : Yeah, that is definitely happening. We are going to do a double CD and it’s probably going to come out and in March. Then we’ll do a tour for that.

HRFQ : What sort of vibe is the CD going to be?

Funk D’Void : We don’t know man, we don’t know. We are still thinking. We don’t want it to have a time stamp. We want it to have tracks that we like. It isn’t going to be a deep house double that’s for sure. It’s going to have tech house elements to it, maybe some old stuff. It’s going to be…I don’t know. It’s going to be funky and a bit quirky and not staying in the one genre. It’s definitely going to be for the club. It is going to be a departure for Ministry of Sound because they’ve never used any of that underground shit before. The ‘White Lice’ thing did really well and we’ve been really well received all across the board with these kinds of tracks. I mean they are kind of like approachable…I don’t want to say the ‘M’ word but they are approachable in a dancey way and they crossover a little bit.

HRFQ : Your “iFunk” mix sounds just as good now as when it was released so is it going to be a similar kind of thing?

Funk D’Void : I don’t know. Well that “iFunk” thing I’m glad you like it because that kind of went under the radar. I spent a lot of time on that mix you know. That Konrad Black track that is on it is very today, it’s kept its theme you know. It’s got that emotional techno and that funky club stuff. That’s what I am playing at Air tonight, that kind of vibe. A bit of everything and I always try to incorporate a bit of humour, nothing that is up its own arse. That’s why I love the stuff that me and Phil do, it’s funny. It’s fun to make, fun to listen to and fun to dance to.

HRFQ : Do you actually dance a lot yourself?

Funk D’Void : (laughs) No. I used to dance when I was younger man. Not since Glasgow man, not really gone out on the dancefloor. I feel a bit self conscious. You know, I’m a tall guy and I’ve got a giraffe thing going on when I’m on the dancefloor. Then you start thinking, “Shit! What am I gonna do with my hands? Oh my god my hands are flopping round! Ok I’ll put them in my pocket. Wait, I should have a drink or cigarette in my hand”. It’s just a fucking nightmare, I’d rather be behind the decks. Maybe that’s the whole point of getting into DJing, so I didn’t have to dance.

HRFQ : Are you thinking of bringing a new album out?

Funk D’Void : There’s two…No three…God. Mine and Phil’s album, separate to the mix CD, we are going to put the singles on there plus three or four tracks. The Funk D’Void album has just started, I’ve only done two tracks and then the Francois Dubois album is further down the line next year. So there are three albums, I mean I’m doing too much.

HRFQ : Do you get confused in the studio whether you are being Funk D’Void or Francois Dubois?

Funk D’Void : Yeah, for instance the new Funk D’Void single is very Francois but because Soma like it they wanted to release it as Funk D’Void. So it’s confusing me, it’s confusing everybody. It doesn’t sound like Funk D’Void it sounds like Francois Dubois. Oh god, I don’t know. It’s a vocal house thing with Aqua Bassino on vocals, it’s on myspace so you can check it out. I mean I don’t know, Soma are dying for something from me apparently so…I didn’t want to give it to them but they demanded it. I’ve gotta do a B-side as well.

HRFQ : Will you always release from Soma as Funk D’Void.

Funk D’Void : Yeah, I’ve signed a contract man (laughs). I signed a contract written in my own blood for twenty albums or something. But we’ll see. Soma is nice but dance music needs to keep constantly changing. I found that out from doing this Dubois stuff. Peope get more interested when you change your style. There aren’t many producers out there who have stayed the same and constantly produced good material. People have fallen by the wayside and there is something to be said for re-inventing yourself.

HRFQ : Do you run your own label at the moment?

Funk D’Void : Funk D’Void : No, I’d never dream of running a label. I have done in the past and it was a fucking nightmare. But mind you nowadays with the digital stuff all you need to do is come up with the material and the art work, then just send it out. Mind you the returns…Yeah, maybe I’ll start up a digital label. It’s easier than going with a label right? (laughs) Ok, bye Soma! Thanks, I’ll blame you.

HRFQ : Are you thinking of bringing a new album out?

Funk D’Void : There’s two…No three…God. Mine and Phil’s album, separate to the mix CD, we are going to put the singles on there plus three or four tracks. The Funk D’Void album has just started, I’ve only done two tracks and then the Francois Dubois album is further down the line next year. So there are three albums, I mean I’m doing too much.

HRFQ : Well if you’ve got a good graphic designer…

Funk D’Void : Well, for the clothing company I’m starting I’m releasing mini CDs with two exclusive tracks. I’m starting with ten designs in February. I’ve got the ideas for the slogans but I’ve got a graphic designer to sort of tszujy them up a bit and come up with the background ideas. I’ll be making the music for the CDs. That’s the D’Void Clothing Company. I did a tshirt for Sonar this year and it said “Fuck Berlin- Barcelona Has A Beach” and the amount of people that have asked me about that tshirt! People like Magda calling me up asking for a tshirt and it is just such a simple thing to do.

End of the interview

Listen to Funk D’Void on hrfq.com
Funk D’Void Official Site
Funk D’Void Myspase


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