Hot Boy Dancing Spot returns this Saturday with special guest Baio in tow. Acclaimed producer and DJ, he also lives as a double life as the bassist for popular indie rock band Vampire Weekend. We caught up with him ahead of the party to quiz him on weird instruments, famous family, LGBT politics and more!
What’s the best and worst thing about being a musician in Brooklyn?
I just moved from Brooklyn to London, so right now I spend a lot more time thinking about the good things than the bad. It was nice to have so many musician friends in a relatively small area and bumping into someone and grabbing a drink was always a pleasant surprise. The worst thing for me, as someone who tends to sweat rather easily, is that dirty NY summertime heat.
How did it feel garnering such high praise from Resident Advisor for your track Sunburn Modern?
I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty happy about that. Getting good reviews in dance music press has been encouraging as I imagine some people in that world would feel cynical about me, with my background, making tracks. That said, if it were a bad review it would not have changed the way I felt about my first EP, which I’m still psyched on and proud of.
Which version do you prefer? Your own or Session Victim’s?
Unfair question! I think they serve different purposes in a set and I often play them both out. SV’s version is darker and deeper and it always goes down well. I never would’ve thought to take the track into that direction. I’ve also become a pretty big fan of their stuff over the past year so in general I’m psyched they took on my track and did something unique with it.
You seem to have pretty eclectic taste- what were the last few records you hunted down?
Last time I went record shopping was at Kompakt while on tour in Cologne and I bought a bunch of white label stuff and some edits… a bunch of records from Love Edits and Editainment. All my gear just arrived here from America so I’m spending the next few days setting up my home studio, I’ll probably hit Phonica in the next few days to pick up some more new stuff.
Which artists and labels are getting you excited at the moment?
Been really into Delusions of Grandeur and their monthly podcast at the moment, Cómeme is consistently putting out really fun and weird stuff and I always like everything on Running Back.
How did you find out you’re related to Steve Buscemi?
So as well as being a DJ and a producer, you’re also the bassist in indie rock band Vampire Weekend and you score film soundtracks…what else do you turn your hand to creatively?
Right now most of my projects are musical. Backstage in San Francisco the other day I sewed the collar on this red jacket to look different & found that I really enjoyed the process. Maybe I’ll get really into knitting in my advanced 20′s.
What’s one instrument you wish you could play or have always been intrigued by?
The duduk. It’s an Armenian instrument I wrote a paper on back in college. I found the history of the instrument pretty fascinating and it has a cool tone.
As someone who majored in Russian Studies, what’s your take on the recent anti-LGBT controversies?
I find it distressing, especially as the Duma voted unanimously in favor of the law, which means it’s not just the views and work of a few people in power. It’s widespread and deep-seated.
I try to think back to the people I’ve known in Russia from spending time there in 2006 and last year, and they’re all open-minded kind people who are embarrassed by their government. While young people in the major metropolitan areas of St. Petersburg and Moscow are just a fraction of Russia’s population, they give me some hope for the future. But yeah, these laws are immensely fucked up.
For some further reading I’d recommend this article a friend wrote.
What is your favourite dancefloor in the world?
Some favourite places I’ve played are Pratersauna in Vienna, U Street Music Hall in DC, Monarch in San Francisco and Farbfernseher in Berlin. Heard good things about Dalston Superstore so I have high hopes for Saturday!
Join Baio at Hot Boy Dancing Spot this Saturday 24th August from 9pm – 4am.
Photo Credit: Thom Kaine