John 00 Fleming: “Trance does what it says on the tin”

30 June, 2016

Over the years you have certainly built quite the repertoire with countless records, across multiple labels (including 2 labels of your own). What inspires you to keep pushing the boundaries?

I’m driven and motivated to keep moving forward musically as this is what keeps me in love with DJing. I love finding fresh new sounding artists and music that dare to produce something away from the norm and experiment musically. I’m still that 15 year old kid that started many years ago when I find those gems, I still get that very same feeling bursting with excitement and not being able to wait to play these tracks to the dance floor and share what I’ve found.

If I got stuck playing the same sound for many years, I’d get board and hang up my headphones. 


You are on your way to Australia for a run of ‘open-close’ sets, what has spurred you do these marathon sets?

My very first DJ gig was an open-to-close set. In fact pretty much the first 10 years of my career I had various residencies playing open-to-close sets, so I wanted to go back to my roots of performing sets like this so that I can express myself musically as I have a very open musical pallet, this way I can share my full music collection with everyone. 

I have to admit I’m not comfortable with the current term ‘Open-to-close’ set as it seems more a marketing tool these days with people jumping on the band wagon…I need to think of a new name for mine!


How does your stamina play a role in the set? Do you have to train for something like this?

Playing long sets like this flies by for me, I could play a lot, lot longer. I take my DJ hobby/career very seriously, ever since I bought my first decks at the age of 15 many years ago, every week since then I spend at least once a week having a marathon long mixing session at home with the new tracks that I’ve bought. I did one yesterday that lasted 8 hours! I’m still that big kid in love with music.

The hardest thing to deal with is recovering over the actual traveling, jet lag being the main culprit. It’s why I like to get in a day early if possible to rest, especially if I’ve had a hectic tour schedule. 


And how about the music, how will it progress over the 6-hours?

Every set will be different because I play to the crowd, and they are the ones that dictate where I go. I love testing the water with them, play with their minds test if I can go darker, then take a twist and head in an unexpected harder direction. To me it’s like unfolding an audio version of a good thriller movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat, you have no idea what’s going to happen next, what will be the ending. Your locked into the story from start to finish and don’t want to leave. 


You seem to have a cult following all around the world (and we love having you at Chinese Laundry every time you’re in the country), do you think your fans allow you to be more flexible with your DJ sets?

The feeling is mutual, I love Chinese laundry and consider it my home in Sydney. I’m very lucky in respect that my fans know me as a DJ that plays new fresh music, that’s why they come to see me, and this seems quite a rare commodity these day especially in the Trance world. You have plenty of choices if you want to hear mainstream DJ’s playing all the current hits, but for me it seems to be more a special occasion especially as I only pass through Australia once a year. 


 You’ve been in the game for a while and have plenty of industry experience up your sleeve, what is your number 1 piece of advice to any upcoming DJ/Producers out there?

We could all write a long list of DJ’s and producers that have come and gone with musical fads passed. Only a handful of acts will survive from that fad, then rest scramble around trying to survive. My advice would be to do your own thing, forge your own sound and then that becomes your value, your asset that no one else has + you end up doing something that you musically loved, rather than adapting chasing a fad that your heart really isn't into. 


Do you like the direction Trance is going in with the rise of EDM in the U.S?

I think the main problem with the perception of EDM in the US, is that it’s only reported from one side. All I hear constantly in magazines, websites etc are of the huge EDM festivals, bottle service clubs, Vegas pool parties etc. When I head to the US I play amazing underground clubs, raves and warehouses that are just as packed. In fact the underground scene in the US is booming, it’s just that it’s never reported.

I’ve been playing in the US for over 20 years, the American’s played a massive roll in creating electronic music history, they are the ones that rebelled against the mainstream and created House and Techno in the 80’s & 90’s. It’s happening yet again, many are just as disgruntled with EDM and are creating these amazing warehouse parties, it feels like the 90’s all over again. 


What do you see in the future for trance music?

This is a very hard question. There’s no doubt credible underground Trance is out there, in fact it’s really booming, but you have to go looking in other genres to find it. Until Trance cleans up its image, it’s going to be a while until these new breed of ‘Trance’ producers to release their music in the Trance sections in shops, as it’s not credible enough and seen as a EDM ‘pop’ section….BUT..I personally will still persist on my quest to show the world that there is a more serious side to Trance, and I have a lot of producers and DJ mates who are onboard too. We’re making small waves. 

Trance as a whole seems to be making a big resurgence. EDM had it’s moment, but people start to tire of the predictable drops and cut & paste music, they just want to get their heads down, dance and get mesmerized by the music. After all, Trance does what it says on the tin.



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