Interview: Morgan Page
Words by Richard Gifford - Published on January 15, 2013
Hailing all the way from LA, Vermont-born DJ Morgan Page is psyched to be arriving on Australian shores in less than a week for his Australian tour. Thirty-one year old DJ and music producer Mr Morgan Page is set to play all across the country, including performances at Australian festival Big Day Out in Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.
In hype of the stellar lineup announced by 2013’s Big Day Out, here we get to know a bit about the inspiration behind the success of Morgan Page and what he’s looking forward to about facing up to the Australian summer crowds. Set to kick off his national tour on January 18th, Morgan Page reveals his excitement about playing alongside acts such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Killers, and Kaskade.
Page’s performance history is one to be marveled at; including gigs at Coachella, XS Nightclub, and Wynn Las Vegas, and as eager fans await his arrival at this year’s BDO, we are sure to enjoy much of the same, along with some fresh new tracks to be performed live for the first time! Pencil this guy into your Big Day Out schedule, because you’ll be kicking yourselves if you miss it.
Time to hear from the man himself: we caught Morgan Page en route to his regular residency at Las Vegas’ XS Nightclub. Here he spares 15 minutes of his time to talk to scenewave.com about his excitement in the lead up to his departure. Enjoy…
SCENEWAVE: So you’re just about to hit Aussie shores and are kicking off your Australian tour with the Big Day Out Festival. We’re certainly excited to hear you live, what are you most looking forward to about BDO and what January holds for you in Aus?
MORGAN PAGE: Well I mean I’m really excited because I’ve never played a festival before and never played BDO so I’m really psyched about that. I’ve actually only played clubs in Australia and I think there’s going to be a couple of side shows which will be really exciting. But I mean Australia is something I always look forward to: it’s just a really cool exotic place to play. In terms of what’s coming out or what’s new, I’ve got some new remixes along with a new single coming out in January called “Carry Me” with Nadia Ali – in fact in the middle of this whole festival – and there’s going to be a couple of other remixed tracks too. It’s very exciting stuff.
SW: Having last year released your album In the Air, you’re obviously keen to get it out live to Australian listeners. What can we expect from your Big Day Out 2013 show repertoire-wise?
MP: In terms of what I’m going to play there’ll be a lot of the old favourites – “In the Air”, “Fight For You”, “Longest Road” – as well as some stuff I’m testing out. Also, I’m looking at a new single so there’s going to be at least 2-3 tracks no one’s heard yet, depending on how long my set time goes.
SW: Obviously each venue you entertain in is different. This year you’ve been performing regularly in places like the XS Nightclub LA and that pulls in a different crowd to what you’re expecting at BDO. Is there anything that you enjoy about an Australian crowd that you don’t get anywhere else?
MP: Yeah I think in Australia people are really into it, especially at a festival. However, I’ve only really played at clubs so far. But from what I hear [in Australia], at festivals people get extra crazy and excited for the shows… It’s always really exciting to see the reaction.
SW: Do you prefer festival or club crowd?
MP: I like both for different reasons. I mean, I’m driving to XS Club now as I talk to you. It’s cool because there are people there every week and also you get to show your music in a club experience… but I think with a festival you get an interesting crowd where you can pick up a lot of new fans. I’m excited for that.
SW: So you started producing at 14, dj-ing at 16, did you ever imagine you’d be doing an international tour performing around the world?
MP: You know it was always a goal but I didn’t know if I’d ever get to that point and it didn’t happen easily. It took a lot of work, more work than I’d imagined but it’s good. I think you’ve got to go as hard as you can; you’ve just got to hear your calling and then just follow it.
SW: What’s the strangest thing you’ve got musical inspiration from?
MP: Well I know a lot of people don’t associate folk music with electronic music but I think some of my early influences were folk and acoustic music, whereas now I play a lot of electronic stuff. So, if you hear my track “Strange Condition” the cover, it’s sort of an indie folk song and if you hear the original version of “The Longest Road”, it’s similar. I think a lot of guys – they tend to overlook these genres. However, I tried to channel my influences to sort of enrich my music.
SW: We hear you’ve snagged a residency this year at Wynn Las Vegas. How does it feel to be playing alongside names like Tiesto, Deadmau5, Afrojack and Steve Aoki?
MP: It’s awesome. It’s an honour. These guys are so big in the US – they’re so popular and I think they’ve sort of exploded the last couple of years. It’s way different to what it used to be and also Vegas has changed a lot. Nowadays, you can play commercial stuff and can kind of do what you want. But yeah, it’s an honour to be sharing the stage with guys that have been around for a long time.
SW: What do you think about Spotify/Rdio?
MP: I think at first I had mixed feelings about Spotify because the cheque you get in the mail from Spotify is about a dollar! You can get millions of plays and only get 10 bucks for that but I guess that’s not the point of Spotify. I just wish there was a way for more musicians to get on there. I mean it’s great for people discovering music without rips and I understand why people do it. So now as a musician, you’ve got to make your money in different ways. But I still feel sad for guys who aren’t touring at all and also the guys who aren’t even on Spotify.
SW: What was your favourite track to perform live in 2012?
MP: Definitely “In The Air”. Literally, just to play your own track, and get the reaction from the crowd is awesome. That’s always exciting and at the end of the day, that’s why I do it. It doesn’t feel as good to play someone else’s track and get a big reaction, but it’s still fun. It’s more about that feeling just to play your own track and get the big reaction, it is just so gratifying.
SW: Who’s your favourite artist?
MP: Actually, there’s a bunch of new guys that I really like. I like all the usual suspects like Swedish House Mafia and Afrojack. But there’s also these new guys called Spider out of the UK, and a new creature called Filthy. Filthy’s actually just done a remix for me on my next single “Carry Me”. A lot of these new young guys are really good.
SW: Do you like to classify your music within one of these genres, like progressive house or electro house?
MP: I think recently it’s gone more electro house than I was expecting, but it’s progressive, electro house when it comes down to it. But I kind of want to try something different this year, maybe mix it up. I want to develop a new sound – maybe change it up from progressive a bit. A lot of the stuff from other artists I hear now is really good but it’s just a little similar. So I’d like to create something a little new and a bit different.
Since the 2012 release of his third album In the Air, Page has superseded his wildest expectations topping charts everywhere, whilst holding also a history of two Grammy nominations for his track “Fantasy” with Nadia Ali. The new album boasts a collaboration of what he defines as “electro or progressive house music” and stars the likes of Tegan and Sara, Jonathon Mendelsohn, Andy Caldwell, BT Sultan and Ned Shepard and also Telepopmusik’s Angela McCluskey.
GOLD COAST: You can see Morgan Page perform on the Boiler Room Stage at Big Day Out, Gold Coast at 2.40pm on this Sunday!
BDO tickets are still available from http://www.bigdayout.com/