Paul Kershaw: The Interwiev
What have you been up to recently?
It's been really hectic recently. I'm just getting over a celebration last night after the single I did with Nick Rafferty hit #48 in the charts as part of the DJ Nation package, so my head hurts! Aside from that I've been concentrating on getting my new saturday trance show on Galaxy going and I've been getting homely with my girlfriend Katie in our new flat!
Describe your musical and djing style.
Well I've pretty much been a trance boy for the last 10 years, despite it being considered a dirty word in some areas. However, since the results of the DJ top 100 poll have come out, I doubt people can dispute the power of trance any longer!
How did you get involved in music?
I worked behind a bar part time and the dj was doing his last night. I asked him if I could have a go and he said yes! Thirty minutes later I came off shaking with adrenalin and knew that I'd found something I loved. I got the new dj to do the same, and before long I ended up with a night of my own!
How would you say your musical style has progressed since you first got
involved in music?
Well when I first started buying dance records in 1990 there were very few styles. In the early days I was into the Belgian sound, with R&S being one of my favourite early record labels. Acid house, hardcore and early Italian piano house found their way into my box too. It wasn't until around 1994 and later that I developed a trademark sound, plus with the advent of PC music creation there was an explosion in available music.
Who was the very first dj you ever saw in a club?
Chocci! The first rave that came to Plymouth (my birth town) was Wasp Factory with Chocci and Harvey. The club it was held in was upstairs from the club / bar I worked in, so I popped up to see my friend and help work the lasers. To see 1800 people unified to one beat was amazing, and I knew then that dance music was definitely going to be the way forward.
Who was the last dj you heard who you really liked?
John Askew. I played alongside him at Cream's 11th birthday and having enjoyed a lot of his production work was eager to hear his dj style. Not only was his set amazing but he's a genuine guy too. We partied hard afterwards back at the hotel so he's definitely an all-rounder! I caught one of his sets this weekend too and enjoyed it equally! John, if you're reading this, I reckon you owe me a tenner now don't you?
What's the weirdest/funniest moment you've ever encountered clubwise?
I went out with a group of friends one weekend and one of the girls I was out with was a clubbing virgin. She did well, pulling a very good looking guy in full cyber gear, and disappeared with him. At the end of the night she came back looking more than a little distressed. After a quick conversation we all looked over to the dancefloor where the guy was in the middle of an empty dancefloor holding a full-blown conversation with himself into a red plastic ice-cream scoop!
Have you done anything embarrassing you'd like to share with us?
Katie has nicknamed me The Trout due to the faces I pull when slightly worse for wear on a long night out. It's not embarrassing at the time, but when the fog clears it's not the best!
Do you have a club which you really like playing at?
No favouritism here, but having played at Nation 5 times this year, 3 of those for Cream I have to say that the main room is a great stage. The sound system is amazing, the layout of the entire club is interesting, and when it goes off, it goes OFF!
How much time do you spend on music a week?
Well I have my radio show for Galaxy 6 days a week, plus I try to get on the PC as much as possible at home to fire up the synths and get creating. If I'm not doing that I'm listening to records, shopping for records or ending up in a studio for a few days at a time. Then there's the stacks of emails I receive and send to labels on a daily basis trying to keep abreast of what's happening. It's my life, so it really does take up so much time, but I enjoy every second!
How many records are there in your collection?
Don't ask. They take up the whole wall of one room of my old house, as well as the majority of the downstairs and the garage. I'm still moving at the moment and I really don't have a clue where I'm going to put them all!!
What are your biggest tunes in your record box at the moment?
Signum "Push Through" is quite possibly one of their best works to date, then there's the new Pirate single on Ferry Corsten's label Tsunami, called "Leaving The Sun". I really like the way Ferry has shaped that label with nothing less than quality trance. Ooh, and then there's Rafferty & Kershaw "Music" on Nukleuz, it's at #48 in the charts (haven't I said that already?) and it could do with going higher!
Before being a full time dj, what were your last 2 jobs?
The last job I had before settling in full time was a van driver for a newspaper distributor. Prior to that I was a pub manager! Believe me when I say I've been through quite a few varied jobs!
What would you love to do jobwise if you weren't a dj?
I always wanted to be a pilot in the RAF but unfortunately I was too tall for the ejector seats! I guess if I had to choose then maybe an airline pilot? I haven't really thought about it too much!
What are your favourite labels?
Tsunami, Black Hole, JOOF, Platipus
What one thing can't you stand about clubland?
That apparently everyone thinks it's on its arse. Rubbish. This has been my busiest year to date, and already 2004 is building for me. The reporting on the supposed death of clubland seems to have been manufactured by people who don't get out much, because believe me there are plenty of satisfied clubbers out there still, every weekend!
What's your favourite holiday destination?
Now this might seem like a weird answer but I haven't been here yet! I recently read an article on a holiday in Iceland. Basically the holiday lasts a month, you turn up in Iceland and get given a Land Rover and a map. On the map are all of the volcanoes and other points of interest, as well as a list of hotels. It's up to you how far you go in a day, where you go, but it's a volcano holiday! I love the things so I definitely intend to go and do that...one day!
How do you like to unwind?
I don't know if 'unwind' is an accurate description, I'm a very active person and lover doing as much as possible with my time as I can! I am about to take up tennis again, Katie and I want to learn a new language together, plus she plays a mean game of Butt-Head with me too (although I won the last match!). For sheer relaxation though you can't beat a hot bath and an early night!
What are you going to be doing soon?
I'm back in the studio with Nick Rafferty very soon to complete our new single. I'm also working on some more solo material to follow up on last year's tune. I've got a very busy dj schedule on the build-up to Christmas and the New Year too, as well as continuing at Galaxy.
You're at Cream on Boxing Day aren't you? Are you looking forward to playing back at Cream's spiritual home in Liverpool? And do you have any surprises planned for your set?
I'm overwhelmed to have been chosen to play for them once again. This will be the fourth time that I will have played for Cream at Nation this year and each time has been a real privilege. The guys and girls at Cream really know how to throw a party so I already have an idea how much fun it's going to be burning off my turkey excess! Have I got any surprises? Well by the very definition of the word if I told you it wouldn't be a surprise any more! One thing that is no surprise is the fact that I'll be playing Atlantis "Fiji". I was one of the writers of the track that Seb Fontaine championed and made into such a Cream classic. In fact,on a recent Radio 1 poll it came out as the #1 Cream Anthem of all time! I was fortunate enough to play the tune at Cream and see the response to the tune myself this year. After that first play in the club it's definitely staying in the box for Boxing Day!
| || |