Article Archive

Gareth Emery - Emery At The Gates

Author: Jane Stabler
Friday, 19 October 2007
Southampton-born and based Gareth Emery has been one to watch on the dance music scene for a few years now. Touted by Paul Van Dyk as his artist to break through in 2007, dance music fans and respected DJs alike around the globe have embraced emery's floor-filling signature sound. 3D's Jane Stabler caught up with the DJ on the eve of his gatecrasher gig in Sydney.

As a producer and DJ, Emery has experienced a meteoric rise in the world of trance, despite hating the connotations of the genre within which he has found fame. Preferring to create music that defies any particular genre, he admits “[My music] is essentially trance, but I wish there was a better word to describe it.

“There's a lot of negative connotations about trance, but its not always the cheesy bollocks people think of,” he continues. “For me, there are a lot of other influences; house, drum n bass, techno - it's a big melting pot. People definitely find it hard to put a label on [what I do] but there is definitely a Gareth Emery sound. The music has changed a lot, but there's a running theme.”

The running theme he speaks of has definitely proven popular, and Emery is preparing for an incredibly hectic end to 2007. Now very much an international DJ, his end of year tour schedule includes places like Malaysia, Indonesia, his homeland England and of course Australia, and looks very much like a holiday itinerary for the rich and famous.

“Generally speaking I don't chill out very often,” he confesses. “But this summer my girlfriend made me chill out, and we went to Ibiza back in July. We were in this really removed villa, really removed from the party scene, but as Ibiza does tend to go, the first few days were really chilled and then the rest of the holiday did turn into a bit of a session.”

Despite participating in, and being the instigator of dance party sessions around the world, interestingly Emery didn't always have a penchant for dance music.

“I kind of always guessed I'd be doing something in music, but I never would have thought it would be dance music,” he admits. “Up to the age of 18 I didn't really like dance music and saw it as the devil! I kind of underwent a total conversion between 18 and 21, and seeing there was a side to this music I really liked. I would have never predicted I would have ended up a record producer, but I did always know I would be in music.”

And firmly embedded in music he is indeed. Gareth is currently ranked number 34 on the list of top 100 DJs, but sensibly he believes you have to be cautious in how seriously you interpret the results of these types of surveys.

“I think it's cool as long as people bear in mind it's not based on ability, it's just a popularity contest,” he says. “And of course it's nice being there, I'd rather be there than not!”

Despite the recognition, Emery is hesitant to acknowledge his now worldwide status.

“I wouldn't consider myself to be famous,” he admits. “I don't think anyone in dance music can be considered famous, for the most part even your most successful dance DJs wont get recognized in mainstream terms. I guess that's the good thing about it - you can reach a really high level musically and the rest of your life is normal and you can go to Tescos, but in a club you can be treated like a god, getting asked to sign breasts!”

Fame under your own name is somewhat of a recent trend in the DJ world and even Emery began his career influenced by the spate of lame DJ names that went around for a while.

“You know what, when I first started DJing, I started as GTR, as a producer, which are my initials,” he begins. “One of my first tracks in 2002 was a really big track under the name of GTR. Even though I was saying to everyone that my name was Gareth Emery, people billed me as GTR and I always felt it was a bit lame. I wanted to DJ under my own name, but no one knew me as that. I would go to gigs and people would ask, 'Are you GTR-' and I realised if this was how I was going to be known for the rest of my career it wouldn't work. I think the safest thing is to stick with your own name - even if it's not a great name, it's your name!”

And as far as famous people called Gareth go, Gareth Emery is probably only challenged by Gareth Gates and Gareth Barry, and admits to probably being less famous than both in his homeland.

“In moments of boredom, I thought I would look up famous Gareths. [Gareth Gates] is a lot more famous than me,” he concedes. “Maybe not across the rest of the world, but in the UK, Gareth is still a major celebrity. But I think I'm cooler! I'm probably famous in more different places, but not in the UK. But if I was asked to trade bank accounts with either of them I would.”

As for the rest of the world, it is fairly safe to say that Gareth Emery is the only Gareth that matters to most people in the know. He is revered in Asia, adored in Australia and worshipped in South America, and he seems equally fond of his overseas homes-away-from-home as they are of him.

“I'm not just saying this, but Australia is one of my favourite places to play,” he admits. “I love coming to Australia - I don't know if I've just got lucky but the fans are fabulous. It's easier to go to Australia and click with the people than the States, for example. I think the Brits and the Aussies tend to click.”

WHO: Gareth Emery
WHAT: Sublime presents Gatecrasher at Home Sydney
WHEN: Friday 26 October