Guy Gerber- Sniffing Gloves and the Pressure of Pacha (interview)
Prolifically busy currently promoting both a free download new album ‘Who’s Stalking Who?’ and his new Pacha Ibiza residency Wisdom of the Glove, Israeli progressive tech-house type Guy Gerber admits he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’ll be honest, there’s a lot of pressure, constant pressure,” he admits when quizzed about the expectations surrounding his high profile Wednesday night Ibiza slot.
“But everyone who knows me knows that I function much better under pressure or I just get lazy.”
Stepping into the shoes left vacant when Erick Morillo followed Danny Whittle from Pacha to Bomba at the end of Pacha’s last summer season, Guy (alongside Diynamic head-honcho Solomun) represents an arguably massive gamble for the Ibiza superclub, as they attempt to rebrand themselves towards ‘underground’ away from ‘EDM’.
Announcing the new musical policy in May, Pacha also made a big deal about not paying their new wave of DJS €100,000 per set fees, though presumably Guy’s doing more than OK. So how does the money factor affect his approach when playing for big fees, is it harder or the same to perform when earning €50,000 or €500 a gig?
“I always play what I feel is right,” he stresses, “The amount of money doesn’t affect the way I play but it definitely affects my state of mind. And honestly, who doesn’t like to get paid a lot of money?”
Refreshingly open about money, he’s equally happy to talk about tangential issues relating to his Glove theme, including Smell the Glove icons Spinal Tap and the world’s most infamous glove obsessive Michael Jackson.
“I would say the whole Thriller album is one of my favorites of all time, mainly because of the work of Quincy Jones,” he readly reveals. So can he do Michael’s moonwalk?
“I’m very bad at doing the moonwalk,” he laughs, “but I can play Billy Jean really well on the bass.”
Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Where did the glove inspiration for the Pacha Ibiza season come from?
Guy Gerber: ”I was at a party in the jungle during the BPM festival in Mexico, and was walking around all night wearing one glove Michael Jackson style. The interior felt kind of weird because it was a cheap glove. I was walking around trying to creep people out, touching their faces with the glove, but after a little while I realized no one was bothered by it. When I touched my own face, I realized the outside of the glove was actually nice. The glove charges you with creepiness that you can spread to others. That is the Wisdom of the Glove. “
Skrufff: Will you be launching official glove merchandise?
Guy Gerber: ”Right now we have only one glove for sale, and it costs 150,000e – Why? You should put it on and see. Besides that we are giving away gorgeous gloves, T-shirts and wisdom of the glove kaleidoscopes all that you can get for free.”
Skrufff: 90s rock legends Spinal Tap achieved notoriety with their seminal album Smell the Glove, have you seen the documentary? Have you had many Spinal Tap moments yourself?
Guy Gerber: ”Of course, who hasn’t seen it?! I can say I ONLY have Spinal Tap moments. I’ll tell a story – I was trying to convince Martin Buttrich that when I play I take all the EQ to the right so the bass, mids and the highs are full on so the mixer is totally red. And then once in a while I turn the bass to the middle, and just for that moment, because the music is so intense and so painful, when I go to the middle the people are so relieved, they start adoring me just for saving them from their misery. At the time, he totally believed it.”
Skrufff: Pacha fills a large chunk of its floor space with VIP tables offering bottle service; how does playing to bottle service clubs change your approach?
Guy Gerber: ”I Never ever, ever, play differently because of people’s taste in music. I do change my style according to the set times, the sound system of the club, all the DJ playing before me, because I’m always trying to tell a story. So far the reactions of the VIP have been great and they all seem to like what I’ve been playing.”
Skrufff: How much do you see your role as a DJ about entertaining, as opposed to playing exactly what you like and presenting some kind of artistic statement?
Guy Gerber: ”I prefer to entertain, that’s the most important thing, but if people stress me out while I think I’m doing OK, then I definitely make an effort to express my personal musical statement more. Firstly I’m trying to please the people by playing something nice, but if people complain, I definitely start to play weirder and weirder.”
Skrufff: How ambitious are you to play Vegas?
Guy Gerber: “I like Vegas because of the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, I like the desert and I like the ridiculousness of it all. I’m not so ambitious to play the clubs there, but if I had the chance to go there and create some awkward moments that freak everyone out, then I would definitely go.”
Skrufff: How big a threat does EDM pose to underground club culture?
Guy Gerber: “I don’t really see it as a threat, it injects more finances into the industry and this helps everyone. There will always be something for everyone and in general it makes the scene much more diverse.”
Skrufff: How much are you a believer in the ‘magic of Ibiza?’ How much has luck and or chance played a role in your career?
Guy Gerber: ”I used to be a soccer player – that made me a very superstitious person . I only believe in luck and karma and in other big forces in life. Magic is one of them. I can definitely feel that sometimes I have magic in my hands and sometimes I don’t. When I don’t, it’s very difficult but I just continue until I feel its back.
Ibiza is all about magic- it’s not just a party place, the land is filled with this energy that makes everything a little bit more intense whether its tranquility or a party, every area has some magnetic fields and you can definitely feel this when you’re there.”
Guy Gerber’s Wisdom of the Glove is at Pacha Ibiza every Wednesday. Click below to download his new album.
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff