He’s a #TranceFamily favorite. He’s got his own record label and still racking up impressive air miles. He’s even got a new smartphone app. DJ/producer Simon Patterson is staying the proper course to remain on top of the dance music world ladder while evolving with the times. Before his upcoming gig at Rain Nightclub on March 31, the Irish-born Patterson takes a break to chat about the industry and… Man v. Food?
Congrats on nabbing a spot in the DJ Mag Top 100 two years in a row. What does a poll like that mean for you?
To be honest with you, it doesn’t really mean too much because it’s just a popularity contest. I’d rather it be how successful you are in terms of club gigs, obviously getting booked for the big events and honestly playing good sets for the fans and making great tracks. That’s much, much more of a foundation for me than being a number in a poll. If the poll went away tomorrow, my DJ career wouldn’t end—it’s great to be in it, it’s good to be a part of it, but I take it with a pinch of salt to be honest.
Do you do a big push for votes like some of the guys do, or do you let it go naturally?
The year before I did, this year no. This year coming up I’m not going to do anything … It hasn’t made any difference to me as a DJ, my bookings or getting more gigs or less gigs, or more money or less money—it didn’t make a difference. So I’d rather concentrate my time and effort to the people that work with me and making sure the social media stuff is always up to date and all my interviews are done and more important things … it’s better to work hard and, hopefully, if you do work hard then the votes will speak for themselves.
How’s Night Vision, your new label?
Brilliant. Last year was the start of it and released quite a lot of tracks last year—maybe a bit too many—but it’s important to start the brand up and sign some new artists that are going to support the new label. This year we’re going to cut back and just do one release a month and focus on making sure the tracks that are released are proper massive tracks, rather than more underground stuff; it just doesn’t sell as well as it used to. I’ve got my core group of people who I love and support so this year. I’m just going to support those guys, release some stuff from me, some stuff from them, and just keep building up and doing club nights around the world to try and build up the brand even more. So yeah, it’s going well, but it’s just gonna take time and time to get to where I want to go with it.
With a lot of newbies getting into EDM in the U.S. and wanting to be superstar DJs, what do you think is the biggest misconceptions people have about the career?
I guess that it’s a glamorous lifestyle. Of course it is very glamorous and obviously I’m very lucky and grateful I get to do my dream, my hobby and enjoy it. But the whole traveling and jet lag and being in airports and on planes every single week is so tiring because not only are you away from your friends and family for a long time, but having to turn up to clubs on very little sleep due to time zones or whatever that might be, and put on a performance because you know people are there to see you play is really tough. It takes its toll and is mentally challenging sometimes. So I guess that’s the sort of thing people sometimes maybe don’t take into consideration which I understand they shouldn’t because they don’t know what it’s like.
Your new track “So What” was just released this week. Tell me more about the direction you’re taking musically.
Everyone is sort of sticking to a certain genre or a certain BPM [beats per minute] and you can’t change your BPM or you can’t change your genre. It’s #TranceFamily and #HouseFamily and … the track for me — in the name it says “So What” because it shouldn’t matter what sort of style, what sort of BMP—especially the BPM—if it’s a good track and it’s good music it shouldn’t matter what it is. A lot of my fans are a little bit concerned that I’m changing my sound and I’m slowing down. That’s not the case at all. I’ve been making banging trance for 6-7 years and it’s time to make a change up a little bit for my own sanity. I have new ideas and want to do something a little bit different, slower.
I’ve read you dig Metallica. Ever thought about remixing them?
I used to be into Metallica. These days I don’t really listen to them as much. I was going to years ago do a bootleg of Slayer … but these days I’m just concentrating on originals. If anything I’d maybe do a bootleg of Coldplay or Florence + The Machine, something current and mainstream. But yeah, the Metallica days are over for me.
Do you think there may ever be a Dogzilla reunion with Richard Kayvan, your previous project?
Never ever ever. We’ve both moved on and absolutely no way.
Since you used to work with Judge Jules over at BBC1, what do you think of the DJ going back to practicing law?
Good move, man. … I know he studied very hard to get back into that so I guess he feels that coming to the later stage of his career, it’s really important to have something to fall back on and I think it’s a good move. As far as I know he’s going to be doing law during the week and DJ on weekends … God bless him for studying so hard whilst still DJing and having such late nights.
If you weren’t a DJ, what do you think you would be?
Soccer player, definitely.
You’re also a bit of a foodie. Any favorite dining spots in Vegas?
I haven’t been anywhere in Vegas to eat, but one thing we have over here — I don’t know if you guys get it, but I’m sure you do on TV — is a program called Man v. Food. I’ve seen the various diner/restaurants this guy’s been to where he eats the biggest burger or biggest portion of whatever he can do to get your picture framed on the wall. This time I’m probably going to do one of these challenges because I’m convinced I can do it, that’s the name of the game and Vegas can be my own version of Man v. Food.
Think you’ll film you chowing down for a YouTube video?
It depends on what the challenge is, but I’m hoping it’s going to be some sort of chili challenge or some sort of massive hot dog. I don’t want to look too messy on YouTube, but I’m definitely up for a challenge!
I challenge you to eat an entire Vegas buffet.
I’ve heard about the buffets. I think I had one before, but it was after the club so I didn’t really utilize the whole buffet because I couldn’t really eat too much. I think next time I really need to prepare for this and starve myself for two days and then really hit this hard after if I’m going to do it properly. The buffets are supposed to be amazing, I’ve heard loads about it.
For more on Patterson, visit DJSimonPatterson.com.