Super excited to share our latest guest DJ mix with you from the one and only producer slash DJ slash promoter and all around EDM culture icon, Larry Tee. If you appreciate a bit of everything and love surprises, the next 70+ minutes are going to treat you right. It is violent, sexy, pornographic and very rock n roll in an electronic music sorta way, which is how Tee gets down in his adopted hometown of London.
I have never encountered such musical diversity in such a compact area…there are so many different kinds of grime, trap, slut-wave and indie dance genres that weird hybrids are emerging daily it seems.
How, if at all, has living in London affected your creative output?
London has about 30 music scenes going on at one time. I have never encountered such musical diversity in such a compact area. Especially in East London, there are so many different kinds of grime, trap, slut-wave, and indie dance genres that weird hybrids are emerging daily it seems. And the different crowds intermingle here too so it feels like an urban experiment…one where the most unlikely people are rubbing shoulders peacefully and enjoying each other’s company.
Club culture is definitely going through a transformation right now. What are your thoughts on the current situation?
I think it’s an amazingly creative moment in electronic music. When all the other genres are losing credibility and impact, dance is taking the best bits out of rock n' roll, hip-hop, and pretty much every genre of music and turning the music world on its head. It makes sense since we look at computers all day long that that’s where the inspiration would come from. And it’s very democratic since anyone can make music now. The next step for me is when big personalities come and make a live show that utilize these beats like rockstars used guitars in the past. It’s coming, for sure.
If you were starting out now, would you do anything differently?
I didn’t start to become a rockstar. I started DJing because people weren’t playing the music I wanted to hear. And at that time, DJs weren’t making 12 million a yeah. I originally started making music in bands and got pulled into Djing as a job because I was so damn good. lolz. So I would advise people to start as a producer if they want to be big.
What was your favorite toy as a child and when/why did you stop playing with it?
I was obsessed with Batman on TV and I had a Batman action figure I loved. I guess I lost it when I moved from my hometown of Seattle to Atlanta in the ‘60s. But I just bought a pair of Walter Von Beirendonck bat-glasses that look like Batman glasses that I wear to DJ if I am in the right mood.
Describe a moment of what may or may not have been “paranoia” in your life. In the end, what was “true?”
Paranoia is a killer. My paranoiac fears were the worst before I got clean from all drugs and alcohol 15 years ago. When I was DJing at Disco 2000/PartyMonster I was doing much drugs often-weird combinations would send me running on foot to St. Vincent’s with the hounds of hell chasing me. I am grateful that it got so bad, because it led to me being clean and my realization that I can do anything I want in the world as long as I include everyone else in the process. My fears were thankfully unfounded.
Have you ever had a brush with the paranormal or supernatural?
Well, supernatural/paranormal is the normal for me. I have a higher power, which I couldn’t possibly understand or explain. How can I explain that every time I focus on something or someone, it appears in my life? And I know I’m not alone in that weird experience.
What’s the most disturbing event you’ve bore witness to?
When a good friend of mine died in my presence, it changed me forever. Dealing with grief was crushing but I do feel like I grieved for everyone at that time and now don’t have to make the funeral circuit when they all die one by one.
Talk about the most hectic conflict that you’ve been involved in. What position on the heap did you occupy in at the end?
Most hectic conflict? Well, when I put on the Electroclash festival in 2001, I had no money, was newly clean from drugs and alcohol, and had nothing but enthusiasm to get things happening with the burgeoning new indie dance music scene. I took out a loan for $80,000, booked all my favorite electro acts of the moment, and took a dive. The event was a huge success but I didn’t make a cent as it was just 3 weeks after 9-11 and everyone managed to find a way to the guest list. It was the best thing I ever did and it gave me a chance to go around the world and introduce my style of DJing to generations to come. What would’ve happened if my club Berliniamsburg hadn’t of blown up right afterwards? I shudder to think.
Do you think there are any commonly held societal beliefs that are false?
Well, I have come to believe that the idea that drugs make you more creative is totally untrue. Most of the people that actually get their art made and out to the world in a big way, weren’t that intrigued with drugs. Having said that, I don’t think drugs are bad.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve ever learned? How did it make your life easier—or more difficult?
Well, the hardest thing for me to learn is that everything we say creates our future. SO I have stopped saying things like “I cant do the business side of things,” “I am not good at making money” and “'they are horrible” because it just kept me trapped in a box for so many years. I try to only repeat things that lead to my dreams coming true, or lead to a positive life. I learned that at landmarkeducation.org and yes, it’s a cult. hehehehehe.
Does character invent style or does your style invent character? Or is there a mysterious X factor only you are privy to?
I have had an excellent record of knowing fabulous people even in dusty old Atlanta when I was hanging out with Rupaul and Michael Stipe long before they hit TV. I am attracted to people that think differently and that may just be the x-factor. And I LOVE people that are willing to take chances and make mistakes in a big way. It’s the sign of good things to come.
Tell me about your most memorable night out. Either as an artist or as a music fan.
My favorite gig maybe ever is when I DJd the Love Parade in Santiago Chile at first playing a small tent. After the small tents closed we went to the mainstage. I didn’t realize I was so opening for the homecoming of Chilean superstar Ricardo Villalobos. The platform was nosebleed high and the view was insane with everyone moving in waves something I will never forget.
Tell us about a specific event or period in your life that is linked in your mind to a song/album.
I remember a dance contest at The Magic Garden where I remember hearing Last Dance by Donna Summer. At that time, the minute a new disco song came out, every hot radio station, respectable boutique or nightclub had it all at the same time, and Donna was queen. Disco was king. I remember that dance as if it was in slow motion.
If you were to describe your sound as a scent, a signature fragrance as it were, what would it be called? If it were to have a tagline what would it be?
Hehehehe. I would have to borrow a joke from my days of making movie shorts with Rupaul. We made an ad featuring Ru for a made-up fragrance called "whore, for she who is".
Which do you prefer, a smoky, low-lit club or a big stage with bright lights and colored gels? Please explain.
I love both. The low-lit clubs allow me to try out new music without fear of failure. And the concert stage gives me the chance to make more people jump! Having said that I would prefer to play big shows with thousands of people ready to dance.
Who are your top three musical style icons?
Top 3 musical icons in terms of clothes: hmm. The B-52s, Elton John, and Kraftwerk.