Music Producer/DJ Claptone Reveals The Mystery Behind The Mask

DJ/producer Claptone, has become one of the biggest names in dance music despite being a private person. Each year, he plays more than 260 shows globally and has remixed tracks by artists from Depeche Mode and New Order to Disclosure and Gorillaz.

We caught up recently with the music sensation to discuss his biggest influences along the way, the inspiration behind his latest album and when he first became interested in electronic music.

Tell us about the story behind the mask and how it has given you the freedom to explore your own creativity.

I never take it off, so for me, it’s a part of myself. I don’t really reflect on that. People can’t see my private life, which makes my life easier. The thing that limits my creativity is lack of time. It felt natural to wear the mask and was at one point a part of me. It wasn’t a conscious decision that it would give me more freedom. It just happened out of different circumstances.

What are the main differences in performing for a European audience compared to a US?

That’s an interesting question. I think to put it in a positive way, the US audience is more open minded. Europeans are a bit more elitist. Some clubs are very strict with their music policy and there is no cross over. In the US, people are a little more up for a good time and want to experience different styles of music.

Photo Credit: Listen Up Music PromotionPhoto Credit: Listen Up Music Promotion

When did you first become interested in electronic music?

The key moment for me was when sampling was invented. That allowed me to take bits of records and rearrange them. I love to be able to recycle sounds and create a new context together with different musical genres.

What were some of your favorite performances this summer?

I think definitely Tomorrowland. I had the honor to have my own stage there. The Masquerade at Ibiza is the biggest dance festival in the world. That was a game changer for me this summer. It was a brand new different experience. We threw 19 parties each Monday night. There have been so many festivals and great concerts this summer I am spoiled. There are just so many beautiful moments.

Can you talk about the inspiration behind your latest second studio album “Fantast?”

Sure, it was definitely being out in nature by day and night. Leaving the city a bit to rediscover the inspiration of nature. That was the idea I had about the fantastic journey to nature.

You’re coming to Boston next month. Do you have any favorite places you like to check out when you are in town?

I come to Boston two or three times a year and it’s always great to return. Boston is one of those places I love to visit. It’s a great city. Last time I was there, I went record shopping. I love vinyl. I love walking the city at night. There’s a great vibe in the city.

Who have been some of your biggest musical influences along the way?

Wow, that’s difficult. I listen to so many different genres and bands from The Doors to the Arctic Monkeys. In terms of DJs, I like Frankie Knuckles. I really like interesting new approaches to music. That’s what is inspiring to me. I don’t have one or two big influences; I listen to everything and try to bring it all together with my music.

What’s up next for you?

I just finished three remixes and then hopefully a single that is more of a club track. I am working on new music and am collecting ideas and producing edits for club gigs. I try to produce exclusive material because I also need different music myself to not be bored.