Interview with Joachim Garraud

Interview with Joachim Garraud

by CoolJunkie

As electronic music continues to turn into a life of its own in the U.S., DJ-producers around the world are going to have to start to step up their appearances in the club. While some show up to their club gigs and simply stand behind their laptop, others go the "concert" route, really giving the audience a reason to come out and catch the "show." Joachim Garraud is one of these DJs, delivering a performance that's worthy of immense praise each time he steps behind a deck. We recently caught up with the French DJ-producer about his live show, where he prefers to play in the U.S., and his new artist album, Invasion 2011.

CoolJunkie: Congratulations on your, soon to be released, Invasion 2011 album. How would you describe this album to someone who’s never heard your music before?

Joachim Garraud: Invasion 2011 is a dance, club, dance floor album. It falls between electro and techno and has a bit of a trance feel. But, the kind of music I play is dance music and I’m very proud of this album. There are 15 new tracks with some good collaborations with some prominent vocalists and I’m very proud and excited to release this brand new album.

CoolJunkie: How did you come up with the title for the album?

Joachim Garraud: Regarding the story of the title of this album it’s pretty simple. Most of my concepts revolve around Space Invaders, so it made sense for me to name this album Invasion 2011. It’s like putting on a party, invading the place and the day after there’s nothing left. It’s like the circus, you come from nowhere, from space essentially, you come into an area and there’s a big party…something crazy from the future and then the day after there’s nothing left except the memories made by the people. So the name of the album comes from all these concepts regarding “invasion.”

CoolJunkie: What got you into dance music in the first place?

Joachim Garraud: I always had music around me from a young age. By luck, I had my parents give me some classical music education. I was very lucky to learn the piano and drums; it was cool when I was young. So music was always the main thing in my life. Transitioning from my classical training to electronic music was very easy because I was in love with the mashing. If you want to work with electronic music, you can’t just stick to the acoustic sounds because in the end you’re going to have to find that connection with music and computers.

CoolJunkie: Why do many DJ producers put titles on their tracks after they produce? For “We Are the Future” did you have the title in mind first? What was your thought process?

Joachim Garraud: You’re right. “We Are the Future” was like a gimmick I had a long time before. In the beginning the first version of the track was a robotic version, like a vocal version I made with a vocoder. After that we decided we would write some lyrics around a story, a simple story. “We Are the Future” is about the next generation and how they love to party, they love electronic/techno music and they don’t need anything more to be happy.

CoolJunkie: Where do you get your musical inspiration?

Joachim Garraud: A lot of this album came about the same time I was on tour. So a lot of tracks came from the traveling process; by taking the plane, being in the airport and flying. It all gives me good inspiration. In another way, by luck, when you go from festival to festival you’re meeting people, vocalists or DJs and they’re also forms of inspiration for me. So a lot of process, regarding creation around music comes from the fact that now we can create music very easily on a laptop on a train, in an airport or on a plane. So it gives you the freedom to do music when you want and not exclusively when you’re in a studio. That’s why a lot of artist albums come from the traveling process.

CoolJunkie: Your success has leaked over into the U.S. What’s your favorite club to play over here?

Joachim Garraud: Wow, this is a very difficult question because the U.S. is so good; it’s such an amazing place for an electronic and techno DJ, like me, to produce my show. American fans love when people like me are ready to do risky performances on stage with my keyboard live. I also play the keytar live. I’m not the best musician, but I’m so happy when I’m playing music in front of people that we can share something stronger than a standard DJ set. In the U.S. they are very, very responsive and they really like this feeling between the crowd and the artist by making music together. So that’s why it’s very hard for me to give you a good place because there are a lot of good places in the U.S. Festivals are crazy as well. This year I am very lucky because I’m doing Coachella and Lollapalooza. Festival could be my favorite place to play in the U.S, even though the clubs are very cool too. But I love all the clubs so I don’t want to be rude (laughs).

CoolJunkie: You’re known to have one of the best performances. In your opinion, what constitutes a good performance?

Joachim Garraud: I think a great live performance is something unique every night; different every night. That’s the most important characteristic. Next is to be ready to make mistakes. When I’m at a festival I can see a lot of DJs and it’s not very exciting to see someone who is behind a computer, checking his emails non-stop for two hours. I respect that, I’m just not very in love after this live act. For me, a great live act is uses instruments to improvise. They try to do something with the audience they have in front of them. That’s why I love to use my keytar live; that’s my trademark now. When I come on stage people just look at me and say “You’ve got the keytar?” and I say “Yes! I’ve got it!”

CoolJunkie: What do you have planned for the remainder of the year?

Joachim Garraud: Actually, I’m starting the Invasion Tour. I’m very happy to be partnered with Serato; they have a lot of new projects, like synchronized audio, video and keyboard. It’s something every exciting for me to play in front of people who are just expecting to have classic DJ set and at the end of the show they come to me and say “Wow, thank you for the concert!” Those are the best words for me because taking people from a classic DJ set and bringing them a live show and live performance with audio video link it’s something very exciting for me.

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