As long as there’s been electronic dance music, there’s been Nick Warren. He’s that important. Starting out in 1988 playing reggae and downtempo music in a back room bar in central Bristol, he found fame through being the tour DJ for local trip hop band Massive Attack. From there a coveted residency at Cream in Liverpool followed, and an impressive number of mix compilations for Global Underground. Alongside his solo success, he has worked tirelessly in the studio as half of Way Out West, and as Head of A&R for Bristol based progressive house label Hope Recordings. As an ambassador for the scene, Nick has always been very open and vocal about his love of the music and its with great pleasure we are working with the latest addition to Bali’s every growing entertainmewnt industry – Cafe Del Mar alongside Nick’s newest concept Soundgarden. Soundgarden is now an established brand in Ibiza’s vibrant event calendar and the anticipation that’s building ahead of its Bali debut this weekend is about to hit redlining proportions!
Nick Warren became one of the first so-called “superstar DJs” in the mid-to-late ’90s, holding down a high-profile residency at Cream in England, touring around the world, and appearing on several DJ mix albums before they became commonplace. Though he spun an eclectic array of dance styles in the late ’80s and early ’90s, he eventually championed the late-’90s trance sound of labels like Hooj Choons and joined the ranks of other superstar DJs like Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, and Tall Paul. Before leading a jet-set lifestyle, Warren moved to Bristol in the 1980s after having just turned 20. By the early ’90s, he was one of the city’s top DJs, spinning upstairs at Vision, one of the city’s first super-clubs. At the time, Warren spun everything from dub and hip-hop to house, which became his preferred style.
You and Jody Wisternoff returned as Way out West last year with ‘Tuesday Maybe’. Can you tell us about the LPs production? Why the long hiatus before its release?
Weirdly there was no hiatus, it was indeed 5 years between albums but we started and continued to work together on tracks the whole time. Years just seem to slip by so fast but we promise the next one will come much quicker!
Do you feel the progressive scene is growing in any other regions of the world? I recently heard mumblings that China could become the next big thing.
The proggy sound has always been popular and it now encompasses everything from deep house to techno so I think it will continue to grow in popularity. I don’t personally really bother with genres anyway, I’ve always just played what I like. You have to stay true to your love for music and not get influenced by trends
Now, you’ve worked on 8 Global underground mix series to date. Can you tell us any stand out memories you have from the countries you visited to record them?
My favourite of my albums was Reykjavik. I absolutely loved Iceland, the people are super cool – they love music and drink and have great food, plus they have some of the finest salmon rivers in the world. It’s a dream place for me.
Do you have a favourite all time record that you could play in any set?
Nick Warren: Chris Souce “Hugs And kisses” is a firm favourite
The life of a top flight DJ involves a lot of travelling, disrupted sleep and environments where alcohol and drugs are freely available. Have you experienced times when the lifestyle was getting on top of you? How do you cope with those pressures?
Lots and lots of sleep. I tend to sleep 3 times a day when I’m touring. If there is any chance to shut your eyes then do it!
Of the many places you’ve been both professionally, and for leisure, are there any cities you’ve seriously thought, “When I hang up my headphones, Im going to move here.”?
I would love to move around more than stay in one place. I do love the UK and it means so much to me. But I love Argentina, Finland and in the USA would love to spend some time in Montana.
If I could change focus a moment. Away from the limelight, you lead a fairly normal quiet lifestyle with your lovely fiancee. How important over the years has that reflective period been to recharge your batteries?
Very important. Petra is an integral part of the business, running the Soundgarden brand and taking care of a lot of Digital Marketing and other online business for me. We are a team at home as well as in the business and on our free time do normal things just like any other couple. It’s a great way to balance the hectic tour life.
We understand you’re a keen fisherman. D’you prefer rivers or sea fishing? And any good locations you can recommend?
I am an obsessive fly fisherman, Argentina. Scotland, Iceland in fact anywhere with lovely clear clean water you will find me peering into the depths. The USA has some wonderful destinations to fish, Montana, Colorado and of course Alaska.
Of the ones you’ve been allowed to keep, which was the hardest fish to land?
The Atlantic salmon is a wonderfully wild fish and my favourite.
Ever taken Jody or Petra with you?
Petra casts a fine line, I think Jody might get a bit bored!! hahaha
“Progressive house” is a term that’s associated with a variety of different sounds. As one of its pioneers, how would you describe it in your own words?
It covers so many bases these days but in a nutshell – I would describe it as melodic house with drive and energy.
Catch Nick playing alongside partner in crime Miss Melera at Cafe Del Mar this weekend. Click here for Information