[Music & Interview]: Sid Le Rock

 

Music & Interview
Sid Le Rock

 

Introduction:
Sid Le Rock … another Canadian in Berlin 😉

 

Interview:

Hello Sheldon. Nice to have you for our little interview series. We are also looking forward to our exclusive mix that accompanies this feature. So let‘s start with the very beginning. Where were you born and raised? How was your youth? What kind of music did you listen during that the time (being a teenager discovering his first music / records)?
Hey Jürgen. Thanks for inviting me. I’m from the Northern regions of Ontario, Canada. My father was a miner working at a uranium plant in Elliot Lake. Hidden by nature and surrounding lakes, it was a great place to live during my early youth. I’m still glowing from the mild radiation haha. Like an normal pre-teen during the 80’s radio era, I guess I was pretty much in to various styles of music. Mainly synth pop, punk rock.
 

Sid Le Rock 1
(Sid Le Rock, promo pic by Thomas Venker)

 
You came from Canada to Germany in 2003. What was your reason to move overseas? Why at that time? Do you still go back regularly? What are the main differences between/ of living in Canada and Germany?
Needed a change of scenery. Music allowed me that opportunity to see and experience the world.
 

Sid Le Rock 2
(Sid Le Rock, promo pic by Chrisette En Chachette)

 
Your main artist name is Sid Le Rock but you also have several other aliases like Gringo Grinder and Pan/Tone. When did you set them up?And when do you use which one? What is the music style of each?
I’m a gemini, so the aliases fit my multi personal agenda. Pan/Tone was my earliest project. My high musical output at the time required that I create these aliases just to keep up.
 


(video of “Silent Service”, taken from “Sink or Swim EP” on Hafendisko)

 
The first time I realized your existence was with your debut release of “Written In Lipstick” on Ladomat2000 which was a sublabel of Mute Germany in some ways at that time. Could you please tell us something about this time and your start? How did you get in touch with Lado? Did you realize that it was the German dependence of a legendary label with bands like Depeche Mode, Movy, Nick Cave, Erasure etc? After that you had several labels to put out your Sid LeRock stuff e.g. T.Raumschmiere’s Shitkatapult. How did that happen? What was the main differences between these labels? For some special releases you also run a label by yourself, “Cereal/Killers”. How was it being on the opposite side and doing that work? Did you like it?
I was a long time fan and collector of Ladomat’s early releases, so yes I am quite aware of its legendary status. It was always my dream to release music with them.

I simply mailed Ladomat a cd demo, because that’s was we did back in the early 2000’s. They liked what I sent in and we signed a 2 album deal. The label unfortunately folded after the release of my 2nd album – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Same financial pressure of the time the happened to many great labels due to the collapse of record distribution companies.

It came as a relief that my own musical existence was not in jeopardy when I signed my 3rd album with Shitkatapult. T.Raumschmiere and I had been friends since we both meet in the beginning of our music careers, so it felt naturally to do something on his label.

 


(stream of “Close Again”, taken from “Written In Lipstick” on Ladomat)

 
During the Lado time you made a few remixes for label mates like Commercial Breakup. Later you also were in charge of a remix for Mute’s flagship Depeche Mode. Is it different – perhaps difficult – for you to work with stuff of other people (compared to own productions)? How do you start your own stuff and how do you get into the creation of a remix? Depeche Mode are known for being very progressive regarding remixers & remixes – always looking for something new and upcoming. Do you know how it happened that you became one of them? Did the remix help spreading your name and ideas?
It usually depends on the original song. If there’s key components in the track that may be useful, then this aids me in the rework of the track. If the song lacks ideas or just ain’t my thing, I skip it. In the case with my remix for Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller’s label manager contacted me at the time. He said that Daniel has been following my music and would like to hire me for a remix. I was thrilled at the opportunity, of course, but was bummed out that the track didn’t…lets say motivate. I worked through it and managed to come up with two remix versions. Happily, both were accepted. Did it help spread my name? maybe it brought me a new fan-base, Maybe it didn’t. It was pre-social media, so it’s hard to say.
 


(stream of Sid Le Rock’s remix of “My Garden” by Commercial Breakup on Ladomat)

 
Many artists complain that a music career nowadays is more based on image, instagram pictures etc than good music. You are already part of the game for more than 15 years. Do you feel a change? What is different? What do you think about social media? At the beginning of the digital revolution a lot of people said it will become better and easier for every artist. No labels, no agencies, no bad contracts etc. As said above you were mostly signed to a label. Do you think labels are still necessary? Any suggestions for young artists how to start?
Yes there is a major difference in how it has changed. It’s not really about the music, more so about your abilities as a social influencer., but be aware that that does not mean innovator. People often confuse the two. My only advise is do your own thing, have your own voice and stick to what makes you feel fulfilled creative wise.
 

Sid Le Rock 3
(Sid Le Rock, promo pic by Chrisette En Chachette)

 
Back to your work. You also play live from time to time but not very often. Is there a reason for it? How do you decide when it is time to play live or perhaps “just” to spin some records? Which equipment do you use live and how does a live gig look like?
I still perform live and enjoy it but you’re correct, I much prefer to dj these days. It’s much more open and allows me to take a break from my own production. Offers ideas, play longer and nowadays, a lot of venues lack to space for equipment
 

Sid Le Rock 4
(Sid Le Rock, promo pic by Chrisette En Chachette)

 
The initial reason for this interview was the release of your current album “Scenic Route” on Hafendisko. Please tell us something about the content. What inspired you? Which topics are assimilated? How did you produce it?
My longtime girlfriend, family and friends inspired me. It came to me as a collision of all my life experiences – discipline, humility, ego, maturity that processed this new album.
 


(snippets of Sid Le Rock’s album “Scenic Route”)

 
Coming closer to the end of the interview I would like to know a little bit about music you like. Could you please name 10 records/tracks that are important to you and also why?
simple. I listen to good music that fits its maker.
 


(video of “Foreign Love” taken from the album “Busted With A Bag of Bliss”)

 
Already the last question… it is about your plans and your future. What’s coming next? Some interesting projects in the pipeline? Nice gigs you are booked for?
Re-release & re-edits of my personal favourites from my Pan/Tone & Sid Le Rock back catalogue is underway. Beyond that, wherever the wind blows, I go against it.
 


(video of “Cry Wolf” by Pan/Tone taken from the compilation “A 100 Years Of Areal”)

 

Recommendations:
Sid Le Rock’s “Scenic Route” on Hafendisko

 

Exclusive Mix:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
01) Sigward feat. Mirza – Head
02) Weval – Half Age
03) Norwell – Citadel
04) Alien Alien – Secret Sabbah
05) Fumoir – 1,2,3,4
06) Sid Le Rock – Judas Beast
07) Undo – Computer Friends (Cabaret Nocturne Remix)
08) Audio Junkies – Synopated
09) Bog – Orgins (Malbetrieb Remix)
10) Bardia Salour – Persepolis (Sid Le Rock Remix)

 

Websites:
Sid Le Rock

 

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