While he might not be fond of the genre’s name, Felix Da Housecat is one of the pioneers of electroclash, a style that mixes 1990s techno and EDM with 1980s electronica and synths. Despite starting his professional career over three decades ago, the DJ/record producer still holds regular gigs in Ibiza, Paris, and now Brooklyn, where he will be performing once every other month at Verboten. We chatted with the legend about Madonna, drugs, and Vegas never becoming a music capitol.
Why do you think your work became big in Europe before the States?
They’d turn everything down. America just didn’t get it. They were like “You guys are just playing with toys and making a bunch of noise. I felt like “Fuck you, I’m going to England.” It reminds me so much of how Jimmy Hendrix was doing all these shows and no one was really into it until he got to London. I’m not saying I’m Jimmy Hendrix, but we’re similar in that sense.
You did a fair share of remixes in the past but that seems to have dropped off a bit. Why is this?
I’ve never been a fan of doing remixes because I’ve always felt that the record companies are just out to get their artist to be the flavor of the month. Like, the Madonna situation was like, I’m damned if I do it, I’m damned if I don’t. Here she is stealing all my tracks, cloning my stuff, but then she reached out so she could cover her team’s ass like, “Oh, do you want to do a remix with me?” and I was like well you know what, if I don’t, they will just steal it.
Do you see a difference between the crowds from when you started your career and the bigger festivals you play now?
During some of the shows I was taking, I could clearly see who was into the music and who wasn’t. Mostly, when you take those money shows with the big sponsors, your check might look nice but your integrity is going to look like a piece of dog poo.
What are your general thoughts on EDM?
You’ve got great EDM tracks, but I’d say for most of them, you’re never going to hear the artist again after 6 months. I’m not knocking EDM. Take it, name it, kill it and it becomes something else. Disco was EDM. They just take the name, ride the wave, piss on it, take their money and find something else.
What are your thoughts on the party culture that’s become mixed with your type of music?
When I first started touring, I didn’t know that people were getting twisted out. Even now I don’t pay attention to it. There are some people who don’t do it because they trip on a natural vibe. That’s my thing, but whatever gets you off to have a good time. At the end of the day, you just have to be responsible.
What was your own experience with substance abuse?
I was drinking Mezcal. People say it’s worse than fucking heroin, ecstasy, and cocaine, all that shit rolled into one. I used to go through two bottles and still be DJing. I don’t do that anymore because I was throwing microphones into the crowds and turning on the wrong deck. It got a little messy.
What is it that you love so much about Ibiza?
It’s so underground out here. Everyone is saying that Vegas is going to become the new Ibiza, but there’s no way on Earth. There’s only one Ibiza. You’ve got the rich, the poor, the blacks, the whites, the gays, the straights, everybody freakin’. There’s no rules and everyone just fits in.
Verboten is one of the coolest underground clubs in the world. During my first show there I had food poisoning, I was sick, and I still loved it.
Felix’s first residency show at Verboten will be August 23rd
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