You split your time between New York and Berlin, how have those places changed since you started out?
New York is like London in the fact that gentrification has really changed both cities, I mean it’s pushed out small artists and instead people from tech/finance industries are the only ones who can really afford to live in our cities right now. And everything is then tailored to their tastes, which, I mean they’re pretty sterile. Sterile and homogenous – it’s really pushed out the people who created change, as it’s mostly marginalised cultures and people that create movements of change in cities over history. But there’s still some really great people about, the other day I had lunch with Bruce Forest, who is an original DJ from one of the old Queer Black clubs called Better Days which is where CNC music factory came about, he was a close friend of Larry Levan. I also met with Bill Bernstein who calls himself a cultural anthropologist, he took pictures of all these amazing clubs in the late 70s, early 80s. And I got to interact with these people who were so much a part of what I love about club culture – for me it’s not about going out it’s about finding these spaces for people to really express themselves, find their art, for marginalised people to find work, I take clubbing a little bit more seriously than other people because of being a part of that era. What’s so sad with what happened at Fabric recently is that young people need places to go to release all of the daily life stress, and to create.
I was wondering if you saw something in Berlin that you saw in the New York of old?
Berlin reminds me of what New York was like in the early 80s, the clubbing era. It hasn’t been tainted as bad as New York and London, so it retains its rawness and roughness, it’s really young and still somewhat affordable. So there’s a lot of young artists, ones who take night life seriously, not as a threat to culture but something that adds to culture. More people have drug overdoses in their homes than they do in clubs, so there was a lot of irony there for me: I mean I know a lot of people who work in finance are raging coke-heads. So I think it’s really unfair that clubs are targeted for that. New York to me is the Dubai of North America now, it’s just a place for rich people to consume. We don’t need a million lawyers, we need freaks and fashion designers, and photographers. Clubs are supposed to be their safe places.