32-year old Haus On Fire’s passion for dance music has seen him through most of his life. The Barnsely-born DJ helped nurture a scene in his hometown from an early age, putting on his own nights and helping bring the music to an unassuming South-Yorkshire town. His dedication and passion for the music can be heard in his productions too, having just released on the Armada Subjekt label, alongside Kameroís and CASSIMM.
We caught up with Haus On Fire to hear his thoughts on the scene, and to find out what’s lined up for him in the future.
What’s good and bad in your world right now? How are you?
I’m absolutely tip top thanks! I’m so happy to be finally focusing all my energy, full-time, on pursuing my passion in music with my best mate and business partner Shane Mitch. Us and the team at Master Mind Music are working tirelessly to achieve the goals we’ve set out to accomplish, Haus On Fire being our main focus and flagship brand amongst several other areas of the industry that we’re building alongside this. As for what’s bad, we try to turn every negative into a positive and learn the required lessons to move forward the best we can… the only thing we complain about is the English weather!!
Tell me about how you got into DJing in Barnsley – it’s not the hottest dance town is it?
To be honest, our little ’Tarn’ (slang for Barnsley) was rocking 10-15 years ago when the Electro House scene broke through, the crowd were a force to be reckoned with! Initially I was introduced to the decks when I was 13, my older cousins from Blackpool had a pair of Technics 1210s and I had no idea what they were or how they worked but I was fascinated by them, next thing I know I’m 15 years old playing my first live gig in my home village of Royston, Barnsley, spinning Hard House and Trance! It was a natural flow into Electro House around 2006 and that was when our event Electro Lick was born. We welcomed 1000+ ravers each month and the crowd were so loyal… they never failed to bring the best atmosphere.
What made you fall in love with dance music?
Haus On Fire is a manifestation of 20 years of love for Electronic Music. My inspiration comes from numerous seasons in Ibiza, plenty of European clubbing weekends and countless amounts of festivals around the world. The energy that a House Music crowd brings to a dance event is untouchable and I’ll never get bored of that. No matter what a persons race, age, gender, sexuality, beliefs or background, the music brings an undeniable universal quality where everyone and everything is accepted for what it is. It has allowed me to meet some of my closest and most long standing friends and will continue to do so… I’ll be forever grateful for that.
What sounds were you into at the start? Do they still influence you now?
As I mentioned, Trance was a big part of my discovery of Electronic Music, I used to find the melodies of Trance so infectious to the point I’d listen to them over and over again for hours on end! This still sticks with me today and plays a big part in what I’m producing. I like to incorporate dark elements and melodic trance-like synth lines, I also love Techno so I usually bring the solid kick and bass aspect of that into the music. If what I’m making gets me going in the studio and gives me goosebumps I will let myself just run with it without giving it too much thought.. that’s when the best music happens!
What is your aim and style as a DJ? What do you set out to do to the floor?
So the same goes with my track selection as does with my production, I try not to stick to one specific sub-genre as I feel this can get me a bit stagnant. As well as having a Melodic Techno and Progressive sound which I tailor towards big room / main arenas I also love the groovier and chunky side of the Tech / Techno spectrum which I feel always works in a club environment. It also depends on what time the set is at a particular event, wether it be warm up, peak time, or end of the night..
And as a producer, do you make tunes you want to play in your own set?
As I’m making a song I’m constantly visualising a dance floor and trying to see the crowd going off to the track, it tends to be somewhere I’ve been before or played at so I can easily do this. I suppose essentially it’s just the intuition inside me that feels wether it’s a solid track that people are going to connect with, if I connect with it then I hope the people will too. So to answer the question, I do make tracks that I want to play out, I think that your own production should be some sort of representation of what the crowd should expect from you, although diversity throughout the set will keep it interesting and set you apart, so getting the right balance is key.
Do you hear the tunes in your head before you start or do they come as you experiment in the studio?
It’s a bit of both, sometimes I will feel totally creative and really feel the need to sit down and express it without any particular idea in my head, it’s the spontaneous aspect and usually flows together perfectly as if it was meant to be. Other times I’m sat scrolling loads of music, old and new, and an idea will come into my head that has been inspired by several songs all at once, this is when I know where I’m going with it and what result I want, I’ll use these inspiring tracks to reference against to keep me in that direction. I don’t think there’s any set rule to making music, it’s more a case of when it fits, it fits!
What are some of the best bits of gear in your studio? Any favourite tools?
For me the most important part of my studio set up are my monitor speakers, I have a pair of Adam A77X’s and I wouldn’t change them for the world. They’re a 2 1/2 way system so they have 2 x 7” woofers that work together, one that deals with sub bass and the other for the low mids. The tweeters are made from ribbon and the technology behind them helps with ‘ear fatigue’ and allows you to produce for a longer period of time before your ears go into meltdown! As for the actual production side, I literally can’t get enough of Diva by u-he, it’s probably my most go to synth, I like it because it’s really simple to use and the sounds you can get from it are immense, perfect for Underground House Music! Another tool that I love is a plugin called Soothe, it’s great for things like vocal where the recording isn’t the best and has bad resonance in it, great for cleaning up those horrible frequencies that are sticking out way to much!
What else have you got coming up?
So next in the release schedule we have the follow up to the Rogue Ep which is the remix by Cassimm and is set for July, again, on Armada Subjekt. It’s really cool to have Cassimm on remix for this as I’ve been a fan of his for a while now, he always brings the heavy club vibes and he’s done a classy job of his remix of Rogue. After that, in August we have my 2nd Original release on Subjekt – Insane Love Ep which comes with a remix from Hauswerks who has absolutely nailed it, so thanks to Colin for that one! We have much more in the pipeline for the rest of 2019 too which will all be revealed in due time!
What was it like to get remixed by David Morales? How do you feel about what he did?
Having David Morales remix my track Eliminate was just crazy, I felt like these things were just a dream, but for it to become a reality was like that dream had come true, it blew us away! As a kid growing up David is someone who has been a massive influence on me and to have him work with my music is a privilege to say the least. When he sent over the 1st rough copy we just couldn’t stop listening in the studio on constant repeat, cranked up full volume, we had an amazing moment where we were like “is this actually happening?!” And we tried to let it sink in… still don’t think it has sunk in! We owe thanks to Glenn Morrison and his team over at Fall From Grace Records for helping to make this happen!