Q + A : MARY VELO
From North America to Europe, we are proud to host a phenomenon, someone that is not afraid to defy the normality and reinvent the style she likes to play. Driven by darkness, Saturday vibes and sound experimentation, Mary Velo delivers clear answers to our main interrogations concerning her style.
Matsouchito | 29th September 2017
Hi Mary, we are glad to host you on Paradox. I’d like to start this interview first by asking you, what’s the main difference between the European scene and the American scene in terms of electronic music since we know that you come from Toronto? We are more used to the European point of view and less the northern American vision...
When I was living in Toronto, there was not much of a techno scene there, if any. I spent many years being in hardcore punk & indie bands and was mainly into that scene. To be honest, the first time I heard real techno was during my first time in Berghain in 2007. I definitely have not heard anything like that back in Canada. So yes I agree there's a huge difference between the 2. I think the electronic music in America is more mainstream compared to the European scene. I haven't gone to any clubs in Canada/America since 2007 so I don't know how much has changed there since then. However, I hardly see any European techno DJ's playing there, therefore I am assuming not much has changed.
What are your main influences musical wise? Is there anything else that is influential for you besides music?
My main influences at the moment include Escape To Mars, Setaoc Mass, Dax J, VSK, and Lewis Fautzi just to name a few. Other things that influence me is my mood and experimenting with new sounds in the studio.
You mention Depeche mode as your favourite band, what have attracted you in their music?
There's so much about Depeche Mode that attracted me. The first time I heard them was in 1983 I believe, so it was very early on. Their music is mood altering, not to mention their attitude and their look was hot as shit. They were so unique and all their albums from “Speak & Spell” to “Exciter” were some of the best music I have ever heard. Martin Gore who wrote almost all their songs is a pure genius!
Do you have any mentor or someone to thank for what you achieved until now? Or did you start finding your own role into this art by your own?
Music wise I got here on my own from experimenting with hardware, sounds, ect. But as to how much I have achieved so far, I most definitely thank the labels who sign me, DJs I look up to who play my tracks, all the promoters who have me DJ at their events & the people who come out to my gigs and support me.
“I definitely still feel the pressure before every gig”
You already played in the biggest venues around such as Berghain, Tresor and huge festivals... Do you still feel the pressure before performing a gig? Is it something positive and/or exciting?
I definitely still feel the pressure before every gig. Mostly due to playing in new cities and venues and not knowing how the music will be received by the audience. I have played a few gigs in cities where techno is not much of a thing there. While I am DJing I'm put on the spot and when I play, I try to create a certain mood that I want to bring everyone into. I get such an adrenaline rush from it which is always positive. But of course the one thing I never want to happen at a gig is a technical issue. I think that's my most worrying thing, which rarely happens.
From the Manhattan Project EP with the track Head Light (the track that made me discover your music) until the latest releases like Distort on Blood, Sweat + Tears, we can hear that something has changed or evolved in your darkness signature, but since it’s quite abstract, can you tell us what has changed for you from 2013 until now?
I think a lot has changed in my music since 2013. I was in a different mind set back then and my life was different. Perhaps that has a lot to do with it. I have been going for a bit of a harder sound lately, but I still do like what I was putting out in 2013 and not saying I won't go back to that type of sound ever again ;) My upcoming releases also sound more evolved and it's something I am aiming for I guess.
Do you have any special moments that bring you to produce music? Or does most of the time inspiration come naturally?
It has to come naturally to me. Usually Saturday mornings I feel the most productive for some reason. Or the morning right after hearing a great DJ set.
You’ve already performed in Paris and Lyon, two hotspots alongside Marseille of the French techno scene, how did you feel the vibe in France? Do you follow a bit the evolution of the the French scene?
The vibe in France was great! The venues I've played there were some of the smallest I have ever seen, but it just makes it more intimate. There's some really good techno coming from there for example: I Hate Models, Marcelus, UVB and Voiski who I am really into at the moment. I definitely feel that there's a a strong techno vibe over there.
Berlin is the home for a plethora of great artists in the Techno scene... it is hard not to get lost in this ocean of good music, so which Berlin-based artists would you recommend us?
I would strongly recommend to check out what Henning Baer, Janice, Dax J, Amotik, Escape to Mars, and Patrik Skoog are doing at the moment.
What will we be hearing from you in the next months?
I have a few podcasts & releases scheduled to come out in the next few months with the next one being on Singular recs.
Thanks a lot Mary, we hope to see you very soon somewhere, keep the good vibe on!
Love and respect