Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Interview with Producer/Wedding DJ Dave Newfeld (I)

Dave Newfeld is a friend and mentor, a brilliant producer and musician (best known to the world, perhaps, as the man behind the board for Broken Social Scene's 2002 album, You Forgot It In People), an awesome wedding DJ, an electrifying personality, a speed-of-light talker -- an all-around inspiring dude with a mind I've been envious of since first meeting him in 1983, the year we both entered Ryerson's Radio & Television Arts program. I've been wanting for a few years now to bend Dave's ears for a podcast -- to try and capture, as it were, his unique perspective on pop music -- and I was finally able to get him to commit to an interrogation of his brain via a few rather lengthy phone conversations between Toronto and Trenton, Ontario, where Dave currently resides in a magnificent old church which he has converted into a recording studio and personal living quarters.

The first part of my interrogation deals with Dave's 20-year career as a DJ, during which time he provided party tunes at more than 800 wedding receptions and office parties, and played 500 nights at Toronto's not-particularly-legendary Dufferin Gate. In our chat, he delves into his personal aesthetic as a maestro of the dancefloor, revealing some of his favourite set lists ("I worked in a wunderbar era for pop DJs," he notes), and recollecting some particularly memorable gigs (some of which would not be out of place in a John Ford western). I knew Dave would have some great stories to tell about all this, and he certainly doesn't disappoint.

I've edited this discussion into two MP3 files -- click here and here to listen.

In the second part of my interview with Dave, we delve more specifically into issues of music production... stay tuned.

More Dave Newfeld online:

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