Steve Aoki


Written by Patrick Swift
07 Monday 07th November 2011

How’s the tour going?

I’m currently on my Asia Tornado Tour. It began in Hong Kong and went onto Singapore, Taipei, and now I’m in Osaka. Tomorrow I fly to Tokyo, and then I end the tour in Beijing. I love Asia - I come out here like twice a year and the kids are crazy. I’m really promoting 'Tornado', my new collaboration with Tiesto, and my album Wonderland, which is dropping on 20 December.  

Steve Aoki - I'm in the House featuring [[[zuper blahq]]] by steveaoki

What’s the best part about playing a live set? And the worst?

The best part is playing my music to an audience that knows it, cares about it and responds to it. At the end of the day, that’s why I do it. The worst is playing a song that people just don’t get. It happens sometimes, because I try to blend genres. I’ve worked with punk bands, and mixing punk music with dance music can be tough. Some people might not understand it, but I still love it.

What made you want to set up Dim Mak Records?

I was 19 and I was putting on shows in my living room when I was in college. We called it The Pickle Patch. In total, we had like 400 bands playing there. We had At The Drive In, Jimmy Eat World, all kinds of bands, so I started my label. No marketing plans, no business plans, no money at all really, a couple hundred dollars. It was like an expensive art project, it wasn’t meant to be a business, but here we are 15 years and 250 releases later.


You recently collaborated with Rivers Cuomo, and generally do a lot of work with different people. What makes you think ‘I want to work with them’?

My new album is all features, but specifically with Rivers Cuomo, I love Weezer. I grew up listening to them and Pinkerton is one of the top 10 albums of all time for me. I was a big Rivers Cuomo fan before even working with him. I did a remix for Weezer and Rivers hit me up saying it was one of his favourite remixes of his band he’d ever heard, and that’s how we started working. I told him ‘I’ve got a record that’s intended for your vocals, and I’d love for you to do it’. I actually turned it around in two days, he’s a really amazing guy to work with.

You came 42nd in the DJ Mag Top 100 this year. How d’you feel about something like that?

This is my first entry into the DJ Top 100, so by getting 42nd place I am really honoured and flattered by it. I’m happy that people actually voted for me, that’s really cool. It’s funny because there’s a lot of DJs that aren’t on the list who I think should be, but either way I’m very thankful to all the people that voted for me.

The Bloody Beetroots - Warp 1.9 ft. Steve Aoki by steveaoki

Why do you think electro-house has much blown up so much in the USA over the last year?

It’s been about a six year process: 2006 was when I really feel electro started making its debut. People like Erol Alkan, Boys Noize, Justice, MSTRKRFT, Crookers, The Bloody Beetroots, those are all pioneers of the sound that has finally developed into what we have today. There was a definite divide between house music and electro, you were either a fan of Justice or you were a fan of something completely different. Now in 2011, there are fans of both worlds. You can be a fan of Justice and a fan of Tiesto. You can be a fan of Diplo and you can also be a fan of Swedish House Mafia. Now there’s more bridges that have been built between these communities of dance music and I love that, because good music is good music regardless of genre, producer or how they classify themselves. That’s my motto.

Your debut album is set to come out this December. What can we expect from it?

I have Rivers Cuomo, Zuper Bhlaq, Kid Cudi, Travis Barker, Lil Jon, Chiddy Bang, Nervo and Wynter Gordon amongst others on the album so there are a lot of different artists. This explains why it took three years to make; the next one won’t take me that long! It’s very different from all the club singles that I have been putting out in the last year and a half. I wrote this album to be an album. I want it to be about the craftsmanship of a song, I want these songs to sound amazing and not just be all about the club.

Bloc Party - Helicopter (Weird Science Remix ft. Peaches) by steveaoki

What are your plans for the coming months?

I’m finishing up my Asia tour now, then it’s onto Europe to do I Love Techno and a couple of other shows. My single 'Tornado' comes out on November 15th, and following that I have two or three weeks of US dates. I go to South America on December 6th, and I’ll be doing a bunch of shows in Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and then I go straight from South America back to Europe again. After that, I have my first break in a long time. I think in the last five or six years I haven’t had a break this long, which will be ten days before New Year’s [Ed: damn!]. I’m spending New Year’s in Canada and doing two shows there. My album drops on December 20th, so that’s the plan.

Steve Aoki will perform at I Love Techno, Belgium, on November 12th. For full line-up and details visit

As the man says, his album Wonderland will be out on 20 December.  All the info at

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