In preparation of the full launch of his “Detroit Love” tour, Craig sat down with bloctv for a short but densely packed interview. When asked to describe Detroit’s “sound,” he replies “gunshots.” And thus the video opens. You can skip to the bottom to watch the whole thing, or stay for our highlights.
On his appreciation for the legendary Detroit DJ, Mojo:
Mojo was a fantastic visionary, an amazing radio host. He had a spiritual intergalactic quality about him…He was playing music from around the world that was so impactful–not commercially–but just spiritually and creatively. Without the electric Mojo we wouldn’t have had Detroit techno the way we know Detroit techno.
Prince was the craziest biggest influence on me outside of Kraftwerk…He was about every boy’s fantasty–for god’s sake: You just want to have sex and make music and party all day.
On the proper use of synths:
I never looked at a synth as being a true impersonator of instruments. A Moog is an instrument in itself, so you take a bass guitar and you don’t try to make a bass guitar sound like a trumpet, you know? when I used the Minimoog I never tried to make a Minimoog sound like a trumpet. It’s a Minimoog–that’s what you do.
On Jazz and Motown:
Detroit techno has a lot to credit to jazz music. Because it’s always been here. Jazz might be the first music that is connected to Detroit that Detroit connected with, because there was so much jazz music happening leading into Motown. Motown was the first establishment that got globally known for pushing a Detroit sound, but our players were jazz players so, you know, jazz players playing pop records.
On Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson:
My relationship with Juan is that he’s ‘the god.’ Without Juan, Kevin and Derrick wouldn’t do what they were doing which means I wouldn’t be doing it.
With getting the music to Derrick, it was something that was always my goal from the time I heard Nude Photo and started making tracks. It wasn’t until the second time I saw him that I became a little more intimidated by him. The first time I was just nervous the second time I was just mad. But the thing about him making me mad was it made me come back with my A game. I came back harder.
Remixing as we know it is Kevin Saunderson. He’s the first guy that ever took the music off the original and did his own music instead.
Remixing is like DJing…the remixer puts so much blood, sweat, and tears–and ideas–into making it what it is that, luckily through DJ culture now, in many cases you’ll see the remix as the remixer’s song more than you’ll see it as the original artist’s song. A friend of mine, Theo Parrish, I did a remix on a track of his, and, actually, my remix is seen as a Carl Craig record and his original is seen as a Theo Parrish record.
Carl Craig image by Rene Passet, via flickr creative commons