After a brief foray playing drums for a metal band, Justin Faust soon discovered the joys of being a DJ and he’s been spinning a synthy brand of electro-disco ever since. We chat with the German DJ ahead of his first-ever Hong Kong gig to chat about the popularity of disco.
How did you get your start in music?
When I was 11, I decided I wanted to learn how to play the drums and, as my dad is a musician, I had access to everything music related very early on. DJing came a bit later and, when I was in my early 20s, I had the basement full with vinyl records.
Why do you think nu-disco and disco-inspired tunes are becoming popular again?
Disco has always been big on the dancefloor. It just seems to me that, now, after a rather long phase of more banging electro, people want something else − something that gives them a good feeling. And that’s exactly what disco is about.
Your tours have brought you to tons of places all over the globe. Were there any stand-out cities, countries or gigs for you in particular?
Oh well, so many! I have to say it was very special for me to play in Brazil. And the first time in New York was very exciting too. What I enjoy most is that usually there’s always something crazy happening, no matter where I go. That’s part of the job, I guess.
So you used to be in a band... what instrument did you play?
I was in several bands playing several instruments. I was playing drums in a thrash/grindcore/metal band once. Then I was playing piano in a couple of jazz bands. Being in a band is fun, but you need people who are very dedicated and who find the time to meet on a regular basis. If I ever find the time for this again, I’d totally be in a band. I have to say, though, that being on my own gives me a lot of freedom.
We hear you’ve got an album in the works this year. Can you tell us how that’s going and when we might see it released?
It’s definitely not easy and so much more work than I expected it to be. It’s indeed fun to work on. When you do an album, you can experiment with different directions. There’s a lot of stuff that isn’t as dancefloor-orientated for sure. So I can’t really say anything about a release date – but I really want to have it out this year.
And Justin picks his top 5 records...
1. John Coltrane Love Supreme
All you need to know about music is here in this album. Improvisation, pace, drifting on harmonic boundaries.
2. Daft Punk Homework
Still my favourite album of Daft Punk. This changed my life when I first heard it in 1997. High Fidelity is one of those tracks you can’t forget.
3. Napalm Death Utopia Banished
Although very poorly recorded, this album shows the excellent writing and skillful playing of Napalm Death like no other.
4 JS Bach Suites for Solo Violincello
A lot of good recordings for this one. My favourite is by Paolo Beschi. The Yo Yo Ma ones are very good too.
5. Stardust Music Sounds Better With You
Best dance single ever made. Period.
Interview: Andrea Yu
Justin Faust spins a DJ set at XXX on Saturday April 14th. Click here for more info.