Guy Gerber talks to us about 11 11, Rumors and Burning Man

There are few more beloved names on the international dance scene than Guy Gerber. With an easily identifiable, emotion-laced sound that pervades his sets and productions, the Israeli DJ and producer has been winning fans for more than a decade.

Having played pretty much every top club on the planet and released on influential labels such as John Digweed’s Bedrock and Sven Väth’s Cocoon, Gerber has had no shortage of success in his career, and shows no signs of slowing up yet.

In the middle of a busy summer of shows, August saw the release of 11 11, Gerber’s collaborative album with hip hop icon Diddy, which is out now on Gerber’s own Rumors record label. We caught up with Guy recently to find out about the new record, his summer and what we can expect from him in the near future.

Hi, how are you and what have you been up to today?

Feeling great, I’m visiting family in Tel Aviv. I haven’t played here in a few months so very excited about that. I’ve been traveling a lot this summer and its nice to make a stop at home and see everyone and eat the food that I love so much.

You’ve had an incredibly busy summer, what have been some of the highlights?

Definitely the release of 11 11. After so many years and such a long struggle the album finally got out and received great responses. Another highlight was restarting Rumors Ibiza at Beachouse and creating the party of my dreams. It’s something I’ve been waiting most of my career to have. These two are great achievements for me and a result of doing something without compromising and getting it the right way. This summer has been very rewarding.

I know you’re going to make us all jealous by answering this, but I have to ask: how was Burning Man?

This was my second year at Burning Man so can’t say it was “amazing like always”. But last year I did seven days of mayhem and nonstop craziness and weirdness. This year my mind was more clear. I enjoyed driving around, looking at the art and spending time with friends at the camp. I had to leave coming into the second weekend, but it was the perfect amount of time there. I got a chance to see the burning of the installment called Embrace, which is of a massive couple staring at each other, one of the strongest images I’ve seen. It was so intense when it was burning, like they never got to kiss. So beautiful and sad at the same time. I’ll definitely be back next year.

It can’t all have been perfect this summer; were there any horror stories from any of your shows that you can share with us?

Well the opening of Rumors was a bit of a mess. I felt I was offering something so nice and fresh for Ibiza. Cheap tickets, cheap drinks, great decor. I wanted to show a side of the island that gets neglected and this party got shut down by police. I can’t say I was extremely disappointed but for sure not happy. Other than that, I went all the way to Kazantip which had to move locations because of what’s going on with the Ukraine and Russia. I was really displeased by the way they exploit the poverty of the situation over there and I felt the owner of the festival was very disrespectful to some of the DJs. I decided on principle not to play even though I was already there. That was the first time I’ve ever done something like that so you can imagine how bad the treatment was.

That sounds intense, good on you for sticking to your principles. You’ve had a long run of success at the top of international electronic music, how have you managed to stay ahead of such a rapidly changing scene?

It depends what you want to achieve. If you want to achieve great things then you should always be coming with new ideas. It’s not necessarily always for the audience, but to challenge myself and keep interest. After so many years I still feel hungry and excited about so many things that are happening. One of my goals is to never repeat myself.

Who would be some of your dream artists to work with, living or dead?

David Bowe is such an amazing character so that would be pretty great. Also Jimi Hendrix, he was so full on, I would like to learn from him.

Have you been working on any new solo material or are there any more collaborations in the pipeline?

I’m starting a new project with Matt Dear and also working on my solo album.

What is on the horizon for you in terms of shows; are there any that you’re particularly looking forward to?

I can’t wait for the closing party of Rumors Ibiza on October 5th, which will be an extended one. We’re going to be doing a party in London, we want to create the same vibe of Beachouse. Also looking forward to going back to the US for Halloween.

Finally, do you think you will ever tire of creating and playing music? What keeps the fire burning?

It’s what I like to do most in the world, besides barbecue. I feel that I exist more in this world when I’m creating. When I’m in the studio I’m exploring a part of my mind that I don’t get a chance to explore when I’m not there. Playing tracks and seeing people dancing and smiling is one thing that will be hard to give up on.

11 11 is out now on Rumors.

Written by Will Van de Pol