Boy George and Marc Vedo Discuss The Evolution Of Electronic Music.
The change of seasons in Dallas means the drawn-out, dog days of unmerciful heat thankfully giving way to long, cool nights ready-set for dancing and late-night pleasures. But it's more than just that: Fall also signals the coming of many new shows from amazing acts.
The season is well-known around these parts for being a time of tricks and treats — especially when it comes to concerts, shows and parties — but Dallas is getting an early, undeniable treat on October 19 when the It'll Do Club gets a visit from music icon Boy George and rising star Marc Vedo.
Featuring a dash of the old and a hefty helping of the new, this offering finds the two collaborators teaming up on something new to delight the world over after a European tour that already proved to be a smashing success — much to the pleasure of the twosome behind it.
Speaking of pleasures: In advance of their upcoming It'll Do Club stop, we recently had the chance to speak with these musicians about their hopes for the North American leg of their journey, their thoughts on their individual musical pasts and their opinions on the current state of dance music.
George, your evolution from '80s icon to roaring cultural legend is a story all its own. I remember buying a CD in 2001 after seeing your name on it and being taken aback. Were you already embedded in DJ culture at that point, or was that the start of your current endeavor?
Boy George: I started off as what you could call a “Trash DJ.” I actually started out in the back rooms of clubs, playing stuff like Heaven 17's “(We Donâ€™t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang,” a variety of deep reggae, and really putting it altogether like a great puzzle.
So selecting music has always been a part of your life, as much as performing it?
Boy George: Always. It's a grand thing to be able to share with so many the feelings and emotions in a room with a song some know and others may not. That's part of the puzzle. There have been some very memorable moments during my years of playing. When we wanted to clear the dancefloor back in the day [because of closing time], I'd play “The Lonely Goatherd” from the The Sound of Music soundtrack. We thought it would absolutely have folks run for the hills. But it somehow became a hit and people would sing along! Another memory is seeing George Michael getting down to “Islands In The Stream” [a country tune written by The Bee Gees but sung by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton back in 1983]. Music truly is living.
People wonder what your sound today is like. How would you best describe it?
Boy George: Growing up, I really appreciated the acid house era, but still like to play things in an experimental manner. You could be listening to something from the current era and out of nowhere possibly hear Phil Collins' “In the Air Tonight.” If I had to give an overall association, I'd say house music. But we live in times where things are too genre-tastic.
Boy George: It refers to the times we live in. When I started, music didn't have anywhere as many subgenres to be placed in.
Like, say, witch house?
Boy George: [Laughs.] That's a thing? See what I mean? Again, it's just a sign of the times. I'd love to hear it to see what it's about. In the U.K., we've returned anew to the early Chicago house sound. It's a lot of old sounds, and people thinking that they've reinvented the wheel. But it's truthfully just a rediscovery of things that already were by a new generation. Now, let it be said, there is a lot of interesting music out there right now because of that.
Funny you should say that. I was listening to one of Marc's newest releases, “Fresh.” It encapsulates a lot of joy from the '80s era in a very unique way.
Marc Vedo: [Laughs.] You could say there was a little influence from the era for me.
You and George have teamed up well on a number of things and have a huge amount of projects you are each working on. One of the most recent was a video for the song “These Gods Will Fall.” It's an interesting video with kids starring as young versions of yourselves. How did this come about? What was the inspiration for this?
Boy George: When the pitch was made, I was a little hesitant about it all. Seeing the end product, I'm very happy about it all.
Marc Vedo: I'm happy about it as well. It's a dancefloor tune that definitely speaks to the “going to the club on Friday, going to the club on Saturday” set.
Boy George: If there was a message in it all to me, it would be about standing the tests of time when you give of yourself back to that which you love. The best kind of music is that which is personal.
What about the current state of electronic music? You two have a chance to see the European side of things head on. How do you think it compares to the States?
Boy George: The music is too fast! You need something to engage your hips with. [Laughs.] As time goes on and tastes change, kids are going to get tired of that hard music. What's great to see is that, here in the States, there is a huge surge of young people listening to dance music that weren't anywhere near as much even a decade ago. The fact that music is all across the board these days is proof that things are evolving.
Are there any standouts artists or labels to you?
Boy George: Loco Dice's “Detox” and almost most of the Defected library are faves of mine. Honey Dijon, David Penn, and David Gray are also choice.
Marc Vedo: I'd agree on that Defected mention. I'd also say Hot Fingers also. For me, it's sometimes more about the label than the artist. It varies.
Any final words for your Dallas fans before your event here in October?
Boy George: Expect rude things and bootlegs!
Marc Vedo: You may hear a lot of unreleased material or even some of the new stuff that Boy George and I have worked on recently.
Boy George: Be ready for anything!
Boy George and Marc Vedo perform on Saturday, October 19, at the It'll Do Club. DJ RedEye opens. Tickets can be purchased in advance here.