Respect is huge for Lee, whether it’s being given or being earned. Throughout our conversation he spoke of the importance of respecting both yourself as an artist and respecting those around you. Many people are quick to try to become the next big thing and burn all kinds of bridges on their way to who they see as bigger and better people, but “you can’t be rude to the people around you who are trying to help you succeed…You should respect people that are respecting you, and a little respect will go a long way.”
Like many artists, he had things to say about Arcade Fire’s recent comments at Coachella diminishing the role of DJs as artists who “don’t play instruments.” “I hate Arcade Fire…the reason those bands sound good is people like us are making them sound good. They don’t know how to do anything but play instruments.” Many people discredit dance music producers by saying they just play with a computer, but in all honesty they truly are composers, instead using a computer instead of a grand piano.
In the same way dance music producers are real musicians, female DJs (with the exception of Paris Hilton) are legitimate artists who deserve the same respect of any other DJ that is sharing their passion with us onstage. Much like many within our scene, Must Die feels that “Paris Hilton should shut the fuck up and get the fuck out,” making her the exception to his rule. In reality, Lee is a huge fan of several female artists from many genres, including Lily Allen who he would love to make music for (he’s admitting to writing some pop music) and JoJo, whose hit Too Little Too Late dropped at the end of his set at Foundation. He feels that it is crucial for female DJs to respect themselves enough to refuse to be exploited for just their looks.
Learn how to say no. I don’t see a difference between a male DJ and a female DJ. It’s other people who have to decide not to treat them differently. Sadly it will continue to be that way forever, but I don’t treat women that way and won’t allow anyone I consort with to treat women that way.
Perhaps most important of all, Lee values every single one of his fans and wants them to be able to take care of themselves. When shifting gears in the discussion towards the subject of how the media is portraying EDM, he first and foremost wanted to make it very clear that while his is an unpopular opinion, he does not see a value in taking lots of drugs at shows. Like us, Must Die gets incredibly sad when he hears of someone overdosing and wishes people would place more value on experiencing the music and respecting the bodies that keep us dancing all night than chasing the next high.
I hate that that’s become a thing like, all these kids I went to high school with are now insanely screwed up all the time.
With the wisdom shared with us by Must Die, we are once again blown away by his candidness and willingness to express opinions that are not the same as most other DJs, but nonetheless interesting and thought-provoking. Whether it’s encouraging budding producers to stand up for themselves, or shaking his head at those who are just going to shows for the next high, he certainly left us with a lot to chew on. When all is said and done, we wish we could have had another hour with him to dig deeper into his thoughts on the industry and his experience on producing, so we’ll have to look forward to the next time our paths cross. What from our discussion resonated with you? Do you agree with what Lee had to say or do you align with a different line of thought?
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