A-Trak on Avicii’s Comments in a Recent GQ Article

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Last week, GQ posted their feature on Avicii, which found them following him during a string of shows around New Years Eve. It revealed a lot of Avicii‘s rise, from how he got his name (literally, he had to add an extra “i” because someone already had “Avici” on MySpace) to how he feels about the lyrics in his songs (spoiler alert: he says they’re stupid).

The article kicked off with Avicii being upsets about the number of tracks the opening DJ was playing that Avicii also plays. While we’ve heard of many DJs complaining about the selection of some openers, it seems as though the following passage got A-Trak‘s dander up:

Before Pournouri could make him the biggest DJ in all the land, however, he had to teach him how to DJ, which was something Tim had never actually done before. Thanks to computers, these days, DJing is mostly “before work,” Tim explains. Most of the set list and transitions are worked out before he gets onstage. The notion of a DJ who determines what to play by reading the room “feels like something a lot of older DJs are saying to kind of desperately cling on staying relevant.”

And while we definitely understand the DJs who pre-plan their sets, the way this was presented, its almost as of the ability to cater your sets to the crowd is a thing of the past – like everyone’s just a muppet out there waiting for drops (which in some spaces, they might be). As you can see from his tweets up above, A-Trak definitely does not agree, and while Avicii says that his comment was “taken out of context,” he did not go on to explain what context he meant it in.

What are your thoughts? Is it OK to drop a totally pre-determined set night in, night out? Should your setlist be comprised of the same tracks all of the time? Where does crowd satisfaction stop and being creative with your sets start?

  • Jeffrey

    It’s easy to knock something you don’t know how to do. And reading a crowd is obviously one of them. Of course the lyrics on his songs are stupid..there is almost no philosophical house music out there, as that takes too much away from the kids on drugs.

  • JvL

    LOL. Sorry Avicii, pre planning your sets only works when you’re playing to little kiddies on drugs. Try that in a proper underground party or club where adults hang out and see where it gets you…

  • PLEASEfadeintodarkness

    Avicii’s music sucks along with his sets, I don’t even know why this is such a big issue… when was Avicii ever thought to be a good Dj? READING A ROOM and rocking the party is such a huge part of what a good Dj can do! If it was so easy, everyone would do it, and even though it seems like every attempts to these days…. a small percentage are actually talented and possess the knowledge and skills to get an entire crowd in the palm of their hands. Let the art of DJ’ing live on… and stop booking terrible robots to keep a party like ULTRA going.. it won’t work!

  • http://www.d-jam.com D-Jam

    I’m not at all surprised, but I’ve seen this out of many headliners, as they’ll make a set and play it from city to city without change. In many ways, this is what happens when you’re a big headliner and a crowd that more sees him/her as a “celebrity appearance” than an act.

    I don’t agree with Avicii though on crowd reading as “obsolete”…mainly because he’s a big name who will pack a room no matter what he plays. Unfortunately the rest of us non-superstars have to play to please the crowd within a certain level. Imagine when some noname pre-plans a set and won’t change no matter how much the crowd hates it. They’ll leave.

    Avicii has let his fame go to his head and thus is out of touch with what being a non-superstar DJ is. I’d love to be able to play whatever I want and tell the trixies begging for Top-40 to piss off…but then I’ll be the one kicked out of the club, not the trixies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DJZO3 Zo Diez

    I am not a big Dj but I have my residency here in Chicago and the name of the nite is IBIZA nights or PAcha nights. I paly wherever i want I never read the crowd I tent to tk them on a journey with me . I say NO REQUEST and they fallow me. As A dj I Believe we are Artist and we create our own canvas so people can appreciated or hated> I don’t care honestly what people think sometimes I make sure I have the pre set list and i mixed on spot cuz i belive is my journey where i am taking you. I am in the wheel I drive this damn spaceship. U either come along or stay at earth with your top 40′s !! As Avicii goes if that formula works for him ! Good for him ! Not a big fan of his sets anyway :P

    • Todd G

      I guess proper english and grammar are optional in your spaceship because that was painful to read….

  • http://www.facebook.com/sean.holland Sean Holland

    I just dont understand why the Dj’s themselves dont get sick of the same freakin songs over and over and over again. If I was in that position I would switch it up a little bit night to night. give that city Im in a different set than the last instead of just copy and pasting

    • http://www.rockthedub.com/ khal

      some of that might come from what they’re known for, or what people expect to hear from a DJ. it’d be like asking if the Stones get sick of playing the same song, i’d say.