Sebastien Drums grew up on the sound of classic French house, and now he tours the world at the peak of the current wave of French electronic music. He takes some time out of his hectic schedule to talk to Alasdair Duncan about his friendship with Avicii, and the inspiration behind his work.
The rest of the world looks to France for quality house music – growing up there, were you immersed in that dance music culture from a young age?
Yes, I was a big fan of the French touch sound, like Daft Punk and Cassius and all of those bands. The filter house sound in the early 2000s also inspired me a lot. I grew up with that music.
That filter house sound was big in Australia, and lots of artists, like Cut Copy, took it on board – are you a fan of Australian dance music?
Yeah, you have a lot of big artists down there, people like Hook N Sling, who I really look up to, and I listen to a lot of their music. You have some really great tunes coming from down there.
One of your earliest tracks, ‘My Feelings For You’, sampled Cassius, right?
That’s actually a Gwen McCrae sample, of a song of hers from 1984 called ‘All This Love That I’m Giving’. Cassius sampled her record, and we went back to the original record and sampled that, we took different parts of it.
You collaborated with Avicii on that track, and a few others – how did you become friends?
It was easy. Everybody goes to the Miami Winter Music Conference to meet people to work with. Someone introduced us and we hit it off. We had some drinks on the beach, had a really good time, and when I got home I sent him some ideas. We decided to make one track, which became two tracks, then three, then four, and so on.
Sounds like dubstep and trap have come into vogue in recent times, but your releases are faithful to house and electro – have you ever been tempted to venture into other areas?
I respect music like trap and dubstep, but to be honest, I’m not a big fan, because it just sounds too busy for me. I respect producers like Skrillex for what they do, but I wouldn’t try it. My new track is called ‘In The Stars’, and it has a bit of a different sound – my first time experimenting with a bit of a different sound, and I’m interested to know what people think.
You’re very busy with DJ bookings – how you balance travelling the world with making tracks? Do you work a lot on the road?
It is difficult. When you’re on tour for a long time, when you get home, you don’t want to do music – you want to see your friends and do different things, you don’t want to sit there playing with your gear. I have a home studio now, so that makes it easier. I have a lot of hardware to play with, and it’s going very well at the moment.
What’s the best part of your job as a DJ and producer?
I really like the travelling – going to other countries, meeting all sorts of people. When the crowd responds well, it means a lot, it makes me happy. I played the opening party at Pacha Ibiza this year, and it was just like that. It was the perfect night.
You’ll be playing at ivy in Sydney on Saturday August 17 – what can we expect from that show?
I really love the place and the crowd – people are beautiful in Sydney, and they love to dance. Pacha parties are always crazy.
BY ALASDAIR DUNCAN