Welcome Chris Blade!
First off some obligatory basic questions about you.
Q: Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
A: I’m originally from Sheffield and I support Sheffield Utd, who are also known as The Blades! Hence the DJ name!! Moved to Torbay in Devon from the age of 8, had a great childhood and discovered the music and clubbing I love today. Now living in Poole, Dorset, I have a loving wife and a nearly 6 year old daughter, who I absolutely adore! I’m pretty handy around a golf course and lucky enough to work on one, love my job and my family and of course the music!
Now, onto the more interesting stuff, let’s talk about the music!
Q: Can you describe your favourite genre? What do you love about it so much?
A: Trance, absolutely no question my love for this music, it has so much feeling and emotion, you can really create a musical journey with it, uplifting, vocals, and the harder sounds of Trance, I’ve played many genres over the years, but Trance for me is on another level, the reaction you get from a crowd and the experience I’ve shared as a clubber to this music, is something rather special and I’m so lucky to have experienced it.
Q: What are your favourite record labels from that era?
A: Anjunabeats, Armada Music, Black Hole Recordings, Bonzai Recordings, Future Sound Corporation, Hooj Choons, In Trance We Trust, Joy Records, Magik Muzik, Nukleuz, Perfecto Records, Tunnel Records, Vandit.
Q: What about your favourite producers? And your favourite DJs? What makes them so great?
A: If a producer makes a great track, then they are great! There are many Trance producers which I admire and who have produced some stunning music over the years…..Armin Van Buuren, Above & Beyond, Aly & Fila, Ferry Corsten, Paul Van Dyk, John O’ Callaghan, Sean Tyas, Paul Oakenfold, Gareth Emery, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Bryan Kearney, Solarstone, Cosmic Gate, Rank 1, Alex Morph, The Thrillseekers, Robert Miles, Ferry Tayle, Artic Moon, Chicane, BT, and there are some amazing producers that have really made a name for themselves in the South West over the last few years, making some awesome Trance productions, such as Louk, Kyle Pepper, Simon McCann, Kevin Hoskin, AlexMo, which is really great to see and are giving the big names a run for there money!
I don’t really have a favourite DJ, there are a few DJ’s that have blown me away with there sets, so I base my experience on this and tend to follow these DJ’s more, purely because of there style and the way they build a set and take you on a musical journey, the best sets I’ve experienced as a clubber and as a DJ are from the likes of Ferry Corsten, Above & Beyond, Armin Van Buuren, Paul Van Dyk, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Gareth Emery and Tall Paul
Q: How long have you been listening to Trance? Already back in the days, or did you discover it later on? If so, how come you discovered it after all these years?
A: My brother first introduced Trance to me 22 years ago, and I’ve loved it ever since!
Q: Did you go to parties around that time? Or, do you still go to the classics parties or stages that are being held today?
A: When I first got in to the Trance scene, at the time there were some great local clubs that had some wicked nights on, I would be out most weekends, either Djing or clubbing, over the years I’ve been to most of the big clubs and events in the UK, and as far as Ibiza, Holland, New York and Las Vegas!
I still go to a few events, but decent nights out are few and far between these days, but it’s been an epic part of my life and I have made some amazing friends along the way!
Q: What would be the perfect line-up for a single 10-hour stage?
A: Tall Paul warming up with myself, Ferry Corsten, Paul Van Dyk!!! Ha ha ha ha...That’s a tough one, any of the DJ’s I’ve mentioned already, but each DJ should play at least a 2 hour set, DJ’s never get long enough on the stage these days, years ago you would always get a 2 hour set or more, but your lucky to get more than an hour now, which is a real shame!
Now, on to your own DJing.
Q: Can you describe how you do your mixes? What is it you try to achieve? Do you like fast mixing, daring mixing, lots of teases or something else?
A: I like to bring in my mixes for as long as possible, so it creates a better journey to my sets, I do tease from time to time with samples from another track and use effects now and again, but its important to have the right balance, over kill on effects can ruin a great track.
Q: What do you use to mix at home? And, what do you prefer in general? Do you have a collection of vinyls?
A: I still have my trusty 1210”s which are hooked up to a Pioneer DDJ SX controller, which I have mapped to Traktor software, it’s a great balance between the original method of Djing and the latest tech with controllers and software, I still have most of my Vinyl collection, nothing beats the feeling of mixing with Vinyl, its pure and its skilful, but it’s a ball ache lugging a bag of Vinyl around with you, and relying on the needle not jumping during your set, times have changed and you can create more to your sets with the modern equipment, club standard Pioneer CDJ 2000”s are my preferred choice!
Q: Do you have many bookings where you can play Trance?
A: I have my own radio show on Safehouse Radio called Dance 2 Trance, I’ve been doing it for nearly 2 years with the 2nd birthday on the 19th Oct and I absolutely love it, it gives me the opportunity to play the music I love and to promote new music that gets sent to me via promo’s, it’s very rewarding knowing that people tune in to listen to your sets.
Q: And how do you make your tracklists? On the fly, or before you start mixing?
A: On the fly always, I never plan my tracklists, if you know your music you should’nt need to, I will know my first track I’m going to play, from then on its what I think is best at that time, if I’m at a gig you have to read the crowd and their reaction to the tunes your playing, you play for the crowd always so in return you will get the best atmosphere on the dance floor!
Q: How big a part of your life is Trance? How much time do you spend actively being busy with your music?
A: It used to be a big part of my life, I had time on my hands to play out a lot as a DJ and to attend many club nights and events all over the UK and abroad, but now I have a family, they come first, so my time is limited to my music.
Q: Did you ever produce music back in the days? Or did you make music later to recreate the old style?
A: I did produce a track years ago and had it pressed to Vinyl, its something that I appreciate takes a lot of time to do properly, which I don't have much of these days, however it's something that I've really wanted to do again over the years, and I have finally got back in the studio and nearly finished my new track which is called Rush, I am hoping it will be finished in time to showcase it on Dance 2 Trance 2nd Birthday Special in a few weeks, really excited to play it out and to see what sort of reaction it gets.
Q: Wow can't wait to hear that! So it’s probably really hard, but could you give us your Top 5?
Q: Could you name us a track which you think is hugely underrated and we should listen to right now?
A: Mark Leaning vs Johnny McDaid – We Are The Guiding Light (Wald Mashup)
Q: How did you get involved with Safehouse Radio?
A: I was playing at a gig where I bumped in to Cher, who is the owner of the station, we were having a chat and she asked if I was interested in doing my own radio show, the rest is history!
Q: What are your thoughts behind your show? What is it you’re trying to achieve? And, how do you select guests?
A: I try and give the listeners the best upfront trance music in a 2 hour live mix from myself, I want them to enjoy the music I love and the mixes I produce, I always record the show and upload it for them to listen again or download. I do have guest DJ’s on the show, most are DJ’s that I have known for years and who I know can deliver an amazing mix for my listeners, but I’ve also been lucky enough to have DJ’s asking for a guest mix who have done a great mix for the show, the highlight for me was when Marc West, who is one of the residents at the super club that is Passion, agreed to come on the show for a guest mix!
Q: Tell us one skeleton you have in your closet.
A: Urrr….No I’m a good boy…honest!!!
Thank you for answering my questions!
Q: Do you have any closing remarks?
A: If your still reading and haven’t fallen asleep yet, thanks for taking the time out to read this Interview. Make sure you tune in on the 19th October for the Dance 2 Trance 2nd Birthday Special. 5 hour live set, celebrating 2 years of Dance 2 Trance. The show will feature the best trance music that has been played on the show over the past year. This is going to be an epic night of amazing music. Music is definitely what makes the world go round, what would we do without the music we love, I consider myself a very lucky guy to have been a DJ for so many years and experiencing some epic parties along the way, huge thanks to you all that have given your support to me over the years, and continue to do so with Dance 2 Trance radio show and the few gigs I play at!
Massive thanks to Cher for giving me the opportunity to have my own radio show and for all the hard work she does behind the scenes for Safehouse Radio, long may it continue….respect!!