Surkin plays Creamfield
As dawn breaks here in Melbourne, the sun is getting ready to set in Paris. However, Surkin, who is known to his family and friends as Benoit Heitz, is only just getting ready to leave for home after a hard days work. The friendly Frenchman informs me with a laugh in his broken English, “I have been working late in the studio, making music and smoking cigarettes.” All in all, it doesn't sound like Heitz has had a bad day.
Given that Institubes, the label to which he signed to since he started his career half a decade ago, went under a few weeks ago, Heitz is seemingly breezy about his current situation. Though 2010 marked the release of his seventh EP Silver Island, he has once again had to push back the release of his sophomore album, which has been highly anticipated following the success of his 2007 debut Action Replay. Rather nonchalant to the situation, Heitz assures me that patience pays off. Rather than getting frustrated at his lack of luck, he simply reveals, “Actually the album has been finished for quite a long time, but because the record label closed down, it has taken a little bit more time to get everything sorted. There has been a lot to do, signing new contracts and things like this. It has just been delayed and delayed. Hopefully it will be out really soon.”
With his laissez-faire attitude seeing him through the hard times, it is apparent that he would rather focus on the creativity than the negativity. Though he is unwilling to reveal too much about what can be expected from his sophomore release, he does give this little inkling, “It is a bit bigger. It takes a lot of different directions. There are a lot of different influences. Every track has its own style, in a way. It is kind of a special component to each one.”
With little to say about his hopefully impending release, Heitz proves himself to be the expert salesman. With his Creamfields slot the spark that brought our conversation to being, he cleverly slips in a hint about what he would really like to discuss, “I really love Australian festivals. I am always really excited to play in Australia because the crowd is really different to what we have in Europe. There is a really different atmosphere.”
Having made it clear that he intends to enjoy his Creamfields experience as both participant and performer, it felt worthwhile finding out who exactly on the line-up excites him. Without any hesitation he gets excited about one of his heroes. “Kevin Saunderson is really someone I want to see DJ, I am a big fan of his work. I love everything he has done and he is a big influence on my work. I just want to see what he will play. I respect him a lot so I am really excited to see him.”
Cleverly using Creamfields as a showcase for his own label and the talent he has uncovered, it seems a slight risk to concentrate on material that a lot of the festival goers will never have heard. So is there a secret to making a set like that work? “I think there is no secret. There are lots of ways to do it, but it is more of a feeling thing. Sometimes you have a crowd and you try a new things and it works, other times it doesn't. There is nothing that works every time. There is no secret to it. Just keep you ears open and find new ways. As long you are excited by the stuff you play then others will be too.”
Surkin [FRA] plays Creamfields with Deadmau5 [CAN], Derrick May [USA] and many more on Monday April 25 at Melbourne Showgrounds.