Steve Angello: ‘Nobody is paying their dues in the clubs’

Steve Angello
Steve Angello has revealed that he intends to move away from playing festivals and big room events to focus on underground clubs. The former Swedish House Mafia member made the announcement in an interview with Mixmag, in which he criticized the overall scene for being festival-driven:

“It irritates me. I grew up a DJ and a club head, and I used to come over [to the UK] with Eric Prydz like 15 years ago. And I used to play all these little rooms in Brighton, Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow and it was such a great club scene for me to come up in because you learn so much, but I feel like that’s all been forgotten. Nobody is paying their dues in the clubs.”

And it’s not just a personal move — Angello is encouraging the younger artists on his label Size Records to do the same:

“I’m trying to push the artists on my label to become more club-orientated. Some of them think I’m evil! We have an artist right now that’s getting really big and is being offered lots of festivals and I said ‘Listen, your next tour is a club tour’ and he was like ‘F#ck that I don’t want to do a club tour’ and I was like ‘You’ve got to. We’ll do it small. 150 people, great soundsystem, no LEDs, just back to basics.’ Now he’s actually getting more excited about because it’s something different!”

Angello also expressed concern about the rapid growth that the American scene is experiencing, a sentiment that other influential DJs have voiced in recent years:

“In America they’re trying to get licenses for 600 dance festivals next year … I just saw the papers the other week, and I was shocked. It’s f#cking horrendous. The things that people are planning to do next year might destroy the whole scene in America.”

Mixmag’s interview also addresses Angello’s monthly residency at LiFE in SLS Las Vegas, which he’s currently locked into. According to the magazine, “Angello insisted that he was drawn to LiFE because of it’s intentions to support the underground artists, and the space itself suited his vision of what his future performances will feel like.”
Related: Swedish House Mafia’s Steve Angello Says Dance Music All Sounds the Same