“I never plan on stage diving, it’s just the times when the kids get their videos out they catch me. I don’t think I do it as much as people think.”
Hmm, right. After telling me in our interview for Groupie’s June issue – out today – that his first stage dive was when he was 13, plus the amount of videos and pics on the web of Steve Aoki riding a crowd, I decided to put this aside as humble LA modesty! It was one of the most entertaining interviews I’ve done with one of the most personable artists I’ve ever spoken to, and it’s got us fired up to catch Steve and his Dim Mak crew at We Love Sounds and Winter Sound System over the next couple of weeks.
He’ll be putting on some stage diving lessons while he’s here, and that’s where the conversation stayed!
“The first stage diver that I saw was this kid landing on the back of his head and he had his ear spitting out blood all over the place. It was gross. But the one thing when people go stage diving they’re just like running as fast as they can, they don’t let anyone know they’re coming and they just jump and noone catches them. And I just feel bad for those people because I see it happen all the time. I mean I haven’t seen any bad accidents… I’ve seen everyone wipe the dirt off the shoulder and then get back up and start dancing again.
“You’ve just gotta let the people know you’re coming. They wanna catch you… Unless you weigh like 500 pounds or something… I had this one tour manager in Canada, he was a big guy, he was like muscle, just one ball of muscle and he was like ‘Man I wanna stage dive, I wanna go stage diving man!’ And I was like ‘I dunno man you’re big, you’re like really big, you’re going to hurt some people.’ And he was like ‘Ah I’m gonna do it,’ I’m like ‘Alright…’ So I was playing this show and then he takes shirt off and he gets all into it. He’s all sweaty and gross. Then he tries to jump, and instead he just kinda falls and just like tackles and throws like seven kids and they all went down. It was pure comedy.
So does it make it hard with the barriers between you and the crowd?
“Oh yeah. Oh my god you should watch this video I posted on my blog. So I played Pukkelpop [Festival in 2009], and I got battle wounds when I was performing because I was standing on something and it fell. And I went to the doctor because my arm was bloodied all over. It was like masochistic, I was like ‘yeah this is my Iggy Pop moment this is fucking truly punk rock!’ So I go to the doctor and he’s giving me all these tetanus shots and he’s like, ‘Oh man you missed it, the guy that came in before you, he was fucking FUCKED UP, his face was like, he lost all the teeth in his mouth, he had a scar like the Joker – a scar from where his lips are all the way up to his ear – and he lost like ALL the teeth in his mouth. And they had to do reconstructive surgery. He did a stage dive off the main stage at Pukkelpop and there’s this video of him flying in the air, it’s gotta be like 15 feet, flying headfirst, and landing head first into the guard rail.”
(Skip to 2.40, or enjoy the Faith No More goodness)
Whoa. So you’ll be teaching SAFE stage diving technique then?
“I don’t want anyone to get hurt, I just want everyone to have a good time. It’s like reminiscent of the punk days like when I was going to the hardcore shows and like everyone is crowd surfing and stage diving you know.”
Any special tips for girls?
“When girls stage dive there’s completely different etiquette cos you have to be careful with crazy people grabbing all parts of your body.”
Who do we need to look out for at the Dim Mak Arena on the We Love Sounds and Winter Sound System tours?
“Crookers, everyone loves Crookers and they deserve all the credit they get cos they’re such great producers and club dudes in general. Joachim Garraud has got a sick fucking show man, he’s got a really nice show that he’s going to be putting on. Felix Cartal, Sonic C and Autoerotique they’re like the new generation of producers and DJs with that new soundsof electro and genral dance music.”
Pic courtesy The Cobrasnake