The Standard: From remixing Madonna, Gorillaz and Daft Punk, to producing indie rock records for Bush and Good Charlotte, and starting a new record label (Brobot records), you have already achieved a lot. Could you let us know how it started? You grew up right across the Hudson river in New Jersey. When did you start crossing into Manhattan to listen to house music, go to shows, club parties?
Junior Sanchez: I was born in Belleville, New Jersey but was raised in the ironbound section of Newark, where I was introduced to house music at the age of 11 or 12. I would get on the path train from Newark to the village in NYC, where I would go to Unique boutique and dance in front of that store. I’d hit up all the record shops of the era: eight ball, sonic groove, satellite, vinyl mania, you name it. It was amazing and I had a blast getting flyers for all the spots in NYC at the time, like Red zone, Sound Factory bar and Limelight.
What were the parties and artists you were going to see at that time?
I would go to Red Zone to hear David Morales play a lot, or go to sound factory bar to hear Louie Vega at his underground network parties. On Friday’s I would go to NASA at the Shelter to hear everyone from DJ Joeski, 808 State, Frankie bones, it was amazing. On Tuesdays I would go to communion at the Limelight where I saw everyone from Front 242, Skinny puppy to NIN. That was another great party. And then sometimes I would go with my graffiti friends to Wetlands and catch hardcore shows, I remember going to see The Icemen, Bad brains! Pure craziness…
When did you start making music? What was your first official release?
I started making music at 13, I had my first record (12inch) out when I was 14, on strictly rhythm records, and I haven’t stopped since.
What are some artists or bands that helped create your love for music from an early age and inspired you to make music?
Wow, there were so many I admired and still admire. Prince, Kate Bush, Trevor Horn, Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton, Heatwave, Todd Rudgren, Depeche Mode, OMD, Steely Dan, Stevie Nicks, Nile Rodgers, Berlin, Giorgio Moroder, so many I could be here all day listing people..
As a DJ what is the most satisfying moment for you? What about as a producer?
As a DJ, I would say playing for a crowd who really appreciates the music and feels the vibe of what’s happening. As a producer, the experience of being in the studio and creating and collaborating is such a rewarding satisfaction for me. I really enjoy that.
What are your top three dance tracks at the moment?
I would say Depeche Mode - Soothe My Soul remix by (Stuart Price & Steve Angelo); HAIM falling (Duke Dumont remix); and the new Daft Punk Album!
We just heard the new Daft Punk album today and love the direction of it. Very grown up. What are your thoughts on it?
I think they really got in touch with their Steely Dan, Weather Report, CHIC, Pat Metheny. It’s vibrant, cool, live, and has a lot of emotion, which I love. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but it’s definitely for me, because I know the records and people that influenced that album. I give it two thumbs up.
If there was one artist dead or alive you could go into the studio with who would it be?
I would have to say Prince. I would love to learn from him in everyway.
Wednesday May 22nd, Le Bain present Brobot Knights featuring Junior Sanchez, Gina Turner and Alex Technique. The Standard, High Line. Doors 10pm.