We sat down with Montreal house hero Fred Everything before he plays in Le Bain's skyline at A Running Melody on Friday, July 8th.
LE BAIN: You started your career as a DJ in Canada's early ’90s rave scene. What early memories of raves come to mind?
FRED EVERYTHING: I think it was the whole idea of a community. We were only a handful of people in Quebec City throwing events but also traveling to other cities, mainly Montreal and Toronto. I remember vividly a party like Solstice in Montreal in the early '90s. That was an eye opener for me and so many others on this culture. I still have very fond memories of that time.
You used to be called Everything, as you used to play a wide range of style, techno, house, ambient, and drum ’n’ bass. You were not a DJ at that point, but you were playing live. What kind of setup did you use at that time?
I was so excited about all the different music coming out around that time that I wanted to experiment with all the different genres. Sometimes I could play in the chill out room and main room on the same night. I was using an EPS Sampler/Sequencer with SH-101 (a synthesizer which I still have), a TR-909 (drum machine), and various other effects. I don't remember my first gig, but my biggest one was opening for Sasha at Metropolis in Montreal. It was my first time playing in front of so many people.
At what point did you add the "Fred" to your name?
I added my first name when I became a DJ. I was tired of dragging around equipment even if it wasn't that much gear. At that point, I had been going out to clubs since I was 14 years old and was very much influenced by the DJ culture. I wanted to keep the studio at home and DJ at parties.
Fred's studio in 1995
"We are so recluse during the long winter, but when the sun comes out, love is everywhere!"
You spent some time in the UK and Europe in the late ’90s, which was a pretty good time for dance music. Are you nostalgic for that period?
Funny you should ask. Last week was the 5-year anniversary of Kenny Hawkes' death. He was a pillar in the house scene in London, and I got to hear him and play with him a fair amount at that time. I used to play with him at the old Plastic People venue on Oxford Street. I was also a regular clubber at Space where he and Luke Solomon would play every Wednesday. They introduced so many DJs that have now made it big in the UK and Europe. There was The Bomb in Nottingham with the DIY crew, Back to Basics in Leeds with 20:20Vision, and also Sub Club with Harri and Domenic. I wouldn't say I'm nostalgic about that time, but I'm very grateful. I got to know people that I'm still in touch with and work with now. I would say that was definitely an instrumental time for me.
Fast forward to 2016. You've spent over 20 years in the dance music scene and have more than 150 records to your name. What has been your greatest achievement?
It's hard to pick one, but maybe starting my own label, Lazy Days Recordings, and making it last 10 years. I originally started it to have full control over my music after dealing with frustrating A&R decisions, but it became a small playground for my friends to play in. There's so much more I would like to do with it, but it's a one-man operation and there's only so much I can do on my own. Other than that, I would say that lasting in this industry alone is an achievement for me and I'm more grateful than I've ever been to still be here doing what I do.
Fred Everything's Re-Works Minimix
Are you based in San Francisco these days? What’s the most romantic thing to do there this summer?
I just came back to Montreal last November after 8 years in San Francisco. Montreal is very romantic in the summer. We are so recluse during the long winter, but when the sun comes out, love is everywhere! I'm looking forward to sharing some summer love at Le Bain!
On Friday, July 8th, Le Bain presents A Running Melody featuring Fred Everything and Alan & Andrew Blancato10pm | The Standard, High Line