PHOTOGRAPHY MARK ABRAHAMS
MIAMI'S ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL SHOWCASES A NEW BREED OF MEGASTARS MAKING NOISE FOR THE MASSES AND GIVING POP IDOLS A RUN FOR THEIR MONEY. IN 2013 THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY DJS
Tell us about your setup:
S I use two to four CDJ-2000s, a Pioneer 900 mixer, sometimes some extra samplers with pads. It’s constantly evolving.
What time do you usually go to sleep and when do you wake up?
S It varies greatly. When I’m on tour I could be anywhere in the world, so it’s rough. At home I have a pretty late schedule. I wake up around 11 am to 1 pm and go to bed around 4 am to 6 am when I’m making music. When I’m in business mode at home I wake up early, around 9 am.
Do you have any rituals before, during, or after a performance?
S Usually I have a deejaying setup in the dressing room. I like to practice and try out new music I’ve worked on and hang with people and get the vibe right before a set. Good energy is crucial.
Where is the strangest place you’ve ever performed?
S That’s a hard one. I played a Mayan pyramid for the end of the world, on 12/21/12, in Puebla, Mexico. I’ve also played a vegan backyard barbecue with Moby. The term “too weird” doesn’t exist in the world of the DJ, the weirder the better.
What’s the biggest crowd you’ve ever played to and where?
S Quebec City Summer Festival. There were over 100,000 people and the crowd kept going beyond capacity.
What is the most fun part of touring?
S It’s probably traveling and meeting new people, becoming a more cultured person. Constantly juggling work with my label and making my own music and playing live is taxing, but so beneficial, because you’re always learning. Meeting great people from different walks of life from all over the world—touring has brought me connections and creative relationships with people I never dreamed of meeting.
Least fun part?
S Headlining shows and having to go straight from the venue to the airport. Like, fucking flying out right after a late European show and not knowing where you are.
Do you have a team that helps you when it comes to putting your show together?
S Absolutely. It’s a lot of hard work, there’s a big team. The Skrillex show is more of a big festival installation. Again, it varies, a club show is a bit more focused around music and the intimacy, whereas a festival production is an installation, and that takes a lot of people to run.
Digital technician Tim Bell Photo assistant Eric Simmons Equipment rental Milk NY Special thanks Alexandra Greenberg, Clayton Blaha, Darren Baber, Chris Werner, Marije de Konink, Sander Reneman, Justin Kleinfeld, Ciara Davey, Diana Baron, Alexandra Baker