To the seasoned trance ear, Scott Bond needs no introduction. Co-founder of the mighty Gatecrasher, coveted resident DJ and quite simply one of the early pioneers of the original trance sound that many new DJ’s of todays scene aspire to, Scott Bond is nothing short of a living legend.
Scott, it’s an absolute honour to be interviewing you today for Pumped Audio. As a Gatecrasher regular myself from the ’99 – ’02 era, I spent many an early Sunday morning dancing to your pumping beats, and I guess you and your closing sets are solely responsible for my friends having to literally drag me from the dancefloor of The Republic many a time at gone 6am when the lights came on!
Q: For the benefit of our readers who may not be familiar with your work, please introduce yourself and give us a summary of your career to date….
I’ll keep this brief so as to not bore you. My name is Scott Bond. I am a DJ and producer from Birmingham. I’m probably best associated with Gatecrasher where I was the resident DJ and heavily involved with promoting the club night at the Republic in Sheffield. I also produced some tracks such as “I’m Not Going Home” with Q-Dos as well as “Third Earth” and “Red Line Highway” with Solarstone. I travel around, playing out my own style of pumping trance on a local and international scale.
Q: Tell us how you got into Trance, and how you came to be a DJ?
I began going to clubs & raves in and around the UK in the summer of 1989, spending my formative years frequenting Quadrant Park, Shelly’s and Amnesia. I was immersed in the music and week after week, you’d find me in the local record shops spending every last penny on records. When I started out as a DJ back in the days of The Hummingbird in Birmingham, it wasn’t all about fame, girls and money. We were paid very little, if anything at all and we did it purely for the love of the music. This is the same reason why I still do it today.
Q: What were your early musical influences? What was the first album you bought?
My early musical influences were Belgian techno artists like Frank De Wulf – The B Sides. Other stand out tracks from that era were also Ultraviolet – Kites, Beltram – Energy Flash, Indie – Apollonia, Shades Of Rhythm – Sound Of Eden, Urban Soul – Alright (Sasha Remix) and True Faith With Final Cut – Take Me Away
Q: In musical terms, what are your guilty pleasures? Bit of sneaky Jedward now and then maybe?
I have an eclectic taste in music but if I had to narrow it down then it would have to be film scores and occasionally switch on the radio to Classic FM. On the album-front, I recently dug out a copy of “Pieces In A Modern Style” by William Orbit and it’s still a firm favourite of mine after all these years. I also have a 10 year old daughter and when we’re in car, it’s always a battle between “Now 81” or my preferred choice. Needless to say, I occasionally lose and end up knowing the lyrics to many undesirable songs.
Q: The Gatecrasher ‘movement’ of the late 90’s, and how it shaped the scene therein has to be a highlight of your career and something of which you are very proud. Can you tell us how Gatecrasher as a trance night was originally conceived? And what was your involvement?
Gatecrasher was never built to be a massive worldwide brand. Initially, there were three people involved – Simon Oates, Simon Raine and I. Each of us had a different role to play which contributed to the global clubbing brand that we all recognize today. I was the musical director who booked all the lineups and ultimately shaped the sound of the club. It was a fusion of all these factors as well the influx of local and European production talent at the time which pathed the way to Gatecrasher’s unique music policy. Once this trance identity had been established, it was only a matter of time before the merchandise was released to support our brand. This in turn lead to Gatecrasher albums. I compiled and mixed near enough all of them.
Q: In those early days, did any of you realise how monumental and influential Gatecrasher as a brand would become?
No, not at all. We were just doing monthly parties and the music we pioneered went global. It was like trance exploded on a worldwide scale, like a tidal wave and we were riding right on the very crest of that wave. The first time that I realized the power and size of it was when Matt Hardwick and I were djing in Melbourne, Australia. We had performed at numerous sell out gigs together but this one in particular was really special. Matt and I were the only DJs from the UK and the rest were local Oz DJs. We were in the car being driven from the airport and I said to the promoter Mark James (Future Entertainment) ”How’s the turnout looking?” His response was “Oh mate, it’s completely sold out!!”. “Cool, how many?” I said to which he replied “fifteen”. I came back with “Ah fifteen hundred, that’s not bad” to which Mark said “No mate, fifteen thousand and I could have sold loads more if the venue was bigger!!” There was silence for about a minute whilst I took it all in!
Q: When Gatecrasher was at its peak, putting on weekly sell-out events with line-ups today’s scene can only dream of on a weekly basis, how was it for you when you played other club nights in the UK?
Back then, Gatecrasher wasn’t the only weekly sell-out event. Every trance club in all the cities around the country were running weekly nights. It was always an honour to play at some of the most prestigious venues around the country and I had that wonderful opportunity of seeing some of them grow to prominence. However, as the old saying goes, “there’s no place like home” and that was S1 1DJ.
Q: In the current EDM scene, DJ’s are often harshly criticised by their fans when they stray from the genre for which they were originally known. Where do you stand on the matter?
That’s a difficult question to answer and one that is highly debatable. I’ve always been a firm believer in a DJ playing music that makes him/her feel comfortable. However, I can also appreciate why fans who have been following a key DJ for many years may potentially be disheartened by a sudden change in musical stance. It happens all the time and I can think of many who have gone down this road. It really is dependent on the circumstances. To be perfectly honest, the jury is out on this one!
Q: What do you get up to these days outside of music?
I run several different businesses and also have another full-time job of being a dad! I have two children who both take up any free time that I may have.
Q: You’ve had some fantastic gigs so far this year – Plasma Future in Manchester, Like It’s ’99 in Sheffield & Gatecrasher in Birmingham. How were those events for you?
“Plasma Future” was a special gig for me. I had taken a few years out with having another baby and generally felt disillusioned with the current trance scene. It was Easter and what a time to get resurrected! The event sold out weeks in advance and was one of the best gigs that I had done in a long while. This was not because of its size or the club, it was all about the people who came. Just looking at some of the videoclips on Youtube, you could tell that they had grown up with the music and that they had missed it. I played a 3 hour set and really had the time of my life! I am looking at possibly going back there again before the end of the year for something quite momentous.
It was wonderful to make that return to Sheffield for “Like It’s ‘99”. It’s always a joy playing to a great crowd and yes we did party like it was 99!
The “Gatecrasher Birmingham” event was also immense with a dance-floor full of familiar faces at the Mansion. It Rocked !
Q: Your next gig is in Chesterfield at new trance night Send Off’s ‘Summer Fiesta’, what can be expected of your set there?
I have been delving deep and strive to find those outstanding tracks that will reignite forgotten memories, weren’t overplayed and will ultimately blow you away. There is huge variety of quality trance from around the period 1995-2005 and I’m really spoilt for choice! If you enjoy being captivated at the movies, then expect to revisit those feelings as I take on a 3 hour cinematic voyage of trance.
Q: Scott thank-you very much for taking the time to do this interview for Pumped Audio! Is there anything you would like to say to our readers and your supporters?
Thanks to everyone for your continued support, it means so much to me. If you like what you hear, then be sure to check out my upcoming gigs at the Sugarshack Reunion on 24th August, then back at Gatecrasher Birmingham in September & of course This FRIDAY, CHESTERFIELD , 3 HR SET, SEND OFF !!
See you at the front.