DJ Sneak Talks Back To Back With Essential Ibiza

Words: Lena Kotchetkova

Sneak is one of the house scene’s true characters, never afraid to speak his mind, always willing to call out the pretenders and with a talent and ability to walk the walk as well as talk the talk he adds colour to a sometimes grey landscape. Ibiza has been close to his heart from the moment he discovered the Balearic island and he now spends all summer here with his family and friends. This year he has been mixing it at the grill as well as in the booth, inviting DJs and friends to join his family at a series of BBQs spreading love and community through giant plates of amazing food!

Musically it has been another great season for Sneak, with most of the venues on the island inviting him to play, we were most intrigued by the back to back to back concept that he delivers with long term friends and mentors Derrick Carter and Mark Farina. We had the pleasure of catching the three amigos in a recent Pacha Insane performance and were keen to find out more about the concept. Lene Kocketkova caught up with Sneak and got his usual open and honest replies. Sneak, Derrick Carter and Mark Farina return to Pacha on Friday August 30 and October 4 for the last back to back to back of the season.

This summer you play in every single club in Ibiza. Was it a goal that you tried to achieve deliberately? Wouldn’t you prefer to start your own club night in Ibiza and play there exclusively?

I love the fact that I can share my music in all clubs and nights; it’s called playing the field while rounding up troops. Not to many DJs get to do this as they belong to a certain team, which keeps them limited to what they can do. Exclusivity equals ownership and we Gangsters do it our way. I know one day we’ll have our own night but it’ll be when the time is right, on our own terms, until then I am enjoying the variety and fun of playing the field.

You and Mark and Derrick have long been friends, sometimes housemates. Tell us please how you used to spend your time together back then? How did you get to know each other?

Derrick and Mark lived together for a while and have known each other way before I ran into them at some loft party where they flipped me around onto the underground business. We all had, and still have, one big thing in common, love for house music and the skill and the art of DJing. We started with the basics and have all grown from there, independently but still very much connected. We lived in Chicago and it was our playground, we often enjoyed the private loft parties, basement and warehouse parties, it was these places and experiences that helped create and develop our unique styles. We also spent a lot of time in records stores searching for the best records, sharing tips, info and tunes. In short we were at the right place at the right time enjoying the schooling days in the city.

What do your b2b2b sets means for you? Is it a friendly competition, like who can dig out the rarest tracks? Is it a chance to make a step away from your usual repertoire and be more eclectic? Or is it just a way to have fun?

For us, it’s a great opportunity to share each other’s time while we get down on the decks. It’s always a pleasure to see my brothers and mentors, there is no competition among us cause we all know what level we can get to and we all have a lot of respect for each other. I’m not going to lie, sometimes there is a sense of trying to bring each other up a bit, we know each other so well and know how to challenge each other, it makes it fun to add a bit of challenge so we don’t sound the same. I often say that we’re just like jam session musicians that get together to create magic with our skills. We are live, no laptops, no sync, no ping-pong crap, no pre-planning, we do it in a way that many cannot simply because of lack of skills. Really no one can compare our team to anything else out there, we are RAW, we live on the edge and our mistakes often become strokes of a masterpiece.

Are you planning to record one of your b2b2b sets and release it on CD?

Everything is possible, I would personally like to see that happen because it would be a great gift to our fans plus new fans that may run into it. Unfortunately most labels that are left over want the ‘TREND’ not the real business. Maybe we’ll just soundcloud it for our fans, no BS.

Honestly, what do you think of Ibiza 2013? Is it the clubbing capital of the world, a sold-out commercial resort, a magic island, or…? What do you like and don’t like about it?

I personally think that even though things have been getting better with highways, better airport, a variety of new hotels which have created a balanced market for the consumers, the SOUL of the island has suffered with these watered down events, nights with no meaning or concept and the constant grab for cash that is felt in almost every spot you go. I’ve witnessing a lot of changes that are also damaging the essence of what Ibiza used to be, but in saying that, there are still a lot of places on this island that are pure magic. The island still holds a lot of incredible spots and vibes. I was able to be a part of this place since the early nineties and have lovely memories of the Ibiza magic. Times are changing and change is inevitable, we just have to roll with the punches, make the best of it and hope that the SOUL comes back to claim its roots. I have faith; I love this island and know she loves me, that’s all that really matters to me.

We know that you are staying in Ibiza all summer long. What are your favourite places to visit when you have some free time?

I do love to enjoy a fine dinner but because of the family and kids we often cook our own meals and prepare our own BBQ’s. It really is the best way to eat. For beaches, there are to many to mention and I’d rather not say my top secret spots cause I don’t want to be bothered by people while enjoying time with my family, which it’s the most important thing to me. Parties, I have been looking around and supporting some nights and day parties but nothing has really wowed me at all this year, it seems like half done, not very well planned and very rushed in many ways. I believe the good parties are yet to show up, I know there will be a real take over and the MEDIUM stuff will get pushed aside. Real concept parties with feelings, visuals, and some sort of interaction with the fans is what needs to happen. I know there is still a lot of change to come.

Are you doing barbecue DJ battles this season, like the one you took part in last summer at DC10?

There are NO real competitors here. I smashed the supposed best last year; you were all there to witness it. I’d rather do BBQs this year that are about getting the DJs and families together in a good place with great environments, not in a dirty after hours. Our BBQs are about love, respect, being grown up and doing grown up hanging sessions. No more battles just plain family events.

You are famous for being very outspoken and never hesitating to call a spade a spade. But have you ever regretted offending someone publicly? Did it ever happen so that you bullied someone and then changed your mind but it was already too late?

Ha-ha! Me? A bully? Please! I just don’t play that hypocritical side of things, there is a real problem these days in society overall, to many lying ass wan***s and fakers, plastic people, over sensitive people who often flock together because they are insecure about their looks, their status of VIP, their lack of skills as DJs. No, I do not regret anything or anybody I have CALLED OUT for their bullshit, if I see some fake bullshit I will speak on it cause being politically correct is a damn epidemic of self righteous insecure morons. Egos are to be squashed if you can’t walk the walk. I live by my word – I’ll die before I turn into everybody else. If I offend you it’s cause no one wants to hear their truth but some illusion of what they think they are. Never mind the bullocks mate!

There I said it, think on it…


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