Gene Farris returning to play House Proud V.6 (INTERVIEW)
Farris a former Minneapolis resident, a Chicago house music mainstay, and founder and CEO of Farris Wheel Recordings, which was recently named in the top 20 of underground house labels.
Gene says he can't wait to get back to his home away from home, so we talked to him today about house, favorite local haunts, and what Minneapolis was like when he lived here.
Tell me about your history with Minneapolis -- when did you live here? What was the house scene like back then?
I have a lot of history with MPLS. I lived there for almost three years back in the mid late 90's and I have a lot of friends there. Monte Hilleman and Jason Gilhoi were my old roomates. We had some fun parties in that house near the Egg and I -- great breakfast back then. The house scene back then in MPLS wasn't. Everyone at the time in MPLS was all about techno. Woody McBride was holding down strong back then and is still is doing his thing -- I love Woody.
What were some of your favorite parties back then?
Some of my favorite parties back then were some of the ones we did on our own. I was one of the first people to bring Green Velvet to Minneapolis way back in the day. He ended up coming back and partying at me and Monte's! We also brought out Derrick Carter and Mark Farina a few times back then plus some of my other Chicago friends. Jerome Baker my best friend and an amazing techno producer ended up living there and staying for almost a decade because we had such great times in Mpls. I DJed at First Ave., South Beach, tons of raves for Woody. We actually did a couple of parties together and the "Gathering" crew, Cat and the Hat and those guys...great, great times:)
What do you like to do when you're here besides DJ?
I have to first visit my friends, then I have to go Manny's Steak House! A Must! Then we used to go to this cool pool hall back in the day called City Billiards and chill shot some pool and have some Summit.
Give us an update on Farris Wheel and how it's doing, and what projects you're working on currently.
Farris Wheel Recordings is doing very well at the moment -- we were just voted in the top 20 underground house labels in North America, so that's kinda cool:) We just signed Wally Callerio, Sonny Fodera, Stacy Kidd, Gramophonize, Doc Link, Cajmere and Giano all doing EPs or remixes or both all this year. Plus myself and a host of other artists will do over 20 releases this year, so it's looking to be a great one again. Last year for us was the best ever, so thanks for supporting us:)
The other day, I heard a 14 year old call Deadmau5 and Wolfgang Gartner "house music". The people on Jersey Shore think "house music" is David Guetta all day. What do you think of this clubby music and how does it relate to the type you play, if at all?
Great question. Well honestly, after living in Amsterdam for 4 years and then moving back to Chicago, I've definitely see the European influence on the commercial house scene. But I think a lot of us are taking it too personal and almost being "House Nazis". Take commercial hip-hop for instance -- artists like Drake, Little Wayne, and Jay-Z. Then there is the real shit like Little Brother, Talib Kweli, and Dilla... The point is, the masses never get it, so don't get down or discouraged - we should actually be happy that we have something cool, fun and beautiful that's all our own. I mean, would you really want the Kardashians at our party?
What makes you "house proud"?
What makes me House Proud is the constant reinvention we do in our music genre. There is so many different beautiful styles of House, and that makes me proud to be a part of something so special.
Gene Farris is playing HOUSE PROUD V.6 at Honey on April 6, 2012 with Monte Hilleman, Bryan Gerrard. $8. 21+.
Stay tuned to Gimme Noise, as we'll have a ticket giveaway as the date nears!