Interview: 10 Questions With DJ & Producer David Tort

GPS | News

Spanish DJ, producer & GPS client David Tort has had significant success in the global electronic music scene with remixes for Kelly Clarkson, Nelly Furtado, David Guetta, Tiësto & Bob Sinclar; residencies at some of the world’s top venues; and original records that have made him a household name in modern club culture. GPS caught up with David between touring to answer our exclusive ’10 Questions’.

1. What’s one of your most memorable live DJ sets/performances?

There are so many. But my Space Miami residency was very special to me. When I first played there, I was supposed to play a 2 hour set but they let me go for 4, the second time I had a 2 hour set again and I landed up playing for 7 – I just couldn’t stop and the crowd kept going. They gave me a residency for 6 years where I was doing 3-5 shows a year. We all became a family, with all the staff working there and the crowd too. I can now I can call it my Miami ‘home’.

2. What’s your go-to side-chain compressor?

Vengeance Multiband Sidechain. In my tracks the foundation is kick and a bass, so I use it a LOT. It’s an amazing plugin and works perfect for my projects.

3. Favorite place to eat in Los Angeles?

There are too many that I love! For breakfast: The Griddle in Hollywood. Best hangover cure: Pho 2000 on Western Ave. And the best way to end the night: the Hot dog stand outside the Avalon at 6am!

4. What’s your favorite recording of all time?

That’s not easy to answer, unless you expecting a list of 100 songs! Because I’m a DJ, I listen more to singles than I do to albums. But these are some albums that are/were very special to me:

– Quincy Jones – Big Band Bossa Nova (1962)
– Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene (1976)
– Kraftwerk – The Man Machine (1978)
– Supertramp – Breakfast in America (1979)
– Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures (1979)
– The B 52’s – Wild Planet (1980)
– Public Enemy – Fear of A Black Planet (1990)
– Peter Murphy – Love Hysteria (1988)
– The Cure – Disintegration (1989)
– Peter Murphy – Deep (1989)
– Nirvana – In Utero (1993)
– The Sisters of Mercy – A Slight Case of Overboombing (1993)
– The Prodigy – Music for the Jilted Generation (1994)
– The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land (1997)
– Placebo – Without you I’m Nothing (1998)
– Placebo – Sleeping With Ghosts (2003)
– Russian Red – I Love Your Glasses (2008)

5. Which do you prefer, performing live or working in the studio?

I can’t live without either! Although they are totally different worlds, they are intrinsically connected. It’s kind of like a singer who writes songs and then goes to perform them live: writing is a process, and playing is expression.

I need to play shows to know what to do in the studio. How the crowd reacts and responds at a show will inform how I produce my next song. Playing live, expressing myself and having a connection with a crowd gives me the ultimate happiness I can experience – and I really mean that.

And then the studio is my sanctuary. I clean it every Monday myself otherwise it does not flow. I’ll get a cup of coffee, take a walk around the neighborhood and then start making music smoothly and relaxed. Making a recording means creating something that will remain forever attached to your name. I don’t tend to work slowly, but I don’t like to rush either. Each piece of music is part of me, a segment in the story of my life.

6. What plugin do you use on every session?

I’ve been working with Logic since the early days, and the native plugins are amazing. I use those all the time, they’re simple and sound excellent. I would say Logic’s EQ gets used on every session for cleaning things up. Outside of that, I often use Waves’ Kramer Tape for my mixes very often.

7. What’s a typical day in the life of David Tort like while on tour?

As my manager always tells me when we’re on the road, his main focus is to keep me alive during the tour! DJ life can be pretty hardcore.

Typically, I enter tour mode one or two days before leaving home. I have music to prepare, baggage, printing itineraries, work visas, and very important stuff I can’t forget to bring. I make sure I leave the fridge full for the family, make sure the dog pills are ready and do anything I can to help my wife Tati – a mom’s life alone without daddy for 3 weeks is not easy.

You don’t know when you will have enough hours in a row to get a full night’s sleep. I will often have to go straight from the airport to the stage, or vice versa, so it’s important for me to be mentally prepared and rested for the first day. I’ve learned to sleep on the plane, take quick naps in the hotel, and rest while I can.

If possible, I always eat and shower before my show. I need to jump on stage super fresh and leave it dirty and sweating – cause than means it was and amazing show!

Then I get back to the room and choose one of the 10 black t-shirts I bring on my hand luggage (I learned the hard way not to check bags on tour). And we roll on to the next show…

8. How do you beat ear fatigue when you’ve been working in the studio all day?

There’s not much to do but wait for the next day! I like to work in a relaxed environment, and often have the TV going on in the background so it’s not all audio frequencies. Having a good environment inside and outside the studio is important. After a long studio session, I go home to relax with my girls. I live in a small town in Barcelona that is very calm, it’s perfect.

9. Who’s your favorite person to work with in Los Angeles?

Honestly? My manager Colin! Dude is a monster and we’re a good team. We became good friends even though we only see each other twice a year in Miami or somewhere on tour. I’m still doing a lot of touring, so I haven’t been doing a huge amount of session work in LA – yet.

10. What are you listening to that you’ve recently enjoyed?

I love the new Jamiroquai album “Automaton”, and just found the Rodrguez albums after watching Searching for Sugar Man – beautiful!

David Tort is managed by GPS Management | Record producer management, mixer management, audio engineer management, songwriter management, artist management, Los Angeles, California.