STEVE LAWLER: “DRUGS IN THE BLACK MARKET ONLY MAKES IT WORSE”
Steve Lawler is to electronic music what Leonardo DiCaprio is to movies. Only that the first one has, instead of one, the equivalent to five Academy Awards in electronic music, known by the specialized world as the DJ Awards. He’s also the founder of the label ViVa MuSiC and has toured the globe with his amazing parties named VIVa Warriors. He has been the resident DJ at uncountable night clubs, most of them based on the iconic Ibiza, the incredible Spanish island best known for its electronic parties. Last Saturday 22th of December, Lawler went crazy: first show from 6 to 8 in the morning, in Sao Pablo; then off to a plane and a quick nap in Buenos Aires, another DJ at PM Open Air, a venue by the river, from 20 to 23; and a last presentation from 3 to 8 am at The Bow club. Back home, after such an odyssey and some touching messages to their fans, Steve took some time to give us a deeply honest testimonial, addressing some sensitive issues.
SPE: You said on your Instagram account that Argentina is your home, your family. Why is that? What do Argentinians have that makes them such a perfect audience? In what sense are we different from other crowds?
Steve Lawler: I honestly don’t know why I feel so close to Argentinian people, but I do. Right from my very first ever gig in Argentina which was around 20 years ago. The people of Argentina know music, understand quality, they feel music with their heart. And honestly not everywhere is like this, in some countries people just go out to get wasted and don’t even care about the music. Argentinian people love music. Yes they party, but music is the main pull for the people of Argentina, no room for fakers. It's hands down my favourite country in the world to play in. And one million percent the best crowd in the world.
SPE: Could you describe the vibe, the feeling you had playing in Buenos Aires?
SL: It’s like I'm playing to a house party of all my friends, people who I know love the same music as me, people who are just like me. I feel a connection with the crowd in Argentina like nowhere else in the world. I am very passionate about music, I love the feeling of being lost in the sounds, the builds, the drops, the darkness, and the light… and I know the people of Argentina come on the ride with me, side by side.
SPE: Besides playing, what did you enjoy the most from the city?
SL: I have been to Argentina many times, I love the heart of the city. I think the people of Argentina has to endure a lot of bullshit from their government, but I see Argentina’s people as strong and resilient. So honestly my favourite thing about Argentina is the people! Oh… and the meat!
SPE: In a deep interview with the members of Soulwax / 2manydjs we spoke about an electronic music festival in Buenos Aires where people died, and which led us to the link between drugs and music, specially electronic music. Could you comment on that?
SL: Yes I will comment on this. It's so sad to see, it's the worst thing in the world to lose loved ones, so my heart just goes out to the family and friends of the victims. I see this same problem with drugs anywhere in the world. The problem isn’t the fact that people want to enjoy themselves. The problem is that we are not doing enough to make it safe. There should be drug testing equipment, there should be regulations. Because all that matters is the safety of people. We are not going to stop people taking drugs ever. It's not going to happen. So we need to focus on things we can do to ensure people’s safety and comfort. I am a father of two gorgeous girls and honestly all I care about for them when they grow up is their safety. I would prefer drugs to be legalised in some way so it can be regulated, clean and safe. And if anything should be wrong all the info would be there to act on. Drugs being in the black market only makes it worse, unclean and unsafe. I will tell my children when they grow up if they want to try drugs then I want them to be safe, I don't want them thinking they can’t come to me for help. This is the way to be about the culture of growing up. We need to be here for them! Not make them feel it’s bad, that is wrong. Safety is the only concern.