I was asked to trace my career thus far with popular Hungarian radio station Rise FM. Check out the grilling Peter Orban gave me here!
RiseFM: Hi Dan! How are you? What are you up to these days?
Dan Carter: Hi guys, I am bloody knackered. There are not enough hours in the day but I think I am making the most of them. The last couple of months have seen the blogging take a temporary back seat whilst I engage in a flood of professional writing and press consultation for some truly incredible artists – some of whom are responsible for me even having donned a single ‘carefully’ placed word to Electronic music. It has been a real thrill to see that side of it while keeping on track with my Swedish brothers at BMD, but given that I am now clocking three jobs and averaging 19 hour working days, I can promise I am not getting lazy just yet.
RiseFM: Let’s talk about the beginning. How did your career start?
Dan Carter: My whole life I wanted to be a newspaper reporter. I worked for free at newspapers for months of the summer, studied journalism at university and even did the national qualifications afterwards. By the time I emerged competantly trained, the industry had gone to shit and I struggled to maintain any positivity towards the industry as a whole. I was blessed with supportive parents and a mentor by the name of Don Johnson who taught me some lessons in journalistic integrity and grammatical aptitude that transcended the newspaper industry, so no round up of my career thus far would be sufficient without mentioning them because I blame them wholeheartedly for so much of the positivity. My first spot of music journalism was at the age of 14 for Kerrang Magazine – a heavy metal publication to which I offered an assorted bunch of cliches and some witty one liners. From here, I kept getting lucky with the people I met and the opportunities I received and by the time I was in university I had worked alongside some really great national and regional newspapers. The Dance music side of my career unfolded in the early stages of 2010. I had been toying with the idea of a UK based House music blog for so long because as my appetite for the genre had grown, I was finding less and less good resources for information. I liked the mass appeal DJ Mag and Mixmag brought to the equation, but could never relate to the way in which they expressed this amazing music that was doing the rounds. One day I was stranded on the Maldivian island of Kuramathi with £50 of music off Beatport, a lot of time to kill and a challenge from one of my mates to practice what I preached. The beginning wasn’t glorious but it caught some pretty notable attention and before I knew it people like Roger Sanchez and Max Vangeli had caught on to what I was doing. Roger Sanchez was the first interview I ever did and two years down the line he described me as an essential insight into the industry, so naturally I am thrilled – if not little shocked – to have seen so many doors open to me and my words.
RiseFM: You are writing for one of the biggest EDM blogs Beat My Day, how did you get involved?
Dan Carter: Beat My Day were always on my radar because I felt like they were in the game for the exact same reason as I was. Keeping in mind that when I started, the competition was pretty slim and Beat My Day had succesfully stood the test of time without selling their souls. I admired that approach and as a result when industry peer and producer Nathan C forwarded me an advert for writing staff the guys had posted, I figured I would see what the score was. I immediately gelled with the guys and really dug the organic nature of the blog – there were no fashion statements or pretentious editorial leads – just good fucking music and a passion for getting it out there first. We tested the waters, the fans showed a lot of love for it and before I knew it I was a part of the furniture for them. The guys have really invested a lot of enthusiasm and support in my work and that means a lot given all the negativity that is currently surrounding our industry generally. I am honoured to have been a part of the blog.
RiseFM: Besides Beat My Day, you are managing your own site The House Dan Built, what can you tell us about that project?
Dan Carter: The House Dan Built is home to just a host of the 145 and counting artist interviews I have conducted during my time in the industry. It is more a personal imprint than a brand of global clubbing and lifestyle, but to that extent I feel like it has been the ’everyman’s House blog’ in the sense that the concept has never over faced itself. It has always been me, my words, seven years of various journalistic experience and the abillity to get what I want when I need it. This has been where my style and artist repetoire have developed over the years and it has always held a special place in my heart. We are going to keep plugging at it and developing the concept as far possible and just remain proud that the world has allowed for me to continue doing something I adore. It has been an amazing two years and I hope to see in many more.
RiseFM: What do you think about the current situation in the EDM scene?
Dan Carter: I hate the term EDM, but at the same time it is sometimes the most effective method of categorising the current hysteria. To my mind, musical indifference has dominated the realms of music since the days of Beethoven, the difference being back then they were talking about it at dinner parties and commiting it to scrolls. The internet has made it such a bigger arena for discussion and I think the anonymous nature of online communication dumbs the discourse surrounding the industry down considerably. That being said, to my mind the current state of Electronic music is a beautiful thing. I never imagined that what was once a geek-like subculture of club music would seep through to popular music. We may not have needed the mainstream accolades, but pop music needed a dynamic facelift given the soulless reality talent show infatuation that has certainly swept the industry in the UK, so in that sense I think the timing was perfect. When I started writing about Dance music the industry was dying on its knees – no one could sell records, clubs were rarely full and there was generally a lack of morale surrounding the scene. I now see people turning it into a working market of (mainly) creative integrity and universal stamina. Yes, there are always going to be a few who try and slip onto the radar for the wrong reasons, but that is just the way life works and the more attention we pay to them, the less likely they are to disappear anytime soon. What really grinds at me is the sole focus on negativity and agressions towards movements and artists who are simply exercising their moral and industrious rights to move onwards and upwards. We live in an age where someones’ best kept secret can become their biggest let down in a matter of days at the hands of mainstream success. The industry doesn’t need politics – it needs passion and the most important thing Dance music requires is that people continue to put that passion into positive industry progressions rather than negative swells of hate for people. As my recent argument with a tool from the Wall Street Journal aptly sumarised – I hold no room or patience for relentless and unnecessary negativity in the public sphere. I got into Dance music because whatever the mood or circumstances that surrounded me it was that consistent dose of uplifting energy that transcended any mere emotional deficit. If people want to cheapen that feeling with coarse energy then I can’t stop them, but America will be America, mainstream Dance music will be mainstream Dance music and I will continue to enhance the positive manouvers they both make while keeping a steady pulse on the industry amid this beautiful renaissance that has given so much relevance to my career. I am proud to say i witnessed it explode first hand and I hope it will last!
RiseFM: What are your plans for the future? What do you hope to achieve?
Dan Carter: This initial run has been a crazy slew of emotions, progressions and trials for me and my closest peers. What I will continue to swear by is the relevance bloggers hold within the modern music industry, the quality to which the craft should swear by and the integrity that I hope every ’journalist’ will engage in given the opportunity to do so. For the time being I am going to serve this industry as much as it will allow me because between the trials, it is something that has kept me high on life for some time now and I hope to maintain that ecstatic stamina for years to come. I am in the process of writing a book , which I cannot say too much about, except that with the right execution it will either make or break me as a writer. On top of this, there is talk of a radio show emerging from THDB and a whole new concept in artist interviews which I shall be piloting in the later parts of 2012. You will see me at the closing parties in Ibiza, Amsterdam Dance Event in October and with any luck I will make it out to Hungary soon and celebrate all the positive noise that is coming from ever there. I should take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for publications like yourselves and anyone who has given me or my writing just a second of their days. Without people who believe the words I am writing, the last few years would have meant nothing. What do I want to achieve? I want to die knowing full well that not an ounce of passion was wasted and that every opportunity was seized to the full advantage. Thanks for having me guys!