Interview: Gareth Emery Takes a ‘Drive’ Across America to Fuel New Album
By Scott T. Sterling
Early last year, British EDM DJ/producer Gareth Emery was a newlywed about to move across the Atlantic to America, where he was primed to set up shop in Los Angeles to work on a new studio album. The couple chose to make the trip in decidedly American fashion.
“We decided to fly to New York and then drive to L.A. to kind of experience Route 66, old ghost towns, proper Americana. It was an amazing experience,” Emery explained during an interview with Radio.com. “We don’t have those sorts of roads in Europe, where everything is much more condensed. So just seeing these hundreds of miles of empty space where you’re the only car on the road, these burned-out motels and stuff, for me it was kind of inspirational.”
The cross-country trek inspired Emery to create Drive, a 12-track album that aims to capture the feeling of exploring a new world from behind the wheel, taking the highways and byways of America in an up close and personal fashion.
“Whilst on that trip I was like, I want to make the perfect record for doing this drive, what I would’ve liked to have been listening to,” Emery said. “It’s nice when a record is an extension of where you are as a person as well as where you are musically. I took the imagery of that whole trip and wrapped the album in it.”
During our time with Emery, he was affable and engaging, eagerly discussing the making of Drive, including the album’s first single, “You,” featuring the vocals of Bo Bruce, how he came to work with his sister on a clutch of songs, as well as a collaboration with Chicago EDM upstarts, Krewella.
“What I wanted to do with this record was…I wanted it to be as timeless as possible,” Emery explained. “My last album, Northern Lights, came out in 2010, and it’s kind of cool for me to see that people still listen to it. When you get involved in trends, it’s cool for singles, but trends get old fast.
“With dubstep or trap or whatever, it’s great at the time, but two years later when the trend has moved on, everybody’s into something else,” he continued. “Basically, those records get old fast. If you’re writing songs, rather than pandering to trends, your music is much more timeless, and people will be listening to it five, 10, 15 years after you’ve done it.”
Watch the complete interview with Emery above.
Emery is set to launch the North American leg of the Drive tour in June, kicking things off in Denver, CO, on June 5.