Fleming on genres, naming, and energy levels
In 2020, John 00 Fleming gave an interview with the Finish More Music YouTube channel, and I wrote out some interesting parts from it.
On stepping away from genres
What I’ve learned recently is to step away from genres because if you get tied up in a genre, there’s a thing that you had to be part of it. Stepping away from any genre gives you more freedom and it allows you to venture into different [musical] worlds and not being tarnished from the Internet people, like I was associated with Trance, for example. They expect me to play Trance but where Trance was originally in the underground world it’s very mainstream now and then you just letting Trance people down because I think I’m playing Trance and they call it something else. It just adds these layers and layers of confusion. So step away from it, people accept it plus they’re discovering new music by accident, so it opens you up to more audiences.
On renaming Global Trance Grooves to JOOF Radio
My old show was called Global Trance Grooves, I think it was 17 years old when I let it go. I should’ve let it go years before but I wanted to get Edition 200, it was so special to me. And it was like this switch from when the name change, the next month we saw the plays fly up, we saw it on DI.FM, on Soundcloud, Insomniac Radio came in straight away and took it on board which is a really big deal.
Go and ask 16-year old kids, what is Trance to them. Even if you click through the Beatport 100 top-selling Trance tracks, that’s their introduction to Trance music and it’s predominately very powerful, uplifting, vocal, big arpeggiators, 138 BPM and it’s that sound, whereas I remember and you probably remember Trance for something completely different years ago. So by letting go off that, this is a generational shift, the sound evolved to what this sound is now, a big euphoric main room festival sound. Whereas Progressive House for example reminds me what Trance used to be, the Progressive Trance great days, Hooj Choons, Platipus, that stuff. So having the word ‘Trance’ was confusing. The old generation got it, singing appraisers for me ‘Yay John’s hanging onto that true spirit’, but the next generation would confuse, so I was losing the next generation. They’d see the word ‘Trance’ in a radio show and not even click through it just presuming it’ll be that vocal epic kind of sound. So just that simple realignment, getting rid of that genre tag, it just opened the doors.
On energy levels
Some of the DJs just want to start off with an impact, but if the energy is up here an hour or half an hour in, where do you go from there? You’re already there, so then it seems to go flat. If you’ve just been punch-punch-punch for an hour, that impact of that high energy does wear off. That’s why to me it’s like a journey, like watching a movie: if there’s a massive manic car chase scene with gunshots and everything going for an hour, you just lose interest in the film. It has to be broken up, so when the chase comes you’re like ‘Wow, I wasn’t expecting that!’, so you’ve impacted with the energy again.
There is a lot more on the studio sessions and music industry, so definitely watch the whole interview.
Read also Q&A with John 00 Fleming and Tim Penner.