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David Guetta on Bowie, the French Versus the Brits Versus America

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Wednesday, August 6, 2003
"It's good in this club world not to take yourself too seriously. Lots of my pals take themselves far too seriously."

With his pals including most of Paris fashion, music and clubland elite, DJ/ producer David Guetta takes a refreshingly frivolous stance to his own near star status in France and increasingly the world. Currently enjoying a massive clubland hit with his relentlessly repetitive house mix of David Bowie's Heroes, he's both amused and gratified by the reaction it's had.

"I usually make electro or acid but this track was a joke," David told Jonty Skruffff this week.

I happened to be playing Heroes on the CD, made the loop of the line We Can Be Heroes on the CD player and said 'ooh, this is really cool' and just put a rhythm and keyboard underneath it and made a track. It was nothing more than that."

And in time honoured fashion, the record soon after took off.

"I happened to be DJing alongside Daft Punk and Cassius at a festival, I played it, the track really worked on the dance floor and I had about ten DJs coming up to me asking what it was. So I made ten copies and sent it to the big DJs around the world and everybody played it and liked it, then they played it on Radio 1. I then got a phone call from David Bowie's manager at my studio which initially made me think 'is he taking me to jail-' but he said 'David and I really like the track, can you make us a proposal to release it-' I said, 'of course' and we made it. I'm really proud now that they like it and I've got my name alongside David Bowie on a record. It's an honour."

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): We're you a big Bowie fan in the past-

David Guetta: "I've always loved this track, I don't like all of his stuff but that line '(We can be) Heroes, just for one day' is what clubbing is all about. The lyrics are the story of my life and I think of every other clubber's life."

Skrufff: Have you made loads of other bootlegs like this-

David Guetta: "I'm not allowed to say, it's against the law. I'd done a few."

Skrufff: The track is incredibly repetitive, do you see it as having quite a short life span-

David Guetta: "I've been playing it for a while but it's still new to the clubbers, I played it in Ibiza and they went crazy about it. I'm not trying to express anything with this track, it's a joke, it's pure fun and people love it. I'm not claiming I'm a genius with this track, it's for dancing to."

Skrufff: How are you prioritising between making music and DJing-

David Guetta: "As a DJ I usually play on Thursday, Friday and Saturday then I'm in the studio for the rest of the week. To be honest, I don't see DJing or making music as work at all. Being in the studio is pure joy, being a DJ can sometimes be like ecstasy and sometimes like work, it does happen on occasion, but less and less because as I'm getting more famous the gigs are better. It's a great life."

Skrufff: Do you see yourself as an artist, is that a term that means a lot to you-

David Guetta: "Of course, but more so when I make albums. I'm preparing my next album now, in fact. Though when I DJ, describing myself as an artist is too strong a word. There's an artistic element to DJing but being only a DJ isn't enough to make you an artist. It's an artistic job, whereas composing music and writing stories and lyrics is about real creativity."

Skrufff: How much do you feel connected to the electroclash scene-

David Guetta: "It's not my scene but I really like it and when I made Just A Little More Love, it wasn't released in England but it was in France, and it was electro. But I didn't know of the scene when I made it track. Then when I played it to some friends they told me 'You have to listen to Gigolo Records, you'll love their music' so I discovered it after. Yes, it's a very interesting scene, though sometimes a little too cliched, but I really like its freshness and humour. It's good in this club world not