[Interview] A matter of Choice; A chat with Victor Calderone

[Interview] A matter of Choice; A chat with Victor Calderone

Victor Calderone has been in the underground music scene for over two decades. He is a legend who Atlanta was lucky enough to host last Friday night at Wildpitch Nightclub. After his show, Victor sat down with Bullet and talked about life, love and taking risks. 

How did you like playing in Atlanta?

It was fun. I have to say, I did not know what to expect of the venue (Wildpitch). It was my first time playing there and working with those guys and I really enjoyed it. It felt very underground, it kind of reminded me of some of the underground parties I used to do in Miami in the late 90’s. Good vibes. 

How do you balance your family time with work? 

I’ve been married for about 17 years now and we have a 13-year-old boy, we’ve been together for almost 20 years. My wife is an incredible, happy, amazing woman; my partner in every sense of the word. I travel a lot and it is hard to find a balance. I’ll be honest, it’s not easy to sort of juggle the traveling, the gigs. Then coming home, spending time with my family and also being able to squeeze some studio time in there as well and creative time. 

I have to keep at it because of how much the industry has changed. It’s really become such a full time job, just sorting music and prepping for my sets every weekend. If you don’t prepare, you just prepare to fail. I always make it a point to carve out some time mid week and spend time just going through music. I could easily spend 4-5 days just going through music. It’s tough because after being away for over a weekend, on the road in different countries and sleeping in hotels, all I want to do is come home and spend time with my family. I can’t just do that. It’s a balance and not an easy one. 

What inspires you? 

Traveling inspires me. Being in different countries and seeing different cultures, that definitely inspires me. My family, I get a lot of inspiration from my wife. She inspires me a lot. She’s always been in my corner. She’s never stressed me about what I do, she’s always been the one to push me and to help me as much as she can. 

What does your wife do? 

She has a lifestyle blog now, it’s called Eyeswoon. It started out as just her passion. Before the blog she was doing a lot of interior design work and then on the side she loved to cook and started coming up with her own recipes and she was taking pictures of some of the food she was making and posting them on her IG. Between that and all the interior design posts she was putting up it sort of caught fire for her. She became this sort of New York City taste-maker.  

You’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. Tell me about the changes you’ve seen and how they’ve affected you. 

It’s a really tough answer. The scene is changing so rapidly now. Before you’d have these changes that would happen every 2 to 3 years, now it seems like every 6 months I feel like something is shifting. There is just so much happening now, I feel personally that the scene is becoming way over-saturated. There’s just a little bit too much going on and some people are suffering from it. I’m seeing venues that I’ve worked with for years closing all of a sudden because there’s just so much happening. It’s become tough to have a built in, core audience nowadays. 

Back then, we all wound up at this one specific spot, our sanctuary, our temple. Now it’s random, fragmented. I think everyone is still trying to wrap their head around where it’s going, what’s going to happen next. I’ve always tried to make an effort to embrace and adapt, to not get too comfortable doing the same thing. I always try to keep myself open to change and this seems to help me a lot. 

Like your shift to a darker techno vibe? 

Techno is deep rooted in me, it’s something I’m very familiar with. In the early 90s I was doing really hard techno, I was part of a group “Program Two” back when techno was 140bpm and up. I had these techno roots back then I had my tribal moment where I produced Give It Up, became known as the tribal dj. Then I felt the need to change again and I kept hearing some really good techno, so I decided to go back and start playing more techno. Little did I know I was on the cusp of something that was about to come back in such a big way. 

I think it’s really important for any artist to always keep pushing forward like that and not just get stuck in one thing. 

Should we be looking to see a new sound from you sometime soon? 

Funny you ask {laughs}. I’m feeling one of those moments. Not so much that I want to stop playing techno, but I also love house and deep house. There are a lot of styles of house music that I love. I feel like there has been a lack of soul and a little bit of vocal needs to come back. Melody, I feel like that’s missing. There are some guys out there who have been doing it, Maceo Plex and Scuba, these guys are putting out music right now that’s turning me on. Great vocals, great melody. I’m feeling like I got that itch again to change it up a little bit.

How is MATTER+ coming? 

It’s a slow build. I wanted to launch a new brand that would represent me personally and musically. It would represent my overall sound, where I am right now. I felt like I needed another outlet for the music, for the techno, the darker stuff that I was producing. I also wanted to launch a new night in New York City. Evolve was my brand for many years. I felt like it was time to change. I got the MATTER+ brand to represent this new chapter. We launched MATTER+ last year and got some great feedback. I just want to be really careful to not burn it out and overdo it. I want to make sure that wherever I place the MATTER+ brand in a venue I want to make sure it’s the proper fit. 

Check out MATTER+ Beach at Governor's Island on 7/16 and stay on the lookout for new music, coming soon.

 
 
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