Mark Eteson is Godskitchen's official resident DJ at Air Nightclub in Birmingham. He's a familiar face in the DJ booth with his supurb warm-up sets, and also the occasional closing set too! He can also be spotted at various Godskitchen tours around the country. At such a young age, he's already had some great career highlights - which include closing Global Gathering in 2006. Mark took some time out to speak to us exclusively about his career and life as a DJ so far! Read on to find out how our interview went....
Carl: You've been resident DJ with Godskitchen for a while now after starting out playing a few closing sets for them before replacing Jon O'Bir as warm-up DJ - how did you become a DJ at Godskitchen - was it through sending demo CD's, or did they approach you after hearing you play elsewhere?
Mark Eteson: My lucky break came with having a push from my management. I remember my first set at Gods was as a fill-in for Remy who had missed his flight, so my agent rang me and asked if I wanted to warm-up for Armin!! Obviously I jumped at the chance, and things went from there. It wasn’t until maybe 6 months later that I became OFFICIAL resident alongside Jon (whom I haven’t replaced as such contrary to popular belief – he still does all the Gods tours, but has other commitments which is why he doesn’t do so many club dates anymore).
Carl: When you started DJ'ing, did you ever imagine that one day you'd be warming up for the likes of Armin van Buuren and Judge Jules and doing a closing set after Tiesto?
Mark Eteson: When I started DJ'ing I was 17, and didn’t think I would be playing in clubs at all!!! I was stood in the crowd at Creamfields with my friends watching John Kelly and one of my friends said to me “one day that’ll be you” and I just laughed. To be actually DJ'ing alongside my idols is an absolute pleasure – but it really still hasn’t dawned on me that I do it!
Carl: You've done both opening and closing sets for Godskitchen - which means you have a vast selection of tunes with you to vary your sets depending on the time you're playing. What would be the style that you play naturally if you had the freedom to play what you like without the restrictions of a time slot - would we hear a "banging" Mark Eteson, or a more progressive and calmer Mark Eteson?
Mark Eteson: In all honesty, you’d probably hear both. I have a massive soft spot for funky progressive stuff, like Chunk and Twist, Jaytech, Andy Moor – and obviously the tougher end of the spectrum too. I think it’s great that the boundaries are becoming blurred once more – I preferred the days where the DJ wasn’t pigeon-holed by the “genre” of music he played, it was just all about dancing and having a good time.
Carl: In such a short space of time, you've had some great career highlights - you're resident DJ for one of the most famous Trance brands in the world, you've played alongside some of the worlds best DJ's, you've played the closing set at Global Gathering, and had tunes you've produced supported by A-list DJ's in clubs and on various radio stations - what has been your best DJ'ing moment so far?
Mark Eteson: Don’t forget – Gods is a dance brand, not just trance! hahahaahaha. My best moments can’t be contained to one single gig - closing Global was obviously a dream come true. Playing at the Zurich Street Parade with a crowd of 1 million Swiss was an incredible achievement. Cruising up the coast of Sweden to Estonia while playing on a cruise ship was unbelievable!! All these things are landmarks for me and I hope that there will be many more to come!
Carl: You're managed by Guy Ornadel - a legendary name in the clubbing world. How did you become associated with Guy Ornadel?
Mark Eteson: By following him around and pestering him non-stop with tapes, mixes, productions and emails. I must have been so annoying!
Carl: Apart from Guy, who would you say are your biggest friends in the industry?
Mark Eteson: I’ve become really close with Jono from Above & Beyond, who I go and stay with in London every now and then for games of poker. We are both into magic tricks as well which is what sparked our friendship off – and incidentally is what made us good friends. You become acquaintances with lots of people in this industry but you can only become really good friends with someone when they share interests outside of your profession.
Carl: Who were your idols when you were learning to DJ? We all have our favourite DJ's, so which DJ's were the ones that you used to admire because of their skills or taste in music?
Mark Eteson: I love PvD’s taste in music, and how he can drop a funky track into his sets and get away with it. I love the way Armin builds a set. I love the aura Tiesto has made himself. I love the way Jules can arrive on stage and before even touching the decks has the crowd going crazy. I admire the way Eddie scratches – as long as he doesn’t do it too much!! I had lots of idols in the industry, I still do – I look to them in order to make me evolve as a DJ and as a Producer.
Carl: Apart from DJ'ing, you've also produced many tunes. Have you got any productions in the pipeline at the moment, or perhaps even an artist album?
Mark Eteson: I have a few productions in the pipeline – I took a good four months off to build my website and Myspace and this has really helped the creative juices get flowing again. It’s tiring and frustrating when as a producer you hit a wall – so time off was exactly what I needed. I now have multiple tracks in progress, most recently a collaboration with Octagen and one where Dan Stone came down to work with me. I am also talking to a vocalist in East London with an incredible voice, hopefully I can work with her in the near future…
Carl: Is there anyone you'd like to produce a tune with, as part of a collaboration, in the future?
Mark Eteson: I always would have wanted to work with Nu NRG, it’s a shame they are no more. Giuseppe Ottaviani would be amazing to work with, Sean Tyas – Ferry in the old days!! There’s loads of people I have respect for and to work with any of them would be a learning curve as well as an opportunity to make a great track. Gabriel and Dresden or Second Sun, both with the same management are also a very real possibility at some point in the future.
Carl: What does the future hold for Mark Eteson both long and short term - any more gigs you can tell us about? Any DJ'ing dates in Ibiza, etc?
Mark Eteson: Short term it contains more gigging, keeping everyone up to date electronically; I’m a massive believer in website, Myspace, graphics – we’re artists/performers now, not just people who spin records – so image is important to keep up to date as well as just tunes. Long term, I would aim to be the best I can, to keep producing until I make an anthem and keep DJing until I headline. I think that’s all any DJ can hope for!
Remember, you can check out Mark Eteson's mixes on a regular basis in our Mix Vault section of the site!