He's one of my closest friends and favorite DJs, so I'm just as gutted as you are that Jesse Rose is stepping back from the decks after his final shows this fall. True to form, though, he's going out big, the Thanks For Stopping By Tour has made over 100 stops, and Alright, Mate, his last album, now has two remix EPs to accompany it. To celebrate Jesse and everything he's accomplished, I remixed his track "Believe"... and sent him a bunch of questions to answer for this site.
Check out my "Believe" remix while you read the interview with Jesse below, and download/stream it here.
Dear Jesse, why are you retiring from DJing? (We will miss you!)
I took the first three-week holiday of my life in September 2016 and went to a tiny island in Greece, turned off my phone and had a lot of time to think. It came to me that I’d surpassed the dreams I’d had as a teenager, which were to have the artists and DJs I love playing my records, travel the world and play the best clubs and festivals for my music. It was both a supremely happy moment of reflection but also a little sad.
For me, life is always about tackling new adventures, like when I moved from London to Berlin or Berlin to Los Angles. I realized that as much as I absolutely love DJing, touring, making records, remixing and Play It Down, I needed to push myself and do something new. I had no idea what that was and it felt exciting, almost the same as being a kid with this big dream of DJing and making records when I was 14. As soon as I left the island, I called my agents and said, "Look, I’m going to stop but let's put a final tour together and in a way celebrate the last 20 years," which have been the best years anyone could ask for.
What's next then?
That’s a really good question. I’ve been super busy touring this year, finishing my last album, sorting out the final releases on Play It Down before the label takes a long break but it will for sure be something creative. I really want to do something where it’s about helping others and [where] the focus is not on myself.
How on earth did you get me to do this "Believe" remix when I wasn't doing any remixes?
Well, you being one of my best mates and the fact I was staying at your house made it easier to get you to do the remix. I also used some Larry David Jewish-ninja techniques. I love it when you start with, "No, 100% I have no time, I def can’t do it", and then I say, "Well, I'll just leave you the stems [and] see what happens", remind you it’s my last album, remind you of the good times and leave it like that. Presto. Remix done. [Jesse: 1, me: 0. –CVS.]
Any insight you can give us from almost 20 years of touring all over the world at every kind of party?
It’s all about preparation. Like a solider going to war, you never know 100% whats you're going into, so be ready and then DJing can just be the really fun part of your life.
Did you have fun at Campout?
I’m not saying this because we’re friends and, as I’m retiring, I’m not saying this to get booked again: every time I play it’s the most enjoyable festival set of the year. The crowd is amazing, everything is done really well. RESPECT!
What's up with this fashionista ZANEROBE collab? The clothes are dope, I wish they came in a 2XL! (Also, where can people get them?)
It was a super surprise when they asked me if I wanted to do a collaboration and not only that but a capsule collection. I had a great time going to their head office in Sydney and working on the collection. We ended up making a reversible bomber jacket, tee, hoodie, cap and tote. It all comes out via the ZANEROBE stores and website in November! The bomber comes one size larger, so I’m pretty sure you can get into the XL my bud!
We wish you all the best moving forward, buddy. Can't wait 'til you get back to LA to hang out. Anything else you want to say, go for it!
I’m looking forward to spending the whole weekend at Campout next year, that I can’t wait for. I want to say thank you to all the fans that have made this last tour beyond amazing and to all the DIRTYBIRD FANS AND FAMILY, YOU ARE THE BEST! x