A Sit Down With DJ Le Castle Vania
Although his tracks will leave you dancing all night long, Dylan Eiland, better known by his stage name Le Castle Vania, is one of the most down to earth people you will ever meet. Originally from Atlanta, the DJ/producer/label owner started off his music career by playing warehouse parties at the young age of 16. Fast forward to 2015 and Le Castle Vania is now internationally known for his high energy electronic music with a punk-rock twist. Having played countless shows and some of the worlds biggest music festivals such as EDC and Ultra, the future looks nothing but bright for Le Castle Vania, and were excited to see what else he has up his sleeve.
"A lot of artists start trying to sound like the genre that theyre within because theyre trying to make music that will be played by other DJs and I dont really give a fuck about that."
Can you tell us how your passion for DJing started?
I started DJing when I was 16 because I was too young to go to clubs. I wanted to see bigger DJs. So I decided like Oh, if I start DJing now, I can go to clubs and thats cool! I was into Dance music and stuffs like that. Thats how I started and it kept growing.
We know that you listen to a lot of different types of music and your music is still very unique to you, but how would you classify it? How would you define your sound?
Well, I would say its Le Castle Vania. If I were to describe the sound to someone, I wouldnt use a cliché term like Oh, its electro house, I would just say its electronic music thats heavily influenced by rock sounds. A song like The Light has a lot of disco influence whereas a song like Nobody Gets Out Alive is basically a rock song written with synths. Id say it kind of depends on the song, but there are flavors of indie, disco and electro.
What equipment did you start off with, and what are you using now?
When I very first started DJing, I learned on vinyl and turntables and from there went to CDJs and from there went back to turntables but using Seratp. The reason I quit using turntables was because in doing that, youre lugging records around everywhere, and going on tour like that is a nightmare. I like the aesthetic of turntables and Ive always liked the feel, because thats what I learned on, so I started using Serato, which is great because all your songs are contained on the laptop but you still have that old-school feel and control of vinyl. The problem with vinyl is that my shows get really crazy, with me jumping around all over the place, and the tables get bumped, and its literally a needle on the record, so we had to go back to CDJs, but I use that in conjunction with Serato now.
Youve gotten support in the past from big names of dance, including deadmau5 and Kaskade. Have those relationships opened up any doors career-wise?
Oh yeah, of course. I cant really point to any one instance where I can say specifically something happened because one of those guys backed me or threw me a nod; its more of just a general thing that can help to lead to other opportunities. Im super thankful for that sort of support from them and the other artists who have supported me. It really means more to me than I can put into words. One, because their support has been a huge help to my career, but also because I have a lot of respect for those guys as artist. Of course, getting a little respect from guys you look up to always feels really good.
What influences your music?
I take influence from all different kind of music, mainly the fusion of rock and dance music. I always grew up liking the aggressive sound like rock but also enjoy the sound of electronic and dance music.
You went from being this underground Atlanta DJ to a world-renowned electronic artist. But you are so much more than just an artist, I mean, your resume is just hell of impressive! You are a producer, a massive producer I might add, you are an engineer, an avid songwriter and if all of that wasnt enough, you have your own label. You are one busy musician! Talk to us about the decision to start your own label, your inspiration for doing it, and where you hope to take it in the next few years?
Yeah, absolutely. So one, I wanted a place to released my own music that I could control when it came out and stuff like that. And two, a place to release homies music to help them gain exposure. I feel very, very fortunate to do what I do and honestly I never dreamed I would have this life and be able to make music and make a living and I feel really lucky and blessed to have that. Part of the intention is to share that with other creative people. So when I first started it, I released my music and a few homies music and now, I have found two acts I really enjoy that are my focus, though I am open and looking for other acts. Im not trying to just pump music into the market, I feel there are a lot of electronic labels, actually most, that just in my opinion pump music out there because electronic music is hot right now, put out a release every week because someone will buy it, which is kind of the model for a lot of those labels without a lot of quality control. For me, Always Never is the complete opposite of that, I only want to release music that I am feeling. When you listen to my new EP Feels Like Fire you can probably pick up on how, songwriting has moved to the forefront of my interests rather than just production, I feel i have really come a long way with production. I feel I have, I dont want to sound cocky, but I have mastered that trade, I can make things sound however I want them to sound. I feel confident that I have come a long way in that trade. So I have become more and more passionate about song writing and the art around creating songs, not just a beat for the clubs. That is kind of a trait I look for in acts I look to sign to my label, song writing talent, not just cool drops and what not, there are a lot of labels that already do that. If you listen to acts on my label like Crywolf or SLDGHMR, they are making songs, with vocals and musical progression that works like a full song. Not to say it is better work, there is no better or worse in music to me, I think it is all subjective to the listener. But that is a trait I am interested in finding when I look for acts for my label.
How do you balance running your label Always Never with constantly being on tour?
I mean, for me the label is just for fun. Im just putting out my friends tracks and my own tracks when it fits. Maybe down the road things might get bigger, but for now its just putting out cool music from cool people. Its not really a burden or a drag to do because its fun, you know?
You might have said this earlier but if you could play anywhere in the world, where would you play?
I would play in Antarctica because thats the only continent I have not played on. But some of my favorite places, I love to play in Australia I have a really fun time there and South Africa was one of the most amazing places I have been. Then also Bali, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
What's been the most killer party you've ever played?
I would have to say the craziest event i have ever played was The Electric Daisy Festival in Los Angeles California because it is the largest electronic music festival in the US they had something like 73,000 ppl there in one day and they were all going wild and partying! there was just so much energy to feed off of!
How does Warped Tour compare to a normal EDM tour and/or show?
Oh its completely different. On so many levels, very different. Ive played EDC twice and on those kinds of Insomniac events, they take care of you. On Warped Tour, you fend for yourself, its a mission out here. But at the same time Im self sustainable and not a princess artist. Its a different experience, but Im still having a good time and lots of fun!
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