Interview: DJ Theo Parrish on playing live footwork tracks with Teddy's Get Down
'Expect fun, expect musicianship, expect to see songs being interpreted in dance. Expect to get down!’
Say hello to the Theo Parrish you’ve never met before. Familiar to audiences in Scotland – where he plays regularly – as a techno innovator of Detroit’s 1990s era and the days when he and the 3 Chairs of Moodymann, Rick Wilhite and Marcellus Pittmann were some of the city’s dominant forces, this will be the first time he’s brought his five-piece live band and their Motor City footwork dance crew to these parts.
‘I started the band to take myself out of my comfort zone and it took me really far out of my comfort zone,’ he ponders (via email – he tends to avoid the phone). ‘A DJ hides behind the selections he makes of pre-recorded material, and it’s easy to forget that at some point a person or group of people created those sounds in unison, in real time. In modern music there’s less of this phenomenon but when you are put into a position of being human in rhythm, in sync with other humans in public, you really get to face how special and how difficult that is.’
Asked what we can expect from a show which features Parrish and Amp Fiddler squaring off on keys alongside a bassist, drummer and electric guitarist, he tells us to ‘expect fun, expect musicianship, expect to hear interpretations of some of my pre-recorded songs and expect to see those songs being interpreted in dance. Expect to get down!’ Will we see this set again? ‘We’ll leave that up to the future. But if people keep asking us back, we’ll be back.’
Art School, Glasgow, Wed 16 Jul.