Artist InterviewsInterviews

Chuck Daniels

This is Chuck Daniels‘ fourth Movement, and he’s also from Detroit. We caught up for a few minutes on the grounds while at the festival and talked about his transitions from mainstream to the underground, crossover between scenes, and how he got involved with Paxahau.


It must be special, playing such a huge festival in your own place. How did you first get hooked up with the festival?
I’ve been throwing parties since the early ‘90s, probably right before Paxahau started. I’ve been friends with those guys, Sam Fotias, Chuck Flask, and Jason Huvaereso. I’ve known them for many years from back in the day; they’ve been coming to my parties and that’s how we all met.  


Did you attend Movement before you started playing it?
Absolutely. I’ve been doing parties every year at the festival since before day one when Paxahau took it over.



How would you say Movement has changed since then?
It started off as a free festival, which obviously throwing a free festival in a major city is very difficult. Every year it gets better and better… the production, the stages, the talent. This year, I think, has probably been the best year so far. They really do a good job at keeping things very Detroit underground; they definitely book bigger acts like Skrillex and Boys Noize, but it’s really focused on the true techno and house we grew up on, the roots.


I was reading a 6AM article earlier where you were talking about getting started playing school dances and bar matzvahs. How did you go from that to what you do now? It’s so different.
It’s really simple. I got so sick of playing mainstream music. I’m a person who likes new and interesting things. When you play school dancers and cheesy parties, it’s the same music every time. I like to try to play new stuff people and I haven’t heard. I was already shopping in record stores and playing vinyl and naturally transitioned to playing house music and booty music and techno music and at some point, I owned a company with my  partner – which he still owns – and slowly transitioned into playing raves and more underground  events, and even mainstream events and incorporating house music into it. Back in the ‘90s, pop music was amazing. We had artists like KLF and Robin S.


Do you see crossover between the mainstream and underground events you play?
I would say the crowds are pretty different. There’s always going to be crossover. For me, it’s about getting people out into the scene and the city experiencing nightlife. Those people slowly find the more underground parties and go there. One of my friends does a lot of the big dubstep parties and I go every so often and I see the crowd coming to some of the house and techno parties. I’m a big fan of supporting everything.


What do you like to go to?
Of course anything Paxahau and Movement do. I go to see anybody I wanna see. Sometimes it’s tough for me to stay in and get work done because I like to go out and talk to people and listen to music. That’s what inspires me, and I then come home to the studio and have all this energy.


How much of your own music do you play in your sets, versus that of others?
I’ll be honest, I play my own music but probably not as much as I should/ When I’m done with a record and listen to it 100 times, I’m sick of it. Definitely when I make a standout track I really enjoy, I’ll play it out.


What’s your best advice for an artist stuck in the mainstream but wants to break into the underground?
I’m a big fan of doing what I love. For me, you have to be passionate about what you do. If you’re not, you’re probably not gonna succeed. Everyone does this for a reason; I do it because i love house and techno.