We speak to Stathis Lazarides before he hits Rhythmatic’s 4th Anniversary on Sat…

Stathis Lazarides has the musical ethos and mentality of an artist who finds it impossible to compromise with trends and to specify genres when in the studio or at the DJ booth. Music has been his foremost priority for 20 years and the concept of sitting down to compose in his studio without a specific plan, mainly working on impulse, is for him the building block of underground music. We speak to him ahead of his gig at Rhythmatic’s 4th Anniversary this Saturday about his style, Cavo Paradiso and his homosexual pet dragon…

Hi Stathis – thanks you very much for speaking to us today! You are performing  alongside Onur Ozer and Livio & Roby on the 26th of November for Rhythmatic’s 4th Anniversary Celebrations.You’ve been playing for Rhythmatic since it’s conception, can you tell the readers what’s in store for them?

Hello!! Yes,we hired an Asian Elephant,2 fire eating dwarfs,Ricky Gervais,and also there is a cameo appearance from Stavros Flatley….Oh no,sorry,that was my Desert Island wet dream from last night……..Regarding the Rhythmatic party though,we are doing our upmost in all our events to provide a friendly,warm atmosphere,great sound quality and amazing music. And because we are celebrating 4 years,we are going that extra mile to create a great Saturday night experience,after all,people want simple things from a quality party and we are confident we can provide just that!!

Describe your sound for those who haven’t heard it yet…

When I sit down in my studio to choose music to play out I have a few guidelines which I suppose help carve my sound : The music has to make me want to move my hips instead of jumping with my fists in the air. My sound is for the ones that want to dance instead of the ones who prefer to jump.I like to play dance music and not jump music.Tunes that are based on high frequencies and/or intense breakdowns, dictate to you when to jump and when to dance and in my opinion this has a fascist undertone.On the other hand,the low spectrum of frequencies offers you a base groove and the complete freedom to smile, kiss, cuddle, dance whenever they want!!

I hope this answers your question : )

I hear you used to be very much part of the illegal rave scene when you first moved to the UK in 1994, do you have any amusing or interesting tales from this era?

First thing that always comes in mind from this period in my life,is that it was the first time that I felt a strong sense of unity and belonging somewhere that I felt so at home. Yes,most raves where cold,wet and very muddy but out of the mud came so much love for each and every one of the people that took part in this unforgeable experience.

You’ve been in the music game for 20 years and still remain one of the nicest men in the business, which is that keeps you smiling?

If you think I am smiling all the time you should speak to my wife for a bit LOL

Actually ,i always felt blessed being a active part of this scene,it’s my home and you always feel nice when you are at home. I meet some many people who say to me “i wish I was making a living from my passion” and when I am low,i think of this a lot,i will always be appreciative for what I have and what I achieved in my life.

How did you get started into the industry?

The first time I got paid from playing in my local pub in a small village in rural Greece was in 1987 and I started collecting records in the beginning of the 80’s.I suppose the involvement with the dance scene started when I moved to the Uk in 1994.

You have had (a most enviable) residency at one of the greatest clubs in the world (Cavo Paradiso in Mykonos), for many years… For those who don’t know of it, can you tell us a bit more about this special place?

Cavo Paradiso is a unique club due it’s location (by the edge of a 150ft cliff overlooking the Aegean sea) and also due to the fact that it probably has the most demanding and intense schedule in the industry.Within 40 days,we bring the biggest players on the scene,back to back.It is a completely different experience from Ibiza and one that I wouldn’t change for anything!!!

Over the last 2 seasons the club has seen some of the most jaw dropping line ups ever! (Carl Cox, Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Marco Carola, Loco Dice. Sven Vath, Matthias Tanzmann, Tiesto and Paul Van Dyk, Dennis Ferrer, Frankie Knuckles… the list is endless) did you EVER expect this when you began there in 1999?

Cavo Paradiso was already an established venue when I got involved although the summer schedule was nothing like it is today.It took us many years of hard work to come to the level we are today and I always knew that with the right moves we can reach the top of the game.I remember the first time I played at the club,it was a night with Danny Rampling,i played from 12 midnight until 4,then Danny jumped on for another 4 hours and I continued from 8 am until noon.At the end of it,i felt so grateful just to play once at the club,i never thought that I will reach 100 appearances over 12 years!!

OK – so firstly how do we get a job there J and secondly do you have any gossip on who might be appearing next season?

Are you sure you want to be on the payroll from a company based in Greece (WE HAVE NO MONEY REMEMBER?!?!?!?).

Our 2012 schedule is a secret,my lips are sealed!!!Expect the usual suspects plus a few new exciting additions

What’s this story about John Digweed playing for hours and hours and then nearly electrocuting himself?

This took place in the summer of 2001.I warmed up for him,then he started at 4 am and finished at 3.30 in the afternoon.This party still holds the records for biggest attendance and longer set.At around 10 am,John mentioned that he was pissed out of his brains and he asked me to suggest a plan for him to sober up so he plays longer.I said “why don’t you jump in the pool then” and I never expected him to actually say yes but he did,so we left the booth,went to the pool and he threw me first before he jumped in.We then run in the booth where the record was just about to finish and he started playing dripping wet,so the direct result of electricity and water is sparks!!!He seem to enjoy it though because we jumped again at noon……One for the book,for sure : )

So tell us – you produce as well as DJ… Do you feel most at home behind the decks or in the studio?

I feel at home when I am surrounded by music whether I am in the studio or behind the booth but I my life was depending on my choosing,i will say behind the booth,purely because you have the direct connection with an audience.

What would you say makes you different from other DJs/producers?

That’s a great question actually,being different is something that artists strive for in our day and age,there are so many  releases that come out every day and and so many parties taking place that careers can come and go just like that.We definitely have more supply than demand so standing out is important but the correct way of looking at it in my humble opinion is that don’t try and be different just to be different but try and be individual.

The things that make me different from other dj’s and producers is that I listen to BBC Radio 4 while I am cooking,i have a distinct passion for Opera (especially Verdi) and I have a homosexual pet dragon in my back garden.

You teamed up with fellow Greek Alex Celler in the studio and your release on the Soweso label were given much critical acclaim – are we to see any more releases from this fabulous duo?

Alex and myself are good friends who enjoy each others company (in a heterosexual way) and sometimes we sit down (when our schedules allow it) to jam along with a few loops so the tracks we come up with are spontaneous which is something  important to us both,underground music exists because of spontaneity!!

We have just finished (yesterday) a 4 track ep and we are really happy with it so stay tuned to the Rhythmatic news to check release date ; )


You can catch Stathis this Saturday at Rhythmatic’s 4th Anniversary. For your chance to win tickets & T-Shirts CLICK HERE

Rhythmatic 4th Anniversary with Onur Ozer & Livio & Roby

26 Nov 2011 @ Netil 000 Warehouse, 1 Westgate Street, E8 3RL, Hackney, Hackney, United Kingdom


Onur Ozer, Livio & Roby, Stathis Lazarides, Wesley Razzy, Archie Hamilton