Laidback Luke: His Milkshake Brings All the Beats to Your Ears

by Kristine Kennedy and Michael Beas 

Laidback Luke is no stranger to the music industry. The Dutch DJ and producer has been a staple in the industry for some time and he has provided countless contributions (and many truly epic Mixmash Records parties). We recently got the opportunity to catch up with him while he was touring through New York City at Marquee Club, where he premiered his newest track, “Milkshake” that day. Here’s what he had to say.

Raver Magazine:How long have you been heading up Mixmash Records and what got you into the idea of wanting to start the label?

Laidback Luke:So Mixmash started in 2004. I was really interested in the idea of starting a label because at the time I had already set up the format for a couple of year and was guiding some talented artists and reviewing some awesome demos. I didn’t have a platform then so I was basically handing them out to other labels. My manager suggested that I should set up my own platform and that turned into Mixmash Records. And here we are. Wow! It’s been 14 years already – that’s crazy!

Raver Magazine:What do you look for when you’re trying to scout some new talent and what makes one demo shine from the others?

Laidback Luke:First of all, it is very tough to listen to all of the demos with the amount being sent in. That’s not because we don’t like them, but just the sheer amount we receive makes it difficult to listen to every single one. As an up and coming artist, you’re lucky being heard but at the same time, if you are heard then that is your one shot to make a statement with your music.

There is a formula to it. The sound needs to be complimentary to something I would play, but it should sound like the future version of it. It shouldn’t just sound like a copy of what is already around – it should be something a little bit edgier and something that takes it to the next level.

Raver Magazine:You’re a busy man with your touring schedule and managing all aspects of your label. How do you balance family life and work life?

Laidback Luke:It’s all about balance and yes, it has been tough. I’ve been divorced twice and my first marriage was literally all about me building my career and I had my family on the side a bit. That didn’t work. My second marriage was also full-on work mode for me, but it got accepted because my ex-wife was a DJ as well. But then we started to drift apart because I never felt really rooted into the family system. Right now with my girlfriend, we have it under control now. She is my absolute Number One. We do this on the side [touring] and she fully supports me. She is my home.

Raver Magazine:You have a new track out – tell us about it!

Laidback Luke:Yes, “Milkshake”! We would have loved to have had Kelis on the vocals but unfortunately we couldn’t do that, so we needed to license the vocals. Shermanology redid the vocals for it and now I get to call it my own track, which was made with Ale Mora and Shermanology. I’m claiming my sound with this track and calling it “twisted house”.

Raver Magazine:And you combined forces with The Juice Brothers for this release?

Laidback Luke:Yes, together with The Juice Brothers who are located in New York City and Amsterdam, we created a vegan fit shake which is stacked with protein and it tastes like chocolate and waffles. It’s really great!

Raver Magazine: Bonus Question! You’re allowed one cheat meal and no calories count. We know you’re a health nut but what’s your go-to grub?

Laidback Luke:Calories don’t count? It doesn’t need to be healthy, right? My absolute cheat meal would be two plates of fries covered with gravy and cheese. Two plates, just because calories don’t count for this hypothetical!