Atlanta, Georgia isn’t exactly known as hotbed for electronic music, but LE CASTLE VANIA (a.k.a. Dylan Eiland) is doing his bit to change that. He burst on the scene in 2006 with a buzz-worthy remix of “Black Eyes” by fellow Atlantans Snowden, and quickly earned a rep as an artist to watch. Part of the new wave of American DJ/producers who’ve shifted EDM’s centre of gravity Stateside, he’s earning rave reviews this summer as one of the stars of the Identity Festival tour (alongside the likes of Eric Prydz, Nero, Wolfgang Gartner and Madeon), while busily prepping his debut album. Here, he chats with Toronto’s DJ Soundbwoy (a.k.a. Chris Wilson).
DJ SOUNDBWOY: Where did the name Le Castle Vania come from?
LE CASTLE VANIA: Umm, it’s a boring story. There’s nothing really interesting about it — I just basically made it up.
DJS: What made you get into DJing?
LCV: Well, first thing, I just really loved music and electronic music. The thing that inspired me, though, to really start DJing was when I was 16: I tried to sneak into this club to see some DJs, but it was an 18 and up club. I had a fake ID, but got totally rejected at the door. A bunch of my homies were with me and they had all gotten in, so I had to go sit in the car and wait for them. The car happened to be parked behind the club, and as I was chilling there, bummed that I didn’t get in, I just stared seeing all the DJs coming and going out the back door. Something just clicked in my head and I was, like, if I was a DJ I could get in wherever I wanted, see the DJs I wanted to see, and be a part of that crew and lifestyle. So that was kind of thing that inspired me to start producing and DJing.
DJS: Was it always your main goal to start producing music?
LCV: I was always more inspired by writing and creating music, ’cause that’s where my passion is. DJing, though, is kind of like the reward for creating music, ’cause that’s when you get to unleash it on the audience and see people go off to it.
DJS: You don’t hear of many electronic music artists from Atlanta. That being said, what were your musical influences and how do you try to incorporate that into your sound?
LCV: Atlanta is kind of known for being more of a hip-hop city as far as music goes. But there’s actually a lot more going on in Atlanta — there’s an electronic scene that has grown there, and there’s always been a cool indie rock scene there as well. But you know, my whole sound and vibe is very inspired by the fusion of electronic music and rock music. I sometimes deviate from it and do a lot of different things, such as the Cee-Lo remix, which had a lot more disco influences. I try to take influences from all over and from all the different music that I like.
DJS: How did the “Fuck Yess” monthly party come about?
LCV: Fuck Yess was a party I started in Atlanta because at the time there was no club or venue that you could go to and hear the type of music I was producing — like that indie electro, more aggressive dance music with an indie rock influence. So basically the vibe of the party is buck wild-ass people and music.
DJS: What’s the weirdest or coolest thing you’ve experienced playing a venue or festival?
LCV: The coolest thing is always connecting with the people like when you play at a big festival and you’ve got thousands of people with all that energy coming back at you. As for the weird stuff, I’ve experienced so much — but what happens on the road stays on the road.
DJS: Having been an underground DJ who’s emerged onto the wider EDM scene, how do you feel about A-Trak’s article in The Huffington Post about “button pushers”?
LCV: I’m not going to go into any comments about other artists and their opinions. What matters to me is that I came up learning to DJ on vinyl, and learned the ropes the right way and the real way. But at the end of the day, these kids are coming out to part — so if someone is screening a presentation that sets it off, and those kids have a fun time or it heightens the experience to a level they couldn’t do otherwise, then I ain’t mad at them. Everyone just needs to just chill the f**k out and let everybody do their hustle. If that’s not how you want to do things, then you don’t do things that way — you know what I’m saying? We just got to let everybody do their thing. Nobody needs to be trying call anybody out or trying to hate on everyone. The scene is growing and let’s just be happy about that. Every act in electronic music that gets bigger creates more opportunity for every other act in electronic music, and that’s the reality of it. I respect everyone’s hustle. Let’s just let them do their shit the way they want to do it.
DJS: With the release of your full-length album coming up, what can fans expect to hear?
LCV: Well, I mean, it’s an album so the whole point is to create a journey. But you’ll just have to wait and hear it. It is definitely a diverse range of my sound, though.
DJS: What is one thing our readers should definitely know about Le Castle Vania?
LCV: There’s only one thing I want readers to know, and it’s my music. Go check out the Web site — there’s tons of free stuff for download.
First thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
On tour I sleep until about 2-3pm, and then I go out and check the stage setup for that particular show.
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
Must-have item on your rider?
Motto you live by?
“Nobody gets out alive, bring it hard!”
Turntables or CDJs?
I learned on turntables, but basically my shows got so crazy that the needle would skip and cause too many technical issues, so I had to switch to CDJs.