Chris Fortier




What did you do before you started DJing and how old where you when you started and why?
I was a student in college. I had always been very into music and when discovered house music, it was really life changing. I was 19 when I started buying records and I had no thought or goal to "become a DJ". I just thought it looked fun and I wanted to just do it. Being a DJ then wasn't at all like it is thought of today. All the things that set a career as a DJ in motion were really by chance. There was no circuit of infrastructer like there is now. But as things in the scene began to grow and expand, I could see the opportunities and I just kept moving toward them and forward in general.

How would you describe the style of music you play?
House music, it is all house music to me. I play some more techy things, progressive things and trancey things, but it is all derived from house. My aim is to play good music, not a style of music.

Who has influenced your DJing the most if any?
In the begining of my career, I was heavily influenced by Kimball and Dave Cannalte in Orlando. But a few years later, we discovered Sasha and then Digweed. As we all became friends, I made even more of a connection with Sasha and John. I think both of them have been a large influence on the mentality of djing and approach as well as having the "whole package" including djing and production.

What's the situation of US club scene at the moment?
Things are in a weird state now. Alot of clubs have run into financial problems. Many of them are going monthly instead of weekly, so that is posing a problem for some. It is really having a strong effect on growth of these clubs and the growth of young DJs raising their profile. Alot of clubs are going with the tried and true approach. But saying that, there are a good number of clubs that are as strong as ever. They arent the obvious and well known ones though. the crowds have been good at all my gigs this year. We will just have to see what happens. Some of the things arent in our control right now.

What about the future, playing or making music?
My main focus this year is my tracks and remixes. Last year was consumed with my Bedrock album. This year I am concentrating wholely on making tracks again and of course djing. I had a very heavy year last year, so this year I am going to take my time and choose the right things and the best things that I want to do. I have alot of tracks and remixes done that will come out this year. And I am looking very much forward to them.

When did you first play in Europe and where?
The first gig I did was in scotland in 1996. Then the following year I did an extensive tour with Jimmy Van M in the UK that was set up by Digweed. We did clubs like Cream, Sugarshack, Babelicious, Scream, Rhumba and Slinky. I also did a long tour of the Scotland and Ireland with a label I was signed to at the time. I also played in Germany a few times too at a club called Vibrations. I started going back to the UK very frequently. The last 3 years I have been coming over at least one weekend per month playing clubs like Bedrock, Colours, Renaissance, Prologue, The Cross, Promise as well as numerous great clubs throughout Europe.

How would you compare the club scenes in Europe and US?
Well I think that the usa is going through so many growing pains. Alot more then I think Europe had to endure. Because of the size of the country, it makes things extremely tough to get some continuity. We are all trying bad, that is what Balance Promote Group is about. having a collective of djs and minds pushing together for a common goal. I do see things growing further here, but it is going to take more time. we are doing it though.

Tell us about Balance Record Pool?
As i just mentioned, Balance is a group of like minded DJs that are interested in furthering the growth of dance music. There are 2 parts of Balance. one is the agency and the other is the record pool. I run the pool side of the company. Basically we work with labels all around the world to promote their releases in North America with North American based DJs. We aim to be a driving force for promotion of records and help labels outside of America understand our market and hopefully tailor their releases with america in mind.

Any new mix compilations or tracks coming up?
No plans as of yet for a mix cd. We have a few offers and options, but I am not looking at them seriously right now. Maybe at the end of the year (2003), but for now, my concentration is on tracks. I have a new single called "whateveritis" coming soon. And I have remixes for pqm, Lovesky, First Life, Expressed Soul and I just finished fortunato and Montressor - Imagine for Bedrock. Will have a 3rd solo single done before WMC. And another EP of original material done and released in the summer.

Do you know anything about Screen club? :)
I really dont. My friend Jimmy Van M just played there and I have heard great things. It will be my first time in Helsinki too. So I am really looking forward to it all.