Lemmy Ashton has gone from a Bugged Out Weekender DJ competition entrant in 2012 to a regular on their line-ups at both clubnights and annual three-day dance festival. The disco devotee returns to Butlins Bognor Regis for Bugged Out Weekender 2016 from Friday, January 15th to Sunday, January 17th. We caught up with Lemmy to find out more about how his musical journey, getting involved with Bugged Out and what he’s looking forward to at January’s weekender.
What was the first piece of music that made an impact on you and why?
The first piece of music that I ever really remember is Babybird “You’re Gorgeous”, pure early nineties cheese, but I remember riding in the car and it always being on the radio and the cars crashing in the video. I think it was the chorus that i was attracted to, I was about five or six at the time so I was a sucker for a sing-a-long.
Tell us when you realised you wanted to get involved in making music and playing tunes to people?
It started when i was around sixteen, when all my friends started to drive I began making mix cds for people’s cars and always took pride in sharing music I put on them, not just dance music, but a whole manner of things, from indie music to pop and electronic stuff. I began to turn them from a collection of tracks into a cohesive mix with an old copy of Traktor which is where i figured out how ‘mixing works’.
How did your debut DJ set in a club go? Can you remember when and where you played?
It was in a tiny tiny bar/club in canterbury called Alberrys. It fits about 50 people in a wine cellar on a Thursday night and I wasn’t actually 18 at the time so I used my friend’s ID to get in. The crowd was only made up of my friends and I just remember keeping my head down, but some promoters who ran a monthly ‘electro’ night were also there and offered me the warm up every month, which seemed like the dream at the time!
Jackmaster has a never ending record box!
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice that day, what would it be?
Stay away from the hip hop/house remixes!
Which track sends tingles down your spine every time you listen to it?
“All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem. One of my ‘top five’ tracks of all time. It’s soaked in memories and is a simple theme that’s worked to perfection.
If you could perform a b2b set with any DJ, who would it be?
Jackmaster, the man has a never ending record box!
How did you first get involved with Bugged Out?
I’d been a massive fan of Bugged Out for a long time before going to an event of theirs, I’ve actually been to every Weekender they’ve put on even before I began to work with them. They were an aspirational party that we looked to from outside of London, the line-ups, the mixes, the stories of the parties all made it place you had to go to if you were in London.
How has your relationship with Bugged Out developed over the years?
My first interaction with the Bugged Out gang was the DJ competition in 2012, unfortunately I lost, but i like to think i played the long game!
Bugged Out celebrated its 21st birthday at The Hydra in London. How was the vibe that night?
It was crazy, Erol played his Franz Ferdinand remix to close his set, Weatherall kept room two chugging away all night and the place exploded when Barnt played his Jamie xx remix!
Bugged Out has a reputation for staying true to its underground house, techno and electro roots with Erol Alkan a mainstay throughout its history. What’s your relationship with Erol like?
I used to work for him and his label when I was at university on the side, he’s someone who’s artistic view and work ethic I really admire, so the opportunity to work with him was something really special.
How are you feeling about playing at Bugged Out Weekender in January?
I’m so excited, there really isn’t any other festival like it. From the moment you check in, to when you leave the site you’re all a part of this surreal ride through the weekend. Watching the majority of RA’s top 100 DJs while being 100 metres from your bed or a 24-hour arcade is something you really don’t get anywhere else.
What is your favourite Bugged Out Weekender memory?
The 2014 Mixmag chalet party, it was the single greatest party I’ve ever been to in my entire life. A ceiling-slapping, taaaaps aaaaf Jackmaster guided party that went on till 10am, with some attempts at re-enacting the Panorama Bar shutters with old curtains and bay windows.
From the moment you check in, to when you leave the site you’re all a part of this surreal ride through the weekend.
Which act on the line-up do you have the most respect for and why?
Artwork, he makes the party no matter where he goes, and that’s an incredible talent to have and one I really admire.
What festival tip would you give to all those head to Bugged Out Weekender?
Bring your swimming gear! You don’t want to miss out on the pool parties this year! And never host the after party!
Finally, given Bugged Out Weekender is at a time of year when people are still trying to make good on their New Year’s resolutions, have you ever made a New Year resolution you’ve managed to stick to?
I’ve never been one for a new years resolution, but this year I’m going to make a promise to myself finish some music before the summer!
Bugged Out Weekender tickets start at £169. For details go to buggedoutweekender.net.