Gabriel & Dresden dove into everything from their recent showcases to their thoughts on Burning Man before they took the stage at EDC Las Vegas.
Few artists in the scene have a legacy as rich as Gabriel & Dresden. From some of dance music’s most significant tracks like “As The Rush Comes” (as Motorcycle with JES) and “Tracking Treasure Down” to playing festivals and clubs all over the planet, they only continue to build on their careers with each passing year. Gabriel & Dresden found a way to thrive during the pandemic as well, quickly growing a new home on Twitch and forming Club Quarantine – a community that remains strong even after everything began to simmer.
More recently, Gabriel & Dresden have thrived with the return of festivals and re-opening of nightclubs. Not only has the duo played Dreamstate SoCal and ASOT 1000 Los Angeles, but they also transitioned Club Quarantine into Gabriel & Dresden + Friends showcases as well. These unique nights feature artists who have played during their livestreams in the past and give fans an intimate experience to connect in-person to bask in their otherworldly, emotion-fueled soundscapes.
Prior to Gabriel & Dresden’s set at EDC Las Vegas this past month, we had the chance to chat with the duo and get some added insight into these shows, their experience playing the festival since it was in LA, and their thoughts on Burning Man as well. Check out their beloved album Remedy on Spotify and read on for the full conversation with these two legends!
Stream Gabriel & Dresden – Remedy on Spotify:
Hi Josh and Dave, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today. You know, how are you guys doing? How has everything been like this year so far for you guys?
Josh Gabriel: The pandemic has made everybody struggle a little bit more. So we’re just working our way back to normal. Still doing Club Quarantine, and we’ve been working on new music, and hopefully, that’ll come out soon. But I wouldn’t say things are 100% back yet.
Dave Dresden: Everybody has been waiting to do shows for two years, so everybody is touring, but at the same amount of venues, so it just doesn’t feel like normal yet.
Yeah, there’s been a shift I think, especially with the closure of some clubs. And I feel there are more festivals that are happening. It’s a very interesting shift in the scene. But you guys have been doing such a great job with Club Quarantine and the growth of that brand over the course of the pandemic. It’s been so helpful for so many people, myself included. I know that you guys have started to kind of do your own little Club Quarantine shows in real life, too. So have those been going?
JG: We call it Gabriel & Dresden + Friends. We do club shows with an artist who has done a guest spot on the stream, and at the end of the show, we do a b2b with them. It’s been a lot of fun to bring the stream to the club.
That’s a nice little surprise.
DD: Yeah, it’s just always a nice surprise. Like, “oh, wow, man, you should have stayed.” But, yeah, that’s actually changed the way that we DJ because we used to feel the pressure to play the anthems that we’ve made over the course of all these years. We’ve done that a little in the past, but this is the first tour we’ve done, ever, that’s really just about us being DJs. It’s been really fun to get away from what people expect from us.
I think one of the things that really stands out about Club Quarantine, is it really showcases DJing. There’s been such a heavy focus on production in the scene lately. A lot of the younger DJs are so focused on releasing track after track and then you end up in a situation where maybe they aren’t as good as a DJ. So what advice would you give DJs who are starting out right now to be better?
JG: Invite some friends over on a Saturday night and just DJ for them.
DD: Dig deep into the history of the genre you like to play. Figure out where melodic techno came from and figure out where tech house came from and maybe adopt some of those ideas from those records to push those things forward. DJing is just like going to the gym. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.
JG: I think it’s important also to go see somebody that inspires you. See a DJ play a five or six-hour set and see what that feels like. It’s true with the festivals and club shows these days, 90 minutes feels like the longest thing you ever see. 90 minutes isn’t seven hours.
I think the most impressive sets I’ve always seen have been those open-to-closes and the marathon streams.
DD: We need to do a few more open-to-close sets.
JG: Just like a G&D only instead of Classics Only. Just literally only music we’ve made because we’ve never done that. Just us up there the whole night.
That’d be really cool. I’d love to see that happen.
DD: Well, you know what, actually, it would be dope because it was what we did on Club Quarantine #200.
There have been so many episodes, it’s amazing. Kind of switching gears really quick. We’re here at EDC and you guys have a very long relationship playing this festival over the years. I think the first time you played was 2006?
DD: I think it was 2006. We were staying in Holland that summer, and we had to fly over to America to DJ it. It was fun.
Looking at EDC as a festival, as a brand, becoming this global behemoth. What are your guys’ thoughts on the growth of Electric Daisy Carnival over the past three decades?
JG: There’s something about it that they always do right. There’s a reason people keep coming back, and it’s been growing. I think Pasquale’s inspiration comes from the right place.
DD: Yeah. Pasquale goes to Burning Man, and he’s been doing this since the early ’90s. He has a passion for it. Like this is insane, look at the scale of it.
It’s massive. I think the only real comparison is Burning Man.
JG: I think I did my first year at Burning Man in ’95. He was probably there around the same time and got inspired – I went and made music, and he went and made festivals.
Speaking of Burning Man, I saw you guys play at Opulent Temple years ago. That was one of my favorite sets I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Do you guys ever have any plans of going back there and playing again?
DD: Yes. I started late, so I made a rule – if I’m alive that year and have two working legs, I’m going to Burning Man. Because why miss it? We just missed it for two years, and I wasn’t up for going to the rogue Burning Man.
I mean, I need the porta-potties.
DD: I think that you have to be one of the hardcore people who know how to survive in that really harsh environment. There are some creature comforts when you go for the real burn, but with the rogue burn, you’re just out there on the perimeter.
I’ve been out there for a number of years, and Burning Man is very special, but do you feel like there’s a different energy when you guys were playing there years ago compared to here at EDC?
JG: It’s definitely different from playing here. Without talking about the quality of anything, you can just say that it makes logical sense that if you put something in Vegas, the hub of entertainment where everybody can easily get to, versus a part of the desert that you need to bring out all your water and food into that costs a lot of money – it’s inconvenient.
People work harder to get to Burning Man. They just have to plan more, so as a result, you sort of get more of an intense self-selection process. I feel like there’s a younger audience at EDC than at Burning Man as well; it’s quite a big difference. So I think they’re two different things. I wouldn’t be surprised if the people here end up graduating to Burning Man.
Yeah, sort of in the same way The Gorge takes time to get there and so the journey makes it a very special place. It’s almost time for your set, so thank you guys for chatting with me!
JG & DD: Thank you!
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