Vibe: Melodic, dark emotions
Founded: March 2014
Upcoming releases: Chinese Whispers: Rumors Sampler
It's fitting for a record label to be named Rumors in an era when dance music culture is acquiring certain attributes akin to pop culture—pervasive gossip and burgeoning public interest. Guy Gerber's newest venture, Rumors, has already seen a few releases and many successful parties in 2014. Guy has managed to tastefully cross into the pop culture realm with a collaborative album with P. Diddy called 11 11. He has also been a mainstay on the international club and festival circuit for years. So what could be next for the self proclaimed "king of awkward" and "master of manipulation?" Guy recently told THUMP about life in Israel, Luciano's direct influence on his album My Invisible Romance, and of course, Rumors.
THUMP: Why did you decide to create Rumors? Did the idea for the party or the label come first, or did they come hand-in-hand?
Guy: I would probably say they came hand in hand. After doing Wisdom of the Glove last year, I realized how much I enjoyed adding different colors to things that I do, it just makes it more fun. Since a lot of electronic music doesn't have lyrics, I think the names and images are very important. But as I talk a little bit more about it now, I think I may have actually come up with the party concept before the label. As much as I enjoy throwing fun parties, I'm not a promoter. I think I created this concept where I don't have to commit too much to who is going to play in advance and I can just go with the flow. At the same time, when you don't have a lineup for the party and it's called Rumors, every person who attends becomes the promoter of the party [in some way]. Since I've been the target or subject of many rumors, I just decided to have the whole theme about it.
Did Wisdom of the Glove influence Rumors in any way? How are these events different?
It influenced Rumors by explaining to people how weird my team and I can be. Wisdom of the Glove actually put us very far out there, so with Rumors, I didn't have to repeat to the public how interesting it was going to be or why you were going to visit one of our events. You don't always know what it's going to be, but you know that always something is going to happen—that something is going to be unpredictable.
They are different because with Wisdom of the Glove, I try to bring a few sounds together. I almost always have some kind of an indie reference and somebody who plays techno. With Rumors, the idea is more about one sound that keeps going from the beginning of the night until the end. But, in everything I do I try to create a concept that doesn't make you committed to one particular idea.
Do you have a particular vision with the music you release on Rumors? The releases seem very danceable but also melodic up to this point.
I do a lot of things as a music producer and I travel a lot, so I don't have that much time to handle a label—I have other friends helping me. This time, it was mainly me doing it on my own. My concept is to create a world where all of the details can be changed, but the vibe or the concept will stay the same. At the moment, it's melodic, but as long as it's great music that sounds different and is big enough to be played at home and can rock a club, it is good for me.
My DJ sets are changing from one time to the next and I always like labels that consistently put out good stuff. Sometimes playable, sometimes less, but it will always be something interesting to listen to. That's always been my method and I hope that it works with the label. I'm just trying to make things as easy as possible for me because I've been working really hard for so many years with more and more projects. The amount of success that I achieve compared to the amount of laziness that is inside of me is huge. Everything has to work artistically and everything should be explained verbally and I think that with Rumors, I created a label that is not committed to one sound but releases tracks that are special. Once in a while, they have to cause a stir.
Can you explain the creative process behind your album My Invisible Romance?
It was just after the time I worked on a mini album… when I was just coming back from spending a week with Luciano in his studio in Geneva. He introduced me to randomizing drum sequences and I tried to do the same kind of thing with my melodies—where a track and the harmony keeps on evolving and evolving. I was also living in Ibiza at the time and the studio was set in my living room. I had a lot of guests coming in and out, sometimes they were barbequing and sometimes they were coming in from the pool. I was always working on it in the living room and people were listening to it outside.
The Diddy collaboration was pretty controversial, but you pulled it off. How do you see this music genre evolving?
Oscar Wilde said "To define is to limit," and I can't really tell what exactly this music genre is. I would say that this album, for me, was a celebration of just enjoying making music without trying to drive to one particular genre.
What is a day in the studio like with Diddy?
It was great. We are probably one of the oddest couples in the universe, but we share a lot of appreciation for each other. It was very inspiring to work with someone who has such a big history in music and has achieved so many things in life, but still is ready to push forward and take risks. Most of the time, a lot of people would come [while we worked]—a lot of girls sitting on the sofas. I was trying to connect all the synthesizers possible and we would do long, long, late night jam sessions that were all about experimenting and trying to recreate a vibe of an after party.
What are you doing when you aren't working on music or playing?
I own three titles—I'm the king of awkward, the master of manipulation, and the master of disappearance. I just shuffle between the three. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose.
You seem to be a person who is hard to surprise. What was the last thing that genuinely shocked you?
Recently, I had a dinner in Balthazar in New York. I was having a few drinks and me and my companion started kissing in a passionate way, but definitely not over the top. Shockingly, at one point, I felt a hand on my shoulder and when I turned my head, the manager of the restaurant was asking me to stop. We both looked at him and then continued kissing. He then called security and asked us to leave the place after paying a bill of $300. I thought it was quite shocking.
2014 was a big year for you—what are you most looking forward to in 2015?
Obviously it's not 100 percent confirmed, but there is a rumor that I might be working on a soundtrack of a Hollywood movie called Criminal. It features Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Gosling and Kevin Costner. It was one of my dreams to be involved in such a project and it seems like we're going to start next year. Another thing is that I'm going to start a new series of mix CDs on Rumors. We will release the first edition with my mix and then I have a few other interesting artists to feature as well. Also, I might be involved in a new fashion brand. But my most exciting project for next year is that I plan on opening a chicken place in Ibiza. It's going to have rotisserie chicken cooked over coals.. you know, like charcoals.