Behind the Scene: On tour with Sasha.

Words by: Gregorio
Posted: 27/5/09 9:39

SashaThe latest behind the scenes look at dance music culture sees us go on the road with one of the world's biggest DJs , as experienced through the eyes of his tour manager, Harley Moon.

Being The Tour Manager
"I run my own Dj tour management company "Lunar Management" where I'm currently looking after Sasha and Sander Kleinenberg. I've been doing this full time since the end of 2006. The role varies depending on the artists requests and needs but basically it's like being a PA on tour and a sound engineer, including everything from sound checking, downloading music, uploading recordings, liaising with promoters and agents, organizing ground travel, changing travel plans, pretty much anything involved with the organization of the tour, whilst on the road."

The Man Like..... Sasha
"He's a great friend to me. I don't think you can travel and spend so much time with someone if you don't get on quite well. We have known each other for many years now and both realise the importance of putting on a great show."

Sasha secrets
"Sasha is a mad Liverpool fan! We love playing up north {in England}, not only cause the parties are usually amazing but sometimes we can get up to Anfield to watch a home match too! Also he's a proud father of a beautiful one year old boy, so he's chilled a bit over the last year and is a very proud parent now. Finally, there might be some midi controllers designed by Sasha hitting the market soon!!"

Sasha has a few fanatical fans; In Beijing last year, someone had printed up a jumper with the words "Alexander Coe, 1969 whale of Wales, Audio technology lord."   What the fuck!!??

The Technical
"Our technical setup is quite different to anyone else as we play from a computer with the Maven (our custom build midi controller). Also now we run a back up computer straight into the mixer in case of emergency. Usually DJ booths aren't designed with the space to fit in another mixer sizer controller and computer, so it usually means I have to re-arrange the DJ booth to accommodate our gear. Sometimes we have computer issues but without new laptop setup (we no longer use the Imac), it's much more of a rare occurrence now."

The Rider
"Our tech rider is pretty simple, apart from all the high quality speaker specs, we just need a Pioneer DJM800 or DJM1000 and a UPS battery backup. We run all our gear through a UPS which protects it from power issues like surges, spikes and power loss. Sasha is really chilled about our other rider; it usually just consists of beer, water, vodka and cranberry. If it's a really hot gig some towels... sorry pretty boring eh?!"

MavenThe good
"The job takes me all over the world, everywhere you could imagine, Castles, underground car parks, warehouses, fields, anywhere Sasha goes I go, normally. I know that I'm very lucky to be doing what I do but the best part about my job, is probably the food, I try amazing foods from all over the world, that and of course the music, I've always been very passionate about music and I still get shivers down my spine when the atmosphere at a party is electric."

The bad
"The worst part is being away from home for long periods, missing my family and friends. I could complain about living in hotels and planes, but its really just petty and silly to think that way. Also work can be a bit sporadic. If your artist wants to take some time off, then you have to take time off too."

The not so angry
"The great thing about Sasha is that he is a very reasonable guy, if something technical goes wrong at a party then usually there's someone is to blame, whether it's me or a lighting guy or a sound guy, and he (rightly so) gets pissed off. As long as the problem is solved then it's forgotten about straight away. I really admire that quality about him."

I had a little run in with Tiesto once that makes me think he needs a bit of a reality check, but with the amount of fame that he has now, I don't think he even lives in reality anymore!

The weird
"Sasha has a few fanatical fans; we get all types of stuff. On his birthday in Antwerp he got some wicked gifts. In Beijing last year, someone had printed up a jumper with the words "Alexander Coe, 1969 whale of Wales, Audio technology lord."   What the fuck!!??"

The fuck up
"I think the worst technical fuck up was when Sasha was working in North America with a different TM (I'm innocent) at the WMC last year. While playing at Mansion with Digweed, The Maven controller stopped working completely and Sasha had to try pull together a sound card and some other equipment from the Spooky boys. That's pretty much as bad as it can get I think."

Harley moonThe nightmare
"Luckily with me as TM we don't have nightmare gigs! touch wood! Usually it's just power failures or computer crashes that are the nightmare gigs. I think as a tour manager you have to try and make your artist as comfortable as possible so they can just focus on playing the best gig ever. So everything really is a factor from lighting to drinks to people in the front row, to the dreaded camera phone!! We did a gig in Newcastle a couple years ago and someone threw a glass at Sasha. That was a bit of a nightmare, crazy geordies!"

The Downtime
"I think it's quite important to give each other a bit of breathing space on the road. Being around someone 24/7 can be a bit much for the best of friends. So quite often we just hang in our individual hotel rooms and watch DVDs or do music stuff, just chill out really. When we're in airports usually it's catching up on the current events by reading the newspaper, or usually checking emails and doing online stuff. We're normally pretty tired by the time we're in airports so we end up just chilling in the lounge and eating. Heathrow Terminal 5 is amazing for food and lounges!"

Time for a Reality Check
"Surprisingly 99 percent of the DJs I meet on the road are actually really nice people. I had a little run in with Tiesto once that makes me think he needs a bit of a reality check, but with the amount of fame that he has now, I don't think he even lives in reality anymore! Almost all of the promoters we work with are really lovely to us, there are some that are a bit eccentric but I think that sometimes that little bit of craziness is actually complete genius. The only promoter that I keep hearing needs a reality check in Dave Vincent {promoter Sankeys Soap, Manchester}. I've never really spent much time with him, but I universally hear many strange tales about him."

A good tour manager needs...
"Stamina (!), being able to work with very little sleep sometimes. Being able to foresee problems before they happen and mainly being quite a technical geek." | | |


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