Lane 8 invites human connection back into the club with This Never Happened [Interview]
Over the last few years, Lane 8 has cemented himself as a staple on imprints like Anjunadeep and Suara, effectively helping to bring the melodic crosshairs of deep house to the masses. After releasing stunning remixes for artists such as Eric Prydz, Maribou State, and Odesza — not to mention the unveiling of his debut album, Rise, in 2015 — it was due time for the San Francisco-born producer to break off a bit on his own. April 2016 came with a major announcement from Lane 8 – news that he was launching his own label along with an innovative new show concept, This Never Happened.
The curious aspect to This Never Happened events is that while the shows are taking place, no one outside its doors knows what’s going on inside. The Internet is free from a stream of incessant social media updates from both attendees and the Lane 8 team.
The view of the furthest person towards the back of the crowd? It isn’t obscured by a sea of glowing screens. Rather, attendes have been asked not to use their phones – and they are obliging. Yes, perhaps the weight of smartphones can be felt in everyone’s pockets or purses, but fans are not actively on them. This removal of technology and unlimited access to social media is the center of Lane 8’s exciting new event concept and label.
Having experienced both sides of the coin – nightlife in its Nokia days vs that of present day – Daniel Goldstein, otherwise known as Lane 8, found himself a bit disillusioned by the state of club-goers’ experience, or lack thereof, today.
“You know I’ve seen in my lifetime how much its changed and how people’s attention is divided between a million other things and how hard it is for people to kind of switch of and experience something fully instead of just getting a two to three minute dose of it in between checking their email or checking their Instagram feed. So, when it started to become such a big thing that we saw at the Lane 8 shows, we just kind of felt like we had to do something about it. That’s where the whole motivation behind This Never Happened came from.
Towards the end of last year I did a big album tour and played a ton of shows in a row and there were a few where, you know, you would look out playing ‘Diamonds’ or ‘Hot As You Want’ and just see a sea of phones recording the moment and nobody really just actually being there and experiencing it. I remember just seeing that and talking to my wife and saying, these people are not experiencing live music at all – everything is just a spectacle and I feel like that’s kind of something that’s just plaguing everything, not just live music but you know that’s the business that we’re in, so we see that every weekend. The whole ban on phones was kind of meant to help the experience and the people, to kind of remind themselves that that’s not what going out is about, that it’s about letting go and all that stuff is just kind of distracting you.”
With the absence of these omnipresent screens, revelers’ surroundings become that much more alive. People are present, engaging with one another and focused on the collective experience. A sense of community begins to take shape: everyone is there for the same reason and when they all leave, the experience shared is the only thing that remains. No photos, no videos, no postings to social media. This sort of experience is near impossible these days, and even more so when it is occurring within a club.
“It’s pretty impossible for there to be a sort of community feeling and to actually meet someone else that you never knew before if you’re just on your phone the whole time. Going out to a club, at least from when I first started going to clubs, that’s a huge part of what it’s about and I think that a lot of people who are just starting to go out don’t realize that. There’s more to clubbing than just going out, taking a bunch of Snapchats, hanging out with your friends, and then going home. You know you’re in a room with a bunch of people who presumably have the same taste in music as you, you have something in common with them. “
The hybrid event concept, label, and social experiment that is This Never Happened kicked off with a show in Goldstein’s hometown of San Francisco in June. Due in large part to the hard work of Lane 8 and his team, the event was a resounding success and may have even forged a new bond or two amongst attendees.
“One of the cool things we saw with the San Francisco show that we did, This Never Happened, at Mezzanine, is that people would actually…talk to each other. People that didn’t know each other before the event. It shouldn’t sound like that crazy of a thing but it was totally crazy – I’ve never seen something like that at one of my shows.”
A tour, however, is a completely different beast of its own and also one that This Never Happened is about to embark upon. This fall, Lane 8 will be taking his event concept across various cites throughout the US and Canada. Each one will feature an extended set and a dance floor devoid of phones, photos, and social media postings. The mission for each is both humble and simple: “leave the real world behind and come get lost in the music with us.”
Tour information and tickets for This Never Happened can be found, here.