The last time we talked to Guy Gerber (in 2012), the up-and-coming electronic music producer and DJ told us about his new project with P.Diddy, 11:11 -- which was just released this year. Gerber will be back in Denver to play a show at Beta this Saturday night, December 20; this time when we talked to him, he told us about what the hold-up was with the much-anticipated (and, frankly, stellar) Diddy collab and how he spent his summer disrupting the Ibiza scene with his secret underground project.
"Ibiza used to be about freedom, love, art -- it was very spontaneous," Gerber explains. "People would gather on the beach, and something would happen out of that. It really had the nature of the after-party where everyone was together, and there weren't barriers between the DJ and the crowd."
Obviously, Ibiza isn't like that anymore; for one thing, the laws have changed, and apparently you can't just go throwing a party on the beach anymore. And the scene is different, too. "With a lot of the brands, even the underground brands, everything is about marketing, and it's become really commercialized," he says. "Big, huge lineups, big marketing, everything is big and massive that everyone is trying to do."
For Gerber, who likes to go against the grain, that was inspiration enough to do something different. "I like to have my own party, but I'm not a promoter. I'm an artist, a musician, and every time I was trying to book people, I got into so many political situations on the island, and I was just really fed up with that and decided I would create an event that would not involve a lot of effort from me. There would be no lineup, no set times ... managers were always asking me when their artist was playing, and I don't have patience for that.
"So I wanted a party that was a little bit more easy to maintain but at the same time, like always in everything that I do, I don't want to criticize, but in a way, it's kind of like ... everybody goes right, I go left," he says.
And in a rumor-heavy environment like Ibiza, it seemed to make perfect sense to throw a party with no lineup or set times and no marketing except for rumors. "In Ibiza, there are always rumors," he says. "This guy is dead! That one left from the after-party! She's with him, now she's with him! So I said, 'Let's make something out of it.'"
The something was a party on the beach that ended up getting shut down by the Ibiza police. "They said they got orders from above," Gerber explains, "so somebody wasn't happy with our concept and sent the police to shut us down. I tried to get my concept going at three different venues. But after the first party, I thought, I don't want to fight. My agent wouldn't give up as easily."
But then, a new venue, Beachhouse, opened up in Ibiza, and they were looking for a resident DJ. "So I said, 'I have this concept, and the music is very important to me,'" he remembers. "'It's not a rave on the beach, and it's not for the people who fly in to see the biggest thing. It's for the people who live on the island.' And it became my favorite place to play in the world."
Gerber usually hits the decks between 9 a.m. and midnight every Sunday. "There are a lot of beautiful people on the beach," he says. "It's relaxed, the music is very content; it's never too strong, and you see a lot of people smiling on the beach."
And he says he's ready for another summer of shaking up the establishment through his Beachhouse parties in 2015.
Then there was the triumphant release of 11:11 this year. "A few years ago, Diddy said, 'Come to New York and maybe we'll do a track together," Gerber remembers. "It was a big thing for me. I just wanted to do something interesting because I didn't know if something would come out of it. So I did this thing for him, kind of psychedelic electronica, and he fell in love with it and said, 'Wow, that's interesting.'
"But the thing is, like most stuff that I do, I put a lot in it and I change it and make it more to the point," he continues. "He said, 'Let's make an album together.' It was a long journey of sometimes great times and sometimes I felt like I had to ... my idea was to do something that was deep and intimate, and, I don't know, weird and dark, and he loved it, but every time we were supposed to put it out, he wasn't sure how the world would accept it -- especially him putting out something like that. Time was passing, and I was fighting for it to sound exactly like I wanted it to sound."
But the planet has shifted, and now the album is loose. "I think the world has moved on and progressed," Gerber says. "The music was ready, but the world wasn't ready completely for that music. I'm very, very proud of it."
• BACKBEAT'S GREATEST HITS •
- 50 Photos That Prove Red Rocks Is the Most Beautiful Venue on the Planet
- Photos: Musicians Buying (Legal) Weed in Denver
- The Ten Most Underrated Guitarists in the History of Rock
- 50 Ways to Support Your DIY Music Community
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.