DJ Times: The brand itself has expanded, now featuring a Paradise on Earth compilation series. What was behind the decision to do more than just parties with Paradise?
Jones: I think that one of things I’ve seen with Hot Creations was that when we launched [the label], people are as drawn to the vibe as they are the music. Sometimes supporting brands in dance music is like supporting football teams; people love to get really involved. For me, yeah we could just stick to doing parties, but like I said to you before, I get really bored quickly unless things are growing or moving forward. I would never be happy just doing the same circuit of clubs and festivals every summer.
DJ Times: The Paradise brand is doing a lot more in America this year. What spurred your interest in expanding its presence here?
Jones: I think that the scene is getting much bigger here—it’s big now [already]. I live in Los Angeles half the year now. I’m one of the DJs from the scene that’s been coming and touring [in the U.S.] for a long time—I used to play for Lee Foss in Chicago in the early 2000s—and I’ve been continuously coming here three or four times a year for the better part of 10 years. I’ve always seen a lot of potential here—there are a lot of cool venues.
DJ Times: The brand remains huge in Europe…
Jones: Europe’s amazing, but there’s so many things going on there. Sónar [in Barcelona] is the perfect example: we’ve done lots of parties there and it’s an amazing festival, but I decided not to do one there [this year]. We do these huge parties at BPM Festival, a big party in Miami, Ibiza all summer, and rather than just doing something for the sake of it—we did amazing, sold-out parties there for four, five years—everyone’s already there and it’s not challenging to put 3,000 people in the venue. Over here [in the U.S.], I want to start by getting the audience involved in the brand the same way they are in Europe because we do a lot of festival stages there, and then doing a lot of really cool parties. We’ve got some really cool bespoke parties we’re doing in the States in 2017, as well.
DJ Times: Ibiza is a whole different beast than U.S. clubs and festivals. How do you bring the spirit over while adapting it to the scene here?
Jones: I think that we’ve got experience doing the [Paradise] Miami party and doing the party at BPM. I think that it’s finding the right times of the days to do the parties. For example, doing something on the West Coast, it makes more sense to do it in the daytime, while on the East Coast, it makes more sense to do it at night. It’s finding the right location, and also one of the best things we do is finding the right lineups. There’s some people who I feel are stronger over here just because of the style of music that they play. I’m somebody that analyzes everything meticulously, and—as a DJ—the groove of the beat is different.
DJ Times: How’s that?
Jones: In Italy, people dance to the rhythm and they’re more concerned with the rhythm of the night rather than the melodies or the drops of the songs. In the U.K., they’re listening to each song. Obviously still listening to the journey of the set, but mixing it up and having a variety in the sets is a stronger thing to do there. Different areas in the States have their own thing, so we make sure we have the right lineups for the right city and the right venue.
DJ Times: Ibiza’s been seeing a fair amount of changes, especially in the rise of the VIP scene and ownership changes. What have you noticed personally about the crowds and scene there?
Jones: I’m not going to lie to you: Ibiza has changed for sure. It’s different. I think that everything changes, and if you go there for the first time now, you’re going to have an amazing time. If you were there 20 years ago, you had that rawness to it and you’d love that and now it’s different, but it’s still got that magic. Sometimes that magic is a little harder to find these days because there’s a lot more money involved and less of the hippie side, but that whole hippie side still exists and people still have the same love for the island, even if some of the dynamics have changed.
DJ Times: Has that impacted what you do?
Jones: With Paradise, one of the reasons I’m still at DC-10 is because there’s no tables on the main floor. There’s a few tables in the inside room, but they’re tucked away in a corner and it’s a tiny, tiny part of the revenue they make there. Financially, as a brand, it’s not the best idea, but for me, one of the things I love about it and why it’s got a special place in my heart is that everyone’s the same. If you want to listen to music loudly, you have to be on the dancefloor. Somebody with two euros in their pocket who took the bus to the club or somebody with 10,000 euros in their pocket, they both want to listen to the music when they’re in that club and there’s no difference between people there.