Daniel Goldstein has enjoyed quite a ride in the past six years. Known to fans as Lane 8, the Denver-based DJ/producer gained notice in 2012 with the stuttery groover “Don’t Want You Back” and has since been an ascending Anjunadeep artist with dreamy tracks like “Ghost” (feat. Patrick Baker) and “Hot as You Want” (feat. Solomon Grey).
Both of those smooth cuts were included on his popular 2015 album, Rise, and since then, he’s also done remixes for acts like Above & Beyond, deadmau5, ODESZA and Eric Prydz. Now in early 2018, he’s dropped his second artist album, Little By Little, via his own This Never Happened imprint, and it’s already topped charts and earned millions of streams.
We recently connected with Lane 8 who discussed his new album, his latest tour and how he’s attempted to minimize vibe-killing cell phone use at his shows.
DJ Times: How did you get into DJing?
Lane 8: My first exposure to DJing came in college. A few of my friends had decks and we would mess around at the end of parties at 3 a.m., and play our favorite tunes to whichever five drunk people were still there. It just slowly developed over time as a fun hobby, but as I got more and more into electronic music in my early 20s – DJing also became more and more of a focus for me.
DJ Times: Your first big break?
Lane 8: Through some persistence and dumb luck, a track I made back in 2012 called “Don’t Want You Back” ended up in the hands of The Magician, who had an extremely influential mix series called The Magic Tapes. He played my track in one of those tapes, and I started to build a fanbase and got bookings purely based off that. It’s still amazing to me how easily and quickly the project got moving once I had that initial push. Not too long after that, Jody Wisternoff started playing my music in his sets and, through that, I signed with Anjunadeep, and things really took off from there.
DJ Times: What’s your DJ-gear evolution been like?
Lane 8: DJ software has come and gone over the years, but actually I’m surprised how similar my setup is today compared to what I learned to DJ on. Back in college, I learned on [Pioneer DJ] CDJs with actual CDs, and now I’m using USB sticks – but the basic idea is exactly the same. My current setup is pretty simple – three CDJs, a mixer, and a microphone. I like to say thanks to the audience a couple times during my sets – it’s the least I can do.
DJ Times: And the studio?
Lane 8: My set-up has changed considerably. I have moved from my early days producing with just a keyboard and a drum machine to discovering FL Studio to later discovering Ableton Live – and a million new bits of software have found their way into my set-up over the years. Right now, I really love the u-he Diva for synth sounds, and I use a ton of UAD plug-ins for mixing.
DJ Times: Which artists most influenced you? Which producers?
Lane 8: Artists? Pet Shop Boys, LCD Soundsystem and Nils Frahm. Producers? Eric Prydz, Aphex Twin and Pete Rock.
DJ Times: You’ve banned cell-phone photos/videos from your shows. Why?
Lane 8: The whole concept came about during a tour I did in 2015. I noticed that whenever I played one of my better-known tracks, instead of dancing and singing along, most of the crowd scrambled to record the moment on their phones. It struck me as really sad that so many people weren’t experiencing music in an organic fashion anymore. Based on my own euphoric clubbing experiences I had when I was younger, I wanted to give fans that visceral and personal connection with music and fellow fans that I feel is lacking at a lot of shows these days.
DJ Times: How are people taking it?
Lane 8: There has been an increased interest in my shows because of the concept – the feedback we have received on our “This Never Happened” shows has been incredibly positive and has really exceeded all of our expectations, which is great. I would like to think that, ultimately, people come to my shows because they like my music.
DJ Times: Think other DJ/artists will follow your lead?
Lane 8: I hear lots of artists talking about doing similar things, but it doesn’t seem like many want to actually come full out and do no-phone shows, for whatever reason. I think maybe a lot of artists realize that it’s not quite as simple as saying, “Don’t use your phones.” There is a lot of teamwork and logistical wrangling that goes into these events. I have noticed is that in the stand-up comedy world, it seems that it has actually become the norm at shows, which I think is really cool and helps our movement.
DJ Times: What was your approach to Little By Little?
Lane 8: I was lucky enough to collaborate with some incredible singers on the album – Poliça, Patrick Baker, Fractures and J.F. July. The album is sort of a celebration of the album format, and as a producer… the joy of each little task on each song that moves you one step closer towards the goal of creating an immersive experience for people.
DJ Times: Describe your inspiration behind the new album.
Lane 8: It’s in a large part inspired by some of my favorite albums that I listened to as a kid – like Pet Shop Boys’ Behaviour and Pink Floyd’s The Wall. They’re albums that had a very cohesive sound palette and told a story as an entire body of work, rather than being a random collection of singles.
DJ Times: What else can we look forward to in 2018?
Daniel: One big focus for us this year is developing This Never Happened as a label, and we have some really exciting projects in the works from artists like Anderholm and Khåen.