David - a career and a half - and then some!
We have some very fond memories of yourself at DMC, your 1992 Ice T 'New Jack Hustler' will always be a classic remix and the sets you played for us at Mixmag around the world will always have us teary eyed. So The Ministry of Sound, the big 2 - 0. A huge achievement. What makes The Ministry of Sound so special in your opinion?
Ministry was the first NY style club in every sense of the word. Ministry set the bar very high when they opened. It was all based on a philosophy. For once someone designed a club that was strictly for dancers/clubbers. It was all about the music. Proper sound and lighting. And also the staff... it was like a family.
What is the earliest record you can remember as a child that you loved?
Spinning Wheel by Blood Sweat and Tears.
What was family life like back then - was music all around you? You grew up in Brooklyn, must have been sounds coming from everywhere...?
Actually my roots are Hispanic and my parents only played Spanish music around me but I was only into black music. I wasn't interested in Spanish music at all. I'm sorry that I wasn't because as I've gotten older and appreciate music I now know how important it would have been to have embraced it.
You were once quoted as saying..."I am creating a place for people to forget their troubles for a while." Today it seems we need escape routes more than ever. Have you still got the passion to bring smiles to people's faces? All those aeroplane trips...!
Yes I still do. It's what I live for!
What has been the best ever night at The Ministry you have ever had...
Boy I can't remember that long lol there's been so many and so long ago.
We come back to the Morales pad after a club - what are the 10 Back To Mine tunes you spin us to chill to...?
Fly Like An Eagle - Steve Miller Band
Lovely Day - Bill Withers
Living On The Frontline - Eddy Grant
Walking Into Sunshine - Central Line
Changes - Imagination
Are You For Real - Deodato
I Want To Thank You - Alicia Meyers
The Boss - Diana Ross
Not Gonna Change - Swing Out Sister
Ain't Nobody - Chaka Khan
List us some MOS classics you have played us, records you know will always drop to a sea of hands in the air?
Where Love Lives - Alison Limerick
Big Fun - Innercity
Good Life - Innercity
Finally - CeCe Peniston
I'll Be Your Friend - Robert Owens
Tears - Frankie Knuckles
Which of the UK homegrown DJs have you enjoyed playing alongside at The Ministry?
Justin Berkman, Bert Bevans, CJ MacIntosh....
What one piece of vinyl would you never sell?
I would never sell my 1st 12" of Ten Percent by Double Exposure.
You have re-worked/remixed/produced the likes of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, U2 and Diana Ross - who's left that you really want to work with?
Well that was a different era of artists. Of true artists in my opinion. It's really hard to hear what an artist is really capable of with the kind of music that they're singing today. I think that Lady Gaga is amazing and so is Cristina Aguilera.
A near miss with Mariah Carey 'Dream Lover' at the Grammy's - 1998 however saw you scoop the gong. Where do you keep it at your house?
I keep my Grammy in my studio. Right where it really came from. I owe it all to my studio and my musicians.
What is the most extravagent party you have ever had the pleasure of playing at?
I would probably have to say an opening party for a Cirque du Soliel in Las Vegas. That was some event.
DMC know Judy Weinstein very well. You joined her record pool around 1983 with the likes of Larry Levan, Kenny Carpenter, Jellybean Benitez and Shep Pettibone who were members - and then came THAT call from Michael Brody at The Paradise Garage. Was that a surprise call - he'd never heard you play...?
Yes it was most definitely a surprise call. I even thought that someone was playing a joke on me until he mentioned Judy.
I had been to the Garage around 5-6 times before that as a clubber. He had never heard me play and neither did Judy but I would always give Judy cassettes of my sets. He offered me 2 nights which I found strange since he never heard me play at all. Nevertheless. it was probably the most incredible experience I've ever had DJing. I played for a total of 22 hours that weekend.
The best sound system in the world : The Garage or The Ministry, or somewhere else...? Japan perhaps...?
The Paradise Garage hands down. No question. And that was back in 1987.
Who is the best DJ to have ever graced a pair of ones and twos?
Too many great DJ's. Not a fair question.
Cavo Paradiso in Mykonos - favourite story?
My 40th birthday with my mom my aunt my son my brother and some of my closest friends. My mom finally got to see what I do for a living.
The Ministry of Sound it seems to be always smothered and critisised with the whole 'corporate image' - whereas other superclubs such as Zouk and Pacha get away with it.
True, The Ministry is a money making machine, but it has always stayed close to its roots and put on quality dance music...
Thoughts on this?
Ministry is the ORIGINAL CLUB brand. The first to put a club on an international level. That of course takes some sort of corporate structure. A well run machine. Who wouldn't have wanted to be like Ministry? I don't even think that Ministry had any idea what was in store for her.
In an interview once, you were very honest about how much you were paid for a DJ gig. You didn't fancy a club in Turkey until they offered you $20,000 and you snapped it up. What is the most you have been paid to DJ at someone's party?
Well I don't know where you heard that Turkey story from. Not true. I cannot say what is the most I've been paid but I can tell you how little I've taken for a gig. "$0"
What one record do you wish you had made?
Lovely Day by Bill Withers
How do you get on with MOS co-founder James Palumbo? Does he ever let his hair down?
I've never really had to deal with Lord James. He's always been a gentleman in my presence.
Ibiza is very close to your heart. Why is this magical island such an instituion, tell us about some of your happiest times there...? I will never forget you in your turquoise Speedos with Lee from Miss Moneypenny's at Salinas.
First of all my Speedos were RED. And yes it was one of my happiest moments shooting my video there. I've had so many fond memories in Ibiza. My 40th birthday. My first time playing at SPACE. At Amnesia and of course so many amazing times at Pacha. My first time going to the sulfur pits in Formentera.
You and Frankie have given us so many incredible memories DJing together - why did you compliment each other so well?
We just clicked from day one. Musically we're not that far from each other. He has a few years on me of course but we just became great friends.
Who is the most famous person on your mobile phone?
Idris Elba the actor.
We hear on the grapevine, some new stuff coming from the Morales studio...
Oh yes!!! A new album with some cool collaborations. I have Ultra Nate, Janice Robinson, Jonathan Mendelsohn, Tamara Keenan, Polina and Roisin Murphy. I also have some cool underground tracks as well coming out. I like my dirty tracks!