Tea With… Seth Troxler
Seth Troxler is a man happy to don a number of hats. Meeting him at a friend of his home in North London it was plain to see that foremost, he is a lover of life. Sitting in this comfortable lounge he is welcoming, informal and very much at one with the world around him. His charisma and ease of charm make him very entertaining and insightful company. Having been made feel at home by his welcoming and gracious house crew, including girlfriend Anna, we quickly get into the meat (and veg) of things.
?During the hazy and imbibing days of summer 2013, Seth and his long time friend / partner Ryan Crosson ardently opened their first restaurant venture in east Londons Hackney Wick area. Seth confesses that his blind instinct and an ever present enthusiasm to actualise his ideas before allowing them time to ferment gave rise to just three weeks preparation leading up to the launch of Smokey Tails. This instinctive methodology is indicative of Troxlers approach to most everything in his creative life. A great believer in fortune when your lucks in, keep running Seths incautious attitude has guided him well in both business and in music although he assures me that he is still learning as he goes. Im a good judge of characterI want to believe in my heart that everyone is good and cool and openbut Ive been burnt before perhaps it is for this reason that he has thoughtfully surrounded himself with friends that he can work with and trust.
He goes on to explain that he only works with people he knows Im kind of a lifer with friends but it emerges that, in the past his candid and free spirited nature have caused him now to be more tentative in his business relationships; going on to say, everyones got their own past and scars alluding further perhaps to some bygone misfiring associations some people are stupid and shady but existentially he rounds the matter up by saying its just life. Which is really the most striking thing about Seth Troxler. One gets the impression that he genuinely loves everything he does. Whether its making delicious meatloaf at home and eating it in front of an open fire or playing his favourite jams to a crowd of ten thousand, Seth truly puts his heart into every ounce of his voyage on this earth. We soon return to the point of cuisine and Seth details a little about his next culinary adventure. Buddies is soon to open in Haggerston. A dive bar that will serve a selection of hot-dogs, beers by the belly load and reinterpretations of the mouth watering pulled pork recipe he learned from his mum (currently on offer at Smokey Tails) into a slider. Guaranteed to be fun and homely terrain, Seth explains a little of his background in food. It seems BBQ sauce was a speciality of his grandfather and pulled pork similarly of his mother.
Being a third generation BBQ baby, he is not shy in admitting that its an adoptive trait he is more than willing to hand on to the next generation of food enthused Troxler, I cant wait to bust these nuts, make some babies which is a domiciliary side to his character which may not be well documented. With the opening of Buddies we will see the return of Smokey Tails to Hackney Wick and Troxler is certain that with more preparation time, this summer will be an even greater success.
As the three times ADE cook-off champion, its obvious that Seth loves his food but a long time before food entered the publics mind-set, music was the reason we all came to know him and his talents. Starting a new business endeavour is never easy but the lessons he has learned from a career at the leading edge of house and techno has bestowed upon him a calm assuredness that is certain to run through all of his upcoming ventures. Talking a little about Visionquest, he describes how he has taken a step back, giving the other partners (Ryan Crosson, Lee Curtiss, Shaun Reeves) more room to manoeuvre and a greater opportunity to step-up and prove what they can really do, to which Seth says he feels proud. The recent special edition vinyl release by folk singer Quilla, which includes a remix from Ricardo Villalobos, and an upcoming Dinky release Xanax, featuring remixes from Roman Flugel and Tuff City Kids, there is little in evidence to suggest that its anything but business as usual for the Detroit based label. In fact, Seth gives the impression that there is more to come from each member were all still on our own Visionquest and his admission that being wrapped up in my own shit may not have been the best way of moving everything forward.
Ultimately, Seth values his friendships more highly than anything else stating, [its the] best thing for our friendshipI dont feel stifled and they dont feel pressured, which is the worst thing in any relationshipfriends want the best for each other. Having already said that he viewed his friendships as being lifetime affairs and how he was still learning as he went, its conceivable that all parties will benefit majorly from having the space to carve out their own path. On this note, Seth briefly describes his impending musical propositions and talks about three new labels that are in the pipeline. Varying in output, one will be indie / folk oriented with the singer Quillas album soon to be released. The second is a new project, which will see Troxler team up with the Martinez Brothers to deliver clothing and sounds with a U.S. urban, heritage and historical feel. The final inception will focus on super-hits which may not have perfectly suited the Visionquest aesthetic. With the restaurant and Buddies on the horizon, it appears that Seths schedule in 2014 is certain to be a busy one.
Of course, his new labels couldnt happen without the established base he has built for himself as one of the worlds premier record selectors. Late last year he announced his plans to reign in some of his touring opting to concentrate on residencies in some of the most well renowned clubs anywhere on earth. Having limited time to talk, we didnt even broach this subject as conversation meandered further into his love affair with the culinary arts.
Seth has lived in London for roughly two years. Food definitely was a deciding factor in his city choice. Previously a Berlin adoptee he found the food to be less than satisfactory eating in Berlin is a pit of despair and with Londons well heeled reputation as one of the worlds gastronomic centres it made much sense to up sticks and embrace the food culture here. A man that likes to cook at home, he appreciates the abundance of fresh produce available in the capital and amazes at the affordability of high quality fruit, vegetables and meat within walking distance of his current residence. The meat for Smokey Tails is locally sourced through the Ginger Pig butcher but when it comes to smoking and flavouring the food they serve much of the credit must be handed to Seth. Its evident that eating plays a huge part in his life and he recounts a less than satisfying dining experience in a stuffy and pretentious restaurant in Bangkok and one other in a Michelin star establishment in Europe. Ive been skinny and Im just a prick then whilst holding his moderate abdominal protrusion he said, this is my mojoif I got skinny? Mojo gone! further colouring the conversation by adding skinny prick [to] eccentric fat guy which elucidates his great sense of joie de vivre.
Seth certainly doesnt leave anything on the sidelines. He is deeply passionate about his pursuits whether they are business, leisure or other. In pursuing new avenues of creative expression he best utilises his talents for fresh thinking and approaches new projects with an unequivocal sense of optimism. As he made clear earlier, when luck is on your side, you should get to making lots of hay. Indisputably, Seth Troxler has much still to offer in all respects. With his positivity, enthusiasm and intention to make everything happen for himself and those closest to him, 2014 promises to be a exhilarating year on all fronts for technos current masterchef.
For more info on Smokey Tails, go here.
To keep up with Seth Troxler's comings and goings, mosey on over to his facebook page.