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Chris Cox

House Legend Talks Sobriety, Social Media, and His Ecstasy Arrest

Wolfgang Gartner recently returned to the stage after a year hiatus, playing his first show at Avalon in Los Angeles for the 7 year anniversary of their Friday night event Control.

After the show he chatted with LA Weekly, describing his history at Avalon, his days a kandi raver, his path from drug dealer to successful producer, and the similarities between drug use and social media.

On the topic of Avalon, and the Control night specifically, he reflects on all the significant events that happened there both for him personally, and the scene as a whole.

"So many historical things happened there. Skrillex opened for me there one time before he was Skrillex. He was this little, nervous kid trying to plug in [his laptop] ... then a year later, boom, it was like, Skrillex!”

Before his own career as a successful producer and DJ had taken off, he was a raver who wore JNCO jeans and kandi bracelets - and got dangerously caught up in drugs, both using and selling.

“I got arrested for selling ecstasy at a rave to an undercover cop. I went to jail for a while. I got out of jail and went straight back into doing drugs. My parents kicked me out of their house and I got a couple jobs working in warehouses. One day when I was 20, somebody had fronted me a bunch of ecstasy, and I couldn’t sell it. I ended up taking it all, and I literally hit rock bottom. I had to go to rehab.”

He was living in a halfway house when he signed his first record deal, at age 21, and embraced sobriety to push forward in his career. And now, as a star in electronic music, he sees similarities between drug use and social media, in the way that both detach people from the immediate experience of real life.

“It just drives me insane when people put their phones in front of themselves to capture a moment instead of choosing to experience that moment."

Amen to that!

Check his album 10 Ways to Steal Home Plate, and the just-released follow up EP More Ways on iTunes, and grab the free download of Speed of Sound below.

And read the full feature over at LA Weekly

Image: Georgia Modi Photography

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