Drop The Lime is Luca Venezia, a DJ/Producer/Musician/Designer whose work has so much context focused on culture, that it is no surprise he is from New York City. We had the chance to catch up with Drop the Lime to discuss his newest album, Enter the Night, which was mostly recorded in New Orleans and widely released on July 2nd. We even got details about his thoughts on Elvis, hair pomade, and where to get the best pickle backs in NYC.
This is a big day for you. Your album, Enter the Night, is being released today.
Yeah, I celebrated last night. A little too much. From 2 PM - 8 AM. And you know what's scary? I feel completely fine.
Tell me about your new album.
So I grew up with blues and rockabilly. It has always been a big inspiration for me musically. This album is the combination of me blending both genres and styles that I love and putting it into a song format. Enter the Night is that, it's basically a story --- a love affair, that I have with the city, and the night, the mystery the night time can bring, the wildness it brings.
It seems like you have an international following, how would you describe your American audiences?
I get a lot of rock n roll people mixed with club people, hip hop fans too. Because I pull from all of these different influences and styles into my music, I cater and get the attention from a wide variety of fans. It's fun.
Tell me about your work as a DJ.
A lot of the stuff I play when I DJ is on my label, Trouble and Bass. We do a lot of bass heavy music. Artists like AC Slater, Zombies for Money, and then mixed with rockabilly, with my own edits.
How did you come up with the name, Drop the Lime?
It is an old reference to a Sicilian wives tale. On the grave stones of the deceased, they put limes to bless the graves or else the spirit will come back evil. This is a nod to that, I want to bring the evilness out. Only way you do that is by dropping the lime.
So, what is your fascination with evil?
I am fascinated with the romance of it, the darkness. It is never obvious. You look at something like a dark shadow, you never know what is in it. Your imagination can run wild. And if you look at something like a rainbow, you can see the colors and it's obvious.
Where do you get aesthetic inspirations from?
Fine art. My father is a painter, my mother is a photographer. I grew up in a very artistic upbringing. Also a lot from visual arts, like David Lynch. And obviously Elvis and blues artists.
How would you describe your personal style?
Black. Johnny Cash. Not a black Johnny Cash, but you know. I also like braces (suspenders), they nod to the danger of bondage and that kind of attitude. I am working with Zana Bayne on a collaboration. We saw each other out at the bar, The Flat, and were like, "what the hell!" We hit it right off. We are doing something crazy, I don't wanna say in case someone will steal the idea...but it's very Western.
What are other collaborations you've done in the past?
Music wise, I did a collab with Bloody Beetroots, that will be coming out on Ultra [Records]. I did a design project with Bijules. Hopefully we will have that out for the Fall. She did all of the jewelry for the film, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I also make my own jewelry, my line is called "Nobody Under the Sun." Right now, we only sell at Odin New York.
What are your favorite retailers?
I love Oak, Odin. Izzue, it doesn't exist in New York, it is a store in Shanghai and Hong Kong, it's unbelievable. You can't even order it online. It is all black, black denim, and cloak-y kind of things. Think red-riding-hood-vampire-hunter. It goes with my obsession with darkness.
How does New York compare to other cities?
New York City for life. Being born and raised here, I wear the city on my sleeve. I've tried to live in other cities, I've tried to live in Berlin. I constantly compare elements of New York to any other city, and there is no comparison. Berlin was inspirational. At the time, I was trying to find my sound. I started going out to a lot of the techno nights and started hearing artists like TJ T, Booka Shade, or Mode Selector. I was friends with all of the them. Then I started going to clubs like Weekend, or Panorama Bar, and I grew an appreciation for techno and house. It brought me into DJ-ing more and incorporating electronics with my guitar playing.
Where are your favorite places to go out in Brooklyn and Manhattan?
In Brooklyn, The Flat, Maison Premier, Dram. And you know what! The best places for pickle backs are Lucky Dog and Saint Vitus. Pickle backs are always a good kick off for the night. It's gonna be a wild night if you start it off with a pickle back.
In Manhattan, Le Bain. I am having my release party there on July 14th. To me, it's the only club in New York that really embodies New York City's energy and beauty. I love the class of it. It has that old New York attitude, really classy, but when you get inside, some crazy shit is gonna go down.
What kind of hair pomade do you use?
Sweet Georgia Brown.
Do you ever think you will just become "Luca" or do you like having the "Drop the Lime" persona?
I've got so many different projects as well that are more concept based, like this house project I do called "Curses!". Curses! I released on a French label, Institutes, in 2007. It's like Haunted House music. Very 90s old Chicago New York style house. Right now, Drop the Lime is the main focus. I've got 3 more albums in me for Drop the Lime. I have finally found a sound that I am really happy and comfortable with. The ideas are flowing, and many of them.
Thursday, May 23
We sat down with Anne Pasternak for a few questions about Creative Time's past and future, as well as the importance of having an awareness about public art in the city.