SW4 chat to Layo Ruskin

The SW4 boys sit down with Layo Ruskin, the guy behind The End presents Shake It stage, a newcomer for the 2009 festival...

SW4: Firstly, I think we speak on behalf of everyone in clubland in congratulating you on everything you achieved at The End and given to London. How hard a decision was it to call it a day?
Layo Ruskin: Thank you. It was hard because we were all so emotionally involved and it had been our lives for a long time, but deep down we knew that the timing was good and the opportunity to have a full story and walk away on our terms was a special one. We didn’t feel there was more we could do but continue and we didn’t want to lose the passion that made it the place we all loved.

SW4: How has the closing of The End changed your life on a day to day basis now that the dust has settled? What do you miss the most?
LR: Yes but I haven’t had as much time off as I thought I would! But that is down to me, I’ve been in the studio a lot, we organised shake it but I am beginning to enjoy the freedom. I miss working with the team there; we had a real family vibe.

SW4: Did you take any cool memorabilia from the club?!
LR: Yes lots. But the best bit is a piece of the original flooring with the dates of the club’s history inscribed; it looks good in my home studio.

SW4: New for 2009 is ‘Shake It’, your new warehouse concept. How did the launch party go with Laurent Garnier?

LR: Fantastic, but it was a lot of work with just a few of us and not the whole end team…

SW4: Was it weird hosting a party away from The End?
Yes definitely, for the first hour all I could think was this wasn’t The End but then I relaxed and the party took on its own identity and it was fantastic, reminded me of when I started in all the good ways.

SW4: You made your debut at the South West Four festival last summer on the Main Stage, how was that for you?
LR: Awesome. I was blown away by SW4. We had an early afternoon set and I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was packed and had a great crowd and atmosphere. It was a highlight of my summer.

SW4: This year we’re privileged to have you guys hosting one of the arenas. Tell us more…
LR: Well Danny [from SW4] approached us and it was great to be asked because London is our home. SW4 is already an amazing event and we are doing new parties in the form of “Shake It” so the combination felt perfect. We’re really looking forward to it.

SW4: What’s the best thing about outdoor festivals in the summer and do you have any essential festival survival tips?

LR: Well of course it is weather dependent, but somehow that weekend always is pretty good, partying outside is the ultimate and of course we aren’t spoilt in England with sun so I think we all really embrace each opportunity. Festival tips? Enjoy the moment.

SW4: What’s your favourite festival drink?
LR: Nothing too unique, it’s not easy getting the perfect drink in a field but a cold beer always washes well.

SW4: What’s been your most shameful festival moment – be it on a social level or whilst performing… come on be honest…?!

LR: Honestly nothing I can remember, I have slept in the back of my car a few times which always seems like not too bad an idea till you wake up…

SW4: Now the weekends are totally yours again, will you be making up for some lost time with tours galore on the horizon?
LR: Yes but I have been on the road pretty much relentlessly for ten years, still I love to travel.

SW4: What’s next for Layo & Bushwacka in 2009? Production, DJ wise etc
LR: Studio, lots of it… remixes for artists from Fatboy Slim to labels such as Plus 8, pretty varied and lots of tracks for our label, Olmeto. And of course DJing somewhere near you this year.