Sometimes you really just want some cheese on your toast, which is exactly what Morgan Page promises with his revision of the 80s classic “Your Love” by The Outfield. Taking updated versions of original’s unforgettable vocals, the American producer and DJ carries over the era’s signature metallic feel by way of a piano/banjo line that floats through the background. From there, the accompanying electronic flares just build on the classic, most notably the extended chords pushing through entire measures during the drop and a dreamy chime melody about half way through the track.
Though it may not carry the weight of my recent favorite of Page’s “Captcha” with Beltek, this new official update of “Your Love” does have the laid back but lovable attitude that Morgan Page exudes in his music. This track looks to bring the anthem of a previous generation into the next, and you can bet that circa 1:30AM this track will ignite the heart in everyone.
We got to sit down with Page before his performance at LAVO NYC last week, where he discussed “Your Love,” his roots and his high school superlatives.
Earmilk: You started out DJing on the University of Vermont’s campus as a high school student: how did that start?
Morgan Page: I heard and was addicted to these weekly radio shows while I was in high school and thought, “What if I could audition and get a slot there?” It’s typically required in college radio that you have to attend the school, pay your tuition etcetera – but you didn’t need to be a student to try out. And this was like people were actually missing their slots, so there was a lot of dead air. So I of course thought this was a tragedy like, “Oh my god, I need to do a radio show!” And when I went to audition, it was just one of those moments when, though I was so nervous, my life just sort of tilted on axis based on one small decision that changed everything.
EM: So you thought, “OK this is what I need to do.”
MP: Yeah, it led to working at record labels, getting my first demo out into the world, getting into the music and just getting that “bug” for house music. But everyone looked at me like I was crazy, wondering why a high school student would want to do this. People were very guarded about their shows, really wanted to hang onto their slots, but as I did radio shows there and people would miss those slots, I would drive in, hear dead air, go do my mix show, and that was it. You know whenever someone gets bored with their show it becomes an opportunity to go in and do your thing.
EM:So you really capitalized on that opportunity. Working at record labels and at radio stations, you must have been exposed to lots of different types of music. Working for a college radio station you must have gotten to more obscure stuff, and then in turn working for a record label must have showed you a whole different side to things.
MP: Yes, I really got everything. I was really into deep house, German tech house like The Timewriter, which is pretty obscure stuff. And then, I got into the entry points, like Daft Punk is obviously a huge influence (it’s everybody’s influence) and from there I just kept building this collection of vinyl. That was the thing really, going to the store to dig for records. And everybody still thought I was crazy. I think I was voted “Most Likely to Start a Record Label” in high school, so it’s pretty funny how things have turned out.
MP: One of my first records was signed to the label Fiji, which was based in New York. So Plastic City and Fiji were part of this label group Undercover Music Group so it was obscure German record label, and they were making really good music. I interned briefly for Ultra Records – for like a week – and quit pretty quickly. But I really was able to get that experience living in New York, surviving in the subway, taking the bus in and out of the city. It was crazy.
EM: You’re in LA now. How is that different from where you started in New York?
MP: Yeah, the west coast is different for me: I grew up in Vermont, sort of cut my teeth living in New York and Boston, and I went out west just because a lot of the producers I admired were out there, and a lot of products that I liked were based out there too; stuff like Apple and other cool companies were out there, so I thought maybe I could do something in the music licensing world. I wanted to make music for movies; you know you never know quite exactly what you want to do. But I dug the vibe on the west coast.
EM: Do you have anyone you’ve discovered recently that has influenced your newer music?
MP: You know there are a lot of guys that fit into that category. Any time I find an artist who’s on the verge of emerging, I want to either bring him on tour, or have them do a remix or something. Nilson & The 8th Note did a remix for me and they’re really great, Audien is going to come on tour with me and is doing really amazing things. These guys are so young! I’m so jealous of them: I thought I’d be there at 21. And I like a lot of the contemporary stuff too, the well-known guys, the Avicii’s, the Afrojack’s.
EM: You’ve got quite the resume of pop remixes under your belt. How do you get into that each time? How picky are you?
MP: With the pop stuff, I take on way less remixes these days because there’s barely any time to even do my own originals. So I mean I’ve really gotta love the song, or I mean when Stevie Nicks calls or Madonna calls me to do a remix, I’m like “Sure!” It’s funny mingling out in that pop music world. Usher came out to one of my shows and he didn’t even come say hi! He was just watching the show and everyone was like “That’s Usher!” But you’ve kind of gotta do your thing. You’ve gotta have your brand and your sound and not just be beholden to the pop world.
EM: I personally love your specific sound because of how melodic, upbeat and laid back it is. So how do you translate that sound into a big festival set or a club set?
MP: Well it’s tricky, you’ve got to always grow, especially since stuff has gotten more aggressive (specifically with the festival sets). And you’ve always gotta stay current and keep the taste that people love you for, since so many times people burn out and move onto the next thing. I have to keep things current but not lose my sound. So to me it’s all about strong songs and different textures and different ways of presenting these songs.
MP: At a club I have a little more freedom. I have two or three hours to play, and spread my wings a little bit more. At a festival it’s just “Go go go.” It’s all really tight edits, not everybody is your diehard fan and you have to cater to a lot of different people. At a club you get more of the diehard fans, and though you get diehards at festivals too, it’s such a wide swath of people that you know that people have just stumbled in and are like, “Who is this guy?” And so I really like to surprise them. I want people to come to a show and though they might know what I like to play, I’m still going to surprise them. No one wants to see the same show over and over again.
EM: What else do you have in the works for the rest of the year? You’ve got a new single coming out.
MP: Yes I’ve got a new single coming out called “Your Love,” that I’m really excited about. It’s a 2013 facelift to this classic 80s track. It’s a personal favorite of mine and I contacted the band and asked if I could do a new version of their song. And they were actually like, “Great, we just recorded new vocals already. Done deal!” I really hope it becomes an anthem. Next week I’m going to China, Indonesia and India so that will be crazy, and I have a huge bus tour in the fall.
Morgan Page, The Outfield