Vegas’ list of world-renowned talent is lengthy, but you’ll soon be able to add another name to it: Paul Oakenfold. To say Oakenfold’s residency at club Rain is huge would be a gross understatement: he’s opened for U2, been crowned number one DJ on the planet for 2 years in a row, and even composed the entire score for the movie Swordfish (among other films). But what makes his weekly Saturday night residency so unique is the fact that the U.S., unlike Europe, doesn’t have any weekly residents as internationally renowned as Paul Oakenfold.
His night at club Rain in the Palms will forever change the face of Las Vegas’ (and quite possibly America’s) club scene. Las Vegas is already an internationally renowned tourist destination, but his night at Rain may very well be the catalyst that propels it into the ranks of places like Ibiza and it’s quite possible that other cities in the U.S. may follow suit.
Clubplanet recently got the chance to chat with Paul to talk about what he has in store for the future of Las Vegas.
Clubplanet: What’s been going on for you as of late?
Paul Oakenfold: I’ve been up to a couple of things. I just released my autobiography and I’ve been doing book signings for that. I’ll be composing the score for a film as well.
CP: How did this residency in Las Vegas come about?
Oakenfold: I’ve been wanting to do a residency in America for years. I’ve been all around the United States and New York is petering off with the clubs. LA has a two o’clock liquor license, so Vegas really struck me as the place to do it. It used to be a little bit behind, but over the years Vegas has changed its attitude. It seems as though it’s the right moment and everything seems to be working. The great thing about Vegas is that it’s recognized as this international location, like Ibiza. Even when I go to America, everyone I meet wants to go to Vegas. Having my residency in Vegas makes it possible for me to bring up the production levels. I’m working with the people who have done the Pink Floyd show and I’m working with the people that do video production for the Chili Peppers, so I’ve got a really good team. The idea is to build a show. I feel that the Palms is the right place to do it in because it’s a young place. There are a lot of people involved and I’m really excited.
CP: The kind of music you’ll be playing is a lot different than what you usually hear in Vegas. How do you expect that to pan out?
Oakenfold: In Vegas they’re all playing mashups and top 40. What we’re doing is catering for an international crowd.
CP: Once this residency begins, will you be shifting your focus away from other aspects of your career?
Oakenfold: Yes, I’ll be doing less shows in America, less shows in Europe, and focusing more on Vegas. Aside from Vegas, the only other commitment I have is Madonna’s world tour, so I’ll be away for a couple of weeks. When I do go on the tour with Madonna, I’ll bring in some high end DJs. What’s great is that Vegas is only about 45 minutes away from my studio, so I’ll spend Monday through Friday preparing my tracks, which means I’ll be able to make a record and release it on iTunes before I go to the club. I’ll also be doing collaborations with a lot of people.
CP: Unlike Europe, America isn’t known for superstar residencies. Do you see this as a coming trend?
Oakenfold: I never really looked at it like that. I’m not really focusing on what happens elsewhere, I’m focusing more on myself. I’m not going into this thinking that it will change a trend in America. Hopefully it will change things. This residency will provide an opportunity for young American DJs to gain exposure. I’ll be playing from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m., and I’ll have the younger DJs play from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
CP: Do you see yourself tapping into your extensive musical background for this residency?
Oakenfold: I’ll be doing a lot of different stuff, a lot of re-works. I’ve just done a Chili Peppers mix and they aren’t a dance group. I don’t think I’ll be doing things that people are too unfamiliar with, but you’ll definitely hear some new stuff. It’s going to be dance music though.
CP: Do you think this will increase European tourism in Vegas?
Oakenfold: Yea, for sure.
CP: Tell us about Rain. How do you like the space?
Oakenfold: I like the space, it’s a big space with high ceilings. They are going to completely re-do the lighting and sound system. I think a lot of other clubs aren’t focused on the dance floor, but Rain is.
CP: You’ve done the score for a few movies, what draws you to that?
Oakenfold: I’ve always enjoyed film and it’s always something I wanted to get into. I really love motion pictures.
CP: You’ve held a few residencies at megaclubs in the UK. How do you think that will come into play in Las Vegas?
Oakenfold: This is my first residency I’ve held in the United States and my first residency outside of the UK so it is definitely going to be different. I want to bring that European flavor to America.
CP: What are you going to be doing on your down time in Vegas?
Oakenfold: I have access to the recording studio there so I’ll be using that to my advantage. I’ll really be looking at every aspect of the club, and I’m really going to try to encourage the locals. I want to put Vegas on the map internationally.