Fresh off the release of his brand new imprint OPENERS, Caleb Cornett or otherwise known by his stage name, Amtrac has launched a series of rooftop pool parties in Los Angeles to which he admitted unexpectedly sold out the first event. Surprised by the packed turnout, Caleb is excited to continue on through the Summer as he focuses on his successful event series and the development of his new label. Alongside him in this undertaking is his good friend Durante, who both plan to focus on the IDM side of House music. Their mission is to push a deeper sound in Southern California.
As his name suggests, the man likes to travel and will be headed out to the Desert this weekend for the June edition of Splash House. Luckily, we had a chance to sit down and chat with the legend about his current endeavours before he spearheads this exciting season.
WWD: So you’re going to be playing Splash House this weekend?
Amtrac: Yeah, I’m pretty stoked I think it’s going to be extremely hot but hopefully I’ll dress appropriately for the event.
WWD: How do you plan on dealing with the heat from not only the desert but also of your most recent mixtapes?
Amtrac: [laughs] Who knows? Planning on wearing shorts and maybe even a tank top because it’s usually like 100 degrees out there. I don’t really get to play to a pool atmosphere too often so I’m pretty stoked to have more of a summertime vibe than being in the club, so that should be tight.
WWD: Exciting stuff. You’ll be playing on Sunday just after your late night set in San Diego the night before. Traveling from San Diego to Palm Springs I’m sure won’t be an easy drive for an early morning after a night of partying. How do you cope with touring and traveling? Do you have a ritual that you adhere to while on the road?
Amtrac: It all depends on where I’m at and who I’m with. Most of the time I’ll be by myself. I don’t have a tour manager or anything so I’ll probably not party the night before and be very reasonable with my alcohol intake. Then I have a train that transfers to a bus that takes me to Palm Springs so I’ll be making the rounds to get there. I think I arrive at 2 pm and then I’m on at 4 pm so it will be kind of hectic but I like that, it keeps me on my feet and on edge which will translate into maybe a better DJ set. We’ll see. [laughs]
WWD: You’re originally from Kentucky, a notorious flyover state. Do you feel like growing up there effected your preferred methods of travel? Furthermore, how do you feel it affected your sense and tastes in music?
Amtrac: I think everything is pretty chill. I’d rather not be on a bus for too long. I mean if a bus ride is like two hours it’s okay but I really like the train; although no pun intended that I like the Amtrak. [laughs] Yeah… whatever means of travel is usually chill with me, I’m pretty easy going, sit back and get from A to B.
As for the music, the internet kind of came with me finding like more underground stuff but I’ve always had strong connection to electronic music. I think going to bigger cities and seeing clubs and how House Music was being played and being able to witness DJs is probably what shifted my interests more into House. However, back in the day it was more like Warp Records, Astralworks, and more IDM type stuff like back in the day before EDM was a thing.
WWD: Ahh, the good old days!
Amtrac: [laugh] Yeah a different time but yeah, now it’s more DJ based stuff that I’m interested in. I still have a love for live electronic music and drum machines, pretty much making everything live which I want to get back to maybe at the beginning of next year and doing a live tour but yeah there’s a lot of pieces that need to be in place before that can work, so just DJing for now.
WWD: Nice, nice. And you just had a pool party this past weekend as well, could you tell us a little about that?
Amtrac: Yeah, it was at The Standard Downtown but it was a night party, so no pool time. We sold it out though, so that was extremely good for the OPENERS brand right now. We didn’t really anticipate that many people coming out, and I always take everything with a grain of salt… but so many homies rolled through and the music was fire all night. We had myself, Durante, and Jesse Rosse going back to back with Brillstein. It was a pretty cool night and lineup.
WWD: As I understand it, you guys are doing a series of these parties. Correct?
Amtrac: Yeah, we’re going to do two more: one in July and one in August. The one in August is a day party and the other one is a night one.
WWD: Seems like a good time, your parties are based around your new record label OPENERS, could you tell us a bit about what you have cooking with that?
Amtrac: The next release is my friend Durante’s EP which i’m really excited to put out. It’s a pretty special group of four tunes that he put together over the past few months. Everything I’m signing is kind of bodies of work that were made at a point in time, not just old tracks that he had laying around. There’s an idea behind the entire record and I think he really nailed it with his entire vision for how he wanted it to sound. I’m really excited for people to hear that.
WWD: So would you say that this label you’re starting is more about helping your friends create and release their visions? Or is there a specific aesthetic that you’re aiming for with it?
Amtrac: I started to put out my own records and I really wasn’t focused on signing people and I’m still really not looking for artists but he just got an EP together and it really made sense. I saw his vision so I wanted to help him with that. He’s the first artist I really started working with but obviously he’s a really close friend too, so it’s a good relationship right now. I’m still learning how to run a label and he’s helping me with creative stuff as well.
WWD: Fair enough! Thanks for joining us Caleb!
Catch Amtrac slam his set this Sunday @ Splash House and be sure to check out his new label OPENERS!