Countdown to EDC Las Vegas Series with Culture Shock
We caught up with James Pountney, better known by his stage name Culture Shock for the next installment in our Countdown to EDM Las Vegas Series. Culture Shock is a British drum and bass DJ and producer you won’t want to miss while at EDC LV. Creating tracks that attest both time and production standards, there’s no denying that his alias has become a household name not only across drum & bass, but also the daytime radio airwaves. On top of delivering monumental remixes for the likes of Nero, Netsky, Rita Ora and Seinabo Sey, his momentum continues to grow as an international touring DJ. Check out our interview with Culture Shock below.
How did you get into the music industry?
I would go to nights like Renegade Hardware, Ram, Fabric Live armed with CD’s…basically
trying to get my tracks heard and meet people. ‘The End’ in London was the spot for that…at the
time you could meet everyone in the Drum&Bass scene and hear all the fresh dubplates at the
How did you get the DJ name Culture Shock?
I wanted a name that could go in any direction. I don’t want to be pigeon holed into a certain
What sets you apart from other DJ’s out there?
I approach djing almost as if it was a live set, I often use looping and effects to create moments
between tracks that didn’t exist previously. Also I only play music I love…I can’t play stuff just
because it’s guaranteed to get a good reaction…I’m stubborn like that…but when you’re only
paying music you believe in and you can take the crowd along with you the payoff is much
Every great DJ/producer has a muse who/what inspires you?
Not sure I have one muse. I’m inspired by many artists in the electronic music scene past and
present, especially techno / tech house. There’s a few trusted people I regularly play stuff at
various stages in order to gauge a reaction…People like Sub Focus who are on the same
wavelength and its always good to have Andy C come visit the studio..he has more experience
DJing around the world than…probably anyone.
You are playing at EDC Las Vegas. What can we expect from your set?
I’m really excited to play a load of new music I’m working on at the moment.
What other artist are you looking forward to seeing at EDC?
I won’t be there for long but hoping to catch Dusky & TEED b2b Jonas Rathsman
If you were not in the music industry what would you be doing?
Maybe something creative visually, video/film production…anything that combines technology
Do you have any rituals you do before a set or something you have to make sure to have with you each time you perform?
If I have a chance I like to have a mix before the set, either on the plane or in the hotel…gets me
into the groove and familiar with new tracks i might have been sent. Just take the the
usual…Headphones, ear plugs, usbs…But more recently been bringing my camera rig along, I
love getting good footage and stitching it together for tour videos
Craziest thing a fan has done to get your attention?
A guy came up to me after a show once to show me a massive culture shock tattoo across his
whole forearm!…good effort! And a girl recently reached out on Facebook to confirm the lyrics on
City Lights for her own tatt. It’s awesome that music has such a strong impact on people
Name something you would change about the industry based on the challenges you face?
I’d always like the focus to be on great music rather than attention seeking gimmicks.
Unfortunately the nature of the internet means it’s much easier to get noticed doing something
stupid and annoying rather than actual credible great work. That whole culture means a shift
towards ever more throw away “content”
What has been the most memorable experience so far?
I did a festival in India for the first time at the end of last year. It’s just not like anywhere I’ve
played before. I love it there and can’t wait to go back.
Name three perks to being a DJ/Producer
Getting to travel, being my own boss, getting to do what I love as a career.
Three things Something we would be surprised to know about Culture Shock?
I sometimes edit interview questions if I can’t think of a good answer.
If you could ask any one artist any ONE question, who would it be, and what would the
Prince…How could you leave us!?
What do you enjoy doing on your downtime?
I haven’t had much downtime recently but I love going out for a good meal. Had some nice ones
while touring the US with Calyx & TeeBee recently, A top sushi chef and D&B fan treated us to
an amazing meal in New York
Everyone has one, what is your guiltiest pleasure?
I love a proper tasty greasy burger. Brioche bun, streaky bacon, caramelized onions, the kind
that instantly melts in the mouth.
What is one song from another artist in your playlist you can’t get enough of (any genera)
I haven’t been listening to much new music at the moment. I’m in full on studio mode…It’s
sometimes a good idea to not let other music distract you from the vibe you’re on. But i recently
rediscovered John Hopkins Light through Veins
Other than EDC Las Vegas what else are you excited for in 2016?
This month I’ll be playing at Amensia in Ibiza, heading to South America for the first time to play
in Sao Paulo Then EDC. Straight after that I’m heading back to the UK for Glastonbury. I’m also
really excited about new music I’m working on….alone and with others!
Any thank you’s or shoutouts?
Amsterdam, Cardiff, Manchester, Ibiza, São Paulo and Everyone at the BassPod this year…See
you over the next few weeks!!