Q&A: Alan Fitzpatrick

British DJ Producer Alan Fitzpatrick is known for his hard but commanding style of big-room techno. With a career spanning over two decades, Fitzpatrick is an unparalleled tour de force in the global techno scene.

Since the late 2000’s the techno maestro has released a steady thread of releases on Drumcode, Bedrock, Cocoon, Toolroom Trax and more recently his personal label ‘We Are The Brave’.

Today, we sat down with Alan Fitzpatrick to talk about all things music, plus latest Toolroom Trademark Series sample pack.

Hey Alan, hope you’re well! Welcome to the Toolroom Academy and to the #ToolroomFamily! How are you doing and where in the world are you right now?

Thanks for having me. I’m great, currently on holiday in Ibiza with my wife. It’s our first non UK trip since the pandemic hit so we’re really enjoying the much needed downtime.

So, you’ve made your official Sample Pack debut on Toolroom with your Trademark Series, talk to us a bit about pack, what it contains and how you made it?

I asked myself, if I bought a sample pack, what would I want. I’ve included everything from acid, rave, synths, beats and fx. Basically everything you’ll need to make an Alan Fitzpatrick inspired banger.

As a producer, how do Samples fit into your workflow?

I enjoy working with samples, I think a lot of fun can be had by manipulating a sound.

You’re a legend in the Techno scene, with notable releases on labels such as Drumcode, Bedrock, Cocoon & your own label We Are The Brave, how did you first get into the genre?

I started off making Hard House and Hard Acid Techno around 2002 and felt more at home making techno tracks. I just grafted and it kind of developed from there.

Your sound has often been referred to as tough, high-energy and relentlessly funky, are these specific points you have in mind when creating new music? How would you describe the sound of the music you create?

I don’t really have anything in mind when I’m in the studio. I just do what feels natural to me at the time. It’s important to have fun and try not to put restrictions on yourself.

Talk to us a bit about where you grew up, what was the local scene like and what venues did you frequent when you were younger?

I’m Southampton born and bred. We’ve not got the biggest techno scene, it tends to be more drum and bass focused where I’m from. I started clubbing in the late 90’s and spent most weekends in Slinky and The Opera House in Bournemouth. Rhino in Southampton used to be a great spot too, that’s where I played my first DJ sets.

What was your musical upbringing like? Were there any musical heroes or DJs you looked up to?

Music always been important in the Fitz household. My parents were big into Northern Soul when I was a teenager. I’d say I’ve got an eclectic taste in music. I’m a big 80’s fan which is definitely reflected in some of my productions. Heroes would have to be Prince, Bowie and Jim Morrison.

How did you first get into DJing? What Clubs, bars & venues did you cut your teeth in?

Always been a passion of mine. I started going to parties and raves when I was a teenager and decided to study a Music Technology Btec course at college with my best mate Dav Robertson. I actually only stayed for 8/9 months of the 3 year course, I dropped out when I singed my first record ‘Feel The Friction’ to Toolbox records in 2002. Soon after that the gigs started coming in. Rhino in Southampton was probably my first proper residency but my profile grew quickly in Europe and then the UK followed.

What was the first record you ever brought? And were there any record shops you used to frequent when you were younger?

I can’t remember the first record I bought but I’d always go to Movement Records in Southampton and HMV back in the day.

What’s your most memorable DJing experience?

There’s so many to choose from. The crowd reaction when I played “We Do What We Want’ at Creamfields in 2017 is definitely up there. The Freedom March in London earlier this year was surreal. All my Berghain sets and Alan Fitzpatrick’s Day festivals deserve mention too.

Are there any upcoming artists, DJs & producers that you’ve got your eye on currently? Anyone who should be on our radar?

Pagan, Daniel Rifaterra, Modeā and ravetrx

Do you have any aspirations for 2021 & 2022?

Keep pushing my We Are The Brave and Apex Faction labels and get back to where we left off in 2020. And obviously keep writing bangers!

What are your 3 bits of advice, tips, and motivation for your fans and the #ToolroomFamily out there?

Stay in your own lane, be true to yourself, don’t write/produce what you think labels want to hear

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