An Interview with David Rust

So David, tell us a little bit about yourself?

I like to DJ and make the odd tune, Raised in Glasgow (Buckfast enthusiast)

My real name is David Rust and I have ginger hair before people ask, Just like to get that out there as it seems to always be the first thing people ask me.

What made you start DJing and how old were you?

I sort of inherited a set of Numark Belt Drive decks when I was around 15, One of my oldest mates had them although his parents disapproved him having so they ended up in my room as all my mates would sit here and get stoned. Anyway we used to just mess around on them up until this point I was all about guitars I had played the guitar since I was around 12 years old.

It was round about the age of 15 I started sort of partying (I know in Glasgow this is classed as a late bloomer or a Shitebag) so I started getting proper into UK hardcore / Hardstyle and the likes of my Mum was always listening to old School Trance as well so I guess that set me up too.

When I was around about 18 I first stepped foot in the club THE ARCHES for Inside Out, Saw guys like Eddie Halliwell, I had never even heard of Tech Trance before… It was at that point I knew I wanted to be a DJ as cheesy as it sounds, I became obsessed with after that and the guitar got pushed to the side.

What or who were your early passions and influences?

My earliest passions and influence wasn’t even dance music funnily enough, It was Nu-Metal mainly and a little bit of hip hop but to be honest when I was younger most people listened to this type of stuff.

Linkin Park where one of my biggest inspirations over the years there early music sounds better to me now than it did then.

As far as it goes into Trance and Dance Music, It was guys like Halliwell, Local lad Barry Connell, JOC, Sander Van Doorn,
Picotto of course who I was really inspired by also more Hard Trance names like Scot Project, ASYS, Kamui, Vandall to name a few as I have always delved into the harder realm of dance music.

What was your first live DJ set, how did you get it and how did it go?

My first “Official” gig was in May 2010 I believe (Or 09, I have had way to many long weekends in life) I played for a brand called Rectify which at the time you had Rectify and Inside Out that ran together. Rectify was held in another underground iconic Glasgow venue called The Soundhaus this is basically where I learned my trade in that club. Rectify was responsible for bringing some of the most exciting up and coming artists to Scotland for the first time including my previously mentioned heroes Kamui. The event was ran by some good mates I had met through the scene I begged them for about a year before they finally gave me a slot I was closing the party after hard trance hero Louk, don’t think i have ever been so nervous in my life tbh but the gig went really well and gave me a taste for it.

What is your preference, Vinyl, CD’s or Digital and why?

Can I say digital, Since I started using USB I find it so much easier. Everything about it and I will explain some of this on the next question, I have proper OCD when it comes to being prepared for my gigs.  You can just get so much more creative with Rekordbox.

What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?

I would normally have A bunch of tracks I would like to play most of them I tend to edit down to about 3/4 minutes taking out the sections I feel are not needed in the track. Alternatively I also set up cuepoints which I use when I am djing live if I wanna entirely skip sections of tracks instead of editing them out finally just means I can decide how much I want to play on the night depending on the energy of the crowd.

I organise all my music in key on rekordbox and set up my cue points, I would normally always make an intro or have some intro planned plus first mix then I tend to just wing it going on vibe of the crowd although I have prepared a lot more for some of the bigger gigs I have played. Usually that plan goes out the window when I start.

How would you describe your sound?

Well if you where to ask anyone they would probably say Energetic or Banging. Not your conventional “Pure Trance” DJ. I am not a fan of 14 minute breakdowns and most vocal tracks, Really has to be special if I drop a vocal tune.

To be successful these days it’s crucial to set yourself apart from other DJ’s, what makes you different?

I don’t want to sound like I am blowing my own trumpet, I think the way I mix, Use Fx and track selection is good if you want relentless energy this is something the harder heads would love maybe not so much the purists.

I think I enjoy it as much as the people in the crowd and I know for a fact that this gets people going to not saying this is an essential but I can’t help myself jumping around and getting really involved when I DJ. I should probably focus more on keeping my mixing tight instead of jumping around like a big Scottish Fanny.

I think when I DJ even if you’re listening to my sets you can kind of tell its me where as some other DJ’s its just like listening to an album, no offense to them at all as this is all down to preference but I prefer to hear a DJ working.

Which DJs are you influenced by now?

Simon Patterson – His set at Transmission in Prague last year BLEW me away. Shugz and Sam Jones also as I am a massive fan of the more technical style of mixing. Will Atkinson cause he plays mad shit I would never hear elsewhere.

What’s your favourite track at the moment?

Alex Di Stefano – My Shadow & Obviously Big Psy Mon’s new one Solo.

Totally impossible to answer I know but have you got a favourite track of all time?

Totally impossible is right haha Next question… I would give you a top 100 of all time 😉

What set during your career has been your favourite so far, and why?

In all honestly I couldn’t answer that either, Every gig I play I absolutely fucking love for different reasons.

This year highlights so far have been Trance Sanctuary, Gatecrasher, My mini Northern Irish headline Tour and obviously Lumi.

Every year the gigs are getting better and better I really couldn’t pick which has been my favourite. I just love fucking DJing so much haha.

Which event or venue in the world would you love to play at, which you haven’t had the chance to so far?

Easiest question you have asked me so far… Groove, Buenos Aires, Argentina…. Place of dreams.

What would be your dream line up to play on?

An Open Up event Patterson, Atkinson, Askew and Me or me b2b with Shugz I think a lot of people are dying to see this. (OTS totally agree….this needs to happen!)

What bookings do you have lined up for the rest of 2018?

Next up I have my first open to close in my homelands of Scotland which I AM VERY excited about, Ibiza Trance Week, Debut in Czech Republic, Another Scottish gig and a few more to TBA. That’s next two months in a nut shell.

Got some serious gigs up my sleeve to announce to round off the best year I have had yet on the gig front.

You’ve recently been playing more international gigs, what country’s been your favourite to play in and why?

I don’t really know if you can say its international cause its in UK but Northern Ireland, The place has just taken to me like a son of there own. The following I have there is absolutely crazy! The crowd are absolutely mental as you guys would have seen from the videos I upload its a place I hold very close to my heart.

How do crowds at international gigs differ from UK ones?

I would say a lot of the other countries I have played in outside the UK and Ireland are slightly more reserved but still awesome, Just makes you work a bit harder behind the decks. Although I must say the Slovakian crowd are pretty mad too, They go for it from start to finish.

How and why did you get in to producing music?

Ahh I basically started dabbling in 2010 but really didn’t take it seriously, I was doing well locally in UK playing hard dance but knew I had to step up my production game to progress further as I wasn’t really learning anything just messing around.

In 2014 my love for trance was properly rekindled and I decided that i was going to go back down this road I started getting my head stuck into it properly so can really only say I have been producing properly since 2014 really. It was a mate of mine who got me started out and I just messed around with it then. TBH producing music hasn’t came easy to me I spent more time being frustrated about the actual technical side of it as I think musically I have the potential.

I always see myself as a DJ first then a producer like I knew that the only way to get further was to either use an Engineer or learn myself I decided to take the brutally long and frustrating as fuck way of learning myself!

What are you working on at the moment?

Working on a rework of one my old favourite Hard Dance tracks which I actually closed my set at Lumi with “Walt – Let The Music Play” and also have a big uplifter in the works at around 70% I step away from my conventional banging sound every now and again to make an uplifter as I fucking love writing dark euphoric melodies.

What software and hardware do you use?

All software based with me really. Just your run of the mill standard production PC (i7, 16gb Ram etc etc) a midi keyboard and RME UC fire face Audio interface, Software I use is Steinberg Cubase, Main soft synths I use are Sylenth1, Spire and Serum, I use a lot of the soundtoys and fabfilter plug ins for FX and Arts Acoustic / Valhalla Room for reverb.

Talk us through what you do when you start writing a new track and how does it evolve from your initial idea? Do you start with a melody and work it from there?

It really just depends on the initial idea how I start. Sometimes I just spent time going through patches on sound banks tweak with them till I get some original sounds, Sometimes I do the same with sample packs and save them all for a future track speeds up the process.

Sometimes I sit and write loads of melodies or kick and bass ideas. When I start a track though it always tends to be a 8 bar loop of kick bass and percussion then everything else is based around that. Inspiration comes to me in many forms tbh.

What track was the first one you had signed and how did that feel?

My first signing I think was 2011 and it was a hard dance track called Severance I wrote to Hard Dance label Digitally Infected. Felt amazing I wrote the track during a very tough period in my life as shite as the track actually is it will always remind of that time.

You’ve done a few collaboration with other artists, who have you enjoyed working with most and why?

I have enjoyed doing them all but doing a collab with Gary Maguire was unreal I have been a massive fan of Gary’s work for well over a decade now and IMO he is the most underrated producer in Ireland it’s crazy. I learned so much from spending three days in his studio in Cavan in the Irish Country amazing experience.

Who would you like to collaborate with and why?

Shugz for sure, Me and him have such a similar stuff in terms of the music we like both in sets and off sets. I think us bringing our strong points together we could make something special.

Who are your favourite producers and why?

John O’Callaghan is the fucking man, He can make anything and his vision / ideas are just out of this world. More recent favourites are Will Atkinson cause he is leagues ahead of the rest imo and Sam Jones cause his music is so
forward thinking and cutting edge not to mention ABSOLUTELY THUMPING. These guys are my favourites for now.

Out of all the music you have produced which track are you most proud of and why?

Has to be my track Try to Comply, It’s the like the track that I always say I will never top. For a very long time I didn’t like playing my own music cause I felt that it just wasn’t up to scratch production wise with the rest of the gear I was playing from much more professional sounding producers… I played this track at Luminosity last year on the Copacabana stage and it leveled the place ended up being best reaction I got for my full set, It brought a tear to my eye. Will always be a special place in my heart for that record.

Do you think it’s imperative that DJ’s these days produce their own tunes?

Ohhh you didn’t just ask me this did you :O We could go on all day about the DJ’s who get there tracks engineered I really don’t give a fuck about it, Not saying that I never did especially when I was stressing and obsessing my music would never be good enough and Billy can’t even open a DAW and he has tunes on Armada. End of the day it is what is, Some of my favourite DJ’s use engineers some of my best mates use engineers, I have no problem with them doing it so I would be a bit of a hypocrite if I said yes to this question haha!

What do you personally consider to be the pivotal moments in your career so far?

Getting my first gig in USA and my debut at Lumi Beach massive milestones in my career!

If you could follow in the footsteps of one legendary DJ / Producer, who would it be?

Patterson and Askew are the biggest inspirations to me in terms of the career they have had. Always changing with the times to stay current but always staying true to what they represent both are an absolutely massive inspiration to me.

Over the past few years we have seen a number of clubs and club nights close down as well as some club nights being resurrected. Where do you see the club scene going in the next few years?

Things can only get better, There are still amazing clubs out there and I am sure more will pop up over the next few years. We should be grateful we still have so many awesome clubs and be grateful for the time we had with ones that are no longer in action.

For me personally that was the Arches, Had some of the best days of my life in that place and I will hold those memories close to my heart forever,

You’ve recently moved to Slovakia, how does it compare to the UK for its night live?

It’s brilliant over here, Cheaper Booze that’s how it compares to UK haha. I am currently staying in capital city of Bratislava which is awesome, Loads of great clubs and pubs. We tend to head over to Vienna also which host a lot of really cool PSY parties. The kind of PSY parties you don’t get back in UK, proper ones.

Do you have anymore B2B gigs arranged with your girlfriend Kirsty Jay?

Nothing planned of yet but we sometimes just do random b2b’s wherever we go haha!

Do you think having a partner who is also a DJ makes things easier as they fully understand the time and commitment it takes?

Yeah of course, We are both involved heavily within the scene so she understands that certain things which may seem irrelevant to the average person would bother me and like wise. It’s really nice to have someone who will be honest with you also about things instead of just telling you what you wanna hear all the time. It’s nice to have someone who understands and encourages your passion as apposed to discourages it which I have received in the past also.

Do you think Trance has the ability to remain popular and relevant in modern society?

Of course it does, Its getting better IMO there are still places in the world its thriving. My belief is that these things have cycles. Techno and House where popular before Trance was, Trance became popular in late 90’s early 00’s commercially
now Techno and House are the big thing again… I think Trance will have its day again. Trust in Rust 😉 (OTS – In Rust We Trust ha ha!)

What does the rest of 2018 hold for you both in regards to DJing and Producing?

I have some really amazing gigs to announce from now until end of the year, I set myself a target of releasing 6 tracks a year my 4th release is due out in August which is a remix for in my opinion  for one of the best Uplifting producers on the scene.

I also have another original, You can hear both of those on my Lumi set… So as far as productions go I am ahead of my schedule. I hope I will finish around 8 tracks this year. Also some really cool remixes of my older tracks coming out from likes of FG Noise, Everlight and Renegade System all of which are HUGE so keep an eye out for those.

Were you outraged about Iron Bru cutting the amount of sugar in their drink?

No because you can’t get it in Slovakia anyway fs. Nor can you get BUCKFAST 🙁

The weather looks amazing in Slovaki, what Factor Sun Cream are you having to use?

Factor Duffelcoat

Special Question from Alex Carter ha ha – If you ever need the toilet whilst you’re playing a set, what do you do?

I have a bladder the size of a peanut so I am used to having to hold that shit, NO pun intended. I can’t remember if this is a personal joke between me and the Legend that is Alex every time I see him he gets me smashed!

Massive thanks for speaking to me Rusty. Absolutely loved your set at Lumi and cant wait to watch you again – Liz @ On The Sesh.

David’s doing an OTC set at Ellwyn Bar in Grangemouth on the 11th August.

Follow David here;




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