Would I lie to you – a Q&A with DJ Boring

With music entrenched in the visceral and the dance floor, born out of array of very eclectic and diverse influences, DJ Boring is of a new generation of producer and DJ that harks back to a time of new groove and DIY simplicity. With a sincere and determined focus on the raw fundamental elements of dance music and operating on an emotional depth, DJ Boring’s sets and music can go deep, but remain playful. Its insistence on the bare minimum has encouraged the media to coin the phrase Lo-Fi House, where DJ Boring occupies similar territory to DJ Seinfeld and Ross from Friends, but with the fundamental outline dating back to Nu Groove and Deep House DJ Boring cannot be that easily pigeonholed nor defined in this current musical landscape.

Real name Tristan Harris DJ Boring fell on his peculiar DJ moniker when a Swedish friend pointed out that his real name means ”boring” in the native Scandinavian language. A tongue in cheek gaff at DJs who take themselves too seriously, Boring is by no means a reflection of the DJs ability in the booth and in the studio.

Following the success of “Winona” on DJ Haus’ E-Beamz sublabel, DJ Boring has become a household name since its release, while at the same time bringing a incipient selector and DJ to the world’s attention. A sought-after DJ today with a new 12” “Sunday Avenue” fresh off the press, DJ Boring’s precocious rise is only still on the incline, and as he makes his way to Oslo this weekend, we thought it pertinent to find out more about this talent. He obliged to answer some questions for us on his way, and we get the opportunity to delve a bit deeper into his musical concepts and naturally his record bag.

Hello Tristan and thank you for taking the time to field some questions for us.

Thank you for having me!

Where are you at the moment and what are you up to?

I’m currently in West Sussex winding down from the crazy weekend I just had, spending some quality time with my family.

Your name DJ Boring, I believe is from your real name Tristan, that means something like “boring” in Swedish. In Norwegian it’s a bit closer to “sad”. What’s the saddest song you’ve ever heard?

A Silver Mt. Zion – Mountains Made of Steam.


What would define a DJ Boring set and how do you keep it from being “boring”?

DANCE! I want everyone to have as much fun as I am having, so each set is different and I try to tailor each to suit the crowd.

Your track Winona brought DJ Boring to everybody’s attention last year. How did you arrive at that point and what is it about that track that defines your sound as a producer?

In all honesty, that track came together with different sounds and emotions that were going through my head at the time. I don’t think it defines my sound specifically because my sound to me is very versatile, different things influence me all the time so it is hard to distinguish exactly what my sound is.  

Yes, I believe Winona carries quite an emotional weight for you. Can you tell us a bit about it’s back story?

In the interview Winona Ryder talks about the difficulties she endured during the beginning and the height of her career, her words reminded me of the hard times I had growing up and being bullied. We went through so many similar emotions and it made me feel at ease because I finally felt like I wasn’t the only person who felt that way.

How do you go about conveying a sense of depth and  feeling through your music?

My emotions do all the work, I just go along with how I feel at the time.

You followed it up this year with Sunday Avenue, with tracks that bare similarities to Winona, using acid lines or short melodic to puncture a wispy atmosphere. Is it a conscious decision on your part to create a specific sound, and what influences/limits your sound?

I produced Sunday Avenue long before I created Winona, I think that it is a coincidence that the two were similar and had that nostalgic feeling to it. I did go through a stage where I experimented a lot of with acid sounds, and I still like to play around with it now.


The bongo drums were something very prominent on that release. How do you see that and other elements developing later in your music?

I have always had a varied taste in music, I’m constantly listening and looking for different influences that I can develop into my own productions.

We know from previous interviews, you started as a record collector. What sort of records were you digging and what inspired your move to producing?

My parents were both very much into music, so from a young age I was introduced to artists such as Curtis Mayfield, David Bowie, Deep purple etc. Those were the types of records I had at first, when I discovered house music and a more modern sounds, I wanted to attempt it myself.

Can you give us a peek into your record bag and tell us what are you digging at the moment?

My three favourite records at the moment are:

  1. OEIL CUBE- versatile records
  2. OYE – Edits 003 uffe

What continuation is there between booth and studio for you?

My studio is my laptop, which I carry with me always. Because I am constantly on the road going from show to show, I use this time to work on music.

A lot of producers never play their own songs out. How do you feel about your own tracks in the context of a set?

I try to play my own music when I can. Once again I analyse the audience to see whether it would work or not. Winona is quite chilled, So when I start playing heaving techno, it’s hard to slip it into my set. Most of the time I play new music that I haven’t released and no one really knows, and It’s nice to get reactions from the audience especially when they don’t know it is me.

Play us out with song.