Talking to U.K. Export Gareth Emery at Bob's Big Boy

Categories: Coachella

Courtesy of Erick Govea
Gareth Emery exudes a rock-star personality, with his black leather jacket paired with jeans and chic shades as he walks out of his Burbank studio in 80-degree weather. After all, aren't DJs the rock stars of the millennial generation, with their fancy cars and private jets? But as he greets us with his English accent and charming smile, he seems unassuming. Especially since he had to ask us to pick him up because his wife and friends in town for the Coachella festivities are borrowing his car.

The U.K.-born LA resident celebrated his album Drive reaching No. 1 on the iTunes dance chart overnight just two weeks ago and made his Coachella Festival debut last Friday. This week, he's hitting Indio again as he joins the EDM crowd of tastemakers inside the Sahara Tent, manning the decks at 5 p.m. He joins us for lunch at Bob's Big Boy--a burger joint much like the diners he visited on the Route 66 road trip that inspired his new album.

Emery and his wife, Kat, embarked on a 3,000-mile adventure across the U.S., starting on the East Coast and journeying to the Oklahoma/Texas border on the dirt roads of Main Street America before venturing on to LA. "When we decided to drive across the U.S., this is the sort of place we had in mind," he says of the diner, as we sit down on cushions fused to brown plastic booths. Drive is Emery's second full-length album, following the release of Northern Lights in 2010, which also reached No. 1 on the U.S. iTunes dance chart. "I knew we had a good chance to reach No. 1, but I also expected to spend half the next day going, 'Guys, we're No. 3, we're No. 2, buy, buy, buy, let's beat Skrillex,'" he says.

He tries to order the pulled-pork barbecue platter, but the waitress quickly talks him into the Big Boy burger, saying, "It's the name of the freakin' restaurant, c'mon!" She continues to flirt with him by trying to guess his accent. "I can't figure it out, and I think it's because you live here now, so it's faded," she says. Emery has lived in LA for a year and a half with his wife and their Yorkshire poodle, Holly.

Though he loves everything about LA, he says, the Orange County crowd at his Sutra shows have been better. "Yes, [the club has] a bottle-service crowd, but they know their music, and it's always sold out--even on a Monday night!" he says. "I'm always like, 'This place is fucking amazing.'"

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