Back in August, it was announced that party duo and mash-up maestros, Yacht Club DJs, were calling it quits. Since forming in 2008, Gareth Harrison and Guy Chappell have entertained crowds with their unique mixing style and mash-up techniques, as well as their on-stage antics, which in the past have included nudity, crowd invasions and riding over the crowd in an inflatable boat. To celebrate almost eight successful years in the music industry, the Ballarat locals are throwing 14 massive send-off parties around Australia, beginning in Hobart and ending in their hometown, Ballarat. I was lucky to speak to one half of the super duo, Gaz, in one of their last interviews ever. Here's what I learnt:
1. Music goes in circles
“When I first started DJing, literally the biggest thing was deep house, pushing that sound all over the world, and then everyone went really backwards with it and didn’t want to listen to it, it was all too serious, and then it went ultra, ultra party and everyone was listening to hip hop and party jams. And when we came along, the whole mash-up thing happened, what with 2manydjs, and then that moved into the indie-electro sound by Justice, and then Daft Punk happened. And now it’s all come back round again and everyone wants to listen to deep house. It all happens in circles. Everyone out there is like, “I’ve got a fresh new sound!” and I’m like, “Bullshit! it happened in 2000!” It’s cool, though, there’s always going to be new discoveries. That’s music, that’s what it’s there for."
2. Mumford & Sons and The Prodigy go surprisingly well together
“Guy was obsessed with playing a Mumford and Sons song in our set and I kind of hated it. I like Mumford and Sons but I came from this really serious band background so every now and then we’ll do something that will make my skin crawl. I had to do things to get my head around it so I started mixing Breathe by The Prodigy into it. This really anthemic Mumford and Sons song with this really garage thing (laughs). So like injecting that kind of sense of humour into it got me past the skin crawling phase because it was just so preposterous and funny. But that sort of thing still backs the spirit of the house party vibe we have. It’s like the kind of shit you’d put on your iPhone with your friends, like playing ridiculous song after ridiculous song.”
3. Australia’s killing it in the music scene
“There’s so many good dudes in Australia now, we’re taking over the world. Just to see people do what they do, like Chris from What So Not, Flume, all those guys, are absolutely taking over the world. And then there’s dudes just killing it, like Paces and Spenda C. Also, Yahtzel, I love that kid. He’s unreal. And he’s such a good DJ, it’s ridiculous. Australia’s scene is really, really strong.”
4. Their onstage antics are unplanned
“People make it sound like our shows are really planned. We just go on stage and do our thing. One time, I got this really intense cut on my back and was bleeding everywhere and it just got written off that I had planned it. And I was like, ‘I’m really hurt here?’
Another time in Byron Bay, I broke my leg. These things don’t get planned. This shit just happens. If I get naked, I get naked. If I accidentally break my leg, I accidentally break my leg. We’re never going to go on stage and be like, ‘Alright. 10 minutes in, I’m gonna do this, you’re gonna do this.’ Who even wants to plan that shit? It’s so ridiculous!”
[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/yachtclubdjsmusic/hooroo[/soundcloud]
5. They hate the lockout laws
“Last time we played, we had to play so early so everyone could go out afterwards. And then I couldn’t go out afterwards! I went on stage, got a beer and was like, “Sweet, let’s go out,” and then it was like, “Nup, can’t go out.” Fuck the lockout, I hate that stuff!
It doesn’t work. Ballarat, where I live, is the first place that ever did it. And if they looked up what happened here, they’d know it doesn’t work because everyone goes out on the streets and fights each other. No lockout, it’s a shit idea.”
6. They really, really love Meredith Festival
When asked about one of his favourite moments of his career, Gaz replied, “I’d have to say the very first Meredith we’ve ever played. I worked at that music festival for so long and I absolutely adored it. I always said that if I ever got on stage there, I’d take a shovel and just bury myself out the back...and then we got to play it three times.
I’ve walked on stage at a lot of festivals and and there’s nothing like the rush when you walk on that stage there. And that includes all the stuff we did over in America, which was a huge rush and such an incredible experience, but there’s just something about Meredith. I think also having my best friends in the front row just giving me shit the whole time is good. It definitely holds a special place.”
7. Gaz wants to be a fortune cookie writer
When asked to choose between professional sleeper, dice inspector or fortune cookie writer as his next career options, Gaz was quick to choose the latter: “I love unloading truth on people.”
8. Their career was a huge surprise to them
“We only ever did this for fun. The whole career has been a huge surprise to be honest. We started this just for a laugh and like 8 years later we’re still doing it and we’re like, ‘holy crap, how did this even happen?’”
9. Gaz is taking a well-deserved break
“I don’t have any plans but I know Guy’s got some other stuff he’s working on. I just want some time off. I’ve been DJing full time for 15 years. I just want to do something else and I kind of like the idea of not knowing what I’m going to do. After 15 years of having a pretty regimented life, I think I’m just going to wander around and see what happens.”
10. They’re quitting the biz and there’s nothing we can do about it
It seems the duo are pretty confident there’ll be no John Farnham-esque comeback tour. “Definitely zero chance,” said Gaz. “I’m not as young as I used to be and who the fuck would want to see me when I’m 40 and playing party music at a nightclub? I don’t think that will ever work.
We never wanted to get what we do to get old. We always said, if we get tired of it, leave it where it is. We’re still doing really good things with it but at the same time we want to do other stuff so we’re like "fuck it, let’s just call it off." Let’s leave it as this thing. It was really good and never got old so let’s, yeah, move on.”
Yacht Club DJs' Hooroo! tour kicks of tonight, 31 October. See below for dates.
Fri 31 Oct - Republic Bar | Hobart TAS | Tickets
Sat 1 Nov - Republic Bar | Hobart TAS | Tickets
Fri 7 Nov - The Northern | Byron Bay NSW| Tickets
Sat 8 Nov - The Brightside | Brisbane QLD | Tickets
Fri 14 Nov - The Cambridge | Newcastle NSW | Tickets
Sat 15 Nov - Oxford Art Factory | Sydney NSW| Tickets
Fri 21 Nov - Barwon Club | Geelong VIC | Tickets
Sat 22 Nov - The Corner Hotel | Melbourne VIC | Tickets
Fri 28 Nov - Jive | Adelaide SA| Tickets
Sat 29 Nov - Lost at The Vic | Darwin NT | Door Sales Only
Fri 5 Dec - Amplifier | Perth WA | Tickets
Sat 6 Dec - 'Hooch' at Toucan Club | Mandurah WA | Tickets
Fri 19 Dec - Karova Lounge | Ballarat VIC | Tickets
Sat 20 Dec - Karova Lounge | Ballarat VIC | Tickets