You’re originally from Sydney aren’t you – and now you have a cult following around the world. That’s pretty rad. But for those that don’t know, what is Hot Dub Time Machine?
I wanted to make a party that was different to a normal dance party. Something with a story, structure, great production, and all kinds of music. Somewhere you can feel comfortable singing along to Bon Jovi, Beyonce and the Beatles, and dance until you’re sweaty. And Hot Dub was born…
So, it has brought you all over the world. What would you say have been the highlights of taking Hot Dub on the road?
Falls Festival in Australia over New Years was my first “mainstream” outdoor music festival and in three nights I played to 25,000 people. It was AMAZING! There is nothing like looking out at that seething mass of humanity all loving the same music you do… It’s very cool.
How do you prepare for a show? Do you wing it? Or is it meticulously planned?
About 60% of the show is locked in and gets played every night. You can’t do a history of pop music without playing certain songs. So around that framework I pick and choose from my library depending on the age of the crowd and how I’m feeling. And because each song I play has to have a visual component, just getting a new song into the set is very involved, so there’s a constant list of work that I need to do every day on the show.
Is it a challenge getting a show together – finding songs that mix etc.? And how do you select tracks?
It took me about 3 months to get the 60 years of music into a perfect, chronologically correct, visual DJ set. I did heaps of research on pop music and tried to make sure I played as many iconic songs as possible. I started off with a list of about 200 songs that I put in chronological order, and then picked out which songs would mix well together and create a flow. But my golden rule is to only play songs that I really love and enjoy dancing to.
Have you ever played a song and it completely bombed with the crowd?
I used to get quite a thrill from playing more obscure songs and looking around the room to see if anyone got it, there is generally someone who recognises it. It’s fun to throw in a curve ball every now and then!
Do you have a favourite musical genre?
Nope! I think that great music is made constantly across the whole spectrum of different genres, and there is gold in everything from country to dubstep if you look hard enough.
And a favourite song/favourite musical era?
Similarly, I don’t have a favourite musical era, because I think great music is constantly being made, and try not to fall into the trap of saying “the best music was made in the 60s/70s/90/s” because it’s clearly not true! Every generation needs to think they invented rock and roll, and each generation’s parents needs to think their kid’s music is shit!
What can someone heading to gig expect?
People can expect to hear and ‘rock out’ to every great song they have heard and forgotten about and didn’t realise was still awesome. They can expect to be taken on an immersive dance party experience, that is somehow familiar but completely original.
People have really jumped onboard with the whole concept. Does that excite you?
Yes!! It’s an amazing thing to be making a living from this. It’s not something I expected to happen in my mid 30’s, but being a DJ is great fun! The gigs just seem to be getting bigger, and better, who knows where it will end up!
And after a gig finishes, what do you like to do?
Drink Jagermeister, talk shit at a bar. Go home, play Starcraft. Wake up, repeat.
Hot Dub Time Machine is touring Australia until June 28.
Image via Facebook/Patrick Stevenson