- Hi Matt, it’s a pleasure to have you for this interview! How is everything going?
Good thanks and luckily super busy at the moment with gigs and productions. Living in far North Queensland we’ve been able to DJ and do events since a while now…with Cairns being the new Bali as such!
- You have a massive 26 years career behind you as a DJ, you’ve performed in over 70 countries and no less than 300 cities! I guess it all really kicked off in 1996 with your first major residency at Pacha Ibiza? Tell us the story behind this legendary residency, how did you first get behind the decks of Pacha Ibiza?
Yes from a DJing point of view Ibiza was definitely the turning point in my career really taking off. I planned to go to the island for just 2 weeks to promote my record label Hard Boiled Recordings and ended up staying 15 years! Lol.. Back in the 90’s there weren't millions of DJ’s like now so getting a break and an island residency was way more easy and of course a little talent helps too!
So I got introduced to Vaughn, one of the bosses at Pacha and being from the same part of the UK he gave me a guest slot one night. That went well and a few days later he called me to say “we just had to fire the Resident DJ for being naughty in the booth, you want the job?”. I nearly wet my pants as I was never expecting something like that! I had to then call my girl at the time and send her record shopping to Soho London…as I was only in Ibiza with one small bag of vinyl! That’s not going to last 6 nights a week for the whole summer…I said buy everything you can find that’s good! We didn’t have the digital luxury of going on Beatport and having instant new music like now. So a few days later she arrived with 2 big boxes of new vinyl and the rest is Pacha history!
- You’ve then been a resident for the cherry brand for 15 years and played on its biggest branded nights like Defected, Ministry Of Sound, Pure Pacha, David Guetta’s F*** Me I’m Famous, the Swedish House Mafia’s Masquerade Motel and many more. They are all quite unique and amazing events but if you had to pick your top 3 what would it be?
Yea every night at Pacha was individual with it’s own special theme, branding, decor, DJ’s to dancers and live performance artists. It always amazed me how the artistic directors could transfer the club on a daily basis to always look new and spectacular for the next night ahead.
As for the nights themselves, the 3 that most stand out for me over the years would be firstly MOS! This was the classic House night of Ministry which was more or less based on their ‘Rulin’ nights in London, with a focus geared towards US House music. Legendary Artists like Todd Terry, David Morales, MAW, Frankie Knuckles, Tony Humphries and Francois K would play on a regular basis. It fell on a Friday so a lot of friends and producers from the UK would fly out for the night…making it a bit of a reunion each week!
The other 2 stand out nights would be David’s and the Swedish, they were all having major hit records at the time so the nights were an absolute roadblock! SHM also brought a lot of big live acts to the night like Usher, P.Diddy, Kelis, Tinie Tempah and Australia’s one and only Kylie Minogue! But to be fair every night was musically amazing in its own respect..hard to pick just 3!
- You didn’t only play in Ibiza, you also went on tour and represented the Pacha brand worldwide in the USA, Germany, Brazil, Singapore, Bali, England, Spain, Australia, Russia. … How was the experience, the feeling of seeing so many different nationalities dancing to your sets in some of the world’s most beautiful clubs?
Yea thinking back I was incredible luckily to do all that touring and visit so many different countries at the time…meeting some fantastic people! Ibiza was the big stand out party destination and so many clubs around the world wanted a piece of that vibe in their venues…back then it was all very new to many people. Places like Brazil and Russia were loving anything Ibiza connected! Very good crowds with a strong connection to the music, especially the Latino clubbers in South America…as House music contains a lot of rhythmic percussive elements they can easily relate to!
Then Asia started to get in on the Ibiza bug with Bali being the hot destination in that part of the world for House and dance music. I would play regularly every winter season in Bali after we finished in Ibiza…so the island became a bit of a second home for me even till this day!
- You must have a lot of stories that have happened during these tours, do you have a funny anecdote to share with us?
Well there’s been many funny moments over the years especially from touring, I’ll try to find the most PG rated ones for this interview haha..
I remember one Asian tour, we were on the last gig in Shanghai…after my set I was so tired and a bit drunk I fell asleep in the club! Woke up to the lights on, no people in the venue and a glass collector trying to drive over me with a drinks trolley! I was like where’s my manager??? He was nowhere to be seen! So I got back to the hotel, had to wake him up…normally it’s the other way around! Where’s my record box? No idea he said but the plane leaves for Europe in like 1 hour…great manager! FIRED! Luckily the club owner found the tunes and posted them back to me in Ibiza one week later…WTF really haha..
Another fun time I had was a US tour I did with one of the original co-creators of Beatport! He kept telling me at the time, you got to check out this digital music platform we’re going to launch soon…it’s gonna be huge!! I was like digital, what’s that nonsense…it wont take over vinyl! How wrong was I haha.. Anyway we drove from Salt Lake City to the gig in Vegas, got pulled over by the cops accusing us of being gringo dealers…no we’re just DJ’s mate! Ended up getting to Vegas and re-creating the movie The Hangover before it ever existed haha…one of my best times ever!