How are you, what’s good, what’s bad right now?
Hello, I’m really well thank you, hope you are too! So what’s good is a great summer to look forward to, trips to Berlin and Ibiza on the horizon but my biggest gripe at the moment is the crap weather in the UK but hopefully this will pass really soon, we love a good moan about the weather so here it is…
Can you remember the first time you partied at Mint? What was it like, what did you think?
Yes I can, it was back in 2000 and it was a Back to Basics night, I can’t remember exactly who was playing but some of the residents were definitely playing, perhaps Tristan Da Cunha and Ralph Lawson. It really changed how I thought about electronic music that’s for sure, it was really refreshing and cutting edge, and people were really friendly and open. Many a great time was had there since!
How long until you played there? What was your first set like?
I first played there in 2008 when Shane took over ownership of the club. It was before the refurbishment so the old sound system and layout was still there, with the big huge mirrored wall next to the DJ booth which provided a constant source of amusement watching people walk into it thinking it was an extension of the dancefloor, I shouldn’t laugh really but it was pretty funny, plus we’d all done it. I can’t remember any of the records I played but I remember feeling extremely nervous beforehand! It was an institution so I guess that was to be expected.
How did the residency there shape you as a DJ? What did it teach you about your art?
It was the best opportunity you could ever have as a DJ starting out so I feel incredibly lucky and eternally grateful to Shane for that! Being a resident at Mint Club basically taught me how to warm up properly, not only that but how to build and find my own sound. It also did wonders for my confidence, when you get thrown in the deep end and you’re warming up for huge names and basically every artist you’ve ever respected, it’s a truly amazing feeling but it made me work harder because I realized I had to put something back in.
What was the final party like? What was your highlight?
It was brilliant and weird in a good way! It was very sad and yes I cried on the dancefloor at the end but what an amazing weekend with the best bunch of people you could ever meet. It was really special and I’ll never forget it. I think my highlight was seeing so many people from over the years and everyone just having it on the dance floor, all the staff, DJs, everyone.
And what will be your fondest memory of the club over the years?
I know it sounds cheesy but it will forever be the people. Mint Club played such an important part as a meeting place for like-minded people that may not have had the chance to meet in another situation, and as a result, I reckon a lot of long-lasting friendships, relationships even marriages (!) owe the Mint Club a great deal. In terms of music, I’m struggling to think of another venue in the area that consistently and for so long has provided a platform for emerging and established artists alike as well as giving us somewhere to go and listen to all of this great music week in week out. I think more nights/DJs/producers/businesses than we think have come about because of the Mint Club.
It will be another sad moment at the last ever Cocoon the Park this year. Will you play a different kind of set as a result?
It will indeed but as has been mentioned, it’s better to go out on a high for sure. What an achievement Cocoon in the Park has been – who would have thought 11 years! Hats off and huge respect to everyone involved. It will be an honour for Bobby and I to play the warm-up for the last time and I’m sure we’ll be thinking about some special tunes for the occasion.
And what are some of the standout moments, wildest stories from Cocoon in the Park over the years?
A couple of my favourite moments are when it absolutely tanked it down one year and everyone just raved on like absolute troopers in the mud, even girls with stilettos on kept going, respect! and also another year when Ricardo played Dexter as the sun was setting, pure magic.
How often do you get in the studio? As often as you would like? Are you able to make the music you want to by now?
I’m definitely spending more time on music which is great but it’s never as much as I’d like and I’m slowly getting there with making the music I want to. Recently I’ve been trying lots of different sounds and spending quite a bit of time on learning more techniques and theory through researching, reading and youtube tutorials. I also recently finished a short course in advanced music production at Leeds College of Music which was absolutely brilliant, I’d highly recommend it if you’re wanting to brush up on any skills or learn some new techniques.
What else have you got coming up or working on?
I’m massively looking forward to playing st Sisyphos in Berlin with the Leftback crew, Dudley Strangeways and TIJN, as well as at Tini and the Gang in Ibiza a bit later in summer. Then, of course, there is Mint Festival on 28th September which is back at RAF Church Fenton in Leeds, it was such a brilliant site last year, probably the best one so far, so I’m buzzing the festival is back there this year! Apart from that, I’m working on music and hopefully getting a few collaborations sorted too!