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Purple Sneakers 4th Birthday: 5 Things with the Purple Sneakers DJs PhDJ, Walkie Talkie, M.I.T

Written by Toby Smith on May 5, 2009

In the lead up to Purple Sneakers 4th birthday, PhDJ, Walkie Talkie and M.I.T are asked to answer 5 things. No more. No less.


1. Growing Up

Walkie Talkie: My first music memory was seeing ‘She Drives me crazy’ by The Fine Young Canibals on Rage, I was about 4 maybe. Maybe they had motorcycle helmets on…maybe. My family was not very musical, although I did love listening to my dads ‘Rockbox’ cassettes that had Chubby Checker and other 50s and 60s rock n roll. I made my older brother buy me Vanilla Ice (around the time of Ninja Turtles 2) and I distinctly remember dancing to ‘Baby Got Back’, ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ and ‘Ring my bell’.

M.I.T: My family’s idea of music was complete collections of Jimmy barnes, John Farnham and old Sherbet records. I grew up very musically uneducated. However I was lucky enough to have a friend early on in high school who was quite educated. I remember getting a cassette of The Prodigy ‘Jilted Generation’ from him which changed my life. I totally shaved my head like Keith Flint for my year 7 school dance, it was fucking sweet!

PhDJ: My siblings and I were forced to play instruments when we were kids. At the time I hated it, now I’m glad I can read music, well kinda. It really helps when producing music and remixing tracks. In terms of records my Dad had vaguely good taste, he got me into Pink Floyd and Led Zep. Pretty typical childhood music-wise really. Nevermind was the first album that I remember really thrashing as a teenager, although a few years after it actually came out. I wasn’t very hip.

2. Inspirations

Walkie Talkie: DJ Shadow – The one artist that changed me, that I will always love regardless of what he spits out. Private Press got me through my HSC.

M.I.T: Billy Corgan – Obviously not an inspiration for my DJing, but if I was not retarded and could manipulate a proper musical instrument I would be a recluse, sitting in my dark basement trying to figure out the guitar tabs for Siamese Dream.

PhDJ: I’m not really the type of person who looks up to people for inspiration, the determination to do what I do as awesomely as I possibly can comes from within. But bands that make me go ‘fuck yeah’ include Biffy Clyro, The Smiths, Bruce Springsteen, Mos Def, Billy Bragg, The Clash, The Hold Steady, Bright Eyes, Leonard Cohen. It’s mainly bands with a message and a strong sense of melody. I first dug Leonard Cohen when I was 8 years old, no shit – probably the only cool artist my Mum was into.

3. You?

Walkie Talkie: Me, how do I roll? I roll on an old green raleigh bicycle, I roll on a skateboard and I roll with a big mix of characters; Boys, girls, young, old, gay, straight all of which have an appreciation for music. I LIKE PEOPLE.

I am a neurotic stress head, I sweat often and profusely, I lose every CD that I come into contact with, I have worked at the Abercrombie Hotel so long now that I actually smell like the place event after I shower and I listen to Jane Austin novels being read by old English gentleman on my iPod. So in short I’m a sweaty, smelly geek. The girls love me!

PhDJ: Me hey? Not much to tell. I love music, I love people, I love music, I roll with what life gives me and make sure I kick ass at everything I do. If I can’t kick ass there’s no point doing it. Yeah I know it’s not balanced to think like that but fuck it, passion is good. Without passion life sucks. At the end of my life I will be a very content dead person, as long as I also occasionally stop to kick rocks along the street, say hi to strangers, listen to song lyrics and be genuine with my friends.

4. The Music You make/play?

Walkie Talkie: I don’t play electro, punk, screamo, metal, pop, minimal, techno, trance. I do play hip hop, indie, house, disco, classic party, breaks, b-more, funk. I’m trying to make stuff that sounds like The Avalanches. Id love to DJ stuff like A-trak from 2 years back or what The Rub do now. Apart from the Purple Sneakers DJs I have also started a live DJ stage performance act called NBA (live); Me (Grant Ill) and Denis Radman, Scottie Rippen and Reggie Thriller will be bringing the party and dancemoves (like The Cuban Brothers) to punters this Spring.

M.I.T: I play indie, indie dance, indie phallus rock, indie cock haemorrhage, Maxi indie hygiene, indie rash turbo, Indie sack bulge and all sub-genres that are associated with guitar based music and genitals.

PhDJ: As a DJ I play what is best described as indie party mashup. I take in everything: rock, hip hop, punk, electro, funk, soul, world music, and indie. Whatever makes dudes and dudettes dance and party! In terms of music production I make late night party jams with Black Anthony under the name of Dept. (pronounced Department). Over the past 6-12 months we’ve been asked to remix artists like Wolf & Cub, Dukes of Windsor, The Grates, Walter Meego and Sneaky Sound System. We are also collaborating with some great local artists in the process of making our first album of original beats.

5. Music, Right Here, Right Now

Walkie Talkie: Im going to talk about DJs not Musos cause that’s what I know…
There are some people in the DJ industry getting too much money and too much cred for what they actually do. I’m not saying I’m better, I’m just saying that I think that some well known acts out there need to step up, do production and do more than mix. Maybe its time to start some beef  in the industry like between Nas n Jay -Z. At least it will put pressure on people to get better.

DJs have to overcome: Who you know and who you don’t know. The best thing about Sydney’s DJ scene… is peoples skill with Ableton to make good online mix tapes. DJ that blew me away lately…The Badwives mix tape was good but there is a 18yo kid (BJ) from up the coast who is the next Girltalk. I listened to his 15 minute (102 different sample) demo and it was incredible.

The future holds: BJ releasing a Girl-Talk esque CD with an Australian flavour to it and NBA (live) being the most entertaining DJ/Dance music act in Australia.

PhDJ: I really dislike the word ‘scene’. In all honesty there is no Sydney scene as such. And that’s a good thing. I would say that there’s a healthy amount of musical of activity and there are a lot of smart people doing very creative and positive things, as well as people appreciating those activities. The good thing is that there are many and varied musical approaches and not one unified collective vision. Imagine how quickly everyone would get over it if there wasn’t variety. Recessions make people be more creative with what resources they’ve got. The future is bright!!

Catch the Purple Sneakers DJ’s this Friday the 8th May at Purple Sneakers 4th Birthday! (+ Secret Band playing live on the roof of the Abercrombie hotel)

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