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YACHT CLUB DJS Going Overboard

yacht_clubIndomitable party force and dance duo Yacht Club DJs have graced our sea-girt shores for the past eight years. Now the pair have decided to go out in style, like a couple of shark-jumping Fonzies jet-skiing into the night. Ahead of their farewell Hooroo Tour, Guy Chappell talks to SHAUN COWE about the band’s legacy.

“It just felt like the right time. You know, we’re doing the best shows that we’ve ever done and we don’t want to just drop off from here,” Chappell says. “We want to go out while we’re still doing really good shows and people still want to see them. It means we don’t have to drag it out playing to 30 people in some bar when we’re 40.”

Between mouthfuls of fruit toast and fresh from a morning viewing of Parks and Recreation, Chappell reflects about his time in Yacht Club. When asked what his least favourite aspects of the past eight years have been he’s magnanimous.

“You get ups and downs like any job. I think people expect – and so they should – that you’re having a great time all the time. You’re there to entertain people. I’ve never been into ragging out the shittier end of the music industry but, like I said, it’s like any job. You get dickheads and people trying to screw you over occasionally or you do bad shows.

“At the end of the day you’re there to entertain and make sure everybody’s having a good time. I try to keep myself healthy and stay mentally positive to put those performances on. People pay me their hard-earned money and I want to make sure they get their money’s worth.”

Taking another bite, Chappell tries to think back on what he’s learned about touring since the band first found themselves blazing across the country, following the release of their Kleptomania album.

“I think we’ve gotten better at partying. We used to go all out on the first night and just be fucked for the next few days afterwards. Now we kind of rein it in and just have a steady incline of partying over the few days we’re on tour each week. I think the shows benefit from it as well. We’re not just drastically hungover for every show that isn’t Wednesday.”

While eight years is only a brief stint from a historical standpoint, Chappell has found himself noticing the change in how DJing is received as a musical discipline. Unsurprisingly, one of the fastest changing aspects Chappell has noticed is technology.

“I think I’ve seen the rise of the laptop. When I started DJing – which isn’t really that long ago – it was still contentious whether people would use Serato in the clubs or not. It would kind of piss promoters off and it would piss other DJs off who were only using CDs or vinyl. Then the tide started to turn when technology caught up – it used to be pretty laggy. That’s why I only used my computer – I didn’t use an interface or anything. I’ve had the hotkeys set up on my keyboard for years.”

Inevitably, the question of the two DJ archetypes raises its head. When comparing the bouncing energy of the party vibes DJ with the technical introspection of the live mix, Chappell has a clear preference.

“Right now, I think we’re approaching it like we did really early on. A year or two in the middle we tried to change what Yacht Club is about – which I don’t think is ever a good idea. I think in the past we lost track of what people are coming to see Yacht Club for – which is just to have a really good time.

“We tried to take it a bit too seriously and involve more technology. We were mixing so much we couldn’t really involve the crowd. We actually still DJ the way we started now. I think simplicity is the key.”

Finally, the question of the future raises its head. With fellow member Gaz Harrison planning on travelling the world and Chappell continuing his DJing and hinting at the long term goal of going back to teaching drums, the question arises about what the first thing both members will do once the tour is at an end.

“Probably get pretty drunk, that’d be the most immediate thing.”




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