On the Phone with DJ Phone Home

What is the party at the Garden this year, and how does it work? We sent Gretchen to find out, but to see for yourself check out the Fringe guide.

How did you feel being the new dance party for the Adelaide Fringe last year, given the rave reviews, massive crowds and general hype around Hot Dub Time Machine?

DJ Phone Home: Oh yeah, I felt good, I'm very happy about that. Who wouldn’t be? I was very happy to step in that space, I DJ’d support for Hot Dub a number of times. Tom had very kindly said in interviews that I was one of his major influences when it came to DJ-ing, because we also had worked together in smaller clubs and stuff in years before that, so yeah I feel good about it. I knew, well no-one could have a massive following like a show like that instantly, but we built it up pretty nicely over the time.

So tell me more about the format of your dance party.

PH: We call it dancefloor democracy. The idea is that a whole bunch of genres come up on a screen, and within those genres there’s songs and sometimes people can suggest songs, and we can chuck those up too. Using their mobile phones people can vote for the songs I’ve put up within those genres and they can see how their song goes against other songs. I feel like there is a more concise way I can say that...

You’re taking the mobile phone obsessed culture of today to the dance floor?

PH: Yeah, well said – also I have a big old screen behind me so they can see how the songs they are voting for are going against other songs. It’s quite exciting when two songs are very close to each other and people really want theirs to win, it’s almost like a horse race of pop songs.

Do you have a favourite memorable DJ moment from your shows?

PH: We’ve had some amazing times, last week the whole women’s soccer team came along wearing different themed t-shirts. We also had nine of the dancers from Bey Dance doing some of the step dances to Beyonce songs. Last year probably the most fun I had was the most dangerous as well. We had gone from one of the larger tents to one of the smaller ones and the place was absolutely packed, you could barely get in, the whole audience was dancing and jumping so hard that I literally had to hold my DJ decks down to the table to keep them from bouncing off. It was just that combined euphoria, the pure pleasure, the show was going so well it threatened to destroy the venue. It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

So who are your music heroes?

PH: Oh there’s so many. I started DJ’ing Brit Pop actually, way back in the late 90’s. I love the Smiths and Morrissey, although they are not necessarily great for the dancefloor. As a music fan, I’ll listen to anything. Obviously David Bowie is an amazing influence, there’s a David Bowie section in the show where people can vote for his songs. It’s very sad that he’s gone but in some way his passing has brought it back to me to DJ which is good. When it comes down to it I have got so many music idols, I love Michael Jackson, I love Prince, I really like Taylor Swift, I love Beyonce, I love the Cure, Jesus there’s so much! Johnnie Cash.

Is the party worth the hangover?

PH: Always, every time. Also hangovers can be fun if you do it right, if you’ve got yourself set up with some food and Netflix.

Do you believe in magic?

PH: I believe in the magic of the dancefloor. I believe seeing people who thought they were going to have a pretty bad night end up having the night of their lives.

Kill, marry, screw: Kylie Minogue in Neighbours, Kylie Minogue in her Nick Cave indie phase, and Kylie Minogue Fever album period?

PH: As much as I don’t wish to kill Kylie under any circumstances, I’d have to kill Neighbours Kylie. Well Murder Ballads Kylie I was gonna choose marry, but then she’d murder me so I’d have to go marry Fever and screw Murder Ballads Kylie.