One of the best parts about living in LA is that DJ Harvey lives here too. His world famous Sarcastic Disco parties right in our backyard, and if we're lucky enough we can bump into him at shopping for records or surfing at venice beach.
The man is a legend, and the best part is, he never acts like it. He's recently given an interview to the SF Weekly prior to his 10/18 gig at Public Works in the city. He gives a quick rundown on the key to throwing a great party, how DJs he's never heard have influenced his playing, and how you're missing out on all the fun if you're using Shazam. Here are some excerpts:
You're behind some of the best parties on the West Coast. What advice would you give someone trying to throw a party from scratch?
The most important thing is the bathrooms, the toilets. If your toilets are no good, your party's no good. Those conditions mean a hell of a lot. Second would be your security, they have to be polite and protect your people from idiots instead of threatening your people and being idiots themselves. Thirdly, try to get a good sound system.
You've played with so many respected DJs over the years as one of the residents at the original Ministry of Sound in London. Are there any DJs in particular that have influenced your playing?
Yes, but really it's the people I didn't hear, the ones that are still perfect in my imagination. Like, I never went to the ['80s New York institution] Paradise Garage, so I never had a shitty night there. I imagine it as just this perfect nightclub. You know, Larry Levan plays Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band's "Sunshower," and turns all the sprinklers on so it rains in the nightclub, and everyone's crying and having sex. But at the same time, I'm not a great believer in [the phrase] "It's not how it used to be." I wouldn't want to look back in 20 years' time and say, well, actually 30 years before 20 years ago was when I had my old-school.
Haven't you had your fair share of trainspotters in the past?
Yeah, I mean it used to be five deep. Before the Shazam thing they'd hold up their phones and record sections back to their answering machines. People ask me, "Does that bother you?" And no, it doesn't. That's how [those people] have a good time: by scratching their beards and Shazaming tracks.... But, to an extent, I love looking at those frustrated faces looking up from their Shazams, because it's either too new or too obscure to find out what it is. I'm like, "Haha, shoulda just been dancin', mate!"
Our takeaway? Have great bathrooms, reality ruins your imagination and put down the phone at parties so you can dance! For tickets and more info on his Public Works show in SF, click HERE. You can read the complete interview on the SF Weekly