MASSIVE QUESTIONS to GAVIN HERLIHY

Gavin Herlihy is a DJ I have long been a fan of. I've never seen him live but, after he agreed to take part, I have listened to all of his productions on YouTube. I approached him a long time ago to see if he would answer my MASSIVE QUESTIONS and as you will see, it was worth the wait. His answers are almost as good as my questions.

Gavin has upcoming releases on Visionquest and Crosstown Rebels. Both of these labels are currently cool so this interview is acting solely as an antidote to the Jeremy Healy interview in January.

The Jeremy Healy interview was appalling. I received a lot of emails about it and I would like to highlight one from a Mr Robert Davies, 34, from London.

"Jeremy Healy. Massive Questions. You polished a turd."

Never again will I interview a 90s superstar DJ.

Last Saturday, Gavin Herlihy was kind enough to have a helicopter pick me up in London and fly me up the M1 to his Leeds mansion. We sat for what seemed like hours shooting the breeze and drinking lager before we got down to business in his drawing room.



Q) For anyone unfamiliar to Gavin Herlihy could you explain what you do, where do you do it and why you do it?
A) I make underground electronic music from my studio in Leeds and ply my trade at discotheques on the weekend and I do it because it seemed like the best way of being paid to have meaningful fun without breaking any laws.

Q) Was establishing yourself in the dance music industry an uphill struggle or something that came fairly easy?
A) It was a complex Andes styles ascent with only a couple of frostbitten fingers to depend on and half a frozen out of date Marathon bar found on a ledge along the way for sustenance. And I had it easier than a lot of people so that says something.

Q) Growing up in Ireland were there any local influences? Club nights, DJs, promoters that made you consider what you do now an option? Or did you look beyond the shores for inspiration?
A) I left Ireland at 19 and prior to that I lived in a small town called Wicklow about an hour from Dublin. The local record shop’s best attempt at reaching out to youth culture was an old Bon Jovi album. There were no radio shows playing dance music, no Mixmag or Muzik or even an internet worth speaking about. It was a dark time in my rave life but luckily I made my way out into the world and found the light by chance and once I’d had a sniff I was enlisted for life.



Q) Did you need clearance from either Gordon Burns or Granada Studios prior to the release of your track, Krypton Factor?
A) NO and I’m very paranoid about running into Gordon at some after-party or another as the shit will no doubt hit the fan when I do.



Q) How does the Leeds scene compare to London and Berlin? Or is it fair to make a comparison?
A) I have to say I have more fun in Leeds than I ever had in Berlin. Berlin has amazing clubs, a creative environment and history but Leeds has the banter and the people and banterful people are all important in my life. These last few weeks as well have been monumental for Leeds. Basics is now at The Warehouse, Mint Warehouse has opened and The Garage is pulling people like Steffi to one of the UK’s hottest new small clubs. Big tings.

Q) Open or closed hi-hat?
A) Depends what time of day you’re asking. It’s half past midnight on a Thursday as I write this so it’s more about a subtle shaker filling the hi hat role with very delicate compression and a short reverb.

Q) What can we expect from you in 2012? Do you have any plans or will you be going with the flow, like, you know what I mean?
A) Plans are pretty simple: Continue to avoid engaging in message-board battles. They are poison for the soul. Remember that checking Facebook does not equal work. Make more tunes and make them better. Play more gigs. Find even better records. Have fun.

Q) Esther Rantzen?
A) Anneka Rice.


Q) What was the best Christmas present Santa left under your tree?
A) Easy. A replica Chips motorcycle with pedals and accompanying Chips uniform (Chips was a really cheesy motorbike cop show from the Eighties). No high has as yet replaced that Christmas morning peak in 1986.

Q) How did you come up with the moniker 'Gavin Herlihy' as a DJ name? Did you ever toy with the idea of prefixing it with 'DJ' like a proper DJ? Or suffixing it with something more exciting like 'Mix Killa' (DJ Mix Killa) or 'Triple Droppa' (DJ Triple Droppa)?
A) I like to credit my name to my parents actually. However I will add that my name does create a career crisis every six months as it is impossible to pronounce for those who don’t know me (phonetically speaking it’s Herl-i-hee or just try coughing your way through the last couple of syllables). I even thought about shortening it to Hurly (as my nick name in school was Hurly Head) until the big drippy guy off Lost beat me to it. Twat!



Q) Do you ever collaborate with other artists or are you strictly a solo star, so to speak?
A) Yes I occasionally collaborate but I’m insufferably difficult in the studio to work with so I try not to inflict myself on others too often. For starters I have limited multi-tasking abilities so I can’t talk and crunch Logic at the same time. You can imagine things pretty much falling apart from there.

Q) What is Delano Smith REALLY like?
A) No idea! I’ve only every spoken with him over email but I must say his electronic communications vibe is welcoming and warm and that anyone I know who knows him says he is a great guy.



Q) Do you have any sound advice for any young DJs or producers reading this?
A) Crack on as much as you possibly can for as long as you can get away with it (research) then stop cracking on and sort your shit out (practice).

Q) West coast or East coast gangster rap?
A) I chose not to pick sides. I was only 13 at the time and my gunplay wasn’t really up to scratch for a war with either side.



Q) What is your preferred state; stone cold sober or absolutely fucking terminated?
A) Anyone who doesn't enjoy a spot of casual termination every now and again is not to be trusted.

Q) Have you ever met Ricardo Villalobos? If so, what was he like and did you get his autograph?
A) I first met Ricardo as a music journalist. I went to his house in Berlin and grilled him for a few hours for his first big English language feature. He’s a super nice guy. Very intelligent, down to earth and can see through the bullshit that flies at someone in his position with pinpoint accuracy. It was a really interesting interview although later that evening I had an embarrassing moment when I popped down to see him play at Panorama Bar wearing a new T-Shirt I’d spotted in this cool Berlin shop only to bump into Ricardo wearing the exactly same t-shirt. I’m thankful that he didn't call the stalker police there and then.


Q) Did a machine really eat your homework when you were a school boy? If so, what was the punishment for such an outlandish excuse?
A) NO. Machine (a club), ate my brain one night and I never made it in for an important day at work the following morning. Real deal homework pretty much got dragged out, done somehow by the end of the night or alternatively blagged. I was quite good at blagging as a kid so I tended to get away with it more often than not.


Q) You look very moody in press photographs but I have it on good authority that you are a laugh. How do you combat your natural reactions to laugh with a media demand for mean and serious looking DJs?
A) Well I actually belong to an exclusive group of artists that constitutes me and Thom Yorke from Radiohead. We both have a lazy eye and the only way around photographs (apart from looking onto camera like your eyes have just had an embarrassing fall out with each other) is looking away. Inevitably that works better with a moody, feckless glance to the side. I’m thinking about approaching him to form some kind of bog eyed alternative boy band actually so if there are any other lazy eyed performers out there please get in touch.

Q) Is dance music JUST for dancing to?
A) I find it also works really well as an accompanying background soundtrack to bending someone’s ears on a dance floor about some nonsense or another and then complaining the next day that I can’t remember any interesting tracks played from the night previously.

Q) What is the name of your next release and where can readers of this blog buy a copy?
A) I have a couple out around the same time, Witching Hour on Crosstown Rebels and Get Loose on Leftroom and they’ll be available from any fine emporium of vinyl or digital underground dance music. Or you could just grab them from a download blog. Or straight up mug me. Up to you.



What a nice young man. He goes on a bit but that's what this blog is all about; content.

You can listen to and then BUY 'Witching Hour' here, on this website, now: BUY THIS FUCKING TRACK BY FOLLOWING THIS FUCKING LINK.

You can 'like' Gavin Herlihy on Facebook if you're that way inclined HERE.

If you want to Tweet Gavin you can do so by ringing this number here: @gavinherlihy

I'll be back NEXT Tuesday with WRDM12 and forthcoming in the weeks ahead throughout the future are interviews with Claude VonStroke and, hopefully, Surgeon (I asked him nicely).

Twat me: @tonkawrdm
Email me: tonkawrdm@gmail.com

PS. Gavin Herlihy's management company have asked me to credit the first pic of him to Richard Kelly.