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Meet Mike Watkins

Author: martin parts
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
With the dream of becoming a ghetto struck gangster, Mike Watkins genre hopped his way through dance music, only to discover he had a penchant for dirty dark drum and bass. Playing this Saturday at Sydney's Vertex we caught up with Mike for a quick q&a.

What's ur name-

Mike Watkins, age 27, from Sydney

And your DJ Name-

Mike Watkins!

Oh and why don't you have a fancy stage name-

I've thought about it but can never really come up with a silly name that fits for long enough to stay with me…life is about change, and my name's ok I guess.

What styles do you play-

Scorching, tearing, dark Drum & Bass.

Have you always stuck to the one style-

Hell no! Growing up I wanted to be a ghetto struck gangster and hung out in the hip hop scene a lot, got into djing in the early 90's as a schoolie, then discovered dance parties and techno, eventually went through a genre fest with everything from deep funky dubs, bigbeat, house, high nrg, happy hard, trance, progressive and so on. My mixing taste has been the by product of an ever changing lifestyle I guess.

So D&B is it then….what got you into it-

I've always liked a little of the old skool d&b, more so jungle back then and weird stuff from the mid 90's….when I sat down and listened to Kosheen's albulm I was impressed, read a bit about her story, went and saw them live and fell in love with her! Since then I just can't be moved by any other styles. D&B is just so eclectic and the massive has a rapidly expanding subculture supporting it. I find it an extremely expressive and powerfully motivating form of electronic music.

Where do you play-

I play a lot of odd venues - usually they are warehouse gigs or a party myself or a friend has put on for no profit other than fun times. I've lived in warehouses that I've converted into semi-club environments and put on a lot of my own gigs, with other dj's coming and playin. That way I get to play some of my production as well as I don't have to be the only one stuck behind the platters all night.

So you produce also….drum & bass-

Not just but a lot of. I write anything my mood takes me into. The creative process is a 2 way street anyway - you throw an idea back and forth in your studio until something gives you a buzz or makes you smile - then you run with it. I love producing - it's the best escape from this crazy world.

What gigs r u doing at the moment-

Well there's a weekly gig at UBER@Vbar on Thursdays. Light playful drum and bass sessions there from 8-11pm…it's a great club and an even better vibe…the peeps down there that run that place and work the bar know their shit and are just great people - it's well worth checkin out. Also a gig on March 15th at the same venue - I'll be dropping some science in the drum & bass room from 12 till close. Other parties in the tunnel but nothing solid as yet. See below for details.

What's your most embarrassing moment djing-

Oh yeah….well…..havin a room full of peeps at a party that just weren't getting into it at all…finally getting them all up and into it, then dropping a sweet mix, lookin up at some pleased faces, then proceeding to lift the needle from the record that I had just dropped …sooo not happy….but not that many peeps cared - they were all drunk as lords by then so it wasn't too bad. Had a laugh over that one afterwards!

What are your thoughts on the Sydney social scene-

Not as jaded as they should be. I've lived in Sydney all my short life and have seen a lot of changes of late…it's just that everyone's on the funky house and breaks tip now….there's just so much of it that I feel it's a bit spent. It would be easier for punters trying to run alternative nights to get places going if this city wasn't so money orientated…but it is the big smoke after all so you can't expect too much. I think Sydney has some great ven