DJ Touche interview: Palpable Hits
Author: Jeremy King
Monday, 19 December 2005
The mark that Theo Keating, aka DJ Touche, has left on the dance music scene is already quite substantial. He's recorded both commercially and critically successful albums under the guise of The Wiseguys, he's been resident DJ at some of the best clubs in the UK, hosted his own radio show and already released successful singles under his own name. Touche's credentials, however, would probably barely register with the average punter. However, I'm pretty sure that if you mentioned the Tooheys ad where the washing machine and the vacuum battle it out for the beer, then people would start nodding in recognition. The soundtrack for the particular ad in question was of course provided by Touche's She's At the Club. And Touche is definitely benefiting from the heavy exposure he is receiving from the ad. Across the country people are going spastic on dancefloor to the track, as well as probably grooving around their living rooms every time the ad gets broadcast. With this raised profile in mind, Touche is coming to our shores to capitalise on his new found fame, and he will being playing a slew of DJ gigs, no doubt all featuring She's At The Club.
In this day and age, it has become standard to have that ubiquitous funky electro song as backing for car, beer or cereal ads. However, Touche does not regard giving one's music to advertisers as selling his soul to the commerce devil, but rather simply as another opportunity for musicians to gain some much needed exposure. "It was quite a while ago and they already had an idea for the ad," Touche tells me. "They just approached us and requested She's At The Club and I had no problem with that. In the end they ran with what was then their current campaign. The ad with my track was supposed to run a while ago but the last campaign was quite popular. I think it's a great little bit of film. These days, as far as I'm concerned, I don't have a problem with putting music to ads, as long as you don't have any major ideological problem with the ad. Getting your songs on radio, getting any kind of exposure is very hard and getting it on an ad is just another way of getting exposure… if it was political campaign or a product that was deeply unsound, then no I wouldn't go for it. Hopefully with something like a beer there's no deforestation or exploitation of people of the world. But you always have to use your judgement."
Despite his protests, however, that he is absolutely A-OK with the use of the track, it still has to be weird for any musician to see a track that they slaved away in the studio suddenly become advertising fodder. No one thinks that the brilliant little electro song that they worked on for months and months is going to be the soundtrack of a CGI-inspired ad for some random beer or product. Yet Touche almost seems to welcome the change of context for his music. When he is queried as to whether he ever thought his funky, electro track would grace the fair medium of television, he seems quite comfortable with almost any use of his music. "It's quite interesting as once you make the song," Touche states, "it's not strictly yours anymore and it's up to other people's interpretation. You're not George Lucas, you can't keep taking it back and changing it."
Apart from supplying the perfect tunes for beer ads, Touche is also a very adept DJ who has been resident DJ at some of the best clubs in the UK, such as Fabric and the Boutique nights in Brighton. Obviously when he tours Australia he will be playing similar sets to those at the aforementioned clubs. He's also more than aware that he's going to have to bust out his big tune, She's At The Club, any chance he gets. Fortunately he hasn't really played the song live that much over in the UK and he's actually looking to forward to whipping it out. "It's not something Tags