David and Stephen Dewaele are the brothers from Ghent, Belgium, that make up 2MANYDJS. They are no doubt an experience to see live with epic sounds and a projected visual collage that puts to shame any other bands videos. We got the chance to interview the guys as they prepare to head into the country for HARBOURLIFE next month.
For 2manydjs, touring Australia seems to be an annual tradition and next month you’ll be playing some special shows for us including one at Red Bennies in Melbourne, which has a very limited capacity of only 300 people, as well as the Harbourlife festival in Sydney. What encourages you to visit Australia so regularly?
Ahh, it’s a combination of things. First of all, Australia has been very supportive for a very long time. The first time we went I think was in 2002. For us, it was a big thing because many of our friends for some reason didn’t want to go to Australia because it was too far away. I think out of all of our friends, we were the first to go and we thought wow, this is actually really amazing! The country is incredible, the food is incredible, the people are great and I think over the years it has become more common.
Lately, everyone has been going. We always feel as though it has been a bit of a hidden gem and we’ve always said that if something was to happen, like if there was some kind of third world war or whatever, then we’d be the first to walk onto a plane to Australia. It’s a combination of this and the fact that we’ve made some really good friends in Australia as well so whenever we go we try and hang out with them for a few days. It’s always very inspiring to go to Australia.
So in 2002, was that a headline tour or a festival?
Let me think..the first one we did I think was Summadayze. Whatever it was, I’m pretty sure it was around Christmas or new years.
Last year during Vivid LIVE in Sydney, you broadcasted your Radio Soulwax project live on Triple J all across Australia. Was this your own idea or were you approached by someone to do it here?
Well, the curator of that festival at Vivid was Steve Pavlovic from Modular and he invited us to play at the Opera House. He’s a good friend of ours so that’s how that came about.
So did you guys ask him if you could do it?
No, he basically said to us that one of the beauties of Vivid is that it is more than just a bunch of concerts. He said that he had access to a radio room at the Opera House and that Triple J were doing a live broadcast every day and he wanted us to come and do it because he thought that it was one of our sole points.
The last time I saw you DJ was actually at the Sydney Opera House for Vivid. What was it like to perform in Australia’s most prominent landmark?
It was really cool. It was a fun gig! I think it was the end of a really tough week because for some reason, we made it really difficult for ourselves with the Triple J shows. There was so much work that went into them, more than we imagined. That gig was a nice little present at the end of the week and in that room and you know, the whole building, it was cool because it was where we had been going to work for the week with our brief cases and our laptops. It was great because in the very same place we had been working, we could DJ at the end and it was a party and all our friends were there. The only thing was though, the weather was so bad that we barely experienced any of Sydney.
Throughout your career, you’ve produced some incredible remixes that are played frequently by DJs from all over the world. Is there one that you are both extremely proud of, or one that you regularly include in your own DJ sets?
That’s difficult because you can never really feel as though it’s yours. It only really feels like we’re kind of helping the track become something a little bit more effective for the dancefloor. Out of every remix we have done, I would say that the most effective one would have been the one we did for The Gossip. That’s not necessary my favourite though.
Have you spent much time in the studio lately and can you give us an idea on when we can expect some new Soulwax material?
Yes, so we’ve been working on an album. I mean, we think it’s going to be an album. It’s a little bit confusing because we’ve done a lot of music and we know that we want to put out a Soulwax album but we haven’t made the decision yet on what is going to be Soulwax and what’s going to be someone else. It might end up on someone else’s album or we could do it on a different name. It’s not really clear yet how it’ll come about. We have the next few months to decide what becomes Soulwax.
Do you have any plans to tour Australia soon as Soulwax? I’m guessing it’ll be after you’ve gone into the studio a bit more.
Yeah, that’s going to happen once we finish the album I’m sure. I guess that’ll be sometime next year.
I just got home from seeing The Presets perform a show in Sydney about half an hour ago. I was just wondering what Australian producers you listen to in your spare time?
I know it’s going to sound like a cliché but from day one even before they signed to Modular, I have been a huge fan of Tame Impala. I really really love what they, or what he does, in terms of songwriting, production and everything. I think it’s really strong. I know that there are a lot of bands in Australia like The Presets, Wolfmother or Jet and it’s always cool to not like them. Mainly because they become too big for everyone for it to be cool anymore. It’s just so strong what Tame Impala do that I really rate that band.
How long have you both been DJing for as 2manydjs and can you remember your first set?
The first time we DJ’ed was in 1997. My brother had been doing it with another guy, who was actually the drummer of Soulwax. The drummer of Soulwax left Belgium to marry a woman in America and so they had a few gigs left and my brother asked me if I wanted to come to help him play some records. It wasn’t called 2manydjs then. The name back then I guess was just Dave and Steph. I remember the party for our first DJ set was actually quite big. It was around 500 people and it was at a hotel in Ghent. Definitely around that time, no DJ was playing what we wanted to hear. What everyone was playing was very serious. I remember, we played ‘Blue Monday’ by New Order, we played The Residents, we played Michael Jackson, we played some hip hop. We just played a bunch of stuff that we liked and it worked from day one.
Well, thanks very much for your time. I can’t wait to see you at Harbourlife in Sydney!