Sean Quinn

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Sean Quinn


Sean Quinn’s up for the challenge come this weekend’s Darkbeat Local Sessions

It’s been some time since he’s had to stand on his feet for four full hours without wobbling, but Sean Quinn’s up for the challenge come this weekend’s Darkbeat Local Sessions, which the Melbourne lad and renowned DJ is looking forward to headlining. And while it’s been his non-music-related computer business that’s been taking up quite a bit of his time and energy lately, Quinn reckons he’s been incapable of resisting the DJing bug even after 15 years in the game.

"A four-hour set is a good amount of time to really showcase what you can do as a DJ," claims Quinn. "When you get just an hour set, you have such little time to stamp your flavour on the night. That’s the reason that people get up there and just play the 10 biggest songs that they’ve got in their collection at the time. It’s just enough to be able to go, ‘hey look at me!’ At best, you get a very fractured musical perspective of what that person can do."

No, when it comes to the Darkbeat crew, you can be sure that you’ll get a different taste of what dance music has to offer. Best of all, as Quinn aggress – the event is a celebration of local talent at a time when international DJs seem to be getting most of the attention.

"The ‘Dark guys don’t cater to the mainstream," states Quinn. "That’s why they’re so rigorously followed and respected in Melbourne, because they’re not going to give you necessarily what you can hear at any other time at any other given club. I know all of the guys that are playing on the night, they’ve had their own local sessions already as well, I think Phil K did his a couple of weeks ago. I know that with clubs in general, it’s gotten to be much more about it being a social scene rather than about music.

People would much rather go out and have their photos taken on the dancefloor instead of go to a club and see a DJ and dance to the music. Still, there is a part of Melbourne that has a healthy respect for local DJs and that is open to giving local guys the exposure and appropriate amount of time if they’ve warranted it. For quite a long period now I’ve had people come up to me and say ‘yeah, that international DJ did his thing and it was good, but he doesn’t really know what we want’."

According to Quinn, at times, it turns out that people appreciate familiarity before anything else. "When you’ve got local DJs you can rely on the fact that you’re going to get what you want," he says. "Because it’s the Melbourne DJs that are working those rooms on a regular basis, so they know how to cater for the audience’s needs! Maybe it’s a bit more difficult to appreciate the international DJ because what he brings to our shores is more about the hits of the moment, which is the reason he would be in the country in the first place. On top of that, he’d be bringing a taste of what’s working in his own hometown, which is fine, but it’s not Melbourne that he’s from."

On the subject of ‘hits’, Quinn reckons his recent single Getting Away With It may be something of a departure for himself, but he’s looking forward to including it in his epic set which wraps things up with an hour-long showcase of classic tunes too.

"That track did petty well in the commercial charts," states Quinn. "I surveyed the landscape at last year and what was going on with Gen Y in the mainroom floors. I thought what I was doing maybe had a bit less relevance anymore in that particular market, so the track did well. I’m really looking forward to this night, though, especially since the last couple of years I have been concentrating on other stuff," says Quinn. "I remember at one point years ago I was really walking the tightrope with the amount of residencies I was doing at once. It started on Thursday nights and ended on Monday mornings… It made it very difficult to get any adequate rest in-between the nights or gigs. Yeah, it presented its own unique challenges but I always made sure not to wake up until Tuesday – with a headache guaranteed, though! I could really only do that for about 18 months before things started to grind to a halt because it was so hectic and I just had to reassess the whole thing. It was a lot of fun but it wasn’t really propelling me forward into a career-based direction. There is also I don’t remember a lot of at that time, I know I met a lot of crazy people, though!"

Sean Quinn [AUS] plays Darkbeat Local Sessions 004 on Friday March 11 at Brown Alley.