Yacht Club DJs

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Yacht Club DJs


‘Naughty’ being getting nude mid-set or playing Parklife and shattering his ankle on a barrier after stage-diving onto an inflatable boat. A Yacht Club DJs set is nothing if not a maelstrom of party abandon, with the two deck runners being the craziest people in the room. “We are idiots,” confirms Gaz, but everyone loves an idiot right? “We’ve made a career out of that statement.” Now they’ve recovered, the pair are itching to set off on their national east coast tour in April. “We’re refreshed now after a year off, we just want to get out there and really flog it,” he says.

So what have they got to flog? Chiefly, their latest mixtape, They Mostly Come At Night… Mostly. Perhaps their most ambitious set to date, seamlessly ricocheting between popular hooks (Public Enemy x Love Cats? Check), some musical cornerstones (Jackson 5, Johnny Cash, check), some knowingly sardonic winks (Limp Bizkit backing Estelle), and of course, their usual fascination with ’80s hair metal. One notable peak comes in pairing the cheesy power balladry of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ with Kimbra’s verse on the recent world-dominating Somebody That I Used To Know. “How ridiculous is that?!” quips Gaz. “The guitar solo and everything works with the chorus. It [sort of] adds a positive message to it. I was quite surprised when Guy turned up and said ‘listen to this’ – it was a definite highlight.”

It’s just one example of literally hundreds that are squeezed into its 70 minute running time, though the press release touts the tally at five to six hundred, Gaz retorts, “That’s an estimate, it could be anywhere near a thousand, we have no idea. It’s not like we write down everything as we’re doing it, we just chop these really small things in and then forgot about what we’ve done. As long as it sounds good, who cares?”

This sort of free-wheeling attitude has always been in the spirit of what Yacht Club does, even though the nature of their mixes swims in some particularly murky legal waters, they defy the looming shadow of copyright wranglers. Having begun DJing at the tender age of 16, Gaz admits, “[we] came into it with a bit of naivety. We were used to hearing things like The Avalanches and 2 Many DJs, and all these other people sampling and thought, ‘Obviously you can just do it, it’s cool, it won’t be a problem.’ Then the more you get into it, the legal side rears its ugly head.”

As mash-up artists, Yacht Club can never really ‘sell’ their music, unlike Girl Talk’s flexible ‘appropriate use’ terminology with the United States judicial system, Australia’s policies are far more strict. “We are quite legally bound in Australia,” confirms Gaz. “We can’t do too much with what we make, so apart from performing it live we’d be writing a million-artist year-long APRA list. I try not to think about it. We don’t make enough money to be sued, so we’re happy. It’s probably best to stay under the radar in that respect.” Interestingly there’s no weight to critics simply dismissing them as pilfering other’s music for their own means. “We’ve both been in bands a lot longer than we’ve been in Yacht Club,” details Gaz, himself a regular member of Twiins and blues act Them 9’s. “I’m a musician as well, I like getting paid! So I kind of understand both sides of the coin. I think people should obviously get credit and reward for their work but at the same time, if someone goes and does something creative, people should be more accepting and open to the idea that what they’ve made isn’t exactly what you made – it’s just a part of the recording… there’s a lot of room for creativity in sampling.”

None more-so than in Yacht Club’s own dazzling configurations, where the full canvas of pop culture is ripe for dissecting, not simply its music. Having previously included Disney songs and the Roger Ramjet theme in their  delirious mixes, Mostly Come At Night continues the trend; with enough curios to delight Generation X listeners, from cutting in Street Fighter’s ‘Hadouken’ sound effect to the ‘make those bodies sing’ banana commercial of the mid ’90s. “I think we’re just trying to represent what we like more than anything,” details Gaz. ”Between the two of us I don’t think there’s a genre of music we don’t like, so it’s all going to end up there eventually. We’ve always enjoyed  the ‘Brothers with ADHD’ thing we’ve been tagged with, we think of it as music trivia. We hope that there’s someone sitting down, really listening to it trying to guess where everything comes from or pick all the artists. We do it as much for them as we do it for the dance-floor; because that’s where we were when we decided to do this – it’s a huge part of it.”