Q&A with David Rodigan

Q&A with David Rodigan

I celebrate that I am alive because many of us don’t have the privilege to live this long. The fact that all of us who are going to be at Splore are still on the planet and can enjoy life in perhaps ways some people can’t, we have to give thanks for that. So, I will be celebrating life, music, joy and happiness.

The Dastardly Bounder

The Dastardly Bounder

Jamie Larnach has been part of the Splore whanau since the very beginning.

The Dastardly Bounder is one of Jamie Larnach’s musical endeavours. His sound is influenced by 23 years of DJing on incredibly loud sound systems for people who really like to dance. Jamie was an originator of New Zealand’s outdoor dance party scene, he bought us Entrain (New Zealand’s seminal rave) in the early 90s and was a founding member of Splore. We caught up with the musical legend to find out about his journey with Splore from when he first started to now.

How did your career in music start?

When I was 20 I was studying and I had the opportunity to take an extension on my student loan and I had some friends that wanted to put on a dance party. So, I took that money and invested in 20,000 flyers and I handed them out up and down the country. I was already DJing and collecting music, I was collecting music because no one else was playing music that I wanted to listen too. We ended up putting on a New Years Eve party called Entrain and the ball got rolling from there really. For me I don’t see it as a career, it’s more of a passion. I’ve been curating music for parties since as long as I can remember; making mixtapes and playing them at parties so becoming a DJ was a natural extension of that for me.

How long have you been playing at Splore for?

I’ve played every Splore, I was part of the group of people that started Splore. In 1997 I came back from travelling overseas and at the same time Amanda came back and we were old friends, we were hanging out at a warehouse party and we started to talk about what we wanted to do and we were both keen on starting an outdoors music festival. We trialed a couple of events north of Auckland and then we launched into Splore. So, i’ve played the first one and every ones since.

What makes you return each year?

Splore as become really central to my life, it’s part of how i’ve grown my group of friends. I see people at Splore that I don’t see anywhere else and my kids have grown up going to Splore, it’s  central to my families summer.

Have you had a favourite year at Splore?

No, it’s hard to say. There have been moments, but I couldn’t say - that would be unfair to the amazing effort that people put in every year.

What do you love about Splore?

One of the things that I admire about Splore is that it merges creative arts and culture. One of the things I set out to do when I started the Entrain parties was to bring together groups of creative people from across the country and Splore does exactly that. I love that there is no isolation between communities.

Who or what are your influences?

When I was 7 I went to the Nambassa festival, this was in the late 70’s early 80’s and I have distinct memories going to that and thinking ‘wow this is just fantastic’ and that influenced me massively to want to put on outdoor parties instead of club gigs as I thought that’s the way to have fun!

You mentioned that your kids have grew up going to Splore, how important do you think children are to the overall festival?

I believe kids are really important to the overall event as they moderate behaviour and it’s great for kids to see people and especially adults having fun in a safe environment in this way. I love the way Splore  is intergenerational now. My kids have been inspired by their experiences onsite and bring that into their daily lives. Aria 14, my eldest has been doing circus training in silks for several years now and so has her cousin, both directly inspired by Splore. Lucy 11, is all about dance music and considers herself a Splore kid. She even helps me decide what to play in my DJ sets.

We actually started the rumpus room, which is the kids part of Splore and we ran it for 5 years. We met this woman at Splore, and she was saying how much she loved the kids zone, and it turned out she actually organised the kids zone at Nambassa festival. I love that they had on ongoing effect on culture, which is pretty cool.

Who are you looking forward to seeing this year at Splore?

I’ve been listening to orbital since the early 90s and I have never seen them, so i’m super excited to see them this year!

DJ Benny Salvador

DJ Benny Salvador

Wellington DJ Benny Salvador is no stranger to Splore, after attending the festival since he was a baby.

Known as a ‘ninja behind the decks’ and with regular club nights at Wellington's Club 121, Surface and The 121 Warehouse Rave, Benny has earnt himself quite a reputation. As a life-long Splore lover, he is taking to the stage for the third time this year, and we can’t wait to hear his exotic selection of house, techno and disco. We caught up with him to find out exactly what he has in store for us this year...

Why did you decide to choose a career in music?

It’s what i’ve always been around, I grew up surrounded by music, so it’s just normal life for me. My dad is part of Fat Freddy’s Drop, so I have grown up playing his parties and I really enjoyed learning and growing in the music scene. I am lucky that I get to say that music is my career.

So, would you say your dad has had a big musical influence?

Definitely, as all dads have an influence on their kids lives, he has definitely installed a lot of musical interest into me. I’ve always looked up to him and he has given me a positive light on the music industry.

This years theme at Splore is ‘Celebrate’, what do think about this years theme?

I love it! Splore is my favourite festival...fullstop. Every year for me is a celebration at Splore, so it’s only right that the theme is celebrate.

It’s Splore’s 20th anniversary as well, so it's the perfect theme…

Exactly! It fits in like a glove - it’s perfect!

Do you have anything to celebrate this year?

You know what, I am just celebrating life in general. I have been playing a lot of music and celebrating with people - I guess that’s my job and that’s why I love music.

You’ve been coming to Splore since you were a baby, so how does it feel to be playing the festival?

Well it’s my third year playing Splore this year, and i’ve been to Splore practically every year since I’ve been alive. So, I am definitely a Splore baby through and through. It feels like home to me at Splore, so it’s great to go as a family and we all look forward to it. We dance all weekend together as a family and it’s magical!

What’s your favourite part about Splore?

Firstly, the scenery! It's such a beautiful place, so no matter what’s happening there it will always be great! I love all the people at Splore as well, I feel very natural there and as I said it’s like home. The music is a line up you can't miss, every single year is amazing! I like that you don’t have to look at the line-up first like most festivals, Splore is what comes first and then the line-up. It’s about the community, the people and the coming together of people rather than just the music. Basically, I love that Splore is a thing in itself and it’s not defined by the music.

As a techno-house DJ, what drew you that genre of music?

I play that a lot yes, but I also play a mixture of house, funk soul and psychedelic. I try and play different things depending on what makes me feel good at the time. I remember my dad gave me a Moody Man tape and I fell in love with it. I am a record digger at heart so I just find the music.

Who are your influencers?

So many. Of course, Prince, James Brown, all of the old funk and soul. I love the older stuff, I would say they are my deeper influencers, but also so many Dj’s like Moody Man.

Splore merges both Auckland and Wellington creative scenes, how important do you think that is for the industry that your in?

We are all one country, we all get along and we absolutely love playing music together. Splore is the perfect stage for that, it brings us all together to work creatively together. At Splore we are one!

Who are you looking forward to seeing this year?

So many people! I would have to say Frank Booker and Courtesy, but I am generally just so excited for the festival as a whole.