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!