DJ Firefly

DJ Firefly

How and why did you get into DJing?

I had started going to dance parties and outdoor raves back in 2001. I was travelling to Christchurch from Invercargill and was blown away by the friendliness in the rave scene. Some of the friends I had made on Biggie and NZRave (internet forums) were DJs and I was really intrigued by the technical aspect of DJing. The next year I moved up to Christchurch and by chance, was at an Equinox party and one of the DJs announced that this was his final set and he was selling his records. I jumped at the opportunity and bought a crate of 90's happy hardcore vinyl off of him. I would go around to friend's houses to practice on their turntables and eventually, I gave in and used my student loan money to purchase a pair of Technics 1200 turntables. We used to all hang out on Thursday nights ("Thirsty Thursday") and play tunes in my kitchen, have a few drinks then head into The Jetset Lounge and Base nightclub where our friends were DJing out.

What is it about Happy Hardcore that you love?

I think it's all about the pure energy it has, you can't help but tap your foot or start to dance when you hear that kickdrum! I also love how much emotion can be conveyed via music. Happy hardcore can be uplifting, dark and moody, or absolutely driving. There's a tune for every situation. I'm also a sucker for a cheesy vocal and love singing at the top of my voice in the car haha.

How was it performing with Angerfist?

It was beyond surreal, it's like a dream you have but know could never come true. If I was to die the next day, my life would've been complete lol. But seriously, was such an honour to perform alongside the king of hardcore and get to meet him, he was such a down-to-earth guy too. It was probably the most nervous I've ever been before a set, but I loved every second of it. Having the whole NZ hardcore crew there just absolutely made it, the crowd was so passionate and dedicated, I think we really left an impression on Angerfist too. Imagine flying to the furthest country from your homeland possible to have people going absolutely nuts to your music on a Thursday night? What a buzz.

Is it easy to organize events around Christchurch? How profitable is it?

The toughest part is finding venues where we can host parties. Unfortunately after the earthquakes, we lost all our clubs and cheeky warehouse venues, and there's only been a handful open up since. Apart from that the next hardest part is promoting the event and convincing people to choose to turn up to your event, over every other option of something they could do on a Saturday night!

As hardstyle/hardcore is such a small scene, it's really hard to make it profitable. If we run a party and we break-even, that's a huge win! I'd love nothing more to have 400 people show up and then be able to afford to bring over international DJs all the time and put on an awesome production. But to be honest, the small dedicated crew that we do have absolutely make the party. Our raves have such an amazing and friendly vibe, that more than makes up for things if we don't do well financially.

Do you produce your own music?

Unfortunately not, it's always been a dream of mine but I kinda feel I missed the boat on learning production. If I was 16 again, I'd be spending all my disposable time on a computer learning how to produce! I just don't have the spare time in my life to commit to learning, let alone getting to a point where it would sound any good lol.

How much work is producing a radio show? Is the feedback satisfactory?

We've got a pretty slick operation these days, where I just have all the gear set up in our home studio. So I just turn it all on and start streaming. Back when we used to perform live from the Pulzar radio studio, it was a bit of a mission to get out there and you really had no idea how many people were listening. So it was hard without the feedback to know if people were into the music or not, and it leaves you feeling a bit de-motivated. But now that we use Twitch, not only can you see how many people are tuned in, but you can also get instant feedback and interact with the audience. It actually makes you feel like you're performing in front of a crowd at a rave!

Do you have plans to perform overseas when covid settles down?

That would be a pretty amazing experience. I've been over to the Netherlands a few times and the festivals over there are next level! But I think you've got to be pretty good at producing these days before anyone internationally would consider booking you to DJ at their party, otherwise you're a bit of a "no-one". Sometimes it's just easier to be a big fish in a small pond haha. But I would love to get back to some festivals again, am absolutely itching to listen to hardcore again on a massive sound system and get lost in the laser show.

SoundCloud URL: https://www.soundcloud.com/rinsed
Twitch URL: https://www.twitch.tv/rinsednz
Official URL: http://www.rinsed.co.nz

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