Where did the concept for Despacio come from?
‘It came from David, Stephen and I talking about nights we didn’t like, where people were just staring at the DJs, the sound wasn’t good and it was about the DJ rather than the party. So we decided to make the soundsystem we wanted, which we could play on the whole night, at a party where there would be no visual focus on the DJ.’
How powerful is the soundsystem?
‘It’s 80,000 watts for about 1,500 people. It’s enveloping, it’s warm, like a nice roaring fire. But we don’t throw anybody in. We do turn it up at moments, and I feel it pushes the fight-or-flight response a little, which is nice.’
Has David or Stephen ever played a curveball record which made you think ‘Erm, hang on...?’
‘For sure, that’s part of the fun. Sometimes you’re like ‘‘Dude, what are you doing, what are you doing?’’ I think sometimes we both might have a plan and then it gets thwarted by the other. I like that.’
Who has the bigger record collection, you or 2ManyDJs?
‘I can almost guarantee they do. They don't live in New York, so they've got more space. Plus, ever sine I’ve known them they’ve been maniacally finding records, which I’ve always been impressed with.’
What are they like to tour with?
‘They’ve very funny and very sweet. They do tend to be tireless pursuers of things, though. I’ve been to Japan with them and they'll be like: ‘‘We gotta go out to this place that has this record’’, and then they’ll walk for like 14 hours in pursuit of rare objects.’
What are their dance moves like?
‘They’re Belgian, so it’s a whole different language of dancing. I remember Dave going out to check the sound during a Kraftwerk song and getting lost in the middle of the room while he was dancing.’
What's been your wildest night out with them?
‘We’re old, grown-up men and we usually just have a really nice dinner – woo hoo! We'll find a good restaurant and drink really nice wine. Actually, we always try to buy a bunch of nice wine to have in the booth at Despacio. My fun levels are more moderate these days, but you can absolutely still have fun with wine, like the ancient Greeks and Romans – wine was their business. That was the stuff for them, and they were maniacs.
Why the jungle theme for the Roundhouse?
‘Having a theme just seems like more fun. It’s not strict and you won’t only hear jungle-related sounds. It’s usually an opportunity to make some cheap and funny décor. We all like the weird experience of transforming spaces, it’s kind of a lost art these days.’
Will you drop any jungle tunes?
‘No, there won’t be a lot of drum ’n’ bass, though most of the songs will have drums and/or bass in them.’
What’s your favourite jungle animal?
‘Because they’re fucking cool, man! But don’t get me wrong, I like big cats as much as anybody.’