Interview with Gavin Herlihy ahead of his debut appearance at Rhythmatic this Sat


Q. I read that you are now living in Leeds… With great venues and promotions up there right now, many are hailing the North as the new London – How are you finding the scene?

A. Well I don’t know about that. London is London is London! I lived in London for almost a decade so it will always be a second home for me but Leeds is great on a totally different level. It’s small and friendly and has more character and attitude than most UK towns put together. It’s also the UK’s second capital city of house. Basics has been going here for almost 20 years for example. That’s amazing and the vibe is very different to London. There isn’t a 24 hour clubbing scene like you get in Shoreditch or Berlin. Instead people have four or five hours in a club to really go for it so the music they like to hear in that time is peak time with no messing about. After that it’s back to some one’s flat for the next two days but that’s another story!

Q. How did your transformation from journalist to DJ/Producer occur? Do you miss writing?

A. I still write a music technology review section once a month so I dip my toe in but only to keep my nose in the world of technology. But I don’t really miss music journalism. I enjoyed my time doing it but I always felt like it wasn’t really me. I come from a background of playing in bands so journalism feels like an interlude in my musical life and I now feel much more at home in the studio or behind the decks than I ever did behind a desk or dictaphone

Q. You played at Panorama Bar when you were living in Berlin. Were you excited or nervous to be asked to play on the hallowed decks for the first time?

A. I’m never normally nervous before a gig unless I’m unprepared so on that particular morning I was feeling confident until , that is, I got home from the airport the morning of the gig. I had intended to spend a couple of hours going through my tunes to fine tune my playlist and came home to find a 40 person strong crack on in my flat. Needless to say the pre-set fine tune went out the window and I arrived at the club feeling a little shifty. But once I got behind the decks I was fine and I’ve played a few times since and it feels pretty natural now. The great thing about it is you get to play for four hours or more so it allows you to relax and play records at your and the crowd’s own pace rather than trying to cram everything into 90 minutes.

Q. How do you feel about Berghain’s door policy?

A. It is what it is. I’ve been turned away myself even though I’ve played there and I only ever get in if I’m playing or I’ve remembered to sort a guestlist. It’s annoying but they have a very difficult job to do. Every club tourist in Europe wants to go to Berghain. It’s on the ‘To DO List’ of every shit tourist guide going so you can imagine how many goons that attracts on a Saturday night. If you want to get in don’t arrive lairy, be respectful and look like you’ve got something to bring to the party. If you turn up in a shit T shirt, wankered and mouthing off about Germans well then you should have stayed in White Trash.

Q. You played at Glastonbury this year how was that?

A. Amazing. I played a rare back to back with my lady Laura Jones at You Are We and at one point Tom Yorke approached the decks to ask me what the tune she’d just played was. Not many mega stars like that take the time (while prowling the afterparties of Shangri-La for that matter) to ask you the name of a tune which just proves why Radiohead are still top of their game.

Q. Wasn’t there a previous incident with a middle aged naked woman in the crowd a few years back?

A. A few years ago I was mid set when I heard some cheering in the crowd. For a second I patted myself on the back for a record well chosen until I realized that they were in fact cheering a topless middle aged hippy who every time a new bassline came in, signaled her appreciation with a bit of self appreciation. She went onto become a Glastonbury legend appearing all over the festival for the rest of the weekend naked and happily strumming away to the music wherever she went. Bless.

Q. Ibiza seems to be back in everyone’s good books the last couple of seasons, do you enjoy playing there?

A. In ten plus years of going to Ibiza I have learned one thing. Whenever you write it off it always comes back bigger and better. Playing there is always an honour. Like most people I have a very strong connection to the island and most of my best friends and girlfriend are in my life because of connections formed there.

Q. Have you or are you playing there this season?

A. I’ve played a couple of times this season. The first was for Space. Last weekend’s gig for Zoo Project was great and it was a unique experience playing the Seal Pit.

Q. What do you think about the F*** Me I’m Famous Ibiza plane complete with David Guetta hits for the whole flight?

A. I have better things to think about!

Q. What labels or artists are featuring heavily on your playlists at the moment?

A. I have a terrible memory. Shocking in fact and whenever anyone asks me this my mind goes blank and the overload of artists and labels and tunes crashes the system. Okay so here goes.. labels really doing it for me at the minute include Life and Death, Culprit, Visionquest, Crosstown as ever, Supplement Facts, No 19, WNCL….[spinning beach ball] and it’s crashed again.

Q. Can you tell us about your forthcoming Leftroom Release?

AMy track ‘With Me’ is part of a Various Artists alongside label boss and mega dude Matt Tolfrey and Daniel MAher, Huxley and Russo and a few others. It’s my attempt at making a deep house track with trademark chords and pads but updated with some modern sonic weirdness. Matt and Maher’s track ‘It Aint’ Over Yet’ is one of the tracks of the Summer.

Q. What else you got coming up?

A. I have an EP on Culprit that I’m really excited about as it’s one of my favourite labels at the moment. Also vibed about my next EP for Get Physical which has been causing a stir thanks to some plays by friends on YouTube. Both of those are slated for Autumn. I also have a remix for Quantised, a track on Spanish label LowPitch and a collaboration with Alex Arnout. I’m probably most excited about a split EP with someone close to home scheduled for one of my all time favourite labels run by a mysterious character known in his desert domain as Dr Whiskers but I can’t say too much as it’s yet to be finalized.

Rhythmatic Intimate Sessions with Gavin Herlihy, Stathis Lazarides, Wesley Razzy, Archie Hamilton & Davy @ Cargo 24th September

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Gavin Herlihy (Cocoon, Get Physical)
Gavin Herlihy web site
RA page

Interview by Melissa Jane Frost