Q&A: Ben Evans
What brands are you behind and what year did they launch?
It all began back in 2005 when a friend and I launched a party called Interview. The object of Interview's conception came about when there was quite a significant gap for the kind of music we wanted to get down to, that kind of music would later be defined as 'party prog,' a genre coined by the master of trendsetting itself, Mr Jules Plees. The industry didn’t really have all that many smaller, consistent nights on a monthly basis hosting the sounds we were representing, namely, progressive, techno and trance, with a fair dollop of minimal, electro and breaks thrown in for good measure on occasion. Interview was born and later became a fast favourite amongst our family, it was the no-bullshit house party vibe that was geared to get your groove on, in a big way – with lock-ins, ridiculous drink specials, local and international guests such as Andy Moor, Martin Roth, Kuffdam and Plant, Jaytech and many more, including Jager laybacks and turntables!
Interview formed the basis for what was quickly migrating into our trance family’s prosperous music future, supporting some of the world’s biggest events, bringing the Gatecrasher Global Sound System tour to Australia in 2006 featuring John 00 Fleming, Gareth Emery, Dave Lee, Norman Jay and many more. With VIP and additional rooms hosted at GodsKitchen, Pharmacy Events, Transmission Events, Sensation New Years Eve, Belfast, Kryal Castle's Ultraworld, Earthcore, Apollo New Years Day, Airport Events, Anjunadeep Album Launch - Rooftop Event, Antix Album launch, Infected Mushroom Tours and Valentines Day boat parties, all forming the binding ingredients that make up Interview's universal portfolio of musical and event achievement. A huge amount of love and attention went into each and every part of the crew, and its resurgence into the Melbourne industry with Oliver Lieb later this year will be one incredible re-launch we can’t wait to get down to.
After Interview's dance-floors were forged our crew formed a new love for psychedelic music and began exploring some alternate and artistic avenues, not to say that current music or arts initiatives were not booming, as they very much were, but the constant quest for the next captivating rhythm snagged our attention on what was being played up at the Rainbow Serpent Festival around 2007 - 2008. Swept up in the magic of the dancefloor and the mystery of the mayhem, a new infatuation was born, a limitless journey through an entirely new culture for us. It was something that demanded our immediate attention, and as a musician this soundscape engulfed me and challenged everything I loved about music. It delivered a whole new bag of psychedelic goodness, one that we had no idea would take us on a path of incredible excitement.
Something had to be done, so we began adding a little bit here and there to our Interview events, testing the boundaries of our beloved audience, and eventually splitting the concepts into two entities, this is where Interview's sister-session Colour of Sound was summoned. Colour of Sound was an avenue where we could explore and experiment with our ideas and sounds, bringing together premier psychedelic musicians, performers, productions, decor, themes and every bit of amazing technology we could muster in the one experience to create our very first arts/technology focussed heavy session for the masses. What later happened resulted in an incredible series of eventing. Colour of Sound, Interview and our newly formed Artifact Creative Bookings Agency form the backbone of our additions to the world stage and our Australian representation.
Stepping into an electric wonderland, our events take both body and spirit on a journey, exploring emotion and creating connection and togetherness. We welcome you to experience a celebration of life, the way we like to express it! And partake in a global celebration of unity, we are the Australian family and together climbing the Tree of Life, a global movement to which will expand and enrich our developing cultures all throughout the world and all as one united experience. Exciting times, that’s for sure!
How'd you get into it?
I had a barrage of ideas and concepts that I had to fly somewhere, and at the time, no-one seemed all that interested in pushing the boundaries at their events or really supporting new and interesting talent, and as such I had no real platform in which to create these spaces and experiences and to advance as a musician. So I went at it and haven’t looked back since. I found to really embrace the many cultures and tastes of our Australian industry we have to look outside the square in every aspect and rather than sticking to the same old formula and expectation of events, look for that special something that will form one of those ‘WTF’ dance floor moments, because we all know how priceless they are and how important they are to lighting up a rocking vibe. It’s all so special and unique and with the advances in modern technology and the opportunities opening up around us, the world has never been so connected in all its life. It’s an amazing and inspiring time for us all.
Who are your resident DJs and/or favourite touring talents?
Our residents include the likes of Harry Blotter, Blinky, Ish Mia, Brown Acid, Loki, Bobby Raver/Punk on Junk, Simon Murphy, Imperfect Circle and myself. Across our events we work together to build a vision, alongside touring legends Ritmo (Israel), D-Addiction, Symbolic, Hypogeo, Mindwave, U-Recken, and many more aligned with Artifact's booking agency and touring circuits. To add more girth we love Australian music and frequently support and feature Australia's best at every possible chance we can. Ultimately there's too many to list, we love everyone and are blessed with amazing talents.
Who’s your crowd and what makes your parties great?
Our crowds are very diverse, we cater for everyone from the first time revellers to the tried and tested enthusiasts. We have all grown up together through many years of eventing and wonderful experiences. What we do is more than just a night out or a party or a meat-market pick up session. In a sentence, the entirety of our mission is that "We are creators of experiences, and we seek to define the wholeheartedness of any one experience to generate happiness on a grand scale". We achieve this by fusing together the expressive outlets found in the arts, dance, community, music, technology, each other and our surroundings, packaged together in an elaborate presentation designed to captivate and drive a positive experience. With it a sea of smiling faces populate our dance-floors with an amazing energy through open-minded, respectful and caring people, that embody the platform and give it everything they possibly can for its greater good. In a nutshell we are very lucky to have such an amazing audience to share our creations with, because it’s ultimately always for the people.
What's been the most epic party you've thrown and why?
This is a tough one. All of them! And especially tricky to nut it down to just the one as being the most epic, because they have all been epic in so many vast and different ways that it’s difficult to decide. But I think the winner would be our Aztec event – that was seriously fun. We dressed as Aztec Gods and Goddesses and took over Rydges Hotel in Melbourne, built a six metre StarGate for the main floor with a fully activated crystal grid fused into it and projection mapped a central funnel which was hoisted up onto a circular truss over the DJ booth. The powerful LED show would later transform the audience and bring about the Aztec wildlands that we sought to manifest. With the amazing combinations of the Extra Dimensional Space Agency team from the UK, our vision controlling mind mapping by Leigh Gilmour, Mitch Hudson on the lighting, Ishtar sound, and some of the world’s best, we were in party mode!
Everything was incredibly well received and the vibe was nuts. We even had an after party at Brown Alley and a further continuation event on the rooftop poolside at the hotel, that was bliss!
What's the worst/craziest thing that's happened at one of your parties?
Too many crazies to list!
What's been the most epic party you've thrown and why?
As above, but certainly worthy of a second mention, Aztec!
Shameless self-promotion opportunity – what, when, where for your next party?
J00f Editions: September 7 at Brown Alley, in conjunction with Darkbeat and Sunset. Colour Of Sound: Trip The Light Fantastic Tour – Ritmo, D-Addiction, October 19. Interview: Oliver Lieb, LSG, Paragliders Retrospective Show, November 2012. Colour Of Sound Boxing Day Bonanza! and loads more that we cant release just yet – but find us on colourofsound.com.au