In partnership with

MAMAs 2016: The winners of the annual MTV Africa Music Awards were announced during a glitzy ceremony

Meet Iain Thomas, the 36-year-old South African poet who is famous all over the world except in SA

Interview: Double Adapter

2011-07-18 14:19
Some describe them as "Trash Electro" but the boys from Double Adapter see themselves as entertainers and musicians first. That they've been burning up dancefloors and clubs since 2009 is beside the point; they've actually had a documentary made about them. And they haven't even released an album yet.

Do you think there’s still a difference – in the mind of the audience – between a DJ and a musician or band?

Tim: There is definitely still a difference, but strangely things seem to have shifted to the opposite side of where they were 3 or 4 years ago - it used to be that DJs drew a lot of criticism for not being real artists/musicians, and now DJs are becoming recognised as strong creative forces while it sometimes seems like bands are considered "done" or "boring" by a lot of young people. We totally don't share that view, we love both - there SHOULD be a difference in the eye of an audience, and I think its up to bands and DJs to really challenge that perception in their fans...

Dan: Yeah definitely. I would say that when people go watch bands they are not sure what is going to happen - is the sound going to be hot? Are we gonna dance? Where as when people go to watch a DJ I think they are going in with an attitude of we are going to party and we are gonna go mental!

I guess I’m asking the above because I’d like to now how you consider yourselves – as DJs or as musicians or a bit of both…

Tim: I definitely consider myself a musician - for me it's pretty boring to go on stage and just play stuff that other people wrote. I mean, if you've been DJing for a while, its not exactly rocket science to mix seamlessly from track to track - but to find inspiration in how you combine them, change them, re-edit or remix them, that gives a DJ/musician personality - to be honest, I think we consider ourselves performers first, good-time-lovers second, and then DJ/VJ/musicians third. But all are critical.

 Dan: Double Adapter is definitely more of a live act then a DJ act. We see our selves as DJs and we are more then open about that fact but with the introduction of a audio/visual aspect I suppose these lines become blurred. Lately we have been working with a live drummer, guitarist and vocals and these lines have become even further blurred but at the end of the day I think we like to think of ourselves as DJs at the end of the day.

Tell us a little about how ADAPT OR DIE came about.

Tim: ADAPT OR DIE came about as a title for our first European tour which was earlier this year... a fan actually gave us the name via Facebook, and we ran with it! The documentary followed when our good friend at Mustard Post Production, Matthew Stonier, decided to come with and give some of his considerable creative energy to documenting our journey. It picked up the name too. Now, post tour, its kind of become our motto - stay current, keep moving, don't be complacent - dance music moves and evolves so quickly that a stagnant act will never last long.

Do you find it at all strange that your movie/documentary was aired before you even released an EP?

Tim: Not really, it was actually our goal! We've always had a firm resolution with Double Adapter - we are a vehicle to bring a party to a crowd of like minded people. Because the show is half visual, releasing music as an EP or something hasn't ever really been a goal - we're more into mediums that let people experience our show the way we play it - and that means video, or mixtapes featuring our typical heavy mashup style... that said, an EP is on the cards for this year. Its time to release some of our creations into the world on their own and see if they survive!

Dan: Ha ha, yeah I guess that is a little bit strange. Double Adapter has always been about the live act and I guess the best way to convey who we are is through film. However an EP is in pre-production and hopefully we will have that out soon.

What would you say was the most interesting thing about watching the other performers during your tours of Europe, etc – did you observe a marked difference in style or quality? Did you pick up any new ideas? Or did they in fact learn from YOU!

Tim: The most interesting thing we found is that SA is completely cutting edge - we saw it when we went there, and we often see it when international DJs and producers come here - it's getting harder and harder to spot who the "international" act is! I think the key difference to be honest is the quality of the guys promoting events and running artist agencies and labels over there - they are incredibly professional and it's relevant because their hard work is what is translating into artists over there getting such amazing recognition. It's that whole thing where an amazing gig is not JUST the music - it's the lights, the atmosphere, the people, the energy, and the performance too. But don't get me wrong - there are guys here is SA on a management/events level that are BRINGING it - Griet Artists, The Assembly, Dogbox - These are pivotal people in the SA electronic music industry and let us do what we do.

Dan: Yeah! We learnt a lot! There is undoubtedly a difference in style, all DJs perform in different ways and play completely different styles and it was really interesting to see what cats are doing in their native countries and how their audiences respond to it. Did they learn a lesson from us? I’d like to think they did - most were shocked at our hi-energy performances and I hope they took something away from that.
Why – according to the press release – were your actions during the filming of ADAPT of DIE at times “questionable”? Be honest now!

Tim: Good question. Haha. We like to party okay? Dan likes to swear! I like to drink stuff and fall off the stage! You know when you have a really crazy night, and you wake up thinking "Oh my god, why did I do that stuff"? We woke up feeling like that every single day for 3 weeks... I'm still dealing with my LC (loser complex) now. Haha - the only way forward is to do it again!

Dan: Tim and I like to get into trouble and we definitely like to live it up large when we get the chance, we drink a lot and get ourselves into awkward situations and that is the best part of touring!

Photos by Gabbi Harris publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Recent News

The African continent is home to some of the most diverse music on the planet, and some of the world’s best music festivals. Read More »

The last month has been like the Hollywood break-up month, with divorces, splits, separation and rumours of rocky relationships filling our site. Break-ups suck, even if you are a celeb. Read More »

inside channel 24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.