Dave Stuart plays 20 Questions

In anticipation of his upcoming open-to-close DJ set, the Something Else bossman keeps it real by sharing his love for dub techno, the Sydney scene and his family.
Henry Johnstone
Dave Stuart plays 20 Questions

In anticipation of his upcoming open-to-close DJ set, the Something Else bossman keeps it real by sharing his love for dub techno, the Sydney scene and his family.

1. The best thing about living in Sydney’s inner west?

I can tell you certainly not the housing affordability. I guess the fact that it’s full of reasonably like-minded people and has a really nice community vibe of people who actually carry about others and have somewhat of a respect and appreciation for culture in general. I grew up in the suburbs, where culture and education was looked down upon and the focus was more on sports and machoism, which really didn't align with myself. So living in the inner west has made me feel very much more myself.

2. The thing you love most about being a DJ?

Just the joy of sharing music. I'm not a musician and not musically talented than any way, but I do believe I have a reasonably good taste in music and I've always loved making mixtapes for people or showing people music that I like. That has to an extent transferred into DJing. I’ve always loved music and would have loved to have been a musician, but I'm also quite a shy person so I never really wanted to be on stage. I think being a DJ works for an introverted music lover.

3. The last book you read? Was it any good?

I used to be an average reader, but I’ve had less and less time to myself the last few years and have really struggled to sit down with a book. In saying that, I’ve developed a new-found love for graphic novels recently. I just finished The Incal series by written by Alejandro Jodorowsky, originally illustrated by Jean Giraud, which is absolutely gorgeous and mind-blowing. If you're in any way interested in sci-fi, read it!

4. Best album of 2023?

I potentially listen to a lot more EPs than I do albums, as I mostly listen to music when I’m prepping for gigs or when I was running my record store, Something Else. In saying that, the one album that has the most play in my household has been the Bluey record which my 4-year-old son Harry absolutely loves.

5. Favourite film of the last 6 months?

Fuck I wish I had enough time in my day to actually chill and watch a movie.

6. A track you haven’t been able to stop listening to lately?

This is an easy one. One of my all-time favourite dub techno tracks is Starlight by Model 500, which just got repressed on vinyl. I got it in the mail this week and I think I've listened to it about 50 times already.

7. A favourite track or album to soundtrack a lazy Sunday afternoon?

I love nothing more than having a nice chill Sunday where I can go through the dub section of my record collection. It's by far and away my favourite genre of electronic music. I can listen to it anytime of the day, from the mornings to peak time in a club.

8. The thing you loved or learned about running a record store?

People telling you “I've got that on digital” is the new “I've got that on vinyl.”

9. Name one of your most treasured records in your vinyl collection and why.

So many to choose from. I think one which is really special to me is Whalesong by OCH. I was touring one of my favourite DJs, Eli Verveine, to Sydney and she dropped this in her set and it just blew my puny little mind. I asked her for the ID and she dug the record out of her bag and gave it to me then and there to keep. I will always appreciate that.

10. The last gig you attended that blew you away?

When it comes to epic gigs in Sydney, I'm absolutely astounded by the amount of effort put in by Buzz Speaker Hire and the influence they have on Sydney's scene.  Without them, I don't think there’d be anywhere near as many epic parties in Sydney as there are at the moment. It's also epic to have a club as great as 77 back in action. So many great local DJs to play all night sets in the club, which I'm absolutely humbled to be a part of myself.

11. If you could go back in time you would…?

Have started DJing earlier in my life. I'm a perennial late bloomer and even though I've been DJing for a long time, I did start quite late and wish I found the passion for it earlier. I would also have taken the opportunity to move back to Europe about 10 years ago. At that stage, myself and my wife Renae (Trinity) were travelling over there to play once a year every year.

12. Your go-to pizza topping?

Much to a lot of people's amusement, I've been cutting back on my meat intake lately. My go-to homemade pizza at the moment is potato and rosemary.

13. The most important thing to consider when playing an open to close DJ set?

Toilet breaks and over-packing your record bag.

"If I wanted to hear someone waffle on about some subject they think they're an expert on, I'd just record the gibberish I hear at kick-ons..."

14. What’s something you experienced DJing in European clubs that surprised you?

There’s a lot of average DJs with average music selections over there compared to how great a lot of Sydney artists are.

15. Who is someone that continues to inspire you and why?

My amazing partner and wife Renae (Trinity). She's been an absolute inspiration for my music, career and life over the last 15 or so years. She's an amazing, strong woman who I absolutely adore.

16. The last non-music podcast you were addicted to?

If I wanted to hear someone who's opinionated waffle on about some subject they think they're an expert on, I'd just record the gibberish I hear at kick-ons and play that back on repeat.

17. The TV show you’re obsessed with?

I love nerding out and watching any of the Star Wars TV series. All the animated ones are my favourites, plus obviously Andor which was mind-blowingly good.

18. What would you like to have accomplished in the next five years?

Happiness and inner peace.

19. What makes you happiest?

Lazy afternoons. Hanging out with my family. I love nothing better than long lunches and also sitting in our garden with a nice wine.

20. The best restaurant in Sydney to dine at when hosting a touring DJ?

Many of the DJs I’ve toured over the years are really important to me and I've had a friendship and personal connection with many of them. So rather than taking them out to a generic restaurant, I’ve loved either having them stay at my house or come over so I can make them a nice home-cooked meal. When you're touring around it can be hotel-restaurant-club-hotel-restaurant-club eat-sleep-repeat… so I find it nice to give them a Walmart family vibe when they come to play.

Listen to Dave Stuart on SoundCloud

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