152 hours and still alive: We talk to DJ Hertz about breaking the world record

After 152 sleepless hours at the decks, we can now confirm that as of midday Saturday, Brisbane’s DJ Hertz has broken the world record for the longest DJ set in history by two hours.

As regular ITMers could attest to, the road to reaching a new Marathon DJ Champion of the World has been a long one. In December of last year, Smokin Joe Mekhael secured his ITM mascot status by setting what he believed was a new world record for the longest DJ set in history, clocking up 132 hours and 30 minutes at Sydney’s Empire Hotel. So when DJ Hertz announced his plan to take on Joe’s record in April of this year, the news caused a bit of friction in our forums. But in an unfortunate turn of events, just two days after DJ Hertz began his attempt, Smokin Joe announced that he was relinquishing the title of Marathon DJ Champion of the World after it came to his attention that a record of 150 hours – 18 more than Joe – had been set in October of last year, unbeknownst to him at the time.

So with all that in mind, how does DJ Hertz feel today? “By the time I broke it…I dunno how to explain it, because it was more about getting through it than anything.” Hertz told inthemix this morning. “It was definitely a good moment, but yeah I wasn’t myself at the time. I completely understand how he [Smokin Joe] feels now.”

Naturally, we had plenty of questions for Hertz this morning: Why are you still awake? How are you still alive? And, of course, what’s the deal with the mixing? “This is what everyone was carrying on about,” he began. “Like, the actual rules stipulate that you don’t actually have to mix any songs, you don’t have to do any layering or anything like that whatsoever. You can pretty much play a song, let it run out, get up and press play again. But I tried to keep the mixing pretty good until I got to the 60-70 hour mark and then things got pretty pear shaped. When you’ve been mixing for that amount of time, it turned into just surviving and being successful rather than the quality of the mixing.”

But is there any chance that DJ Hertz’s record could suffer the same fate as Smokin Joe’s? “No, with mine I took all the necessary steps to ensure that my record would be proper,” Hertz explained. “Because when you actually go for a world record and tell them ‘this is what I want to do’ they approve it and then they send back all the information on the current record holder and anyone who might be doing it at the time. I sort of knew about Joe’s thing for probably four months now. It’s unfortunate it worked out the way it did.”

Of course, the battle for the title of Marathon DJ Champion of the World isn’t over yet: Smokin Joe has announced that he’ll be taking another crack at the record this December. But in the meanwhile, a big congratulations to DJ Hertz are in order.