Features

Sucker DJs: Your Nan won’t like it but your mum will

Since August 2002, Ben Macklin and Stretch Silvester have been spinning, creating, producing, and remixing tracks under the renowned guise of Sucker DJs. With their discography comprised of a succession of grinding and grooving hit releases including ‘It Gotta Be’, and ‘Banrock’, self-confessed Sucker DJs fan Miss Riz jumped at the opportunity to throw a few questions at Stretch on the eve of their Australian Tour.

Stretch, you have played for Heff at the Playboy Mansion. Is it all bunnies and skin? Can you share any juicy gossip with me – and the rest of the world wide web – about what goes on in that place?

Well, I have, you are quite correct. Yes a lot of skin is on offer as 12 playboy bunnies (Miss January to Miss December) parade around with silver trays full of Krug champagne etc. But, like all proper players, I never

kiss and tell!

You met Ben around 5 years ago. What other things did you have going on at the time of forming Sucker DJs? What brought the two of you together to make music?

Wow! Lots! Too much! I was mad taking on another project. I’m still Stretch & Vern, Paradise Soul (with Mike Monday), I was Coursound and also do solo – Stretch Silvester Tunes. I guess I wanted to do something fresh,

that’s all. A bit funky, sample-led, old schoolish stuff. So I did as the Suckers with Ben, but we’ve evolved a lot since then, matured.

Where did the name Sucker DJs come from?

Mmm….Really, it’s just an old school hip hop phrase. ‘This goes out to all the sucker DJs, sucker MCs. Kinda Run DMC, LL Cool J-Schooly, Public Enemy era.

Where do your influences come from, and how do you converge your separate ideas into one channel?

Influenced by so many different people, a lot of French producers, and its all about getting the balance right. I have the ultimate respect for Sasha. You have to get out there and get involved, even when you’re not

playing.

In 3 words, how would you each describe each other?

Not today thanx.

What have been some of the highlights of being a Sucker DJ? Any low lights? Can you tell us something about each other that your fans might not know?

Well, its all pretty high at moment-playing in France at the Redlight with Didier Sinclair. Man there’s too many highs. Lows, not many, though last weekend in Belgium was bad. I got stranded at an after party on my own,

an hour and a half away from my hotel, with no money, no directions, and a language barrier. I was glad to finally see Ben, I can tell ya that.

You can’t help but get your feet moving – there is something about the groove of your music that for me personally I cannot sit down to, I have to have a boogie, especially with tracks like Believe and remixes like Candy. What’s the secret to your sound being so infectious in this way?

Thank you for your kind words first of all. The secret is there is no secret. It’s just an understanding of what makes your ass move. Like I said, when you’re not working you have to go out and get on that

dance floor.

Do you ever ‘know’ when tracks like A Lotta Lovin’ are going to take off?

Yeah, definitely a gut feeling. But even more so when I did my Paradise Soul remix. You just know!

Why did you decide to relaunch your label, Sucker DJs?

Because we neglected it, signing records to other labels, and we turned our backs on our little baby. It was time to come back. Also we finished shed loads of tracks and we needed to put them out.

Up until now, what do you think the Sucker DJs defining track is?

It would have been A Lotta Lovin’ up until Firework, which we signed to Toolrooms, and is out on November 5th. (Seriously that’s not just a plug – Mind you the album sounds wicked!)

I think a lot of your fans would think it really started happening for the Sucker DJs with ‘It’s Gotta Be’, but you had each had your successes before partnering up. Because of this, was it just a matter of time for the Sucker DJs to get noticed?

Not at all. If a turd’s a turd you can’t polish it. Thankfully we weren’t shit!

How hard was it to get your initial music as Sucker DJs supported by the bigger names at the time, in the industry, such as Pete Tong or Eric Morillo?

For want of not sounding big headed it wasn’t hard at all. Like I said, Our music speaks for itself and we would expect support from all the big players, grateful for it, but worthy of it. We don’t sit around worrying

about whose going to play our tracks, and think that’s the key.

When did you guys realize the Sucker DJs were onto a good thing?

We don’t stop to think about that. Never have done. That would get in the way of our musical creativity.

How important are media channels such as Myspace to the success of a release? Who maintains the Sucker DJ Myspace site?

It’s important for our fan base and communications but we don’t rely on it. We both maintain it.

And while we are on the Myspace topic – why is it that all male DJs on Myspace have hot chicks in their

list of top friends?

Coz we’re sad individuals with little dicks. Ha ha.

What has been your favourite remix to date, and who would you love to work with in the future?

There are too many remixes, just can’t answer that one. Would love to work with Thom Yorke (watch this space), Razorlight and Snowpatrol and bands. I like the fusion. It keeps music healthy.

What do you want people to think when they hear the name Sucker DJs?

When people hear the name Sucker DJ’s, I want them to think of ass shakin’ music productions and ass shakin’ DJ sets. Simple!

On to Oz, since you are going to be playing here really soon. The important stuff… have you ever eaten kangaroo or tried vegemite?

Tried Vegemite. Yummy! Not Kangaroo. Don’t think Rolf Harris would approve.

What projects outside of Sucker DJs do each of you have going on at the moment?

I still work as Stretch & Vern (with Vern), Paradise Soul with Mike Monday, and I do solo as Stretch Silvester.

I hear an album is forthcoming – what’s the word on this, when are you looking at release and what can fans expect?

Yes, an album is completed. Not sure when it’s coming though, for legal reasons and things. And you cannot expect to hear an album of our trademark sound with a sprinkle of diversity. Your Nan won’t like it but your mum will and so will you. Watch this space!

Dates

Sydney – Friday 29th September, tbc

Melbourne – Saturday 30th September @ Seven

Adelaide – Sunday 1st October @ Ministry of Sound event

Byron Bay – Friday 6th October @ Play Nightclub

Gold Coast – Saturday 7th October @ Calypso Club

Cairns – Friday 13th October @ Velvet Underground

Brisbane – Saturday 14th October @ Family