Tornado Wallace: Night moves

From the close quarters of Melbourne’s Mercat Basement to Watergate overlooking the River Spree in Berlin, Tornado Wallace has been getting around. The producer, who you might also know by his ‘regular’ name Lewie Day, is certainly on a hot streak, releasing music through Delusions Of Grandeur, Instruments Of Rapture and other bastions of all things deep and dancefloor-ruling. At the moment, he’s back on home soil, with a prime spot under the copper ceiling at Sydney’s Mad Racket this weekend. We threw Lewie some questions about his worldwide roaming, work ethic and Melbourne ties.

Can you tell us a bit about your move to London; what have been some of the standout events that happened over there for you?

I moved there for six months with my girlfriend who had to be there for work. At first I was planning on finding a small job and getting a working visa, but an opportunity came up to join the Warm agency – where my visa was sponsored and all my gigs were handled by people much more capable and organised than myself. So I had regular DJ sets around the UK and Europe.

The best event I played at was probably a Wednesday night at Watergate in Berlin where Mike Callander organised an Australian party with Alexkid (who has been to Australia enough times to be considered part Australian). Lots of friends showed up and the place was busy until very late in the morning. Mike, Alex and I played together from 1am till 11am. A couple of other standout events were Sub Club in Glasgow and Plastic People and Corsica studios in London.

What do you miss about the Melbourne scene when you’re overseas? What makes it unique?

People have a way of discounting Australia when it comes to the world stage in music and nightlife terms. The people you hear that say, “Europe’s where it’s at…Melbourne/Sydney/et al just can’t compare”, are generally the people who went to Ibiza for a week, spent a night in a Berlin nightclub, or went to some festival in Spain or Croatia – and then came straight back home on the high-horse express.

There are great parties in UK/Europe, but there are also really mundane ones. The same as in Melbourne, and from my experience, Sydney and Adelaide. At no point did I think anywhere I travelled to was better or worse than Melbourne in these terms.

There’s a different vibe each night in every club, in every city around the world. In very few places would you expect to hear the same music two nights in a row, so it can be difficult arriving in a city you’ve never been before and not knowing what people like to listen and dance to.

I’ve been DJing in Melbourne most weekends for eight years, so I know my city pretty well. Something I miss when I’m overseas is that comfort in being kind of in sync with my city. That comfort in knowing what the crowd wants to hear, what the crowd doesn’t want to hear, and what the crowd doesn’t want to hear but needs to hear anyway.

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