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Cally Gage interview with Frenzy - Part 2!

22nd of December 2007 - interview copyright of Frenzy

In January, Cally Gage will be returning to play for Frenzy once more. As it's been such a busy year for her we thought it would be best we all catch up again. She's finally got her dog, has made no New Year's Resolutions, and loves hardcore... but hard house will always win for her... which is just as well, because that's what Frenzy's Free Party will be all about on Jan 11th down in the Dusk Till Dawn basement!

1. It's been a busy year for you with the Tidy Weekender, Global Gathering, Escape in the Park, Tidy in Ibiza, (and of course Frenzy back in April earlier this year!). It would appear that you're ticking off a lot of achievements in the hard dance world in a very short space of time. Where next for Cally Gage and what are your ambitions and targets for 2008 within the music scene?

It has been an amazing year for me, although I never really get the chance to sit back and take it all in, but when I do it puts the biggest smile on my face and makes me think, what's next?

2008 is going to be pretty much of the same to be honest, plus a whole lot more – I want to take everything up another level. I'm already working on re-designing a few things so they're ready to launch in January 2008, my diary is looking really busy as well, with quite a few big gigs confirmed for the first part of the year and I'm also in talks with quite a few producers about going into the studio to make some tracks. I think all of that should keep me busy for a little while!

Cally's a bit of a screamer
Cally's a bit of a screamer

2. As if that wasn't enough, I hear that Andy Whitby has finally pulled his finger out and got you the dog he promised back in Christmas of 2006. About bloody time too! What's life like with Henry the Dog, and does he sleep in the middle?

Henry is just gorgeous thank you and I love him lots. He has fitted into the Whitby-Gage household just perfectly! He is quite hard work sometimes though and is always very excitable, but I wouldn't have him any other way – he is adorable, ask anyone, lol! He does quite a few tricks as well – he can do a 'High-Five' and everything - he's even sitting beside me now helping me with the interview!

He doesn't sleep in the middle of the bed either, thankfully! He kind of wanders around quite a bit in the night and naps a lot in the day - he always likes to be on guard you see. Although I do wake up most mornings with him really close to my face, just staring at me – probably wishing me to wake up so I can feed him, hehe!

3. We're approaching the New Year, and it's usually time for reflection and resolutions. Will you be making any resolutions for 2008? We're usually rubbish at sticking to them ourselves!

I've never really been one to make New Year's resolutions to be honest, as I never stick to them either – does anybody? I do tend to give myself goals to work towards throughout the year, so I guess you can say that I have an ongoing New Year's Resolution every day!

Cally Gage appears for Frenzy for the second time
Cally Gage appears for Frenzy for the second time

4. You've also recently mixed part of the Hard Dance Revolution album, which was unique in that it was mixed by nine DJs over three CDs. Many mix compilations are invariably mixed digitally with the artist or DJ having no control over the tracks that appear. Did you mix the CD live with Ed Real and Phil Reynolds and did you have a say over the tune selection? It would be interesting to know how the whole thing was actually put together. Care to give us some insight?!?!

I was so pleased when I got asked to mix part of this album, to mix it alongside such huge DJs within the scene was so flattering.

I did have total control over the 6 tracks that I wanted to have on the album, which was fab but quite hard to narrow down to just 6! I had also to choose them quite early on, so the label had enough time to license them etc.

Once the tracks were cleared, I then started putting the order together, so I could find out which tracks worked better with others. Once I had the final order, I mixed it at home on my decks and then sent it over to be finally mastered.

Once all of the mixes where sent in from all of the DJs, they were then put together on the CD – that is why there is a small gap in between each DJ's mix. That's about it really, not much to it!

I think it's a brilliant idea though and thought it worked really well, its fab seeing an album that you've mixed being sold in music shops like HMV – it's all so exciting, well my Mum thought so anyway!

Andy Whitby and Cally Gage practising kung-fu
Andy Whitby and Cally Gage practising kung-fu

5. I've recently seen you appear on hardcore line-ups which made me think you're being tempted into joining the evil dark side… There seem to be very few female DJs currently in hardcore, so how did it come about that you, who's known as a hard house jock, has started to appear at hardcore events?

Well as much as I love hardcore and the whole hardcore scene, I can confirm that I don't actually play hardcore at the hardcore events I'm booked for, I know that sounds weird!

It all started when Hixxy (The Boss of Hardcore) decided to add a bit of variation to his hardcore nights by having different, slower styles of music played earlier on in the night, to add a bit of progression really – that's where I step in! As I play quite tough hard house that has a lot of vocals, it seems to fit in really well – I also play quite a lot of hard house tracks that are actually remixes of hardcore records, so all the clubbers actually recognize the tunes anyway. I normally play first or second in the main room, but I play full on peak time hard house music but at 10pm – it's quite strange, but compared to hardcore, it's a warm up set really and I absolutely love it!

Hardcore ravers are the most responsive and up for it people I think I have ever met, they are absolutely insane and don't stop all night. It is also working really well for our scene as there is such a big cross over now, a lot of the clubbers in hardcore are now saying that they're going out to hard house nights and are loving that just as much – it's definitely a healthy thing and I'm really excited about it.

I did play back to back with Hixxy earlier this year, where we started by playing hard house and gradually built up to hardcore towards the end of the set - now that was a lot of fun. I've been pestering Hixxy for a while now to see if we can do this again, so fingers crossed it will happen – just watch this space!

Super Cally
Super Cally

6. Interviews with hard house DJs usually tend to ask what your favourite tracks are of all time... and I'm sure we asked you that last time around. So how about this time you tell us the tracks you really don't like… they don't necessarily have to be dance music.

Oh god, this is a hard one, as I rarely listen to anything other than hard house, oh and a bit of Scott Mills from time to time! I'm sure there is quite a few tracks in the charts that I hate though, let me think...

  1. Careless Whisper (my mate Mike plays a God awful mix of this and it drives me insane)
  2. Rhianna – Umbrella (sorry to all those that liked this track I've just heard it a hundred times too many already!)
  3. Any song sung by ‘Same Difference' from the X-Factor to be honest! I just can't watch those guys, I seem to get really wound up for some reason!

I can't think of anymore you know, how bad is that? Sorry! I just think it's because I only listen to stuff I like, if I don't like it then I don't listen I suppose – I'll let you know if I come up with anymore though.

7. Seeing as you DJ all over the UK you've probably got a better idea than most on the state of the hard dance scene. There's some talk at the moment that the smaller hard dance events are starting to suffer a little at the hands of the big events and festivals - which tend to have huge line-ups which the clubbers are invariably attracted to. How does this seem from your perspective?

To keep the scene alive, it needs to move forward and by doing that it needs new parties to come through, just as it needs new DJs. There are so many promotions that started off quite small, that are now going against the big boys and pulling off some fantastic line-ups. The new nights that are coming through, are also being run by people who, not so long ago, used to be die-hard clubbers (probably still are!) and this is brilliant, as they know exactly what the clubbers of today want to see when they go out to hard house event. Parties such as Summit, X-Static, H.D.S and Escape Gets Filthy all started somewhere and are definitely not suffering, not from where I'm standing behind the decks they're not anyway!

I really believe that this year has seen some huge changes within the hard house scene, but it's all for the better to move everything forward – I have a good feeling about 2008 you know, it's going to be huge, trust me!

Cally Gage in an alleyway
Cally Gage in an alleyway

8. The next gig you're playing for Frenzy is our January Sales party on the Friday the 11th. It's free entry before 1am on the night. There must be some great perks to being a headline DJ, so I'm guessing you must be able to blag some free stuff here and there nowadays yeah? What's the best stuff you've blagged so far?

Do you know what? I have never even thought of blagging anything, how rubbish is that?! The best I think I've done is ask for a few guest list spaces or stolen a couple of posters from the toilets!

Now you've mentioned it though, I might just make it my New Year's Resolution for next year to blag more stuff in 2008!! Ask me again next year and I'll let you know what I've managed to get away with, LOL!

9. Last but not least, what can Bournemouth expect from you on January 11th?

Just the usual I'm afraid – me bouncing around behind the decks like a loon, dancing and singing along to everything that I play, lol! See you on the 11th, I can't wait!

Cally will next be appearing for Frenzy on January the 11th at Dusk Till Dawn nightclub. Check out our forthcoming hard dance events for more details. You can also see the first part of the Cally Gage interview from earlier in the year.

Photos courtesy of Michael Azzopardi & Ben Thomas