Andy Whitby interview in advance of Frenzy's 6th Birthday
28th October 2008 - interview copyright of Frenzy
Andy Whitby is one of the biggest names in hard house. He also one of Frenzy's most regular guests and on the 7th of November he will be helping us celebrate our 6th birthday party in Bournemouth. It's also his birthday weekend so expect some fireworks as he tells us about starting his own record label and his plans for 2009 and beyond.
1. Hi Andy, November the 7th is going to be quite a special night. Not only is it Frenzy’s birthday, but it’s also your birthday weekend so we’re going to make it quite a special party with lots to celebrate. They’ll be some cake organised and perhaps some party games... is there anything we can get you for your birthday that perhaps you don’t have already?
A bath tub full of Swedish models will be fine! I’m not a fussy man to please! No, seriously, my friends tell me I’m one of the worst people to buy for as I usually just buy anything I like, so when it’s time to get me a present they have to dig deep in making it original and something I haven’t got!
I’m currently going through a phase of buying Nike Vandals, so if anyone can get me a pair of blue ones in size 10, then that would complete my collection and make my birthday... and yes, I know that’s sad!
2. OK, so that’s you sorted out… but what are you going to get Frenzy? We’re going to be six on the night, but are notoriously difficult to buy for. You need to pull something out of the bag please!
I’m going to give you guys a powerful selection of music that mostly consists of tracks only I have, blended together in a special way with a huge helping of emotion and a little bit of mayhem thrown on top, all wrapped up nicely.
3. Continuing with the birthday theme, could you tell us what your best ever birthday present was and why? Frenzy’s was the Millennium Falcon back in 1984. That bad boy still comes out to play now and again. What’s yours?
I remember a few amazing birthday presents; Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan wrestling figures with the replica ring. I remember one year getting a Barcode Battler... does anyone remember them? Genius at the time, utterly pointless looking back!
4. So that was the best, what about the worst? Frenzy’s is a toss-up between a disposable barbeque and a cock ring... the cock ring was a lovely idea as a present, but unfortunately was too small so had to be given to Cheeky Scott instead.
I heard when you gave it to Cheeky Scott he thought you were offering him a Polo mint, bless him! The worst present I ever had? Well, I’ve never really had any bad presents as my parents were pretty amazing when it came to birthdays - thanks Susan and Bryan if you’re reading this!
5. If you could have your perfect birthday, what would it be? For example, where would it be, who would you invite, would there be a theme? And of course, every party has a party DJ… who would yours be?
It would be at Koko in London, packed with all my friends. I think the theme would be very smart; men in shirts, ties, power suits; that kinda vibe and the ladies in gorgeous dresses, lots of diamonds. Very glamorous.
The DJ would be Mixmaster Mike from the Beastie Boys, I know he’d be amazing at playing exactly what the crowd need at any given time while also putting on a show!
6. As another year passes, another starts. What have been the highlights for you over the last 12 months?
Starting my own record label was something I’d been talking about for a long time so I was happy to do that in March. Now as the year draws to an end the output on AWsum is the strongest it’s been yet with some of the biggest tracks by Klubfiller, Matt Lee and myself all finally hitting stores.
Next year I’ll be bringing in a few new artists to appear on the label, namely MDA & Spherical, who I’ve just finished a new single with called ‘Raw Power’ that I debuted as my opening track @ HHA in London, and also Tom Parr, who is coming to my house in a few weeks to work on some new material which will see the light of day alongside his debut single on AWsum called ‘Missing You’.
Another huge highlight was putting on my second party, this time at the incredible Ministry Of Sound in London back in May. The event was a sell-out which meant even more as we were up against Gatecrasher Summer Sound System in Northampton and Polysexual in Birmingham and still packed it out!
Launching my own clothing Whitbywear was another achievement I’m pleased to have achieved. I’ve always been a fan of clothes and trying to look nice when going out, so now to be playing and see so many people in the crowd wearing outfits and t-shirts that I designed really means a lot. The full range of Whitbywear can be seen at www.whitbywear.com.
Finally lots and lots of amazing gigs! Too many to list all of them but Frantic 11 in London, Wonderlake in Russia, Inside Out in Glasgow, Global Gathering in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Twisted in Canada…the scene has really taken a step up this year and I’m loving it more than ever.
7. Let’s now try and look into the future so with that in mind, what ambitions and plans do you have for the next year?
The main focus going into 2009 is the launch of One AWsum Tour which will see me taking the AWsum brand and music around England, Scotland and Ireland.
There are always people who can’t get to the events in London so it’s time to bring the show to them! I’ll be playing sets anywhere between 2 to 4 hours and really showing a wide range of hard-dance and what the label is about. We will also be supplying the visuals, décor, giveaways - the whole package.
I want to put on more events in London too. After the success of One AWsum Night and AWsum @ Ministry of Sound I’m really excited about the next instalment early next year and we’re just in talks now to decide which venue it’s going to be at.
The label will be expanding too, with a full site and online store being built to cater for all the consumer’s needs. Clothing, mp3 & wavs, videos, free downloads, galleries and many more features will be on the site, with it going live by the second quarter of 09.
8. We’ve been asking DJs recently what they would do if they were PM for the day, given the current economical and political climate. If there was a Prime Minister Whitby, what would he be doing right now?
I’d be wishing I’d never taken the job as the country appears to be going downhill quickly!
9. It’s fair so say that you have some very dedicated fans... some of whom I would imagine will go on to be DJs in their own right. Which DJs did you follow before you became leading act?
The fans I have are incredible, the best I could ever wish for. Their dedication to the music and the sound I’m pushing forward is amazing and motivates me to always keep working hard writing new tracks, playing more sets and working on new projects.
I think you’re right about them going on to be DJs in their right, I do get handed a lot of demos from people and my advice to them is always the same; don’t copy your favourite DJs, always strive to be original.
The only Hardhouse DJ I used to follow a little when I was clubbing was Fergie. What he did for the scene at the time was unseen; he really put hardhouse on the map more than any other artist. He was definitely the reason I got into the scene.
10. Last, but not least… tell us something that perhaps we never knew about Andy Whitby?
I shall tell you several things that you might not know: I have a HND in graphic design and after Art College I attended the Manchester School of Sound Recording and studied dance music production for a year. I am also left handed and don't eat fruit - All amazingly interesting I’m sure you’ll agree! *laughs*
You can next catch Andy Whitby at Frenzy's Birthday on November the 7th at Dusk Till Dawn nightclub when he will be playing an exclusive two hour set. Check our forthcoming events for details. You can also see the interviews we did we him in 2007 and earlier this year.
Photos courtesy of www.ravenworks.co.uk and unknown sources.