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Frenzy interview Sam Townend from the Tidy DJs and Tidy Trax before Keep Bournemouth Tidy at the Opera House

26th November 2008 - interview copyright of Frenzy

Sam Townend is one half of the Tidy DJs and also label manager at the mighty Tidy Trax. Frenzy caught up with him for some words before Keep Bournemouth Tidy at the Opera House, in what turned out to be quite an interesting interview about what's been happening at the world's biggest hard house record label.

Sam and Deano from the Tidy DJs with their disco balls
Sam and Deano from the Tidy DJs with their shiny disco balls

1. Hi Sam, there seems to be quite a bit of activity going on at Tidy currently with some new staff, a couple of departures, and loads of news. Care to give us the low-down on what’s going on at HQ?

There has been a few changes lately, firstly we have taken on a new brand Manager in the shape of Garbo who a lot of you will know from his role as Storm promoter over the last couple of years. He built Storm into one of the most recognised clubbing brands in the UK so he’s on board to look at ways we can develop the Tidy brand in 2009 and also to help us plan some major events!

Secondly the Tidy Boys have parted company with us. This may seem a little weird to some but the Boys decided it was time to move on and explore some new concepts so we wish them well in whatever they decide to do!

Thirdly, the Tidy Weekender 16 will not be taking place in March. Instead we have decided to focus our attentions on Tidy’s return to Magna in Sheffield. Tidy was the first dance brand to hold an event at this venue and it’s a bit of ‘Homecoming’ affair, anyone who has been to one before will tell you this is very special indeed and not to be missed!

Sam Townend DJ'ing for Frenzy at Dusk Till Dawn
Sam Townend DJ'ing for Frenzy at Dusk Till Dawn

2. This will be your second appearance at the Opera House and I think you’re third trip down to Bournemouth over the last 12 months as you also played Frenzy at Dusk Till Dawn. Do you like to be beside the seaside?

It’s been wicked everytime we have been down to Bournemouth – I rate the Opera house as one of the best venues in England, so bring on Tidy on Friday!

3. We’ve run a competition to promote this event where the winner gets to cheat death whilst strapped to one of our resident DJs and get thrown out of a plane. That’s quite hardcore. What’s the bravest, scariest, or most stupid thing you’ve ever done?

The bravest thing I have ever done is probably eject a spider from my flat the other week which took some balls as it was as big as a small dog! The scariest thing I have ever done was probably approach said spider in the first place to eject from the flat (As you can tell I suffer from slight bit of arachnophobia)!

There are far too many stupid things I have done in my life to narrow it down to one thing… but getting on the bus and asking for a packet of then B&H probably comes close to the top of the list it had been a long weekend)!

Deano DJ'ing for Frenzy at Dusk Till Dawn
Deano DJ'ing for Frenzy at Dusk Till Dawn

4. There are some new Tidy Girls on the block right now comprising of Kym Ayres and Amber D, who’ve joined the only remaining original member Anne Savage. If your hot-air balloon was gradually losing power and you had to chuck two of them out, which two would it be and who would you save and why?

I can’t possibly answer that, as they are all babes you couldn’t choose between them!

5. Recently you made the big decision to halt vinyl releases through the Tidy label, instead concentrating solely on digital and CD releases. Has the new direction been well received and has the decision worked for you guys?

The Tidy Music Library CD releases have been a massive success and have sold three times the volume than we were with vinyl. It’s really given a new lease of life to the hard dance market as a whole.

We now have regular monthly racking in major chain stores again for hard dance and people are really starting to catch onto the idea with other labels following suit. This can only be a good thing for the scene!

We have some very strong music lined-up for release over the coming months and I am confident we can build on the success of the Music Library and help bring hard dance back to the masses!.

Deano and Sam in reflective mood
Deano and Sam in reflective mood

6. I notice that Tidy Digital has been offline for quite a while now which I know from my perspective has been a bit of a pain as I’ve always liked and supported the website. What’s going on there?

TidyDigital will be returning very soon. It was a bit annoying and frustrating how the old site came down as the company that was hosting it decided to pull the plug on all operations with digital download sites which effectively shut us down!

This meant we had to look at other ways in which we could deliver a digital download platform without having to rely so much on other people. We decided we would work towards bringing everything in-house to safeguard us from this kind of thing happening again. It’s been a long time coming and a lot of work has been put into the new site so watch this space for the launch of Phase 2!

7. Obviously the cancellation of vinyl releases and Tidy Digital are big news considering you’re Tidy’s label manager. You’ve been in the position now for a while now so I’d like to know how has it been for you, what have you learnt, and would you have done anything differently?

I have been in here for just under two years now and there have been some major changes with the label and also the brand as a whole. I’m a lot wiser and a lot more business-savvy than when I first started and I’m also very proud of what I have done with the label. I stand by every decision I have made! We have some big plans for the next twelve months so it’s onwards and upwards!

The Tidy DJs behind the Frenzy decks
The Tidy DJs behind the Frenzy decks

8. If you weren’t the label manager, what do you think you would be doing instead? Perhaps if you could give me a realistic aspiration, and then an alternative fantasy job scenario?

When I was younger I was dead-set on joining the Army before I discovered music so maybe I would be in Iraq or Afghanistan? (Soooo glad I shot that idea off now, LOL!).

To be honest with you though I can’t imagine my life any different, I live, breath and eat music and my job (much to the annoyance of my girlfriend sometimes!) so my whole working life has been geared towards what I’m doing now!

I suppose a football player has its perks though hey?

9. Being frivolous now, but last year you admitted that you most wanted to meet Jade Goody and Chantelle from Big Brother because “they are well fit”. Has this dream become reality since then, or is the closest you have come been a five minute wonder in the bog with a rather soiled copy of OK magazine?

Soiled copies of OK all the way brother!

The Tidy DJs at the Tidy Weekender
The Tidy DJs at the Tidy Weekender

10. Finally, this is your chance to flog stuff and advertise anything in the Tidy DJs’ World. Flog away and tell the punters what you’ve got coming up in 2009?

The Tidy DJs we are seeing off 2008 with appearances at Storm and also the Polysexual arena in Cardiff for NYE - and then kick off 2009 with Goodgreef in Leeds on New Years Day. Following that the gig on everyone’s lips is Tidy’s return Magna on March 07th 2009. I literally cannot wait to tell you the line-up for this and full details released on December 1st!

We are doing the Tidy Music Library DJ showcase mix in January so look out for some exclusive upfront tracks featured on there. We also have our new remix of ’Jon BW – Council House’ released through Toolbox music in January as well.

We’ll also be featuring on a huge new album called ‘Love Tidy’ that’s due for release late February so check on for more details on that! All in all very busy and all is good in the hood.

Sam Townend DJ'ing at a Frenzy afterparty one morning
Sam Townend DJ'ing at a Frenzy afterparty one morning

Sam Townend and the Tidy DJs will be DJ'ing with the Tidy Boys, Organ Donors, Mark EG, and Kym Ayres at Keep Bournemouth Tidy on the 28th of November. Check our forthcoming events for details.

Photos courtesy of Charlie Raven and unknown sources.