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Thursday 23rd, October 2008
Down The Pub With... Matt Hardwick
Updated: Tuesday 04th, November 2008

: Matt Hardwick. A DJs DJ… Eschewing the vapour-trail of productions, he’s a man who made his name near-exclusively through that waay-traditional ethic of taking two bits of music and mixing ‘em together! Near-synonymous with the word Gatecrasher, he’s a spinner with a fascinating back story too. Read on for a tale of eating near-dead octopus, bunking it with Beckham & bondage trousers.

Welcome to the watering hole, Matt, what’ll it be?
The drink of truth, it’s a double Grey Goose with soda water and three wedges of fresh lime…..perfect!

A fine choice! I think I'll join you… So in the name of gospel truth then, what’s the worst fashion crime you’ve ever committed?
When I first embarked on a career in the music industry, the nights I attended were really based around fashion. It was all very pretentious but at the time I loved it! However, looking back on the photos of me back then, there were some real disasters. Aside from the obvious Westwood bondage trousers, I remember one outfit which was made up of Dirk Bikkemberg ankle boots, skin tight (white!) Helmut Lang trousers and a Dirk Bikkemberg woollen vest that had metal plates stitched to it. What a clown I looked!

These are doubtless photos the trance nation needs to see. If we can get hold of them we’ll give them a feature all of their own!

Now, what’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten?

I ate octopus sashimi in Tokyo once. The octopus was brought to the table alive and was placed on a cutting board in the centre of the table. The chef then chopped it up in front of us. Then he poured soy sauce over the carcass and the individual pieces of octopus were each trying to get away from the sauce!! I have never seen anything like it before. When I ate the pieces, the suckers were still trying to clasp on to the inside of my mouth and throat.

Okaaaay! Moving quickly on (before that voddy makes an unwelcome reappearance), our now traditional John Cleese question: who makes you laugh?
I download Russell Brand’s Radio 2 show every week. This always has me in stitches. I think that he is a genius. However, given the fact that share prices are rising and we are up for a percentage point cut in interest rates, the “financial crisis” is no longer hot news in the UK. As such, the UK press has taken to trying to destroy Russell Brand for a prank call he made to an actor from the 70’s over two weeks ago. The call was in quite bad taste but the ridiculous media assassination that is now taking place could mean that we may not see too much more of Russell Brand in the UK as a result and that would be a real shame. You have to question whether the tabloid press are in a position to cast moral judgment.

So to celluloid matters what was the last film you saw?
I watched the Matrix on Sunday, it’s the law!

And what’s the crappest movie you’ve ever sat through?
I remember going on the second date with my girlfriend. She took me to see a movie called V for Vendetta. I thought that it was the worst movie ever. I remember thinking in the cinema that at least we would be able to laugh about it when we leave. However, to my shock, her first words on leaving the cinema were, “that was brilliant, wasn’t it?”. Being a polite guy, I agreed. It took a couple of months of us getting more comfortable with one another before the truth came out…

We feel your pain! So without using either the words ‘Wars’ or ‘Star’ (not because we don’t love it - just because it’s too much of a dance music cliché!), name your favourite movie?
I thought that Pans Labyrinth was an amazing film. I also love Shawshank Redemption because it is just an amazing story. I love Tim Robbins, a fine actor.

Ah, yes, Shawshank, the only film more ultimately 'feel good' than 'It’s a Wonderful Life'!
Right then: “I Think We’re Going To Need a Bigger Boat”… What’s the greatest film line ever?

“I didn't go down Ray, I didn’t go down!” You guess the film.

Answers on a postcard please, because we’re stuck!
Which magazine do you have to read every month?

I am a bit of a geek. I tend to buy the Economist and I get sent the Lawyer. I can not stand the so called “lads mags”. What is that all about?

In cringe-inducing, nut-shrinking detail, tell us what’s your most embarrassing moment Matt?
I have a whole repertoire! However, the one that takes the biscuit has to be my tumble at SW4 last year. About half way through my set I decided to jump off the stage to use the bathroom. Knowing that the track playing was a big tune I rushed back to position. Imagine the scene, 4000 people with their hands in the air…..I ran back up the stairs onto the stage only to trip and skid across the stage on my face.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

And (sparing no blushes again!) what age and where did you lose your virginity?

I am still waiting on that one. I really believe that there will be that special someone out there. I know that it is getting a little late to still be a virgin but some things are worth waiting for. I see myself as the DJ equivalent of the Jonas Brothers.

True Love Waits, eh? Righto. We believe you.....
Thousands wouldn't, mind!

So, time for some provisions, I think. What’s your favourite pizza & favourite ice cream?

I love the American Hot from Pizza Express. In terms of ice cream, you can’t beat plain old vanilla.

Punk, Nerd, Jock or What? Your teenage tribe was …….
I was really into house music. Whilst at school I started going to a club called the Limit in Sheffield. It was at the time Warp Records was blowing up. We would go and see the likes of the Forge Masters playing there. They did a track call “the track with no name” which was massive. This was all before the concept of a DJ had been fully developed in the UK (1989). I was only 14 and was going to warehouse parties and blues clubs. The clubs were run by gangsters and the football firms, so I would often witness some pretty nasty violence. I think that it was so exciting because I was actually so scared. My mum would have killed me if she would have known.

Halcyon days indeed (even with the gangsters and footie firms)!
Sticking with the music for then, what record that made me want to become a DJ?

I never wanted to be a DJ, it just kind of happened. The record that got me into dance music though was a track called “Plez – I Can’t Stop.”

And what was the first, last & the best concert you’ve been to?
My first concert was De La Soul back in 1990. The last concert I attended was Portishead a month or so ago. The best concert was the Killers at Glastonbury 2007. It was one of those humbling moments. As a DJ I like to think I can lift a crowd and make a lasting impression on those that come to my gigs but what the Killers did that night was nothing short of phenomenal. They owned the stage and smashed Glastonbury in half.

Whose poster did you have on your wall as a kid?
I was really sad and covered my walls with the flyers from the early raves like Dreamdance etc.

Stepping outside of music, who’s the most famous person you’ve met?
With my background as a professional footballer I have met most of the top English players. I played for the England U19 football side and roomed with David Beckham and Sol Campbell at the England school of excellence trials. Whilst at Sheffield Wednesday as a professional footballer I trained on a daily basis with the likes of Des Walker and Chris Waddle. I also remember training in the snow with Eric Cantona when he came on trial before he went to Leeds. Also, I even once went out on a drinking session with Gazza and Chris Waddle. It’s a little sad what is happening to Gazza now though.

And what’s was the last thing that made Matt Hardwick proud?
My girlfriend recently bought me a display case for my England international cap. I have not looked at it for ages but when I saw it in the case I felt really proud.

Getting a bit abstract, Little Green Men… Total rubbish or ‘Oh yeah… I Believe’?
I think that it is highly probable that life exists elsewhere in the universe. What form it takes is another thing. I think that we will discover micro-biotic life somewhere during my lifetime.

Wearing sunglasses indoors: is it ever acceptable?
Oh come on, that could never look cool. To my amusement, some of my mates sometimes do it. Do me a favour, the next time you see someone wearing sunglasses indoors, walk up to them, point at the sunglasses and start laughing. Just watch how uncomfortable they get. If you get punched, don’t blame me, you need to pick your battles.

Ah! Common sense breaking out all over! So what’s your dream car and what colour are you getting it in?
I would love a TVR Tuscan in British racing green.

Lastly, our very soon-to-be-retired, but none-the-less very popular question: Who should be the next president of the United States?
I don’t know but if Obama gets there I would like to think that there will be a change in tact in terms of American foreign policy, which I think will be a positive thing.

Plug your latest single/album/comp or gig here in 50 words or less!
I have just launched my label “Kill the Lights” . The first release is Matt Hardwick featuring Melinda Gareh – Supernal. The second release will be John Askew’s debut vocal track called “Nothing Left between Us” which will be released at the end of November. Big things and my single is getting some great support from the usual suspects.!!

So as Mr Hardwick sways gently off into the night, the search begins to find out what movie his favourite line of all time is from, where those dodgy fashion photos are hiding and whether you can order Octopus Sashimi online. If you’ve got the answers to any of these questions, please leave them on the forum! Next month its Cosmic Gate and then our big Crimbo knees-up. See you back on Trance.nu soon!

Written by:
Tim Stark

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