Colin Devine on the ever-changing club scene in Dublin.
Interview by Sinead Kelly
When did you first get into DJing an why?
This is kind of a weird one. I never actually had any desire to be a DJ, but naturally I was one. So I would burn CDs all the time, making my own compilations, and I would bring a massive CD booklet to every party I went to and sit beside the CD player and just play tunes all night. So at that the time, I was DJing but I just didn’t think of myself as a DJ. Then a friend of mine, Dave Mooney asked me did I want to DJ professionally for a weekly night he wanted to start. I obviously said yes, now here I am, 10 years later.
What are you musical interests and how have they changed over the years?
I was raised on The Beatles and The Shadows by my dad. My mam showed me ABBA and The Eagles. I hated ABBA back then, but now I appreciate them. I’m still not an Eagles fan however. My dad was always in bands as I grew up and my mam was a singer in a choir, resulting in quite a musical household and upbringing. At the same time, my first musical loves came from my older brother, Barry. As he was showing me The Prodigy, Moby and West Bam which were kind of a hard trance and techno act from Germany. I then, like a lot of others my age, got into Nirvana and other rock bands. I learned how to play piano, then bought a guitar at the age of 13, then got drums at around 16. I was a singer/ guitarist in a band for a while. Then I started DJing and producing. My heart lies in making music, and I will show you all that very soon. So I have always been into both electronic and rocky type of music. It wasn’t till much later in life that I got into soul and funk. I wish my parents surrounded me with soul when I was a kid. I can’t really complain though.
A little birdy told us that you started one of the first electronic music club nights called ‘Chemistry’ many moons ago. Could you tell us a little bit about it?
It definitely was not one of the first electronic music club nights, not even close. This was back in 2007, so there had been years and years of nights before this one. It might have been one of the first electro house nights though. We tried to capture Dublin’s new love for Justice, Boys Noize & Vitalic. It started it in, what was called, City Bar, which is now Trinity Bar. Then it moved on to a small club called Wax, then expanded to Wax and Spy, which is now called Farrier and Draper. It was very successful, but like all things good, they must come to and end. It lasted about a year and a half. I made many friends from it. In fact, I think that’s where I first met Sinead Kelly. Without Chemistry, I definitely would not be here now.
What is the most memorable gigs/ events you’ve played so far in your career?
I can’t pick just one, so I’ll give you a few. Playing the dance tent in Oxegen was a big deal back then. Supporting Modeselektor in Twisted Pepper was huge. DJing Burning Man is definitely one that stands out. Headlining the Heineken stage at Sea Session was an honor. Actually I had unbelievable time the first time I played for Hunt and Gather at Life festival years ago. It was in a small tent, the place was hopping, one of those rare, raw, high-energy vibes.
How has the music scene in Dublin changed over the years, has this affected you?
I first became part of the scene in 2007, where it was minimal tech and electro house. Then It was Dubstep, then it was techno. Then it was a rebirth of disco and then deep house. Now it’s techno again, I think? I dunno. I’d be lying if I was said these changes in Dublin didn’t affect me and my taste. It’s hard to ignore your surroundings. I suppose the only time I intentionally got into a genre to get more gigs was when disco became popular again, and I’m so glad I did. I spent days and days literally getting to know disco. Because I wasn’t really into disco, but now I love it. I don’t let fads change what I play in the grand scheme of things though, and I think you can hear that in my sets. I like to change it up lots. I find it more interesting for both myself and the crowd.
Apart from spending NYE with us at MIDAS TOUCH, what would be your absolute dream gig/event to play in the future?
What first comes to my head is somewhere sunny. A sunny outdoor festival with all my favourite DJ and producers all up one stage having a party going b2b2b2b. With a few local Dublin Djs thrown in for good measure. Or that same party but on a fuckin boat.
How can our audience keep up with you, what regular slots do you have around Dublin and where can they listen to your most update gig info and mixes?
I run a night every Friday in South William called ‘Colin Devine and Friends’. I have a different guest DJ going b2b every Friday, free in. I play in The Workman’s a lot. I host a bi-weekly music show on Dublin Digital Radio called ‘Ellemeno’. The best place to keep up with my gigs is on my Facebook page ‘Colin Devine Music’, and for my mixes, go to Mixcloud/sadpanda. Thanks for having me! See you for NYE!