As they gear up for the launch of their brand new rooftop party - Borough, we caught up with Anthony ‘Baz’ Barrett and Jeff Barrass for a chat about Sydney nightlife and their maddest party escapades...
RR: Baz, Jeff... great to chat. We're excited for the launch of Borough this Sunday. Tell us about the concept.
Baz: It’s all about the environment, people, music and sound. Off the back of that, if it's well planned, curated and executed, then the party should flow. It's the little things that make it special, that's what we’re focusing on… attention to detail!
RR: You've included a 3 hour extended “expression session” for headliners in the Borough format. As DJs, what do you think that will add?
Jeff: Sydney has a relatively large amount of selectors who never get the opportunity, and often the encouragement, to play sets that showcase their technical skill and breadth of music. We feel a lot play safer sets, but we want them to express their passion for music. Hopefully it will give Sydney a better understanding of the talent that exists here. It's a long overdue concept that many artists would appreciate.
RR: What have been the biggest challenges in getting to this point with the brand?
Baz: Finding the right venues to partner with. It was really difficult and we had our fair share of unfortunate events. But what started out as a challenge ended up being a blessing, as we ended up with The Rook and Josh McMahon who were like chalk and cheese compared with the rest of the market.
RR: So how did the two of you meet? …And what is the maddest party you've been to together??
Baz: We met at our friends house on a Saturday morning after being out the night before - literally sat there talking shit listening to music, laughing our heads off, drinking cans of VB and watching the horse racing - super glamorous!
Jeff: Haha! We've been to some crazy parties - Monegros in the Fraga Desert outside of Barcelona was pretty crazy, we'lll never forget that one.
RR: You both recently travelled to Bali to play an Easter Saturday session with some of your friends - how was the experience?
Jeff: It was good fun! We've been blessed to play lots of gigs across the world as a collective group of friends, who can all DJ. Bali seems to be in an interesting place at the moment - it has a base of underground music punters, which is rapidly growing as a lot of Europeans and fellow Australians move there.
RR: Sydney's nightlife is currently going through a tough period, what do you think we can all do to help revive the thriving underground music scene the city once played host to?
Baz: Actually voting at the next state election for a more open-minded, pro-nightlife regime may be a good starting point! I think people actually going out and staying out longer is important too - back in the day if we liked a party, we went religiously every week and stayed for at least 6 hours.
Jeff: The scary part is that if the lockouts were relaxed, I think we may not actually see the pick-up of activity back to where it was pre-lockouts. Encouraging people to go out and support the local music scene is the best starting point.
RR: Now, what is the most memorable set each of you has played?
Baz: It's hard to choose one... playing at Warehouse Project in Manchester to a couple of thousand people back in 2013 was hectic, I shat myself haha. That was something I'm very proud of, but maybe playing at the opening of Kehakuma at Space Ibiza back in 2012 was a better gig. That felt like vindication for all those years playing as a kid, so I was buzzing pretty hard after that one.
Jeff: Having only played for 5 years now including a couple of gigs overseas, the best gig for me would have to be the opening of Afters at Club 77 about 7 months ago. It was an awesome experience being able to kick things off there. Being a resident at Afters and being able to play regularly with a great vibe is pretty cool - each gig is always a fun one.
RR: Nice. Tell us one track you like to drop which always goes off...
Baz: Hmm, anything by Mandar.
Jeff: That 90’s dubbed house always pleases!
RR: And if you could have any DJ headline a Borough event, who would it be?
Jeff: Has to be Kerri Chandler.
Baz: For me, it’s Arpiar.
RR: Finally - what else have the two of you got planned for this year?
Baz: The focus at the moment is on Borough and to get this event and the vibe right, and for it to run consistently. We’re super excited!
RR: So are we mate, see you there!
Check out Borough this Sunday 15th April, details here.