Mark Maddox. is a multi genre House Dj based in the Northwest of England in the UK. He started Dj’ing 23 years ago, warming up for some of the Dj’s at Mr Smiths Nightclub Warrington in the UK, which at the time was the home for the clubbing tv programme Hitman And Her. When he started he mainly played Trance and Scouse House, however his love for House Music soon took over and he soon started picking up gigs in and around the Northwest in bars and clubs in Manchester, Liverpool, as well as a residency in Warrington.
The experience and connections he picked up from playing in these bars and clubs enabled him to start moving further afield, something that has now seen him play across the UK and Europe alongside some of the biggest DJ’s and musicians in the industry, at places such as Cream, Hed Kandi, and Egg (London), as well as becoming a resident Dj for various clubs owned by Luminar Leisure and a number of independent bars and clubs.
The Housemasters Q&A
1. What made you start DJ’ing?
I started Dj’ing because from a small age I loved music and when I was 16 I started going to clubs, seeing the Dj’s performing really inspired me to want to be one.
2. Who would you say was your biggest influence on the dance scene and why?
That’s a hard one to answer because a big influence was the Dj’s that taught me. Derek Kaye, Pez Tellet, and 2 local Dj’s in Warrington names Geoff Farr and Jason Martin. Due to the clubs and contacts that Derek and Pez had that also allowed me to progress through the ranks a lot quicker than I’d have thought. Other big influences have been Freemasons, Stonebridge and K Klass. They have stood the test of time, with the Dj sets and song productions being as good now as they were back in the 90’s.
3. Compare the scene now to how it was when you first started spinning. What differences, good or and bad, do you see. What do you see for the future of the DJ?
Well the first thing to point out is how bad things have gone gig wise. By that I mean, it no longer matters how good a Dj you are, all that the promoters are looking for now is how many friends you have on social media. The pay is a lot less now compared to what it was in the 90’s and early 00’s as well. This is mainly down to the same event promoters just looking to get the cheapest Dj’s they can, but also due to everyone thinking they are a Dj because they can download a tune from Youtube and press a button on a laptop. Technology wise however, Dj’ing has come along in leaps and bounds, and that on a whole is a good thing. Long gone are the backaches from carrying 2 cases full of vinyl around for a gig. Since going digital a Dj can do a lot more preparation, make their own edits which allows them to stand out from the £10 a night Dj’s, and all you have to do now is turn up with headphones and a USB / Portable Hard Drive.
4. Favourite label, Favourite artist, Favourite track???
Favourite label is Positiva. The tracks they have released over the years are absolute legendary within the clubbing world. I don’t have a favourite artist as such as I have a wide range of musical tastes, however you cant go wrong with anything from Freemasons. One song has stuck with since it was released in 1993 and thats Robin S – Show Me Love. It has been sampled and remixed to death, but there is something about the origial Stonebridge Club Mix that has, and will always put chills down my spine as soon as I hear the intro.
5. To date what has been the best experience you have had as a DJ?
Coming from Liverpool there was 2 clubs any Dj always wanted to perform at, a club called the 051, and Cream. I have been lucky enough to perform at Cream which is something that is now even more poignant since its demolition.
6. If you could play anywhere, where would it be?
Two places I would love to play before I hang up my headphones are Pacha Ibiza, and Creamfields.
7. Your favourite Housemasters DJ and why?
My favourite Housemasters Dj is John Johnson. I worked with John on another station and used to help out by giving him advice with things when he needed it, so to see how far he has come in such a short period of time, actually makes me really happy.
8. Biggest mistake, biggest fail, most embarrassing moment as a DJ at a gig?
Biggest mistake was turning down a residency in Ibiza when I was 21. Back then it was the time that all the big named Dj’s were playing daily over there. Biggest fail, and most embarrassing moment are the same gig. When I was younger I decided to accept a job playing at an R&B and Garage night. I had never played that genre before at a gig so didn’t have a clue what to do, however the club had asked me to do a set there so I accepted. Within 10 minutes of doing the gig it became evident that I was out of my depth. The lesson I learnt from doing that gig though was to stick to what you’re good at and give the respect to other Dj’s for the other genres they play because even though we are all Dj’s the job couldn’t be any more different when you try and mix a genre you know nothing about.
9. How do you keep check of ego?
This is one of the easier questions. The reason for that is because when I did a gig at Cream one night I did a warm up set for Judge Jules and whilst speaking to him he told me to remember that the people on the dancefloor are the ones that pay your wages, because if they don’t come to your gigs or buy your mixes you are left with no bookings. From that day on I have always made sure that I go out onto the dancefloor with the customers either before or after a gig to have a dance and a bit of a chat with them.
10. How do you find Housemasters, we like to call it your home of house music, do you see it like that and if not, how do we change that?
I love HMR. When I got asked to join I didn’t think twice because when you look at the Dj’s and artists associated with HMR you quickly realise you are becoming part of something special. I love the fact that there is also a station like this that is dedicated to House Music, whether that be the Funky and Classics that I play in my shows, or the Soulful, Oldskool, Deep, and Tech House other Dj’s play in there shows. If you like House Music then you know you will get what you want listening to HMR, and you know that the Dj’s playing the music for you are true masters in their craft.
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