Mr Lob Interview 2
When did you first fall in love with the 45 format, why do you continue to spin 45s, and why do you think a format created as far back as 1949 is still so popular now?
First, thanks for the opportunity to be on your great show, it’s always a pleasure to work with you on promoting this rather silly thing we love!
It’s a question I often ponder and I don’t have a direct answer other than to say I grew up with them, they were pretty much the first way I accessed and learnt about music (besides the radio), my mom played them, they were all I could afford as a teenager and most of the music I love comes out on this format!
It’s also the work rate and concentration it takes when playing them, selecting them for gigs and that they are short and sweet and mostly the tracks the artist and label thought their best or most worth releasing on this format. They are also lighter and easier to carry for sure, especially when travelling to a gig on my motorbike or scooter. I’m sure many of us have dragged bags and crates if 12s and LPs to gigs which was just back breaking.
By no means are they are cheap and affordable hobby or even practical when faced with the ease of taking a USB/Laptop with thousands of tracks to a gig and really if you want to make a living as a working dj, they are not the most cost effective, but I love the bloody things. Their sound, look, feel and that so many labels are releasing them.
For me it is always this format first and then the music I can get on them and we all know today with the amount of edits, remixes, bootlegs and cover versions besides original music on them, there is a plethora of choices. Saying that prices are getting silly now, postage costs and lead times are mad, I’m receiving dished 45s lately, let alone the tax for buying from outside Australia. I also don’t enjoy the speculative prices of discogs and many of these reasons have forced me back into my collection to find different ways of playing what I already have, looking for bsides and revisiting long unplayed tracks. It’s like digging in my very own 45s store!
You co-founded the Forty Five Kings with Fatwax45 and it has gone from strength to strength over the past 2 years. What have been your proudest moments so far and where do you see the group going forwards?
It’s a really good question and one that is really hard to answer, the group has become wider than just the Kings now with many members doing their own thing based on relationships and connections formed in the group. While we have many members there is a really small active core that is much smaller but passionate and keeps it going. It has fluctuated at times with people in and out and as various places have opened up after lockdowns people have obviously gone back to gigging and their lives, so while in some respects it appears quieter on facebook, there is a lot happening with many members representing the crew on twitch, with mixes, and at their own gigs, where I see our logo appearing on flyers, people repping with our merchandise and playing alongside other members they’ve connected with in the group.
Of this I am very proud and I know I speak for Marky here in saying this was one of our core goals, to make links, build relationships and keep the 45s flowing.
On that I need to thank you for running the majority of the live streams and the achievements and great moments that have flowed from you doing that. For me personally it has been fantastic to be part of those shows, to hear and see so many great sets and to see people so willing to represent our crew. A big shout out to the 45 Kids and Forty Five Queens here! This I could not have done without your input.
I’m really proud of every achievement, the mixes, the website, the relationships and networks built, the interviews, reviews, feature stories, our huge archive of member sets on video and that so many are happy to contribute with guest sets, designs, group administration and posting their latest finds, digs and their hidden treasures! I’m also blown away that so many members have stepped up with Sponsorship allowing me to run 2 very successful raffles that have paid for the website for 2 years now!
Going forward I’m really hoping that I can make enough money from Merchandise sales, so that the website is self sustainable and that people are interested enough to keep visiting the site for all things 45!
I love nothing more than seeing members proudly representing our fantastic crew and our achievements in the rather killer gear we have available.
Perhaps my proudest moment is seeing my son JS step up and grow in confidence and play really fantastic sets as part of the wonderful 45 Kids streams.
One of the biggest achievements was being able to donate AU$400.00 to Movember this year. It came about from an interview I did with Jody Vandenburg for the website and I asked him to choose the charity. It is perhaps the single greatest achievement for me from all of these amazing moments.
Going forward, it has always sort of just gone along organically and hopefully will continue. I add content to the website and facebook group as time allows and people come forward with interviews, stories and mixes and our killer live stream shows Coffee & Donuts, Bright As The Sun, Reggae Fire, Hump Day 45s and 45 Kids continue and see a solid core support.
You have been busy uploading to YouTube the live stream recordings from the many twitch shows/events that we have run over the last 18 months. It may be hard to choose but can you recommended 5 sets that viewers should check out and why have you chosen them?
This has taken me a long time to work out as there are just so so many, I love them all actually but if I have to break it down and slightly break the rules on the number here goes:
Andy Smith: 2nd Anniversary Live Stream Special – https://youtu.be/Hpj48C4rQy4
When I reached out to Andy and he said yes, it blew my mind on so many levels, firstly, here is someone that is a true legend in the dj game, that I have spent a huge junk of my life listening to, secondly that he would represent this little thing I started and thirdly, he’s set was just incredible and everything and more than I could have hoped for. Truly an amazing Dj and fantastic person and purveyor of 45s.
Mitch Alive: Germany Live Stream Special – https://youtu.be/ZdJH6Xi96xk
Mitch Alive’s live stream set from the Germany 12 hour stream on Twitch on 16th August 2020 was one many who saw this set still shake their heads in wonder and delight. There are few words to describe the absolute joy, energy, music, mixing and fun on display in this set. If this is the only one you watch, make it happen, there will be no turning back from this…
Triple D: Germany Live Stream Special – https://youtu.be/IZ4Xzdd8t9Y
Triple D’s live stream set from the Germany 12 hour stream on Twitch by the Forty Five Kings on 16th August 2020 blew our minds! The selections, energy, quick changes and just the downright great vibe. I loved every single sun drenched 45 and I know you will also.
Deejay Mathmatics: 24 Hour Live Stream Special – https://youtu.be/BjMbJ1ZUIsE
Deejay Mathmatics live stream set from the 24 hour stream on Twitch on 26th July 2020.
Maths is a legend in the Australian DJ game and has a deep love of the format that goes back way before it was a thing and his deep crates, legendary skills and visuals are amongst the best I’ve seen anywhere, anytime. This headphone free set will blow your mind.
Dj Honey: 2nd Anniversary Live Stream Special – https://youtu.be/-_43zz3Wzo8
I just adore everything Dj Honey does, her radio shows, videos, interviews and the whole groove thing she has going on and it is always an occasion when Dj Honey steps up to play. Just great music played with joy, style and bon vivant and this set was just downright groovy baby!
Robert Smith: Germany Live Stream Special – https://youtu.be/5QZ1HjVHAqc
Robert Smith’s live stream set from the Germany 12 hour stream on Twitch by the Forty Five Kings on 16th August 2020. Robert is fast becoming a legend in the 45 and scratch games and this set and how he’s Turntable Pitstop Crew did a mid set change over without stopping his set, is the stuff of legends, check it out and you’ll see why!
Naughty NMX: 24 Hour Live Stream Special – https://youtu.be/fnrhTLhrLws
Naughty NMX’s live stream set from the 24 hour stream on Twitch on 26th July 2020. This was one of the highlights of the day and was just such a fun set with so many funny moments and things to enjoy. Try it, you won’t be disappointed.
Lastly, anything by Dj Chvare, Dj DCow, Fatwax45, Fraulein Freakbeat, The Miller Collective, 45 Kids, Chrome and my fellow Jazz Hobblers, Mark Lancaster, Butchybee and Weeg are worth every single spare moment you have.
You co-host the Reggae Fire show with me on the Forty Five Kings twitch channel and for this episode you have done an all reggae mix. When did you first fall in love with reggae, which artists stand out for you and why do you think the genre is still so popular now?
I can remember hearing Bob Marley coming on the radio when I was a kid and seeing his videos but Reggae really stuck in my mind when I was probably 12 or 13 and I heard Bob Marley’s legend album on repeat emanating from my step brother’s bungalow, alongside some weird smelling cigarettes that he let me try after much pestering, but that’s another story I can no longer remember!
From that point on I’ve loved it my whole life. I’m no massive collector or afficiando though and lean towards more roots reggae, ska and earlier type sounds more than I do dancehall or the latest sounds out of Jamaica. I love melodies, harmony and voices in unison so tend to love lots of the earlier stuff.
I adore Bob Marley and the Wailers, Peter Tosh, Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, The Congos, The Skatalites, Horace Andy, Greogry Isaacs, Marcia Griffiths, Toots and The Maytals and so many more. I also saw The Harder They Come when I was quite a bit younger and have never ever tired of that movie and soundtrack.
For my mix, I had just picked up a whole bunch of 2nd hand Reggae 45s from Dr Diggns and had not played them before and your mix request came in, the sun was shining and I thought why not!
The mix is called Trials & Tribulations, have a listen and see why…
Reggae will never die, it’s for lovers, fighters, warriors, dancers, prancers and those who like sunshine and positivity.
I am so pleased that restrictions have lifted in Melbourne and it is great to see you gigging in real life again. How has it been getting back out there, what has the reaction been, and what venues have you played at/are booked to play?
It is an absolute relief to get back out and do what I love. I have been fortunate to play some really fun gigs and be welcomed back into some fine venues.
Shoutouts to Dj Obliveus and Tom Showtime for the bookings and the amazing Arbory Afloat, Penny’s, SPQR and Section 8 venues.
At this stage of my life, I am much happier playing venues where there is no dictated music policy or micro management of what is being played and I can relax more and I’m lucky to have the opportunity to do this at most places I play.
At the moment I am taking any work I can get and trying to adapt myself to those venues and their requirements and equipment, this keeps it interesting, challenging, stops me from being lazy and resorting to my regular funky business and extends my capacity to be employed and earn some money after so long without any! I see every booking as an opportunity and do my best to make a good and professional impression and work with the venue on what they need. Not always easy in this game as many know but I’ve always believed in pushing on.
Thanks again Criztoz for this opportunity, the work we collaborate on and all who support what I do as Mr Lob and with the Forty Five Kings Collective.