Sandon James, the frontman for radical local DJ set The Sweet Mix Kids apparently began his music career aged 8, hosting secret daytime discos at school. He took some time out from the MoreFm Summer Vineyard Tour to answer some question for us.
Hi! How goes the music making?
Great, we’ve just bought a limited edition Akai MPC 2000xl, which is what most top producers use for music production, so as soon as we’ve mastered that you’ll be hearing some chart hits… hopefully!
Have you played with any of the other artists on tour before?
Only a little bit. We’ve played alongside Annabel Fay before… alas the wine was flowing a little too well that night so the memory fails me. To play alongside Tiki and two amazing internationals is fantastic. I hope like hell if people haven’t seen John Butler Trio and Aloe Blacc before, they get to the tour… these guys are defo at the top of their game.
What are you hoping to get out of the MoreFm Summer Vineyard Tour?
We’ll learn an amazing amount of knowledge from all the headliners, they cover such an amazing broad range of talents so there’s a lot to learn. So too networking with the crew of 60-odd from all over the world. It’s an absolute blessing, and we’re PR kings so we’re all up in it.
Also I hear you have plans for overseas tours this year, which is exciting. Where exactly are you off to?
We have a break of 6 days after this tour then we’re hitting cool ol’ Los Angeles for a few sweet gigs and will hopefully pick up a few more in New York and Las Vegas too. Japan also beckons this year, along with Europe.
What we’d really like to do is tour small town New Zealand; supposedly some hick motels don’t have hairdryers though, and it’s hard to get good coffee outside of Wellington and Ponsonby so we’ll see.
I think one of the things that distinguishes The Sweet Mix Kids from so many other DJ sets is that you have such obvious enthusiasm. How much of what you do is fun and how much is hard graft?
84% Hard yakka, meetings, flights, planning.
14% Sitting in the sun thinking
2% stress and telling off drunk women from hens nights
100% good times begin self employed and trying to take on the world playing far too many gigs every week.
What artists have you currently got on high rotation?
Ladi6, Fleetwood Mac, Kanye West and anything from the 60’s or earlier.
What do you love about being DJs?
Taking the pretentiousness out of partying.
So you guys play both live sets and radio. Which do you prefer?
They’re both fantastic. Radio is so relaxing and we’re blessed with two totally different weekly national shows across two stations, a nice change from the 10+ weekly club/festival live sets we do. They’re hard on the body and soul!
What’s the best set you’ve ever played?
There are three. All totally different. Queens wharf after the Rugby World Cup final – pretty magical even though I’m not a rugby fan. Ten thousand buzzing people!
B In Echo Park next to Hollywood at an album launch dropping MJ was fun.
And playing with Kitty Daisy & Lewis, going one for one dropping Blues and Ska.
Any parting words for readers?
Don’t date or marry someone who can’t recite a Kanye West or Fleetwood Mac song.
Wise words indeed!
The MoreFm Summer Vineyard Tour is still underway. You can catch The Sweet Mix Kids, alongside Aloe Blacc, John Butler Trio, Annabel Fay and Tiki Tane at the following places:
February 8 – Trafalgar Park, Nelson
February 9 – Peregrine Winery, Queenstown
February 10 – Pegasus Town, Christchurch
February 11 – Turanga Creek, Auckland
Click here for more information.