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Paul Goodyear

Interview (November 2004)

Name: Paul Goodyear
Born: 11 August 1967
Type of DJ: Club-DJ, Remixer
Photo Mark Alsop

Paul Goodyear an Australian DJ institution

Paul Goodyear is an Australian DJ institution, having been a DJ for almost 20 years.  He has headed residencies in some of the best clubs in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and has appeared in the USA, Singapore and New Zealand.  Paul has played at many large circuit-style parties in addition to his regular club gigs.

Australian dance music is finally starting to move into its own and Paul has been at the forefront of the remixing craze in Australia.  He perfected his editing skills and commenced working for remix labels: Hot Tracks, Rhythm Stick, Direct Hit and several other services. With his friend James Fraser he founded the Ace-DJ Remix Service. He has over two hundred releases on these labels.

In recent years Paul has moved on from editing into full scale production, reworking tracks from artists such as Olive, Tina Cousins, Lonnie Gordon and Deborah Cooper. He also has been active producing his own dance tracks.

— Steffen Spranger, aka ‘hotdiscomix’

Interview Pt. 1 – The DJ

hotdiscomix: What is your birthplace?  Where did you grow up?

Paul Goodyear: I was born in sunny old England on 11/08/1967.  That makes me 37 now, with some grey hairs appearing!

I spent the first five years of my life in England and then my family wanted a nicer place for us kids to grow up.  Australia was the perfect place!  I have lived here in Sydney most of my life.  I have lived in Melbourne and also Brisbane.  I am happiest though here in Sydney with my wife Wilma and our two pussy cats.

hotdiscomix: What’s your background as a DJ?  When and where did you start?

Paul Goodyear: I started buying records in 1979.  My first one was “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by the late Sylvester.  I then discovered that you could buy extended disco mixes on 12".  I was hooked on Disco/Dance music.  Not long after that I wanted to be playing this kind of music as a DJ.  I started to teach myself to mix in 1982 with belt driven turntables and no pitch control!  I started playing in April 1985 at a bar called The Flinders Hotel (1985-1995).

hotdiscomix: Was there a particular DJ who inspired you to become a DJ?

Paul Goodyear: Yes, there was a great DJ called Stephen Cribb who inspired me in a huge way.  The music he played and the way he programmed it was brilliant.  He died in 1986.
There have been other great DJ’s who have also inspired me.  People like San Francisco DJs Neil Lewis, Phil B, NYC’s Peter Rauhofer (Club 69) and Australia’s very own Stephen Allkins (Love Tattoo) and Stephen Whiteman.  All great DJs with unique styles.

hotdiscomix: How did you get your first club gig?

Paul Goodyear: I put together some demo cassettes and gave them out to different venues. Presto!  I ended up with my first gig.  It was playing once a week and that work eventually grew to playing five nights a week.

hotdiscomix: What kind of material were you playing at the time?

Paul Goodyear: I was into funk, Hi-NRG and the dance-oriented rock and new wave at the time.  House didn’t come until a year later.  Then I started incorporating that into my sets.

Paul Goodyear and his cat Roxy

hotdiscomix: What is the favorite club at which you worked and what is the biggest crowd for which you performed?

Paul Goodyear: My favorite club has been the place where I still hold a residency.  It’s called ARQ.  I play there every Saturday night for about 9 hours.  About 1,200 people go through there on a Saturday.  It has a brilliant sound system and the lighting is THE best in any Australian club.  I also play there on Monday mornings starting at 5 am!  I have been there over 5 years.  I also played at another well-known Sydney club called The Midnight Shift.  I played there for nine years straight (1985-1995 and 1997-1999).  It was really there that I learned my craft as a DJ.  I have also played at many big parties over here and also overseas.  The biggest crowd I have played for is Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.  In the hall where I played there were about 10 to 12,000 people.

hotdiscomix: How do you decide which songs work well for a particular crowd?

Paul Goodyear: After playing in Sydney for almost 20 years, I pretty much know what styles work for what crowds.  I do play a variety of stuff wherever I work, so there is always something in my box that will move the crowd.  The straight crowd here like their house and breaks. I play on the gay scene, so the music style is different from that of the straight scene.

hotdiscomix: You have played several DJ gigs outside Australia.  Compare and contrast the club scene in Australia vs. that in the rest of the world.

Paul Goodyear: I have played in the U.S. on a number of occasions including, Gay Pride San Francisco, Los Angeles, the prestigious Pines Party on Fire Island as well as playing in Singapore and New Zealand.  Everywhere you go the scene is different.  The crowds, music, venues are all different to what we have here in Australia, so really you just have to adapt the best way you can.  Virtually all the gigs I have done overseas have been fantastic.  Australia really is up there with best in the world when it comes to clubbing.  We have great diversity over here.  We are lucky because our clubs don’t have silly liquor license laws.  For example in America you can’t buy liquor after 2 am (if it’s an after hours club the bar will reopen at midday).  In Australia we also get all the big name DJ’s and artists from around the world.  It’s very cool here.

I always try to play a different version of a track that maybe the club punters aren’t familiar with.

hotdiscomix: Please describe the typical Paul Goodyear DJ set?

Paul Goodyear: A typical Paul Goodyear set would be starting off at a groovy pace and building the night to a peak.  Then going through waves so that the music comes down a bit then goes back up.  You could say I like to do “The Journey” thing.  I like all sorts of music, so variety is a must.  Always expect the last couple of hours of one of my sets to be the prettier side of dance music.

hotdiscomix: What genres of music do you play today?

Paul Goodyear: I play tribal, house, some trance and progressive, commercial dance and some funky stuff.  I really don’t like labels though.  To me, if it’s a great song that I love, then I’ll play it.

hotdiscomix: You told me that you love to play remix services in your sets.  Many 12" dance music singles include different mixes of a song.  Why do you nevertheless prefer remix service productions?

Paul Goodyear: I used to play a lot of remix services through the 80’s and 90’s.  Not really any more though.  There aren't many remix services left these days, probably only a handful.  These days, most DJ’s can do their own special edits and mixes at home and then burn them on a CD and play them out.  I always try to play a different version of a track that maybe the club punters aren’t familiar with.

I sometimes think that record companies spend way too much money into getting lots of remixes done of a track.  Dance music is not in a great place right now.  Let’s concentrate on the quality of music not the quantity.

hotdiscomix: On a typical set, how much vinyl and how much CD do you play?

Paul Goodyear: I buy all of my music on vinyl and I re-edit a lot of the music that I play.  I then burn them to CD and play the music that way.  There are many advantages to CDs.  You can take a dull sounding track off vinyl and re-equalize it, making it sound superior, and then play it off CD.  The technology has enabled you to do anything with CDs now.  There should be no fear from DJs now about spinning with them.

hotdiscomix: How has the dance music changed since you started in the mid-80's?

Paul Goodyear: I guess any one can make music from home compared to what you could do in the 80’s.  So there are a lot more people experimenting with sounds in their own bedrooms.  It is much cheaper in this day and age to produce tracks.  That means there are a lot more records out there in the market place —good ones and bad ones!  You had only a few genres of dance back in the 80’s.  The English also decided everything had to be labeled.  This has divided the music now.  Music is music.  Why do we need so many tags?  At the end of the day, though, fashion and music are recycled.  Did we ever think Disco would come back?  Let alone the sound of Electro and other 80’s stuff.  Nothing is new any more.  Everything has been done now.  I do miss the quality of “real songs” in the present day.  How much of todays dance music will be remembered in 10 to 15 years?  There are so many tracks from the 70’s and 80’s that sound like they were made yesterday.

hotdiscomix: Also, what do you think makes a good DJ?

Paul Goodyear: A good DJ is someone who can entertain their crowd as well as educate them.  Remember that the music ALWAYS comes first… then the mixing.  If you can play great music and be a good mixer that’s brilliant!  I think DJs who play a variety of sounds will always outlast the ones who stick with just one style.

hotdiscomix: Do you still have your complete record collection, or have you scrapped or sold your “junk” records over time?

Paul Goodyear: I once sold about 1,500 records when I moved interstate.  I sometimes go through and pull out some stuff that sounds really dated.  I am very happy with my collection though; it covers 30 years.  There are some records that I probably wouldn’t play in public again, but I still hold on to them because they bring back special memories.  Some of the records I have still sound so fantastic after all this time.  They used to press records much better back then.  I will probably still buy vinyl until the day that I die.  I love it!


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