Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me. so tell me, what is the origin of Horse Meat Disco, and how did you come up with such a fantastic name?
It has a quite banal origin really I was clearing out a pile of newspapers when an obscured headline caught my eye. The original headline was Horse Meat Discovered In Salami but it was obscured enough to reveal Horse Meat Disco. It was a eureka moment especially as we had just wound up our first attempt at a party. The name is definitely part of the appeal of the night. It conjures up all manner of images from the taboo to the downright silly… which is exactly what we were aiming at with the party in the first place. It’s a name that always gets a reaction.
If you had to describe the musical style of Horse Meat Disco, what would you call it?
Disco music across the spectrum in all its metronomic glory.
Since you guys work so well together as what has become “Horse Meat Disco” are there any DJ’s out there that you would want to guest star alongside you guys some night?
We’ve been lucky in that we have been able to invite most of the DJ we really want and have been surprised by others who we took a chance on but there are still a few we’d love to get down to the Eagle. Mainly, DJ Harvey before he left the country. He was resident at a club called The Beautiful Bend, which although I never went it seemed like a precursor to Horse Meat Disco. Harvey is a hero for DJs everywhere and I know he’d love Horse Meat Disco and we’re just itching for him to come back to London! We’d also love to have Frankie Knuckles and Danny Krivit at some point, but we are a humble club and don’t have massively deep pockets. What we can offer is a great party with a crowd that love and appreciate the music.
New York City made its stamp on the runway/ball scene with “Paris Is Burning.” You guys have put a very U.K. spin on it with “London Is Gurning.” Tell me about the origin of these parties.
Vauxhall is Gurning came about because “Paris Is Burning” is of such huge cultural significance to all LGBT people everywhere. “Vauxhall is Gurning” is more of an homage to the ball scene, than a UK edition. We started doing them mainly because people who came to the club wanted us to do one. It seemed like a good challenge. There hadn’t really been much of a ball scene in London although there was one back in the 90s. We wanted to put our own spin on it, so rather than it being about voguing it was mostly about the outfits and show of it. There is no shortage of show-offs in London, so it was an instant success.
Pretty soon after the first one a wave of balls swept London and the scene has been pretty healthy ever since. We’ve not done one for a while. There have been 5 over the years but we’ve taken a break for the time being. That’s not to say that there wont be another one in the future.
Your compilations hold a definitely eclectic roster of artists; how do you choose the artists that are featured?
To be honest it’s a case of what is licensable these days. Many major labels don’t release tracks for licensing across all formats and they can be very expensive for a smaller independent label so its a case of finding all our favorite indie label tracks and seeing what comes back. Its a challenge then to put those tracks into a coherent mix that is both in keeping with our styles and, well, rocking.
Give me the three best memories you have of the “Horse Meat Disco” parties.
Daniele Baldelli’s first appearance at HMD was incredible. It was the first time that he had played in London and he is truly unique. I always get excited when he comes to play. This, coupled with the fact that we were doing an Egyptian theme night, with everyone dressed in kaftans, at a time when magic mushrooms were legal in the UK made for quite an incredible party. The first New Year’s Day party which was all the way back in 2003 was the moment when we realized we had a great party on our hands. We had just moved from Chinatown after being kicked out of our venue and had a break of a couple of months before we decided to do a special one off NYD party at a favorite boozer of ours–which was then called Dukes–and now of course Eagle London. We hoped at least 100 people would turn up but it was packed to the gills and clear that this wouldn’t be a one off.Getting snowed in with The Rollerboys.
The heaviest snowfall in years in London made for quite an interesting night. No one could get home. All transport was stopped and the snow was thick on the ground. Not being able to go home we had a lock in at the pub and I ended up sleeping in a dog basket. Call it the blitz spirit but it was a fun and unexpected night.
What’s next for you boys, both individually and for “Horse Meat Disco” Any chance of bringing the parties to New York a little more?
We’re working on original music at the moment and that’s talking up most time when we are not touring but after residencies in London, Berlin and Lisbon I think the next place we’d love to set up base is New York. It kind of makes sense and we love New York so much that any opportunity to come is always very welcome. I think over the last couple of years or so we’ve made quite an impact in the city, playing for a range of promoters and a range of crowd. It would be great if we could harness that and put on regular events in the home of the music we love so much. But, in the meantime and after a hectic summer I could really do with a beach and lots of sunshine!
Follow the boys at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Horse-Meat-Disco/128638804936.