After a 5 year hiatus: Danny Howells is back in our country! An interview.
If people ask me which Dj I had the most fun with, the answer is easy: Danny Howells. I haven't seen him in ages. And now this Saturday the 21st of October he is spinning at the spectacular 10 Years Selador ADE Party at the even spectacular Boom Chicago on the Rozengracht in our beloved Amsterdam. So an interview with the Dan was a good excuse to share some anticipation...
(Sorry girls & guys, but especially for the Brits who visit the ADE in large quantities, I've kept this interview in English. But you all can read English, don't you? There you go!)
Moi: My cognitive functions are not as fit as they used to be, Dan, but is it correct that it’s years since you’ve been in Holland?
Danny: It is years, yes. I can’t remember but I think it’s five years maybe? Longest time ever!
Moi: Are you looking forward to spin at ADE? There are a couple of friends who love to see you. Behind and in front of the booth…
Danny: Absolutely! I’ve seen Dave (Seaman) and Steve (Parry) recently but the rest of the crew I haven’t seen in ages. And as for my Dutch friends, that’s been ages too, sadly.
Moi: Five years, Dan! If I tell you what happened in my last five years, you think you're in a roller coaster with me, screaming like I do. Was there anything in those five years for you that was hectic in a sense?
Danny: There were some losses in the family a few years back, but other than that it’s all been really calm. Even during covid my life carried on (mostly) as usual, as the volunteering stuff I do (with London Wildlife Protection) carried on as normal. Getting around a deserted London on my bike was a surreal joy!
Moi: Can imagine! Before I forget: don’t get around Amsterdam on a bike. It’s suicide! It’s good that you mention your volunteering stuff because the people who take care of you when you’re in Amsterdam, should read this and should realize that you’re vegan! I’ll give them some excellent addresses for quality vegan food in Amsterdam. I never volunteered in my life until a couple of years ago. Never realized how good it is for one’s spiritual growth to do this. It actually makes me happy. Does that apply to you too?
Danny: That’s kind, love. Thank you! And yes, I love what I do. It’s not always happy though as some cases we deal with don’t end well, obviously, but many do. And it gives my life total balance and means that when I’m not working I’m still busy and physically active.
Moi: I was totally surprised when I saw a recent mix-set of yours on Mixcloud, because I gave up long ago looking for mixes of the Dan. You’re sparse in sharing your music. Which I think is great in a way, because then it’s a surprise what music you’re going to play this Saturday. So anyways: what will it be? 😅 Seriously: what is your fancy nowadays, dance music-wise?
Danny: I don’t share much really, although when I do, I like to make sure it’s something I’m really happy with and that people can hopefully get stuck into. The recent Buenos Aires set was five hours, the one from Rosario was four. I’ve just done a radio mix which should be out soon. I’m trying to slowly disappear from view, so putting out bits here and there suits me! Confidence comes into it too as there are probably so many sets I could put out, but if I was to listen to some of them I’d find endless faults. As for what I’m playing now (and will play Saturday) it’s the same as always! I don’t mean that in a negative way, just that I still love everything from ultra deep and downtempo to techno and anything a bit quirky, and just find my favorite tracks that I think will work in the club. There’s usually (hopefully) some sexiness in there.
The inner sleeve of the album (shot by Jasper Zwartjes) from 1998 that (Danny says) helped him enormously to become a well-known Dj: Mick Boskamp presents Danny Howells. Nightlife report 1. The album was so good that a Nightlife report 2 was quickly canceled...😉
Moi: Congratulations on Nightlife Report 1: Mick Boskamp presents Danny Howells, you know the album I give myself much too much credit for. You did it, my friend! This month it’s 25 years ago when the album was released. I listened to it last week. What a tempo, almost gabber! 😅 But you know what: I loved it. It was a crazy time, wasn’t it?
Danny: It’s crazy. That album changed so much for me and really got me noticed back home. But I didn’t listen to it in ages. I don’t know why I played so fast then. My Essential Mix from 1998 really embarrasses me as it’s insanely fast. Maybe I should pitch it down and upload it. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’ve got slower now, maybe too slow for some, but I’m happy with that.
Moi: You were always a strong Dj, technically great, terrific taste in music, all in all: pure class. But on top of that you always knew how to play the audience. In the end they wanted to take you home as a private pet. Are you still one with the audience, or do you let the music do the talking, flirting and seducing?
Danny: Haha, I don’t know if that’s always the case, but thank you! I’m still one with the audience but overall I’m a bit less social nowadays. I don’t go out to clubs but then I never really did once I started DJing full time. I still love getting the chance to meet those that are there to hear me though, I’m always so grateful to those that have supported me.
Moi: What do you want to accomplish Saturday-evening? With what memory do you want to go home?
Danny: I just want it to go well. Play a set I’m proud of (and wouldn’t be scared to put online), as well as catch up with friends and hopefully meet some new ones too 💚.
Tickets for Selador 10th Anniversary Party ADE for Saturday the 21st of October can be obtained here.