So they asked me to come in and do the late set, 1-4am on Friday nights for $25ph and being that I had no idea what I was doing, I happily said yes. $75 per week was a lot more than I had been raking in as 1/4 or 1/5 of a band for the past 8-9 years, so I thought ch Ching!!!!
So upon rocking up the first night for my set about midnight, I met the residents who were playing before me. One of whom was Nick Thayer (who was playing when I got there) and the other was Mark Brand (who’d already played but was most likely drinking all of our bar tabs before he went home).
Anyways, Brand and I hit it off right away. First off, he’s Canadian so I understood what he was saying easily enough. Second off, he loved Hiphop and we immediately connected on a long list of jams that we both loved. I realized through the convo he was into the “scratching” side of things but not overtly a “turntablist”. He seemed more about the culture and TBH, I was still so new to DJ’ing I didn’t know much about the culture of Hiphop other than what I had read and my experiences over my time going to Hiphop shows since I was 15.
Brand was Hiphop to me; I was (and still am) a fan.
Anyways, we talked for about 30min before I went to set up and play (meeting Thayer for the first time — we got along, too) and that led to weekly hangouts with both these legends for the next year or so.
We’d do other parties together and they played all over whilst I was getting Beats Working started with Scott, Hans and Spies. But I was like a sponge with both Nick and Brand cuz they just seemed to know what they were doing and I was a total 100% novice. Whilst both were awesome DJ’s (and Nick was just starting to get into his production — I still have about 5 early CDR versions of tracks that would one day be signed to some cool labels) it was the way Brand handled business that really taught me a lot about how to “make it” as a DJ at the time.
I mean, I was my bands manager for most of my time doing it so it’s not like I had no clue about getting myself out there, but the way Brand did it made it seem so professional and business like. I think I got my ABN through him telling me how to do it.
He opened my eyes and a lot of doors to new venues and crews. I met a lot of people through Brand during those early years, ie Nathan Flagrant, Doc Felix, Jarrod Fox (the legendary J-Red), Mexi (and by default, No Name Nathan) and we did countless gigs together at Laundry, International, Lounge and plenty of joints I forgot about. He also introduced me to this cool dude named Ben Stacey, who just quit his band and got into DJ’ing and we’d end up doing quite a few things over the years (and we still try to hang whenever I’m up Sydney way). Brand even brought down a couple of up and coming rappers to freestyle on stage with me at Brown Alley one time by the names of Bliss n Eso and I still can’t remember who was more drunk, them or Brand (who also got on the mic, I think).
Brand was family to me and still is. I’m super stoked to see him doing so well after his move back to Canada, his constant world travels supporting those that need it, his culinary skills and I’m even more stoked that he and I get to hang tomoz at The Penny Black from 2-5pm, where we’ll be going back to back with a couple of bags of Hiphop, soul, funk, boogie and assorted treats all on the 45 format.
So for those that know Brand, get down to get down. For those that don’t, come meet him...you’ll be stoked that you did.