Vines drummer Hamish Rosser isnâ€™t just another rocker-turned-DJ cashing an easy pay cheque. Heâ€™s sacrificed for his art.
â€œI DJed at Splendour just a few weeks back,â€ says Rosser, who joined The Vines before the release of debut LP 'Highly Evolved', â€œand when they were booking it I said, 'oh, put me on at the same time as Wolfmotherâ€™. I thought that'd be cool, because then I could go watch The Strokes. I get the schedule and I'm on at the same time as The Strokes. Thanks, guys!
"So I was in the Jager Cube when the whole festival was pushing over the fence at the amphitheatre. But it was cool, because I got people in there dancing and having a good time. I made sure I didn't play any Strokes songs, because I didn't want there to be this realisation in the crowd, like, 'oh my god! The Strokes are on!'â€
Rosser got to play the amphitheatre with The Vines the following night and ended up having the â€œbest festival everâ€, so it may not have been much of a sacrifice. But that's not to say he and his fellow Vines DJ, bassist Brad Heald, haven't put in the hard yards.
â€œI've got a couple of buddies who book clubs,â€ Rosser explains, â€œand I saw a lot of the DJs and thought, 'oh, that looks easy, I could do that'. It's not as easy as it looks! First time I did it was a train wreck. In fact, the first half a dozen times I did it were complete train wrecks, but I gradually got the hang of it.
â€œI just figure out what people are responding to the best and go that way. I never go in there with a plan â€¦ I always figure out what people want. If you want some indie rock, you'll get that. I find hip hop goes down a treat, too. I'm like, â€˜really? Hip hop? Ok, cool. Let's go that wayâ€™.â€
If you think you know The Vines, Rosser and Heald's set might surprise you. But they know their limitations.
â€œI never play 'dance' music,â€ Rosser admits. â€œI leave that to the other guys. I leave that to the experts. I like indie rock you can dance to. Bloc Party's always a killer. Everyone loves The Strokes â€¦ Phoenix goes down well. Gossip. Friendly Fires. That sort of stuff.â€
About the only other thing you won't hear at a Vines DJ set isâ€¦ The Vines.
â€œI never do it. I prefer playing those tracks on the drums, really, not on a CD.â€
The Vines DJs play Port Office Hotel on Saturday September 4.