Image: Viktor Huml at the Boss Sounds: Vinyl Revolution launch at Lust For Life tattoo gallery and espresso bar. Credit: Martine Cotton (supplied).
Earlier this year Viktor Huml of Boss Sounds hand selected highlights and curiosities from his extensive record collection to exhibit at Lust For Life tattoo gallery and espresso bar. I did public relations for the event, and conducted this interview. Viktor and his partner LLDeeJ are exhibiting at the Collectors Cafe at the Queensland Museum until May 12 with a vinyl fair happening on May 4.
Vinyl records had been and still are undergoing a serious resurgence in popularity amongst music lovers, with re-issues of many classic records hitting the shelves of record stores, and collectors paying more than ever for mint condition original copies of those same cult releases. Many new bands are releasing exclusively on vinyl, foregoing a CD release for the true authenticity the vinyl format brings with it. Viktor knows intimately about the topic as a DJ, collector and musician.
What’s your background in music? What got you into music/deejaying?
My parents came to Australia as refugees from Czechoslovakia. Letters, books and records were an important cultural link for them with their origins. I always liked music and the record player was in competition with the television as the centre of entertainment in the family home.
From a young age I always liked music and I remember LPs being constantly played in our house. Mum had a collection of Czech 7 inches and while most of these were slower sentimental ballads I really enjoyed the couple of 45s with the fast beat. Little did I realise that the country of Czechoslovakia was a country renowned for their fine vinyl pressing plants. Years later I would be part of two bands that had records pressed in the Czech Republic (part of the former Czechoslovakia).
As a teenager I was drawn to underground sounds of punk, ska and new wave. As I grew older I became more and more involved in music. I started contributing to music fanzines and writing reviews, later I became an announcer for 4ZZZ FM; finally I formed a band with some friends. Our band has toured Europe three times. While in Europe I liked the many cool bars in Berlin, Hamburg and Prague that hosted vinyl DJ nights playing subculture sounds. These events rekindled my appreciation of the audio and aesthetic qualities of vinyl records and inspired me to get a similar vibe going here in Brisbane and some friends and I started our ‘Boss Sounds’ events.
I hope this exhibition helps others gain this an appreciation of this format.
What are your achievements musically?
I have played in a band now for 14 years. We have toured Europe three times; we have a dozen releases including records released in Germany and France; we have appeared on 30 compilations around the world including Russia, Ireland, Czech Republic, Austria, Spain, UK, Canada, Indonesia, Germany, USA and off course, Australia. Our band has been released on cassette, CD and vinyl. Our bands has five vinyl releases and has appeared on several vinyl compilation releases. Our band wrote and recorded the Short Fast Loud 12 second show jingle which you may have heard on Triple J.
I have also been an announcer on radio station 4ZZZ FM for Ska Trek, the weekly ska music program; I was also a monthly presenter of the Punk Rock show; I also presented a breakfast show; as well as appearing as a guest of several other programs. I have organised gigs and DJ nights as well as helping out touring bands.
I have deejayed at many events and venues around Brisbane. In 2010/2011 I spent nine months in the Czech Republic where I deejayed usually once a month principally for the Rudeboy Riddim crew.
Why are you interested in music memorabilia? What got you into collecting?
I am not so much interested in music memorabilia but more the music and in particular vinyl records. As a teenager I started searching out punk records. One band I really liked was the US band The Dickies who had the novelty punk act routine down pat. The Dickies recorded hyper fast cover versions of rock and cartoon standards and had a UK top ten hit with their version of the Banana Splits TV song. They also did the theme song from the Japanese cartoon show Gigantor. Both of these TV shows were my childhood favourites so I thought the band was awesome. The Dickies also had the penchant for releasing their 7 inch singles on brightly coloured vinyl and I went about collecting them all. It was this band that made me a record collector as well as a music fan.
These days I principally collect 7 inch records as they are the ultimate format for the vinyl DJ. I love the audio and aesthetics of vinyl deejaying. People like to see the records spinning around… it has so much more soul and style than a laptop or CDs.
What response do you get to DJ nights & afternoons?
We have gotten a really positive response to our DJ events. These events have brought together like-minded people who have a love of music. We have had people come along to ‘Boss Sounds’ events that we later asked to DJ at the events. Some people have brought records along to swap and sell but most people just like to have a beer, listen and dance. People love the sound and look of original vinyl records.
My girlfriend and I also DJ as Double Barrel and we have run several nights at the Hideaway Bar as well as being DJs when UK ska bands The Beat and The Selecter played in Brisbane. We have also DJed together at Dub Day afternoon as well as at a DJ night in Prague (in minus 11 degrees).
Any music-related anecdotes about brushes with fame?
The great thing about getting involved in music has been I have gotten to meet bands and performers that I used to listen to on records years ago. I have had the opportunity to meet ska artists such as Buster Bloodvessel from Bad Manners, Pauline Black from the Selecter, Bucket from the Toasters when their bands toured Australia.
The band I play in has gotten to support some of my favourite punk bands including the Dropkick Murphys (USA), Exploited (UK), Dayglo Abortions (Canada), UK Subs (UK), Beerzone (UK) Adicts (UK), Anti-Nowhere League (UK), Business (UK), and Subhumans (UK).
The UK Subs have stayed with me the first time they came to Australia and dropped over for dinner when they returned for their second tour. I have had beer with Charlie Harper from the UK Subs in Prague; I have gone out for drinks with Stigma from Agnostic Front in Blackpool and joked with Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden in a bar in Budapest.
One time the Dropkick Murphys were advertised to be deejaying an afterparty at a nightclub in Fortitude Valley. Our band supported them so I caught up with the guys after the show. I asked them if they wanted to borrow any records for deejaying and they said they weren’t doing the DJ after-party as they were on a world tour and needed to go back to the hotel to get some sleep. I thought here was an opportunity! So a co-conspirator and I arrived at the club and he introduced me as a member of the Dropkick Murphys. I didn’t speak as I wasn’t really good at doing a Boston accent. We were escorted to the DJ booth and got to play our favourite punk and ska tunes while getting loads of free drinks all night. Years later I told the Dropkick Murphys about our scam and they had a good laugh at our enterprising efforts.
What does 2013 have in store for Boss Sounds and yourself?
We will continue holding our monthly Sunday afternoon DJ sessions with the occasional night time events. We will look for opportunities to DJ at community events, club nights and when ska and Reggae bands are touring.
I will be starting a small record label and I will soon be releasing a 7 inch vinyl with a song from a Malaysian band (The Aggrobeats) on one side and a song from a Czech band (The Chancers) on the other side. If it goes well it will be the first of several Double Trouble 7 inch releases ,which will feature bands from different countries on each side.
I also plan to do some more travelling and I will DJ overseas when opportunities arise.
And off course there will be crate digging at every opportunity as there is always that super rare 7 inch to be found at the bottom of that dusty cardboard box full of records under the shelf at the back of the charity shop.
Tell me about how Double Barrel DJs came about.
It’s a dynamic dating DJ Duo, Viktor and LL DeeJ. Double Barrel, Double Trouble!
What’s it like having a partner so passionate about the same things?
It’s great, that’s how we met in the first place. We bonded over Punk Rock and the St Pauli Football club.
How do you bounce off each other?
I think we complement each other and while we both enjoy similar music, we have our own style when deejaying. Each one of us brings in different subgenres, new songs and new influences so it keeps it fresh.
Viktor and LLDeeJ of Double Barrel DJs have put up a wall of vinyl record covers in the Collector’s Cafe at the Queensland Museum. The display is up until 12 May 2013. There will also be a vinyl fair on Saturday May 4, from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, in the walkway between Queensland Museum and Queensland Art Gallery where the whales are.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.
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