You would have to be hiding under a rock in the past month to not have heard about the re-release of the 1999 massive Madison Avenue hit, Don’t Call Me Baby. The track, which hit DJ promos early November and has been getting huge club play since, has some amazing remixes attached from Mousse T and Andy Van’s new alter-ego, Super Disco Club. The original release pretty much launched the ARIA Club Charts by being the inaugural No#1 track.
Now, Andy Van has taken some time out of his already packed schedule to chat with OzClubbers about the re-release of Don’t Call Me Baby, as well as life and whats going on at Vicious.
Andy, thanks for taking the time to chat! It’s been over 15 years since we last spoke with you here at OzClubbers! What have you been up to recently?
Mmm, so much happening, i’m a Dad ..i have a 4yr old daughter & a recently a new baby boy, which is so awesome..on the music front started a new Disco House artist called : Super Disco Club, which is super exciting….and still working at Vicious, lots of great tracks atm on the label.
We know your cousin DJ Marcello was a bit of an inspiration for you in getting into music, what can you tell us about how he influenced you?
I went to Netherlands when i was 12, and he was a very big DJ in Amsterdam, and he played uber cool House, Disco & Funk tracks. THis made a big impact on me, making me want to be a DJ, and then produce in a Disco / House area.
Do you remember how it felt to play for the first time in front of a large crowd? Where was it and how well did it go?
It was 21st Century in Frankston, it was a Super Club, held over 2500. I did main room, and was such a great venue & amazing at the very start of my DJ Career
What do you personally consider to be the perceptive moments of your artistic career?
Wow that’s a tuff question, i’ve been fortunate to have had hundreds of amazing experiences & moments, and the response to this questions would have lots of longs answers…but here’s a super quick answer : i would say releasing DCMB & winning 6 ARIA Awards would be one of the highlights. Another would be DJ’ing Main stage to 3000,000+ people at UK’s only ever Love Parade in Leeds was another magical moment
What are currently your main challenges as a DJ? What is it about DJing, compared to, say producing, that makes it interesting for you?
I’ve been DJing a long time, so DJing as a job isn’t challenging for me, it’s super rewarding & enjoyable, i would say the main challenge is crwods that maybe want to hear super commercial pop music and I always want to play more ‘club’ orientated music. The good thing about DJ’ing (over producing) is the immediate reaction to tracks, especially trracks or remixes i’ve recently made or am working on.
What inspired you to start producing?
I love music, especially dance music, so it came from that love to wanting to play it where ever i could.
We know you from famous acts such as Madison Avenue and Vandalism, but have you released tracks under other aliases or with other artists that we may not know about?
i’ve done a lot of tracks over the years, you’ve mentioned the 2 main ones, but i also did tracks as Bubbleman, and with other partners in crime as Aqualads and Astral Project
With the 20th anniversary of Madison Avenue’s “Don’t Call Me Baby” rolling around, how does it feel to see such hype appearing again for this massive hit?
It’s amazing & humbling as the reactions are ‘off tha dial’, support from virtually all of the worlds leading House DJs, plays on Radio 1, Kiss FM UK, Radio FG France & Belgium and charting top 10 on many, many Dance & Club Charts
The Mousse T remix on the release is especially great. How did it come about that you selected Mousse T to do a remix?
We went through a lot of different options & wanted someone who understood what the song was when it was first released & also was then able to reinterpret it into a 2019 – 2020 release and Mousse T for us was the perfect person.
“Don’t Call Me Baby” pretty much founded the ARIA Club Charts, being the first #1 on the chart and spending 18 weeks there. How does it feel to have been a founding part of a chart that is now used and watched closely by DJs nationally every week?
It’s Similar answer to the above, it awesome & humbling, we were there at that start of Club Chart & are still there now !
Cheyne and yourself have gone down different paths within the music industry since Madison Avenue. Will we ever see the duo reform with new releases?
Very unlikely i have to have to say.
You’ve been on the decks for quite some time and achieved so much. I’m sure Madison Avenue is up there, but what would you say would be your biggest personal achievement in your music career so far?
From a Music label perspective it would have to be discovering & signed AVICII, and from a production point of view, then yeah it would be Madison Avenue
Back when we interviewed you last, you mentioned that Vicious was like a small family, with only 4 or 5 staff back then. How would you describe the massive growth of the label over more than a decade since then?
Funnily enough it hasn’t changed a lot, we have a small team, now 7 staff, but now release a lot more music, approx 100 to 150 releases a year. We work super hard to sign & develop Australian & overseas producers & artists who are driven & excited by electronic dance music
What would you say makes a track or artist suitable for inclusion in the Vicious family?
Needs to be something that DJs & Clubbers would really be into, very simple
What makes you decide to play a particular track during one of your sets? Do you have selection criteria for selecting what to play at a gig?
Depends on the gig, but main rule for me as a DJ is the tracks i play need to keep the dancefloor vibing & even better, going off !
How important is building a real relationship with the music you’re playing? Given there’s so much music out there, is it even possible to build meaningful relationships with a particular track, album, or label?
No, it’s generally not about the track or label, but it does have to be simply good, great or killer track.
Name two tracks that are absolute staples at your gigs?
I don’t play the same songs every single gig, but I do often drop: One More Time – Daft Punk, and Your Body (Andy Van Remix) – Tom Novy
Can you recommend two upcoming artists that have particularly caught your attention?
Look out for Kondo, a great Tech House artist, / and Roberto Surace – his Joys Release was excellent
And lastly, what words of wisdom would you pass on to those who are just starting out in the electronic music industry?
Be enthusiastic, study what DJs are playing, study what producers are making, and what instruments, synths & plugins they are using. Then get your tracks our there… on Soundcloud, Instagram, Youtube and Facebook!
Listen to the 20th Anniversary remixes of the iconic Madison Avenue tune “Don’t Call Be Baby” below