Winter 2017

Here we are, DJ Max, Winter 2017 and above a beautiful Black Barn sunset from a January Wedding this year. Something to remember Summer by, although it was an especially appalling Summer, where the weather was concerned. Lets hope for better weather next year!

Interestingly and thankfully, all my Weddings were largely unaffected by  ‘said’ Weather with regards to the outdoor Ceremonies everyone has nowadays. The one that was affected, @Wallaceville House, the drizzle, rain and cold arrived just as we finished the Ceremony. It was a traditional Scottish styled Wedding with the Bride piped in, a knot tied and some Kilts in evidence. I made the quip “that it must be just like home” to some of the guests who had traveled from Scotland to be greeted with some chuckles and agreement at the comment.    We had a great hooley with a few Reels and some more Bagpipes thrown into the dancing.

Generally, Winter is a time of hiding indoors  and Brides and Grooms are starting to think about their upcoming Spring and Summer Weddings and are nailing down the finer details.  It is also the time of year when DJ’s are starting to think about their marketing and what new gear they’d like to have in time for the seasonal rush.

Last year I added a Rane 64 DJ Mixer (Rane are pretty much the most acoustically pure, ‘off the shelf’ mixers on the planet), and after a decade plus of using Pioneer DJM series mixers, I’m blown away by the lift in quality of the Rane audio versus the Pioneer.  I also added an 18″ HK Audio Pulsar Subwoofer and K&M crank handled windup distance rod to support placing my mighty HK Audio L5 series top box on. It’s an expensive business staying up to date with gear and I’m alway working to upgrade each time I buy anew. My intention, around November, is to add a 2nd Pulsar Sub and to potentially upgrade my Wedding Ceremony system from my current HK Audio S.M.A.R.T. ( a very cool and powerful wee system) to a HK Audio Soundcaddy, tho’ I’d really like a Sennheiser LSP 500. The Soundcaddy is very cool, but requires power. The LSP 500 is Lithium Battery powered and can be fitted with up to 3 wireless Sennheiser microphone systems. The LSP 500 with mics runs to about 4.5 times the price of the Soundcaddy, with the questions being … do my clients really want this? Will they and can they afford to pay for it? Am I just doing this for the satisfaction of myself in offering my clients the ultimate in convenience and technology? It is very easy to over capitalise!

Today I renewed my Google Adword and Facebook marketing, these are just a few of the hidden costs that my clients don’t necessarily see or have an awareness of but that can come with real benefits for my business and for my prospective clients as it puts me ‘in front of them’, so to speak, and gives them access to my superb services.

Winter is obviously a much quieter time of year for most of us Wedding specialists, people hibernate and plan. However, it is not entirely quiet and over the next few months I have a spate of 50th’s to DJ; I’ve already done 3 this year and several last year. They are very much a thing and they have all been a lot of fun. At 50 people have been exposed to a wide gamut of tunes and so you get to DJ a wide variety of genres and eras, which I love and thrive on. It is extremely satisfying to get a party rocking to the Rolling Stones Honky Tonk Woman and blending/mixing it out to something like Ram Jams Black Betty, or even Whitney Houston, and then into something like Rihanna or Jax Jones House Work.  Three of the 50th’s were quite large scale and required a lot of physical work setting up and many hours and site visits to plan. They looked and sounded brilliant, especially a Warehouse party where we rigged a large lighting and Mirrorball cluster, a rig I emulated on a lesser scale for another 50th a month or 2 later (check out my DJ Max Facebook for some images) . One day I’ll have a roadie! One of the 50th’s had close to a $100,000 thrown at it and is easily one of the most extravagant parties I have participated on. With that kind of a spend you want to be very on your game and I was and it ROCKED. The most recent one I DJ’d for 10 hours, starting @5PM and finishing @3AM, I was having so much fun and they were such cool clients. Though it was a bit of a mission lugging my large volume of gear up the steps of their beautiful home … and then back down again. Again, one day I’ll have a roadie :~).

Until next time, ciao my amigos.

My love of music!

In 1969, when the Summers were long and hot (at least to my child like eyes) and when New Zealand Television was only one channel and broadcasting only 65 hours per week, I, DJ Max, was given a small Transistor Radio for my 6th Birthday (actually, it had been gifted for my 5th, but my parents withheld it for a year fearing it’s influence. Rightly so!). Suffice to say it was an addiction from day one. Today, many decades, later you can still find me playing music from that era and all the subsequent intervening years in between. Music from then that sits quite happily alongside today’s alternative, recent and chart hits.

In the1970’s my station of choice was Wellington’s 2ZM, now ZMFM, and many a happy hour was whiled away listening to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 on a Saturday afternoon (actually I was glued to that thing day and night 24/7, or as much as my parents would allow and the batteries would last). In 1970 pop music was all about Soul, Funk, and Rock, musicians like The Beatles (who broke up that year), Led Zeppelin, Simon and Garfunkel, James Brown, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5 were amongst the Artists to feature in the charts. 1970 was a magical musical time and the rest of the 70’s, even more so. Disco was starting to happen in the US, but was yet to break out of the underground Gay scene and David Bowie was only 2 years away from Ziggy Stardust and the creation of Glam. I would probably argue that there has never been a better time in music, the charts were musically diverse and anything seemed possible.

In 1987 I started my journey as a DJ At Ohakune’s Hot Lava Night Club (an awesome old wooden Picture Theatre) every Friday night during the peak of the ski season several thousand people would arrive in town, many hundreds of them would come to the only club, and the towns most happening bar, The Hot Lava. In those days the club owned all the music and I was playing off a mix of Vinyl LP’s, Vinyl 12″s, Cassingles (remember them?!) and very early CD’s. We also had some Music Videos that our sparky used to record from Australian TV and deliver to us periodically. A couple of times a season my boss would give me some money and I’d head over the Para Paras to Whanganui to buy new tunes, heady days. Music I especially remember from this time were things like S-Express, C&C Music Factory, Duran Duran, Guru Josh, Kool and The Gang et al

Five years after commencing my DJ residency @The Hot Lava , I was shoulder tapped to go work at Ohakune’s Powder Keg performing for their Après-Ski period and then making the party happen during the night. I was resident DJ at the Powder Keg for around 5 years.

During my Hot Lava years, there was a well-developed live music touring circuit around New Zealand and thus every Saturday at Hot Lava was a live band, many of NZ’s musical legends performed there and I got to play support DJ to the likes of The Johnny’s, Supergroove, The Exponents, Ardijah and The Headless Chickens, to name but a few. It was a great time to be a DJ and a great location and situation in which to break into DJ’ing. I was a natural from day one, instinctively knowing what to play and when to play it. I also had a great time utilising the venues quite sophisticated dance floor lighting system. Things have not changed much.

If you’re hosting a party or a Wedding and want your guests to have a great time perhaps singing along, definitely dancing, then talk to me. I will consult with you to create a DJ experience toned and fitted to meet the likes, and to exclude the dislikes of you, your family and your absolutely important guests.

Draw on my long practical performance experience, and academic musical experience to help create your very special day. – I have a BA with a triple Major in Media Studies, Film and English Literature, as part of this program of study I have completed 3 levels of Popular Music Theory as part of Wellington’s Victoria University Media Studies programme.

I estimate that I have now DJ’d over 200 Weddings, several hundred functions and thousands of nights of Club and Bar work, and have done many on-air Radio shifts from Ski FM (Ohakune), Iwi FM (Ohakune), The Breeze (Wellington) and Groove FM (Wellington) there would be very few DJ’s, mobile or otherwise who would be operating with this broad experience. I can wield a Microphone with the best of them, but ever discretely so. The last thing you want and need at any function is a verbose DJ killing the vibe.

I am a proficient beat matcher and where feasible will beat match the music.

Since leaving Ohakune in the mid-90’s, I’ve had residencies at: The Loaded Hog (1996-97, 2005-2006), The Big Easy/Rain (1997-1998), The Ballroom Billiards Saloon (1997-1998), Dockside Restaurant (2002), Shed 5 (2002-2003), Boogie Wonderland (2004-2008, I was one of their original DJ’s, resident from their opening night- when it was still playing great 70’s Disco), Four Kings (2013-2014), Dakota Dance Hall and Saloon Bar (2014-2016,( the original DJ there) and some cover nights at Electric Avenue (Current) round out the list.

No problem is too difficult to solve, no song too hard to find.

For hassle free music for your next function, for the certainty of a great party adhering to a high level of production and performance  talk to me, DJ Max, I’m your DJ for any occasion.


If Music be the food of love, play on. William Shakespeare.