Interview Judge Jules

WHO: Judge Jules
WHEN: 9th Apr 2009
INTERVIEWED BY: Monty | getanightlife

The Interview Judge Jules

Amongst all the hype and buzz of the Trance Energy Australia tour over the Easter weekend we managed to grab 10 minutes of Judge Jules' time to ask him a few questions about his trip to Australia. 

So with phone number and hotel details in hand, Monty picked up the challenge and carefully dialled the number.... ring ring...

Hi, welcome to Australia, great to have you down under for the Trance Energy festivals. Judge Jules, what can I call you, Judge, Jules or is your name something completely different like Barry?

Haha, no mate, Jules is my first name, we'll stick with that.

How's your trip been so far?

Great thanks. Got here to Sydney on Monday with my missus and 2 little kiddies, just been relaxing and doing the normal touristy things and then the work starts today.

So when you are in Australia, is there anything in particular you love to do?

Its funny you know, Australia is probably the only long haul destination in the world that is culturally so similar to back home in the UK, so its very comfortable for me and my family to be here. We love to get about and enjoy the weather, enjoy the lovely food and make the most of our family time here.

What about vegemite mate, what do you think?

You know I don't mind it, we went to one of these tourist shops this week and stocked up for the family back home actually.

Now you are here obviously for the Trance Energy shows, you're in Sydney tonight, Melbourne on Friday night, Brisbane on Saturday night and across to Perth on Sunday night. Trance Energy started in The Netherlands 10 years ago and is internationally reknowned as being one of the biggest shows of the year in Europe. Tell us about it, what has been your involvement?

I haven't done every year, but I think I've done 4 or 5 of these now. Its grown from a relatively small niche Trance show to quite a big spectacle of 50,000 people. Obviously Europe is a very different in that people can come from 20 or so different countries within an hour and a half to go to this or any other festival or show. It was only on just recently, 3 or 4 weeks ago now and completely sold out very quickly. Held at an indoor convention centre that was at capacity crowd, I don't think it can get any bigger because there are no venues that can hold that capacity of crowd, I guess thats why its so popular and has the atmosphere it does.

So besides Australia and Holland, do they take this show anywhere else.

No actually, Australia is the first country to get Trance Energy outside of Europe, you guys are lucky I guess!

With all the hype of Trance Energy, the standard of DJ's and light shows etc that we have heard about from Europe, what can we expect from Trance Energy in Australia?

Well I think it should be much the same, the tickets have sold really well and its intended to be the spectacle that it is in Europe, maybe not quite as many people but as far as myself and the other DJ's are concerned, we expect it to be much the same.

What about from your own set, what can us Aussies expect from Judge Jules?

Well that's kind of difficult you know, I try not to go into any occasion with any preconceived idea about what to expect or what to play, especially with something I've never done before. I have a residency at Ministry of Sound back home in the UK, at these gigs I can probably 80% prepare a set, but you can never predict exactly how the night is going to go and how the crowd will react. So yeah I guess I take it as it comes and feed off the crowd. I suppose any DJ can have the skills to play music but what experience of time as a DJ teaches you is how to read the crowd and how to react to their energy.

What about secret weapons, any tricks you use to get the crowd pumping.

No, same thing really, nothing in particular or any tracks I always use. But I guess I rely on all the new tracks given to me at my radio show at BBC, that would be my biggest arsenal of weapons. I am getting given all the freshest and hottest tracks from all over the world all the time so this new music that not even any other DJ has heard before for sure is what I use. The other thing too more than ever is having the shear volume of music to be able to select from. I think for most DJ's, the vinyl revolution ended about 5 years ago and with the digital revolution came the ability to have thousands of tracks in your bag that you couldn't have with vinyl.

It seems Trance music has never really taken off in Australia like it has around the rest of the world. How have you found the crowds in Australia before react to your music?

It raises an interesting point, because trance music has never been mainstream or ever been loads of chart hits in Europe either, but the biggest stages at any festival are all based around the trance music DJ's, so its always been mainstream at a club level but not on a recording level. It just goes to show that the best DJ's in the world are rated for their DJ skills and ability to play to the crowd and not because they are just playing chart hits, which is the way it should be and hopefully always stays that way. But I've always loved the crowds in Australia and always been able to play true to myself and put on a good show.

What kind of equipment are you using on stage these days, have you gone down the road of laptops and dj software like so many or you prefer to keep with traditional methods.

No I'm still strictly on CDJ's, I do create a lot of my own tracks and bootlegs etc but don't do it live, I prefer to master it back at home as its actually quite difficult to do some of these live remixes in front of the crowd. Simple is still best for me, standard CDJ's and effects machines.

With all of these things on, radio show, touring etc, how do you fit everything in? Do you still do a lot of touring?

Yes I do still tour quite a lot. I don't want to sound boring but I guess its just good time management, I guess with time comes experience and just learning how to fit everything important in, I've just learnt how to make life function properly without making it crazy.

What about production, do you still manage to find time for this as well?

Yes, not as much these days. I always try and release at least 3 singles per year and then an artist album every 18 months to 2 years, the most recent of which was released about 6 weeks ago called 'Bring The Noise'.

Who do you see as your favourite DJ's at the moment, who's rockin' you when you see them on stage?

Partly because of my night in Ibiza called Judgment Sundays, I am always trying to showcase lots and lots of new DJ's and there are a lot of new DJ's I could talk about, some young guys from Argentina called Heat Beat and a guy from Scotland called Will Atkinson. But I guess the old names that always keep me entertained are Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Eddie Halliwell, one DJ who im very impressed with at the moment who is actually on the Trance Energy tour is Richard Durand.

Any Aussie DJ's you have been hearing about?

Because I haven't been here for a few years im actually really looking forward to keeping my eyes out for some Aussie DJ's. But of course one young Aussie who I have met is Tydi, and he is definitely on my radar.

You've been doing this for a very long time now, how long do you see yourself doing this? Having a family and all, do you see yourself doing this forever?

Its really difficult to say, at the end of the day the buzz has not worn off and I'd like to think people look at me as still having the passion. So as long as that buzz is there I will continue.

Important last question. What's the ringtone on your mobile phone?

Something really quite boring actually, I'm in so many noisy environments that it has to be as boring and annoying as possible.

Thanks very much for your time Judge Jules, enjoy your time in Australia and I hope the Trance Energy tour is a great success.

Its very nice to be asked questions I haven't been asked before, that last question gets a gold star from me. Thank you mate, nice to talk to you.

You can catch Judge Jules live over the Easter weekend playing through-out Australia at all the Trance Energy Festivals.

You can also find out everything you wanted to know about Judge Jules on his website -

Interview by Monty | getanightlife

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