Unlike most one-man DJs, Sneaky Nuts is a collective act where each DJ takes their turn to play their individual set, whether it be deep house, electronica or techno music.
Over recent years, the guys have played at bars, nightclubs and festivals all over the South West alongside DJs such as Dave Randall, Alex Calver, Will Bailey and Aaron Liberator.
They have a fortnightly residency at Vertigo Bar in Truro and later this year, they will be playing at the afterparty of the Totally VAG Show at the Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge on 12th September.
We chatted to the three DJs about their passion for music, how they got started, and where Kylie Minogue, Phil Collins and Five Star fit into the picture…
How long have you been DJs and how did you get started?
Lee – I first started flirting with DJing in 1996. A friend of mine bought a set of cheap turntables which he swiftly sold on to me so he could upgrade to a pair of 1210′s. I should have saved my money and done the same – they were awful. In all honesty, the years that followed saw me fall in and out of love with mixing, until 2005 when I devoted my time and began making demos, which in turn got me gigs. It was then I got the bug for playing to an audience and it spurred me on to set up my own nights.
Pat – I’ve been DJing now for 18 years. Some friends introduced me to turntables back when I was in school and I had to buy a set of my own as soon as I could. It wasn’t long before I was the young kid playing at friends’ parties and I haven’t looked back since.
Dave – I’m the newbie, I’ve listened to dance music all my life and attended as many clubs and events as I could whilst growing up. It’s only been three years since Lee persuaded me to give mixing a go. I was always happy to be on the other side of the decks throwing shapes until then. Now I can’t get enough of it.
Who are your musical influences?
Lee – We each have our own influences spanning all genres of music. There are so many I wouldn’t know where to start. I’m a huge fan of rock music as well electronica but with regards to my DJ sets they are constantly changing.
Dave – The likes of Maya Janes Coles, Hot Since 82, Martinez Brothers, and Marc Romboy are all influential. The list could go on and on.
Pat – And of course you can’t forget such legends are Carl Cox and Eric Morillo – true superstar DJ’s we all dreamed of becoming some day.
When and where was your first gig?
Lee - Our first official gig as a collective was at Vanilla in Truro. We could only hire the venue on a Sunday which we were somewhat dubious about. Thankfully it fell on a bank holiday weekend and proved to be a success. We covered our costs, made a little money, and had one hell of a fun night. It was a great start to going out DJing as a trio.
What is your favourite genre of music to perform?
Dave – As cheesy as it sounds, whatever the crowd is diggin’ becomes favourable on the night, but our sound is fashioned mainly around Deep, Tech House. We each have certain elements we try to incorporate into our sets to switch it up a bit, but our common ground certainly falls into this genre.
Who did you listen to growing up and what was your first album?
Lee – I listened to just about everything over the years. As a young kid I was influenced by music my parents were listening to. Genesis, Dire Straits and Michael Jackson were all common place in our house. As I got into my teens I listened to a lot of old school hip hop and harder dance music by the likes of Slipmatt. I was massively into the whole grunge scene and I idolised bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Sound Garden – all that teenage angst I guess. The first album I ever had or bought – I’m embarrassed to say – was by the group ‘Five Star’… I was only six though!
Pat – One of the first albums I owned was Phil Collins. I also had a lot of Bob Marley and there was definitely a Kylie Minogue phase too. I remember the first dance music album I bought was a Universe release mixed by Carl Cox and DJ Sy. I didn’t put that one down for a while.
Dave – I mainly listened to chart music growing up and bought the occasional “Now” album until I hit my teens and discovered dance music. I remember listening to Pete Tong every Friday from around 6pm – I loved that show.
Where is your favourite venue to play?
Pat – Tricky to say. We’ve had some great gigs in small intimate venues and outdoor parties and festivals alike. We can honestly say we just love doing what we do no matter where we are. Whether it’s in a friend’s kitchen or out in a field at a festival, doing what you love with your best mates kicks ass!
What are your aspirations and plans for the next 12 months?
Lee – Hopefully to push further afield and get some new venues under our belt. Pat and I both have young children and Dave’s getting married this year so we have plenty going on. The main objective is to keep having fun in what we do.
If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Lee – That’s a hard one. I would have to say Steve Bug, the founder and artist on Pokerflat Recordings. Love his style, production and he seems an all-round good egg. Seth Troxler, I imagine, would be great fun to perform alongside also.
Pat – Without doubt, Eric Morillo. The way he works the crowd is genius and I’ve always been a huge fan of his Subliminal Label. For me, he is the oracle of house music.
Dave – ‘Oh Yes, Oh yes’, it would have to be the legend that is Carl Cox. It’s the whole package, incredible tunes, and the work that goes into his shows. Of course, we’d have to go back to back.
What do you think of the Cornish music scene and what improvements would you like to see?
Lee – There’s great diversity throughout Cornwall. We have seen some truly amazing bands covering a multitude of genres. With regards to dance music, some amazing acts have graced our venues and local heroes have set up some great events. Being from North Cornwall we’d love to see more dance orientated nights closer to home. South of the county appears to have it all going on, it’s time to spread the love.
Are there any current Cornish music artists / DJs you see going far?
Lee – For sure, the Hong Kong Ping Pong boys are killing it and Cakeboy’s doing great things and receiving top reviews. Drop DJs are putting some well-produced tracks out there too, all gaining support from internationally-acclaimed artists and DJs. It’s good to see the Cornish folk doing the business with the best of them.
What is your most memorable gig?
We’d have to say Rock Oyster Festival last year. We played on Friday night which was great fun, and then headed down to Newquay on the Saturday to play at Beach Break Live. When we returned to ROF, we were asked to do an impromptu set after the last band’s performance in a small marquee on the outskirts of the site. By the time we’d helped the last band pack up and set up, the other stages and tents had all shut up so it turned into the perfect party. Great atmosphere, friendly faces and everybody suitably inebriated.
Describe your music style in three words
Deep Tech House
For further information about Sneaky Nuts, visit www.facebook.com/sneakynuts