Bioshokk Triplicity: Matt Melody speaks to Webbo, with VinDiesel taking notes to make the magic three
Reported by VinDiesel
Submitted 19-01-16 14:10
The UK Hard House scene broke out towards the end of the 1990’s with a meteoric rise in promotions hosting parties like Frantic, Tidy, Tasty, Twist, Peach, Trade, and Twisted.
Sadly, during the past few years, many of these parties have closed, DJs have retired and there is talk of the hard house scene ‘dying’. But NO; it’s still alive and thriving! We may not have the weekly or monthly events we had 10 years ago but there are some are some fantastic parties still going.
One of them is Bioshokk, launched by Matt Melody in 2010. Matt was one of the earliest members of HarderFaster, as SECURITY MAN he joined in 2001.
Matt had the idea to start his party, establish a brand and define an event, brilliantly planned with a line-up of closed linked DJs who have built this party into an outstanding event.
Bioshokk came up as runner up in the awards for Best Party Of The Year in the Harder Faster Awards, but more important, due to the excellent resident line up, clearly planned progression and a supportive loyal crowd of followers, years on from its inception, Bioshokk has become a renowned brand in the Hard House party scene.
So, as part of the Bioshokk family, I chatted with Matt Melody to discover the ingredients behind this successful party with a growing reputation!
Matt what was your background in clubbing, and describe your journey from clubber to Party Promoter?
I started clubbing in local clubs in Croydon where I grew up, places like the ‘Blue Orchid’. I got bored of the local scene very quickly - clubs playing mainstream music were really not my thing.
Then, in 2001, I went to my first big party which was the Peach Xmas Party at Camden Palace. The DJ line up featuring Graham Gold, Darren Pearce and Pele, played brilliant music all night, progressive, breakbeat and euphoric trance. I also found a diverse crowd of clubbers from all different areas, having a really good night, dancing to great tunes in a really friendly atmosphere.
That’s when my clubbing career took off and it was good bye to Blue Orchid!
OK so how long had you been clubbing and when did you get the idea to start your own party?
I had been out clubbing for 9 years from that first Peach party in 2001 then moving on to hard house events like Mind Over Matter, Tasty and HEAT! up to 2010. I was at Sexy Minx’s party at Club Medusa and was chatting to Jeff Manning , who started his own Tech House Party at Brixton Jamm. From talking to him, I got the inspiration and idea to start my own party!
So how long did it take to create the Bioshokk brand and where was the first party?
I contacted Steve Darragh at Union and he was very supportive and helped me set the date for my first party. Steve left Union shortly after Bioshokk Launch Party and Piers who used to run a party called "Milk" became my contact at Union. Piers has been great to work with along the mangers, Paulo and his wife Juliana, who can’t do enough for you to help with any issues on the night.
How did you decide the DJ line up for the very first Bioshokk Party?
The line-up consisted of DJs I knew and saw play regularly out and about as a clubber. I just wanted to get one party under my belt to have something to work with for the next one.
How did the first Bioshokk Party turn out?
We had 1 room at Union and 50 clubbers turned up, mostly close friends who wanted to give me some support. But as empty as the club seemed to me, the people who came along posted some really nice feedback after which was enough for me book a December date for our second event "Bioshokk Christmas Party".
That event went really well, and after that Bioshokk were asked to host room 2 at some much bigger parties and this helped us to establish the event
A lot of promoters may have given up after up this first party; what made you decide to continue?
The turnout may have been low, but the atmosphere was really buzzing and we got a very positive feedback on HarderFaster. So I continued!
Bioshokk is known for having a line-up of regular DJs who work closely with you and work very hard to put on a great party. How did you meet them and integrate them into the ‘Bioshokk Family’?
I met Sean Inside Out and Andy Simpson at Hard Dance Ibiza. I hadn’t met these guys in person, but knew of them because of how long they had been in the scene. They were booked to play at Bioshokk 2nd Birthday party in Ibiza. I took to these guys straighaway, they had so much love and passion for HH, I booked them for an event called “Bioshokk Resurrection”. In my opinion, that event was a turning point for Bioshokk. All of a sudden we had a massive new crowd turn up, a lot came from the Kent hard house scene, who at recent events have helped create massive buzz on the dancefloor. Since then, that crowd have become regulars, and I couldn’t be more thankful to Sean and Inside Out along with Andy and others like Matt Draper for the fun, happy vibe they bring to Bioshokk.
We also brought in Paul Norris(Cupra) who has played some brilliant sets. He will be kicking off the main room at midnight, playing as "Agent Jack" his alias and something new for Bioshokk
What is the structure of the Bioshokk promotional team and who programs the line-up and progression of the music?
Tara Banks is management. I first spoke to Tara on the events page and we immediately clicked. Tara has a knack for discovering good DJs and also planning lineups and progression. We communicate and think on the same wavelength, and this really helps us plan our parties. She didn't let on at first but she’d been mixing a number of years so whereas I don't mix myself, having someone on board with knowledge like that is great for the night. Our brilliant team is complimented by the likes of Webbo, Becci, Aysa and Hannah who all play a massive part in the night.
Bioshokk normally has 1 or 2 big name DJs but usually a line up of regulars or up and coming DJs. How do you choose these new undiscovered DJs?
Lineups can be really hard to decide on, trying to get a mix of residents, headliners and new talent who haven’t played at Bioshokk before, along with trying to play some DJs who really support the event is really difficult. We only do two parties a year so with the amount of talented DJs out there, you can imagine getting everyone in we would like is really difficult. But we try to make each line up have a little something different about it.
What do you think are the key factors that have kept Bioshokk not only popular but also successful within the Hard Dance scene which has seen a decline over the past few years?
I think the positive feedback we receive on Facebook and HarderFaster gives us a boost, but word of mouth is also important. Webbo is well known for having a diverse/open minded opinion about parties and music, and he helped introduce the Bioshokk brand to his friends like VinDiesel, Aga and MarkyMark. They all speak very highly about the parties and this in turn, brings more people in.
How important is a venue to making a party such as Bioshokk so good? I refer to the immense sound system in the main room at Union which gives such energy to the clubs, even at 7 in the morning.
Union is a great club, not only in terms of the that sound system in the main room but also stuff like the re-positioning of the DJ booth. Piers, Nigel and the staff of Union are not only very supportive of our party but they help us create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere to our clubbers.
I know there have been issues with security at previous parties for various reasons, but I’ve been in contact with all involved at Union to try and make sure this party runs smoothly.
OK so for the upcoming Bioshokk Triplicity Party on 30th January 2016, what do you have lined up?
For Triplicity we have a three way back to back between Frank Farrell, Ben Stevens and JoJo. What interests me is that the fact that they each have their own unique persona and sound, but we believe they will combine to form an outstanding 3-way set!
We haven't had a headline act like this before, but I think the three of them bringing their own sound combined for 3 hours will be amazing.
I know especially from VinDiesel that the second room playing UK Hard Trance was warmly welcomed. What acts/lineup/genre do you have planned for the 2nd room at Bioshokk Triplicity?
Room 2 is opening with Terry Fursland playing another two-hour Peach Anthems set. Peach has a massive place in my heart and I think 10-12 before the main room opens, starting the night with some the amazing trance we would have heard at 3-6 at Camden Palace works brilliantly, It’s been a popular way to start the night since our second party and long will it continue! We then progress to UK hard trance with Matt Draper, before getting a little darker moving on to Euro hard trance then to Hardstyle. I used to really enjoy going out to events like DHF and Squelcher when that music was heard more in London and having a lovely crowd like that in room 2 is much better than trying to accommodate a walk up crowd.
What are your plans for Bioshokk in the next 12 months? How do you see the party evolving? Are you considering different styles like a boat party, an afterparty, or perhaps a daytime party?
Every party is a risk financially and promoting isn't a living for me. I work long hours in construction to fund Bioshokk and I spend 6 months doing everything I can to cover the costs. As much as I’d love to do monthly parties, you never know what may happen in the future but with family and two young children, it's got to stay as an expensive hobby for now.
Matt, this is the burning question I have for a lot of promoters: Do you DJ/mix? If so have you ever been ever tempted to play at your own party?
Ha ha no way! Don’t worry I'm not ready to bill myself in a 3 hour set yet. lol. No, my dream was always starting a party; don’t get me wrong I’m sure it's a massive buzz playing to a crowd, but I think I’ll leave the DJing to the pros.
If you could plan your ideal 'All StarLegend' Bioshokk and could pick anyone (past and present) Hard House DJs to play, who would you have?
Ok my Fantasy Bioshokk party line up would include the following:
· Graham Gold
· Armin Van Burren
· Spencer Freeland
· Phil Reynolds
· Lisa Pin Up
· Ian M
· Future Resonance closing
A lot of people said the Hard Dance scene will die. A big name DJ said to me that the scene will go through a recessive period, where we won’t see regular big parties, instead we will have smaller underground parties and the scene will re-emerge. Do you think this will be the case?
Unfortunately, this may be the case as the younger crowd prefer to follow commercial mainstream music instead of delving into the underground scene. One thing I know, is there are still plenty of good events in the Hard House scene and also a real loyal, fun loving crowd that appreciates the music!
As a promoter, you respond to all feedback from clubbers and use this to enhance and make Bioshokk a better party. Do you think it’s important that promoters listen to all feedback, whether its constructive, destructive or complete cack?
I judge my parties based on a number of factors and these will include the atmosphere and mood of the crowd on the dancefloor and feedback on social media and forums after the event. If there are aspects about the party or the venue which we can identify to enhance and make future parties more enjoyable then of course we will do everything to make that happen.
Matt is there anyone you would like to thank for their contribution, hard work and effort in making Bioshokk such a successful party?
Tara Banks, Aysa, Becci Gooding, Chris Hughes, Candice Powell, Dan Lacey,
Cat and Kristina at HDI, Twist, Myopia London, DHF, Sinistry, DigitalChaos Rich Piper, Mike Ottley and crew, Firefly Entertainments Bioshokk’s amazing residents and ravers Danny Hallet, Scott Mason, D4rk, The Kent Mafia, Tariq and crew, Hi Frequency
Adam Smith for the Bioshokk flyer design, you totally rock and love the artwork
Alexandra and Robert Melody, Ben Stevens @moreonthedoor
Jodi Jupe, Mat G, Sammie, Kevsey D, Skol, Mumbles and everyone at Flex Fm
Tom Allen for handing me a card with the HarderFaster link on it back in 2001
Matt HarderFaster (Matt UKClubPix)
My lovely fiancé Hannah
And to Adrian and Chris and Harderfaster for making the interview happen.
Thanks Matt for your time talking about Bioshokk and I look forward to a good old ‘stompathon’ on Saturday 30th January 2016 at Union!
All images courtesy of Bioshok and the HF archive. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Trance. Euro Trance. Hard Trance. HardStyle. Bouncy House. Hard House.
Main Room: Hard House
3 HOUR, 3 WAY HEADLINE SET.
Ben Stevens, JOJO, Frank Farrell
Agent Jack (Main room opening set)
Sean Inside Out
Banks and Mason
Room 2 Hardstyle, Hard Trance, Peach Anthems
Jester and Kohl
CLOSING SETS IN FRONT ROOM
7-8 Dale West (Tinrib Classics)
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The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.