If you missed your chance to experience a live performance by The Smiths, catching former members of the iconic ’80s band in their current projects is the next best thing.
As for former bass player Andy Rourke — who played with The Smiths throughout the majority of its run — he has a few different forms of expression these days. Between playing bass in new band Freebass with Peter Hook of New Order and hosting an alternative/indie rock radio show in England, Rourke also has taken to DJing.
The Weekly reached out to Rourke overseas on his current European tour to discover what the ex-Smiths musician likes to mix into his set and how he’s transitioned from being behind the bass to behind the tables.
What are the perks and downsides to spinning rather than playing live?
The perks are that I travel alone, so there is no one to argue with me! Also I get to meet more people. The downside? Traveling alone, it can get lonely. Also my laptop has let me down once or twice mid DJ set, where as when I'm playing live I feel more in control.
How’d you get into DJing?
A friend of mine had a club in Manchester and asked if I would like to spin for an hour with him — I was terrified but went ahead with it and found I really enjoyed it, but more to the point, the crowd enjoyed it. After that, I was hooked!
How has being a member of a prominent band like The Smiths helped shape your DJ career?
Being associated with a band such as The Smiths obviously helped me to get gigs initially, but as I've been doing this for so long, the DJing has to speak for itself. I've had to learn the craft in public and things are a lot different, better, than those early shows.
What’s your favorite song to spin and why?
It totally depends on my mood. At the moment, my favorite is "Soft" by Kings of Leon, also a remix of "Some Velvet Morning" by Primal Scream featuring Kate Moss.
What will your set consist of when you play here on the 17th?
Well, I won't give you the set list as it changes every gig. I have over seven days of music on my laptop to choose from, so I play anything from Bob Dylan to CSS and everything in between. Oh, and usually a few Smiths songs!
Just that I am really looking forward to my visit to Vegas. I have a few friends there and always have fun. Get your asses down to the gig and come and say hi!