Industry Weekly


The Stafford Brothers bring the party to Wynn nightlife

Onstage, Matt’s the DJ and Chris is the frontman.
Spencer Burton

Vegas loves Australia. Whether it’s the Thunder From Down Under male revue, the Human Nature Jukebox and Australian Bee Gees tribute shows or the EDM duo known as the Stafford Brothers, it’s likely to get the Strip stamp of approval. Ahead of the pair’s Surrender gig on December 2, we spoke with Matt Stafford about the history of Australia’s EDM movement, DJing at Wynn and the new music he and brother Chris are set to drop in 2017.

How much has your career and the scene changed from those early days, starting out in Australia, until now? Pretty dramatically. When we first started, we were playing on vinyl records and all that sort of stuff. Even the technology has changed so much, and I guess the scene was much more underground. Now it’s quite a commercial, worldwide phenomenon. It’s definitely changed a lot.

Australia was way ahead of the U.S. in terms of the EDM movement. How do the nightlife scenes here in the states differ from those in Australia? House music was so big everywhere around the world except for America. We toured the world and never came to America or would just come to Miami and New York. It finally exploded here, and it was one of the reasons we moved to America. I love America; the crowds are just so up for it. Every city has an amazing venue, comparing it to Australia, where if you go to a regional show you’re pretty much playing in a makeshift nightclub. In America, you’re playing in a purpose-built venue. I just think that you’ve got the money [and] the population on a much bigger scale.

What are your favorite things about Wynn nightlife? For us, being part of the Wynn nightlife thing is just huge. It’s definitely the No. 1 group, it’s got the No. 1 artists, and being part of that is great for us and it’s great for our brand. It’s a pretty special thing. [Those were] always the clubs that we’d go to when we had a night off. Now to be part of it is great.

Was the goal always to DJ as a pair? During the week we used to DJ at separate venues, and then on Saturday night we would come together. Saturday night was always the bigger party, more fun. It just became [what we] wanted to do all the time. It was one of those things that evolved. I wouldn’t want to do it by myself. I’d always want to do it with my brother.

What are your individual strengths as DJs? Are there some things Chris does better than you and vice versa? My brother is always out front on the mic. He’s definitely the MC; he’s hyping everything up, and I’m DJing more. But on the back end, my brother is much more of the producer, and he’s the one who creates a lot more of our music. He’s got more production skills, and performance-wise he’s the frontman. But we both DJ well.

What are you currently working on? Will you have any tracks ready to go soon? We’ve got a whole lot of new music that’s going to drop February of next year. We’ve got some amazing features, some really good artists on the record. I can’t really drop those names until it comes out, but we’ve got so much music. We haven’t put out a record in nearly a year. We’ve put out some club tracks but no big things for radio. We’ve got so much fire about to come. I’m pretty excited about it.

Have you been known to play some of your unreleased stuff at shows? You can always play tracks that you’re working on and see how the crowd reacts, so you can fine-tune them. We’re always doing that; we’re always playing tracks people wouldn’t have heard, and a lot of them are ours. We’re testing that we get them right. When you’re playing you can see if it needs more of a lift here, you know what I mean? That’s the great thing about being a DJ. Stafford Brothers at Surrender at Encore, December 2; at Intrigue at Wynn, December 10.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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