Melbourne DJ duo Donald’s House are heading to Geelong

Melbourne DJ duo Donald’s House are heading to Geelong

Hailing from Melbourne, brothers James and Peter Isaac (creating music as DJ duo Donald’s House) will be spinning dance floor fillers all night in Geelong next week for all the party animals attending the Wild Cocktail Party.

Hosted by the National Wool Museum, this after dark party will be fuelled by the sound of electro beats and exclusive signature cocktails from the esteemed 18th Amendment Bar in celebration of The 54th Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London.

These guys dropped their EP ‘Dan’s Dancing EP’ late last year and have been on the rise ever since. A family affair with their own productions and body music for your Friday night, these guys will have the party going wild! We chat to the duo ahead of the party.

Hey guys thanks for chatting to Forte mag!
First up, can you give our readers a little insight into you and your music? We hear you’ve been making music for eight or so years?

Pete: So I’ve been into dance music since I was about 13-14. I think I bought my first set of turntables around then. We came together to make music about eight (maybe nine) years ago. We started making music together after I snuck James into a party when he was under age, I think it kind of blew his mind what dance music was, and how on a big system it really is special.

The music we make now is pretty different to what we made when we started. Originally it was ‘bass’ music. But as we matured we started going into what came before that, and started to get into house, disco, italo and the odd techno track.

Our music now is pretty heavily influenced by the 80s. When musicians were first getting into drum machines and synthesisers, which I think is why it’s fairly heavily groove oriented with lots of hooks and melodies.

James: Music became my everything from around the age 6-7 years old. I started playing guitar around that time too, and went on to study the instrument in a more formal setting throughout my High schooling years. It wasn’t until I was about 16-17 when I developed a love for dance music. Pete snuck me into a party he used to run at the much loved, and missed Mercat in melbourne’s CBD, and it was there that I fell in love with the dance floor (thanks pete). The next logical progression from here was to learn the ropes of Djing, for which I have my brother to thank! Not long after we started making music together, and the rest as they say is, history.

Pete sums it up well, we have added many a colour to our palette over the years, but what speaks to us the most at the moment is older music, with strong focus on groove and melody, so naturally our output is of a similar vein.

You’re performing at the upcoming Wild Cocktail Party in Geelong this month. What can we expect from the set?
Pete: Lots of disco, house, techno, boogie and italo. We always want to make people dance, that’s the most important thing.

James: Lot’s of old and new, lot’s of different stuff . Music we’re really vibing at the minute.

Have you ever performed in Geelong before, let alone at a Wool Museum?
Pete: Never played in a museum let alone a wool museum so this will be different for sure! I’ve actually played once in Geelong many moons ago. It was in a pub near the football ground I think, no idea what it was called, but it had a band room out the back.

James: This will indeed be my first time performing in geelong, and at a museum. Exciting… Though we’re no strangers to geelong. Our lovely Grandma is a geelong native.

The dress code is Go Wild! Will you guys be getting around this?
Pete: I’d like to say yes, but probably not haha. We’re packing light as we’re be on the road the next day. But am looking forward to seeing some great outfits!

James: I think I have a floral pattern shirt lying around somewhere??

You released Dan’s Dancing EP last year. How long was that one in the works for? How’s the release been?
Pete and James: The EP is a collection of tracks written over about a three or four year period. The tracks weren’t necessarily written to be together on the one EP, it just sort of happened like that. We basically got approached by a friend who was friends with Nick Höppner, they gave him all our music and he picked his favourites. It ended up far more cohesive than I would have thought, but I guess by that point we had a fairly defined sort of sound.

What are some of the main influences in your music?
Pete: DMX drum machines and old digital synths like the Korg M1 or Yamaha DX7. In terms of music, I’d say 80s disco, ranging from more hectic euro stuff, to tracks that were rocking the Paradise Garage. We’ve both read pretty heavily about that era, so have found lots of great music by just reading books about what it was like back then. If anyone is interested, Life & Death On The New York Dance Floor 1980-1983 is a great read!

James: I have a bit of an obsession with older musical equipment like guitars, basses, synths, drum machines etc… as well as a fascination with vintage recording studio equipment. Combine that with my love for simple, effective melody and rhythm and you have a Donald’s House track 😀

You guys also have a tour that coincides with the cocktail party, can you tell us a bit about that?
Pete: It’s pretty surreal to be honest. We went from a couple of bros making tunes in their bedrooms, to an act that people wanted to book in what feels to be overnight. So we’re both pretty grateful to be doing this. We’re super excited though, we’ve got dates all over and a couple of places like Canberra and Tassie I’ve never even been to.

James: We do indeed, very exciting. Have heard some good things about a few of the spots we’re playing!

What’s a tour look like for you – is it jumping in a car and driving, or do you fly?
Pete: Bit of both, the weekend we come down to Geelong we’re also playing in Warrnambool, so will be driving. But the other gigs we’ll be flying.

James: Don’t mind planes, having said, I do love a good long drive.

Being brothers in a duo, how’s the dynamics? Do you guys tend to agree with each other, or are their some friendly family disagreements?
Pete: For sure, we get into fights about tunes all the time. I think in some ways I’m a bit more of a perfectionist with what the tune does. So I’ll be constantly listening to things and getting James to redo melodies, drum fills etc. And when we’re making stuff, we’ve had some pretty heated discussions about the direction of a track. I think I’ve walked out of a sesh before haha. But it’s all healthy, and at the end of the day we wouldn’t be in a duo if we didn’t respect each other’s opinion.

James: I think it’s a dynamic the pushes us both to be as good as we can be, which does sometimes get a bit ugly, Pete can be a next level perfectionist some times, but hey, that’s probably a really good thing. At the end of the day, our hearts are always in the right place 🙂

Thanks for chatting. Any last words?
Pete: No problems, it was fun. Shouts to anyone who’s digging our sound, we’ve got a lot more in the works 🙂

James: No, thank you Forte, and thank you for reading!

It all goes down on Friday March 29 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm at the National Wool Museum (26 Moorabool Street, Geelong). Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite.