In ’97 both Keith (my partner JD Twitch) and I had been DJ-ing for about 10 years, playing techno parties in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Just at that time we really felt dance music was gong nowhere. It was monotonous, the clubs were populated mainly by males and there was an aggressive atmosphere in a lot of places. The whole experience of going out and playing in dance parties was getting grim.
Our early aspirations were nothing more than that we wanted to have a party was FUN to be at and somewhere we could play whatever we wanted – really literally, whatever we wanted. DJ-ing became really fun again and to our surprise people really connected with it. It had to be somewhere we could present live music too - mainly local bands at the start, then more widely known stuff. In the first year we booked a few dj’s (Ashley Beadle, Marshall Jefferson, IF, Harvey) but since ’98 we’ve only booked live artists.
The concept of Optimo is originally conceived as a club night which still remains to this day. When out on the road what are some of the elements you hope to see that differ from what you are used to back in Scotland?
You have hosted bands like Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem and The Presets over the years. What new bands are you excited about?
We’ve had some great new bands at the club in 2009. My favourite Glasgow band are called “Divorce” and have to be seen to be believed! “Health” from LA was awesome when they played a few months back. “Cold Cave” from Philly played (in a cave!!!) at our Halloween party and were really great. Joakim’s live project “Joakim and the Disco” gets better every time I see it and for that kind of “live dance music” thing it’s really cool.
When playing without (Optimo partner) JD Twitch what elements of your set tend to change? How do your styles differ?
As the year comes to an end what was your most memorable moment of 2009? Whether it be during a gig or other wise?
That aside, it’s been an amazing year for gigs and for music. Looking forward to “Learning Secrets!”