Photo by Sarah Hamilton.
How would you describe DDP to an alien?
I guess the first thing you’d have to explain is music itself, how when these funny primates hear these sonic vibrations they start gyrating around. I see what we’re doing as returning the soul to parting. Look at how many traditional indigenous cultures celebrate life by making music and dancing to it. Over the past century it became commodified, regulated and locked down because of various laws regarding noise, copyrights and drinking in public. So we’ve found a way to liberate partying and bring it back to its roots.
How did it all start and how have you got to where you are today?
Me and Tom grew up in a small town where there wasn’t much to do. The whole culture was based around partying anywhere we could, from forests to gravel pits. Then we moved to Vancouver and there wasn’t an opportunity to party like that there. So we used to just go around with a boom box and continued on with that same energy. We used to do this thing called Midnight Mass where we would strap the boom boxes to a bike and go out riding. One night our iPods ran out of battery so we tuned it to the same radio station and it made a really cool distributed sound effect. That was the epiphany moment when we started thinking what it would be like if we had 100 boom boxes and our own radio station. The 1st party was about 20 friends on a beach, within 6 months our 8th party was about 20,000 people. Since then we’ve been taking it around North America, we’ve done 33 cities so far. It’s been a crazy adventure.
What are the biggest challenges you’re facing at the moment?
The biggest challenge has always been having no money or resources. It means we have to be really innovative to raise the funds to keep it going. Our first tour was in 2010 when crowd funding was just starting, since then we’ve used Kickstarter every time. We set up 30 Kickstarter pages for 30 different cities, if they reach the $1000 target then that’s where we’re going. The other challenge is working with all the crazy personalities behind the scenes to make it happen.
Whats been you biggest learning?
A huge learning has been about re-affirmed my faith in humanity. Starting out my friends thought I was crazy, they told be people would just steal all the boom boxes or smash them up. The reality overall has been amazing, people have been really respectful and well behaved. Everywhere we go people have opened up their homes to us, its been amazing display of human generosity.
Whats the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My Grandpa once told me ‘challenge everything’.
Where do you do your best thinking?
At home with a bunch of coffee and music playing loud. Also preparing food.
If you could travel in time, where would you go and what would you do?
I’d like to check out the future. I’d also like to go back to a time where the world hadn’t been fully explored and go to somewhere that nobody had ever been to, maybe darkest Africa.
If you could work on a project with anyone, who would it be and what would you do?
We’ve got about 600 hours of the most amazing footage from the last 10 years which shows the evolution of this whole thing. It would be great to work with a really good director who was inspired to put it all together. I’m actually a film maker myself and I went on tour with a band called Horse the band in 2008 where they went to 45 countries in 90 days. It was totally self funded and has been a big inspiration for what I’ve been doing. I’ve made a 10.5 hour long documentary film which is you can check out on a donation torrent.
What are the tunes that always get a DDP party rocking?
We usually start the party with Sandstorm, and we always end with Meatloaf, ‘I would do anything for love’, the 12 minute version.
If you a had an unlimited budget to throw a party, what would you do?
We’d proceed straight to Transnistria and broadcast to everyone in the world, that’s the big plan. Our ultimate objective is to deliver the DDP to every country on the face of the planet, the centerpiece of which will be the Stan Tour. This consists of us visiting every county that ends in ‘stan (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan ect.). After that we will go to Transnistria, a secret unknown place that doesn’t exist on maps and isn’t recognised by any government. Once there we’ll broadcast to the world.
At the time of posting this Gary and the DDP crew have 12 hours and just under $2000 to reach their goal on Kickstater. So what are you waiting for, head over there now and help bring the DDP party to the UK and beyond!