Disco-lovin’ edit king Megadon Betamax – best known as part of the team behind monthly alternative night DUST at The Music Room – has joined the Audio Tonic team, playing downstairs on Fridays at the all-new 360°. Catch him on October 19 and 26, and check out tune ‘Don’t Ask’, which recently appeared on Hed Kandi compilation Serve Chilled: Electronic Summer. We asked 37-year-old Aussie Mostyn Rischmueller, one of the three men behind the moniker, for more.
He’s preparing to celebrate 20 years of being a DJ.
‘In 1993 I bought my first turntables. I started doing school radio shows where I grew up in Adelaide. We did a lot of hip-hop and funk, a lot of things – embarrassing things! – and after the shows the next step was to get some turntables.’
But his musical background was formally studying jazz violin.
‘When you’re producing music you have a lot more control – you control all the elements, rather than just being a player. When you study jazz, all they do is teach you 1,000 standards in your head and how to improvise – you’ll always be just a performer.’
So he turned to hip-hop.
‘Hip-hop was always a love of mine. Being a nerdy kid playing jazz violin and guitar at high school, I was attracted to the whole rebellion of it. It’s changed now, obviously, but back then there was a community spirit to it. It wasn’t about being a cool kid. There’s always going to be great [hip-hop] records coming out, it’s just a shame there’s so much more money involved now. As with any creative outlet, as soon as that happens there’s a lot more rubbish to wade through.’
He used to be a rapper. No, really.
‘I used to rap in a group called Reference Point. We did support for Jurassic 5, Black Eyed Peas – all the big bands the first time they played Australia. But I found rappers and the whole scene a little unfriendly and difficult to work with – a lot of machismo and ego floating around. You’re also playing to a lot of kids and young men, and I like playing to women and making them dance!’
He’s working on a (hypothetical) coffee-table book.
‘Megadon Betamax is something that’s funny to me. I have a constant list in my head of funny names for bands and albums. One day I’m going to release a coffee-table book, with pictures and biographies, and call it The Greatest Bands You’ve Never Heard Of. With Megadon, I was working with two friends who were supplying a lot of guitars and vocals and synths. I didn’t want it to be about an individual so I liked the idea of a big robot Voltron, a Japanese cartoon in the ’80s. It’s not about a person, it’s about the music.’
He once posed in a dressing gown for a promotional picture.
‘It was the first time the three of us in Megadon had all been in the same room together and we wanted to get some pictures done. It was a tiny little loft room and we were crammed together, and one guy said, “Let’s go naked.” He’s an athletic, fit guy so we made him go first, and me and the other guy were really shaky and uncomfortable. But in the end our photos our were much better than his because the creepiness factor was removed – he just looked wrong.’