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Author: Jane Stabler
Sunday, 25 May 2008
If there were awards handed out for ‘most omnipresent DJ in Australia’ and ‘hardest working DJ in the land’, they would surely go to DJ Goodwill, wouldn’t they- Having released more records in the past decade than most could hope to in a lifetime, as well as touring the nation countless times, Goodwill’s name is synonymous with clubbing in Australia. And he’s back behind MOS’s wheel for Sessions Five. 3D’s Jane Stabler has the word.

Ministry of Sound’s Sessions releases have managed the difficult task of maintaining momentum and popularity in the mix-CD market where so many others have become clichéd. Bringing the best of the clubbing world into dance fans’ own homes, the ongoing line-up of local and international DJing icons mixing the productions possibly has a lot to do with the compilation’s continuing success. Goodwill, responsible for the flow of the second disc in the fifth addition to the Sessions series, says that he isn’t surprised by the ongoing popularity of the collection, because it gives people exactly what they love, at exactly the time they’re loving it.

“I was actually thinking about it today,” the DJ says. “It’s one of those things you start thinking about before interviews. It’s just such a good snapshot of what’s going on. I’ve done a lot of compilations for Ministry and it’s the most prominent of what’s happening in clubs. I think there’s a demand for compilations that give a good feel for what’s big and going on in the clubs.”

He doesn’t lie – there are some seriously large tunes on the new Sessions discs, from some seriously large artists. But in spending so much time working with other people’s music as well as his own, I had to ask if he ever hears someone else’s production and kicks himself that he hadn’t thought of it first.

“Yeah all the time,” he laughs. “Every day! I constantly get jealous of other people’s productions. When This Boy’s in Love came out I almost fell off my chair and thought ‘why didn’t I think to do a Pet Shop Boys track!’ It happens every day. If you weren’t jealous or envious of other stuff that you hear, you’d have to think you were the shit.”

Not that he needs to worry much about missing the musical boat. With a reputation for knowing how to please a crowd, Goodwill needs very little guidance when it comes to producing his own sound, or when it comes to putting together a compilation of other people’s tracks, evidenced by the faith MoS has in him.

“A lot of DJs have the songs picked for them [but] Ministry of Sound trust me a lot and my tastes tend to be a bit populus as well,” Goodwill says. “Every CD I’ve done I’ve picked the tracks myself. They’re [MoS] smart about it too, they have told me stuff is too hard in the past [but] every track on this is something I’ve played out. I think they may need to guide a little but they trust my judgement.”

Not just a deft hand at knowing what the greater dance population want to hear, as well as being a master on the decks and in the studio, Goodwill is also part of Ministry of Sound TV and hosts a weekly radio show. Although all very much aligned to his love of music, so many fingers in so many pies means he juggles a pretty hectic schedule and with the upcoming Sessions promo tour, life doesn’t look likely to settle down for the local artist in the near future.

“The weeks are getting more and more full on,” Goodwill admits of his commitments. “So generally it’s pretty hectic. I do have to do a national show every week and there’s all the other stuff that goes with DJing. I love [touring]. I don’t tour as relentlessly between as when I’m on [a Sessions tour] so you get exited. I do the capitals all the time, but with this I get excited about the smaller towns and going to so much of the country.”

And what about those rare times when he actually has some time off- Does he remove himself from all this DJ or is it too ingrained in him to leave it behind, even when he’s chilling out-

“I look forward to the holidays at the end of the tours,” he says. “The last two holidays I’ve been on I’ve been with Axwell. We just stayed up all night having beers and doing nothing so I returned the favour at the end of his tour and took him to Byron. This last year has been pretty intense and I go to China for a week before sessions, [but] it’s always worth it. I always said to myself when I stop having fun I’ll stop DJing. I’m not going to tour relentlessly forever but there’ll always be radio and I’ll always be a producer.”

On that note, and with the Reunion rave on the very near horizon boasting the very heavily promoted return of Sugar Ray from retirement for the event, I wondered if such circumstance makes other DJs consider their longevity in this game. DJing is without a doubt more popular a profession than ever, but do those who are actually succeeding in the business think about what they’ll do when they hit the Sugar Ray phase of wanting to give it up- There are the likes of Scooter who seem to be in the job for life, but for the mere mortals amongst DJs, do thoughts of another profession ever cross their minds- What it is that Goodwill would be turning to his hand to, a la Sugar Ray, should his musical life suddenly lose appeal-

“Just on that note, can I just say that Hooked is the best fish n chip shop in Australia- Can you put that in-” Goodwill quips.

“I don’t know what I would do. I just want to write music forever. I think as soon as you start thinking about what you would do next it’s time to give it up.”

WHO:        Goodwill
WHAT:    Sessions Five through Ministry of Sounds/Universal / Plays The Mean Fiddler, Rouse Hill / Academy, Canberra / The Arthouse, Sydney / Station Resort, Jindabyne / King Street Hotel, Newcastle / onefiveone, Wollongong / Plantation Hotel, Coffs Harbour
WHEN:    Out 31 May / Saturday 7 June / Friday 27 / Saturday 28 / Saturday 12 July / Saturday 26 / Saturday 2 August / Friday 8