We catch up with superstar DJ, Hull-born Sean Johnston and get a sneak preview of A Love From Outer Space’s club night at Where Are We Now? festival.
A Love From Outer Space DJ Sean Johnston on his club night double act with Andrew Weatherall, beginning his worldwide DJ career in Hull … and why it’s so important to have an underground clubbing scene.
Q: Please could you introduce yourself and what you do?
A: Hi, I’m Sean Johnston, one half of A Love from Outer Space (with Andrew Weatherall) and all of the Hardway Brothers. DJ, music producer and dad.
Q: How did you get started in DJing? Any fond memories of playing at club nights in Hull?
A: My first DJing gig was for the fabulous Ragna Gift’s club Sugar Shack at the Welly Club! I used to rock up with four Sydney Scarborough carrier bags full of records.
Q: Tell us a bit about your DJing career since those early days…
A: Over the years I have been fortunate to play at many of London’s landmark clubs (Club UK, The Complex, Final Frontier, The Leisure Lounge, Cable, Corsica Studios, Bloc), some amazing festivals (Bestival, Festival Number 6, Wilderness, Beacons, Electric Elephant, Unknown) at many of Europe’s leading clubs (Social & Badaboum in Paris, Else in Berlin, Razamatazz in Barcelona and Lux Fragil in Lisbon) and even as far afield as Tokyo.
Q: What will you be doing at Where Are We Now? festival in Hull?
A: Alongside my partner in crime, Mr Andrew Weatherall we will be performing our double act known as A Love From Outer Space.
Q: How do you describe your DJ style?
A: A Love From Outer Space is a multi-genre exploration of slower music in the club context. My solo projects are me trying to organise some interesting noises out of a variety of machines!
Q: How did you and Andrew Weatherall team up?
A: Andrew and I have been friends for many years. We were introduced by Jeff Barrett of Heavenly Records. In the 1990s, I DJ’d at his club Sabresonic and released music on his label. A Love From Outer Space came about as a result of driving him to a gig in Brighton and bonding over a love of the lower-BPM disco records.
Q: Anything else at the Where Are We Now? Festival that you’re looking forward to seeing?
A: As a long standing KLF fan I’m keen to hear Bill Drummond’s lecture.
Q: You’ve been at the heart of the UK club scene for years, what do you think about clubbing as counter-culture?
A: Despite raving becoming a fairly mainstream activity in recent years, underground clubs remain vital portals of transformation, safe spaces for all sexual persuasions and hotbeds of creativity and artistic expression. In the current climate they foster a spirit of acceptance and tolerance which is clearly needed.
Q: Finally, what’s the first thing you like to do whenever you come back to Hull?
A: Get some decent fish and chips!
Sean Johnston and Andrew Weatherall team up as A Love From Outer Space at Fruit on Friday 2 June, from 10pm, as part of Where Are We Now? festival of counter-culture.