For the Stafford Brothers, who were classed Australia’s favourite DJs in the 2013 inthemix Awards (for the third consecutive year) and placed 90th in last year’s DJ Mag Top 100, it all started as an exercise in fake-it-till-you-make it.
MATT STAFFORD: Billy’s Beach House [on the Gold Coast] is where our rugby team used to hang out, and it’s where we played our first show. We said we could DJ – we couldn’t. They had a DJing lesson that week for some of the staff and we went along, pretending we were brushing up on stuff. We were taking extensive notes. That gig, we just filled it with all our mates and loads of chicks. That led to us scoring the residency there, way back in 2000.
TRISH STAFFORD (MUM): I always knew they’d have success, since they’re both achievers, but I didn’t expect it to be DJing necessarily. We’ve always had a lot of music in our family, but not DJing! I love it, and I’ll listen to their stuff in the car. I’ll let John speak for himself…
JOHN STAFFORD (DAD): I enjoy it in the clubs, as it’s appropriate for the setting, but my personal preference is Country and Western. We always wanted to give them self-confidence when they were little fellas – to instill the notion they could achieve anything if they set their minds to it.
CHRIS STAFFORD: I was playing piano from a young age; Matt was learning guitar from a young age. Dad and grandpa, they both played instruments – guitar, ukulele – so we were always surrounded by it. Plus, as a kid you always want to grow up to be a rock star.
SHAUN BARKER (BRAND AND MARKETING MANAGER): I met the boys maybe eight years ago, when I was bartending in Surfers Paradise. I was really young and hadn’t even thought about a career yet; the guys were the DJs at this venue called Disco. They were two of the loosest, craziest guys I’d ever laid eyes on. It was a small place – you could only fit 100 people in there, max – and Chris was jumping up on the bar, and they both had their shirts off. I was just a fresh-faced youngster trying to get into as much trouble as I could behind the bar. In 2010 I was at the gym and the boys were working out. I was quite self-conscious, to be honest, because they’re absolute machines, and Matt came over and asked me how I was going with tyDi, the DJ I was managing at the time. I said I was taking a year off from music management, and he said he wanted to talk to me about working together.
GRANT SMILLIE (RUNS 360 AGENCY): I’ve been DJing for ages. I met the guys at Platinum [in Broadbeach, Gold Coast]. At that time it was a bit of a hobby for them; Matt was still deciding whether or not he wanted to be a full-time rugby player. They put out that “More Than a Feeling” record [in 2006] and they were just having a go. They were so enthusiastic about their shows and I remember thinking, ‘They’re a couple of f–king maniacs!’ There’s method behind the madness, though, since they own that club now. Two brothers DJing sounds like a novelty act, so you need to overcome that by showing you’re serious and talented. They’ve done that, as well as controlled their own destinies: sometimes you’ve gotta create it in order to bring it to life.
CHRIS STAFFORD: You do have doubts, yeah, but we’ve always believed in what we’re doing. We’re supportive of one another, which helps.
For the full feature and images grab the June 2014 issue of MAXIM.
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