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Red Rack 'Em is enjoying the DJ life, just without the excess that comes with it

"I am not expecting any sympathy, but it does start to hurt when you hit 40"

  • Dave Turner
  • 25 May 2017
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I guess you get the picture. I have many more stories like this. Hundreds. Most of which I can barely remember. I am a DJ. It’s my job. I am not expecting any sympathy, and I know it’s all a bit ‘@DJsComplaining’, but it does start to hurt when you hit 40.

What happens when the goalposts move? When you have a wife, four remixes to deliver in one month, a top PR company to liaise with, management offers to vet, three labels to run. Things. Change. Hello allergic rhinitis, The Power Of Now and CBT.

I’ve undergone a pretty arduous transformation over the last two years. I tackled it all head-on by being completely sober, and focusing on making better records and playing the best DJ sets I could. I also began meditating, reading books on mindfulness and studying relaxation techniques. It wasn’t easy at first, as clubs are super-intense places full of intoxicated people and it felt a bit stiff without a few shots before the gig. But I began to see things in a different light. Now I feel so much more conscious when I play and as a consequence, I can remember all those precious little moments in each DJ set. I think it’s made me a much better DJ, and also a much more solid and professional person.

Unfortunately it’s often hard to get that across to people. They miss ‘the old Danny’. Truth is, I do too sometimes. There’s still an expectation that you’re gonna stay up all night and have a sweaty flight home. The sad truth is it’s totally expected that DJs will stay up for three days hoovering up most of their fee with random kids half their age. We should all know better really. We really should. But being paid a month’s wages for two hours’ work and being able to play ‘Too Shy’ by Kajagoogoo and get away with it does, unbelievably, have its drawbacks.

‘Self Portrait’ by Red Rack ’Em is out now on Bergerac

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