Piknic Électronik #1 – Interview with Jacob Malmo

jacob malmo whonos + piknic photo

We here at Whono’s Music are super excited about this coming Sunday in Melbourne, because the first instalment of Piknic Électronik will take place on Australian shores! Oliver Schories from Germany is leading the first headliner on this weekly summer event held at the RMIT Alumni Courtyard in the Old Melbourne Gaol (exception from this Sunday which will be held at Second Story in Collingwood), with support from a great local crew. Whono’s Music had the lucky chance of taking the pulse on Melbourne DJ Jacob Malmo prior to his set on Sunday.

What made you start DJing?

“I was always someone who enjoyed entertaining other people and I think my mum always thought I was going to be an actor! I grew up listening to groups like Massive Attack and Salmonella Dub so the progression to electronic music was always there. I had quite a few friends who were into electronic music and I used to go and see them play. It looked like a lot of fun and thought to myself that this was something that I would really like to do. I was lucky enough to be living with someone who owned decks, so I was able to spend a lot of hours practicing and harnessing my skills. That was about 8-9 years ago and then started playing out about 7 years ago.

My first club gig was at a little club called Korova where I think the only ones attending to see my set was my girlfriend Bethany and a group of friends. I think I did pretty well!”

Tell me about your project Mama Said, please. It’s a club night and a radio show, right?

“5 years ago I was at an after-hours party with a couple of guys who I had met before from Poison Apple (Oliver James and Daniel Tardrew). We had similar interest in music and what sort of party that we thought we would want to go to. So we thought; why can’t we do something like that? After a week or so we had a venue locked in weekly and decided on the name “MAMA SAID”. We had an awesome resident DJ line up and the music churned out every week was second to none.

After a few years we decided that we would concentrate on our personal careers and focus just on our monthly party at Revolver. That has been going for 4 years now and I am yet to really witness a bad vibe or crowd at one of these parties! We also run a weekly radio show on KISS FM called “Mama Said Radio” with guest mixes and interviews. It’s a great way to showcase new talent and test out some new music.”

I know you recently opened a new bar in South Yarra, Melbourne. How’s that going?

“Yes, I did. I was lucky enough to be asked by industry legend Luke McKirdy if I would like a share in a new venue. The partners involved have all worked in the industry for many years, whether it’d be musically or performance based. The other two main owners Campbell Halliday and Garrath Holt already own venues and have an abundance of experience in bars and clubs.

The idea behind it was to create a space for likeminded individuals to come and listen to quality underground music be it live or not. The space is not huge so the selection of people is of high quality and good spirits! We are still teething at the moment but the vision is there for what we want and I can see it growing organically this year, so that’s exciting. Look out for Norma Jeane!”

We spoke about your DJ name once at Revolver, can you tell the story again why you chose the name Malmo? I know it’s a Swedish city (Malmö) and that’s why I was curious to know where you got it from!

“Well actually, my DJ name was VIKING originally. From what I can remember I had a few influential people in Melbourne suggest that it would be better to use my real name, so from then on I was just Jacob Malmo!”

What are your biggest music influences?

“Growing up I listened to a lot of whatever my dad or brothers were playing. Bands like Foreigner, Crowded House, Roxette, Van Morrison, Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana were always on constant rotation, and I still listen to that stuff a lot!

Massive Attack, Salmonella Dub and St Germain were bands that I loved and still do; they were a gateway for me into the electronic dance scene. I love music with feeling and soul whether it’s in the melody or the beat, so I love to discover new artists every week who take me on journeys with their music. It’s really hard to single out any electronic artists as many influence me in different ways.”

How do you prepare before a DJ set?

“To be honest I don’t really prepare before a DJ set, because it’s really hard to even predict what you are going to get. I think just having eclectic taste and broad range of music is the best way to prepare. That way you are ready for anything. There will always be those tracks that you have put aside that you really want to play though!”

What do you have planned for your set at Piknic Électronik this Sunday?

“I’m super excited to be asked to play after Oliver Schories, and I guess I will just see where he leaves off and go from there. Expect a bit of deep chuggy techno and house with big builds and a few obscure sounds. Other than that, you will just have to wait and see. Let’s party!”

Piknic Électronik will go from 3pm until 11pm on Sunday 23rd. Check out the Facebook event here for more information about the event. The first installment of the festival series will be held at Second Story due to the weather forecast, all following events will however be held at RMIT Alumni Courtyard in the Old Melbourne Gaol.

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