Music preview: 10 Years of Jaunt at The Church, Leeds

Jaunt launched their first club nights back in 2007.
Jaunt launched their first club nights back in 2007.
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Techno DJs, promoters and record label bosses Jaunt are celebrating their tenth anniversary. Ahead of an event at The Church in Leeds on Friday, they spoke to the YEP.

So you’re now 10 years to the good, tell us about how the brand has developed from when you first started?

Blackhall & Bookless are the co-owners of Jaunt and resident DJs. Picture: Katie Palmer

Blackhall & Bookless are the co-owners of Jaunt and resident DJs. Picture: Katie Palmer

Jaunt was first started as a party for all of our mates and a platform for us to play music and bring new artists to Newcastle. When we were setting up our first party in 2007 we never thought it would lead to all of this. That was never the plan but when you are doing something you love you get obsessed and always want to push it more and more. Ten years later we are still running events, as well as expanding to European and Asia tours and festival stage takeovers. Three years after running events we launched the podcast series which is now 300k subscribers strong and in 2014 we launched the label, again as an outlet for music for ourselves and also artists and music we love.

The ethos of the brand is still the same though, we only go down the path we love. The more interesting option is a lot harder sometimes but its always good to stick to your guns and do what you believe in. If it wasn’t for that then the brand wouldn’t have developed the way it has.

You’ve recently been on tour, tell us about the China events and the European tour also?

Yeah China was a great experience and the furthest we have traveled under our Jaunt name. Celebrating 10 years we wanted to explore new territories and the response has been amazing. We had a jam packed week of traveling in China and we did four gigs in four cities in four days so it was a lot of travelling but well worth it. All events were very different and it was great to play a variation of sets there. In China they love to dance and party so the crowd gave a great response, they really love techno too so we got to explore different ways to really get them going. We found it really special connecting to so many people through the form of music and being so far away from home, this is what we love and why we stared Jaunt in the first place. The dates in Europe have also been great. We did Razzmatazz in Barcelona at OFF Sonar where we collaborated with Dystopian from Berlin to curate a joint line-up. This was one of the biggest things we have done outside of the UK and something we hope to continue with. We played all night in Budapest and did a week of gigs in Croatia at Obonjan which is a very laid back place, so it was a nice variation to play a wider spectrum of music.

Jaunt is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Jaunt is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Any specific highlights?

Gottwood festival in Wales is always a highlight for us, we get to see loads of friends and host a special stage called the Trigon which goes off every year.

Travelling, playing new places and playing all night long have been the highlights.

Even though most purists know that techno hasn’t ever really gone away, why do you think its had a resurgence over the past couple of years?

Yes it has had a resurgence in the way more people know of it now, particularly in the UK. It’s always been there but I think it has come more to the forefront due to blacklashes of sounds and this has happened all through dance music. Most of our events are focused around techno but the pallet is very wide and our next release on the label focuses around a wider journey of sounds.

You’re back in Leeds this week with Ben Klock? How do you think it differs from Newcastle and London?

Yes its been long time coming to get Ben to play and a lot of hard work has gone in to make this happen. When we got given the opportunity to do this event in Leeds it was a bit of a romantic no brainer having Ben Klock play in a church. We have a long relationship with Leeds, we have been playing in the city for quite a few years at the likes of the Garden Party. Leeds is a massive party city but there’s not a lot of techno going on so we wanted to try putting our stamp on it.

What can we expect from the show?

We will be giving Ben a three-hour slot and we will be doing a short warm up. Ben is a class act and you can always expect quality, and Church is a perfect setting for this sound.

Tell us about the label also, what do you have coming up?

We launched the label three years ago and we have just released our sixth release called ‘The Exploration EP’, with tracks from us and remixes from Bleak and ASOK. The label has been a slow and successful output for our own music and other artists we really want to work with. The next release is a real special one for us, triple vinyl compilation with 12 artists including ourselves. All the artists have some affiliation with us and we have built a relationship with over the years. The EPs flow like a journey starting from deep and building into heavier territories, each EP is named after a form of travel playing on the concept of the meaning of ‘Jaunt’, SEA, LAND, AIR. We are very proud of this release and its been the biggest project to work on yet, but we figured there would be no other way to celebrate ten years of Jaunt.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start in events?

Create your own thing, and build a good team around you that follow the same values. Jaunt started with seven of us that shared the same vision. Having a core group of friends within your city really helps build an atmosphere and vibe, where people trust your vibe and policies.

Common sense, drive and hard work and connecting with other also is core to what has got us to ten years, so these are thnigs that are extremely important, for example back in the day getting out of bed at 3am to stand outside another party to flyer our event. Making sure you support other events in the city and networking with others. Try to think out of the box and find new venues and spots to throw parties, these are are some of our memorable stories. Good branding, design and marketing is also essential, making sure people know who you are and want you do. Our nights concept is very much still linked to our brand name Jaunt, A journey made for pleasure, we want to give people and journey through music and a pleasurable experience. Finally learn from your mistakes, we have made mistakes in the past and these can be the best but hard things that happen to you.

Finally where else will Jaunt be heading this year?

For the rest of the year we are staying in the UK, with the next show being with Ben Klock in Leeds, then we head to Newcastle on October 20 to play with Robert Hood at our home the Cosmic Ballroom. We finally close the year off celebrating ten years by bringing Ben Klock back for a second show at Digital in Newcastle on December 8.