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DJ Tommy Rogers is amongst the most in-demand DJs on the Czech circuit, which is no surprise.
His residency Dirty Dancing is the main highlight at the most prestigious clubs in the Czech Republic such as Duplex – Prague, Mecca – Prague, Fabric Ostrava and Stare Lazne – Kolin amongst others.
Tommy Rogers has appeared at respected club-nights and parties such as La Troya in Prague (Space Ibiza) Creamfields (CZ), Lookbetternaked, Salvatin and Frisky and alongside the world’s top DJs Tiesto, Roger Sanchez, Oliver, David Guetta, Daren Emerson, Chris Cox, Alan X, X-Press 2, Antoine Clamaran, Bob Sinclair, Layo & Buswacka, Lee Dagger and many more.
It is no surprise either that for the second year running his residency has been voted amongst Czech Republic’s top 3 club-nights in the 02 Dance Music Awards poll. And this year has been voted as number 1 party in the Czech Republic.
Tommy Rogers is a guarantee of a full club and excellent atmosfere.
Interview whit Tommy Rogers
Hi Tommy Rogers. Introduce yourself to us…
Hi. I’m Adam and I was born in Gottwaldov and have remained faithful to this day. In other words I’m a proud Moravian and live in Zlin.
How did you start DJing, how long have you been working with Peet and how did the idea of you two playing together come about?
I started playing about 9 years ago. I created a club in Zlin and started playing warm-up sets before the main guest came on or ending the party once the guest had finished. It was good training because the DJ at the beginning of a party has to get people warmed up and hand a full dancefloor over to the headliner. It can be quite difficult. Even today, when we’re choosing a warm-up DJ, it has to be a professional and someone who knows what to play and do his job properly.
I met Peet in 2000 and we started playing together in 2001. My first gig in Prague was in 2003 when I first played at Mecca and I consider it to be the start of my career proper. I have fond memories of that great party! Mecca was completely full and I really enjoyed playing. It went down well so the promoter asked me to play again and that’s how it all got started. Following that I began playing at Duplex where I put on the Dirty Dancing events and would invite various DJs to guest. After 6 months of my residency there I invited Peet. Peet’s been playing professionally since he was 14 and he’s also a solid and reliable person. We had played together a number of times around the country and the cooperation was always successful so we agreed to promote the Dirty Dancing events together. For our first Dirty Dancing events together we would take turns for an hour each behind the decks with me playing house and Peet playing funky house and Rn’B. Yeah, that’s right – funky house and Rn’B. Back then it was a successful combination. After about a year we agreed to concentrate just on all types of house music and play together back to back, with him on the left side and me on the right. That’s how it remains to this day. It’s now been 7 years that we’ve been touring with Dirty Dancing around the country and abroad.
How is Dirty Dancing doing at the moment?
I don’t like to boast but in the prestigious O2 Czech Dance Music Awards poll Dirty Dancing was voted the most popular club night in the country in 2008. In 2007 we were in 3rd place and in 2006 2nd. You could say that for the last 3 years we’ve been at the top. This, for me, is the best reward I can get – that people enjoy what we do, come to our parties in such great numbers and vote for us. We’ve started to branch out abroad to the very hub of house music – to London. We’ve performed at Whitehouse club where there was an excellent party with a great atmosphere. It was nice to see that about 20 Czechs living in London came to see us when we were there. Even though we didn’t know them, they came up to us and their interest in our parties pleasantly surprised us. In short, it’s all good.
How long did you work on your first track „Get in the Flow“ and are you planning another?
We did Get in the Flow in two days in the studio of duo Bimbo Jones (Lee Dagger and Mark JB). We started early in the morning and finished late in the evening, by which time we had the basic track ready. During the night we listened to it and had a think about what we wanted to change. The next day we changed the bassline and breakdown and the track was ready. We kept taking turns at the computer and everyone did whatever they wanted. There were 5 of us – me, Peet, Mchal (manager), Lee and Mark. The lads have a well kitted out studio and it was a pleasure to work there. The track made 5th place in the PH Factor chart on London’s Energy FM. On Ostrava’s Helax Radio it even topped 3 charts and stayed amongst the top positions for 3 weeks. At the moment there’s already an excellent remix from London’s Alan X. Our next track is already done! It’s called Open Your Mind and it’s electro house. It buzzes and bleeps and bit more and is generally a bit harder. We wanted to do something different with this track than with the first in order to please those who like harder music. We not going to release it just yet as having listened to it for a week we decided to change the bassline and the mix, but we haven’t got round to that yet due to other work.
You play at Mecca regularly at the successful Studio 54 Nights. What do you think of Mecca?
Mecca for me is a second home. As I’ve already mentioned, my first gig in Prague was at Mecca and it was a great start. I’ve grown fond of Mecca and it was love at first sight. At the moment Mecca is the most prestigious club in the country and globally the word about Mecca is of a proper club! When you take into consideration the superstar DJs who have played at Mecca, such as Tiesto, Roger Sanchez, Eric Prydz, Felix Da Housecat, Svan Vath, Daren Emerson, Chris Cox, Oliver, Kurd Maverick, Armand Van Helden amongst others, it’s amazing that soemone is doing such events in our small country. We can be thankful to Mecca for that. Add to that the best sound systém money can by – FunktionOne, professional security, VIP service, beautiful interier and excellent bar service and there can be no surprise that I consider Mecca to be one of the best. You mentioned Studio 54 night that we’ve been promoting at Mecca with my colleague Martin Bohacek. It takes place every first Saturday in the month and we‘re very grateful for the reactions we get to it. It’s often full, with a fantastic atmosphere and it has become popular because the very best from the world of house music is played, each visitor gets and free mix CD from one of our residents, it’s friendly atmosphere and of course because of the venue.
Alongside which famous DJs have you performed?
On that list would be Tiesto, David Guetta, Roger Sanchez, Bob Sinclair, Layo & Buswacka, Antoine Clamaran, Oliver- La Troya, X-Press 2, Lee Dagger, Eric Prydz, Chris Cox and many more. I’m glad I’ve had the chance to play alongside some of the best in the world, which has been a real education for me and for which I would like to thank the promoters who invited me to play with these icons!
You have booking in your diary a long time in advance – how do you relax and recharge batteries with such a busy schedule?
I have gigs booked up to 6 or 7 months in advance, for which we’re grateful as it means clubs are interested in us and want to booking our events a long time in advance to be sure that it will take place. On the other hand time flies by very quickly when you know where you’ll be each weekend half a year in advance. As i said I live in Zlin and travel to Prague with is mega-exhausting. Last year I drove 100000 km and since it’s been like that for about 7 years now it’s quite a strain! I even know when they change the billboards on the motorway and sometimes is drives me mad! During the week I’m at work and at the weekends I’m travelling to gigs so there isn‘t much time to relax, but when I can I like to get a massage or a sauna and I’ve also been doing Judo for the last 18 years which allows me to relax mentally. I listen to music and try to sleep as much as possible! As you get older you don’t last so much.
I know that you were born on the 24th November whcih means you’ll soon be celebrating your birthday. What are you planning?
Yeah, I was born 24.11.1977 so I’m going to be 32 years old. I’m planning the main birthday celebration on Saturday 5.12.2009 at the Studio 54 Night at Mecca. I’ll be playing along with colleagues Peet, Enrico, Ronny, Pietros, and Marshall. I’m going to have prepared a present in the form of a new mix CD, a copy of which everyone will receive at the door. I’ld like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to this, my birthday party and if you’re really reading this interview get in touch with me at [email protected] and I’ll put you on the guestlist for free.
To conclude I’ld like to thank all my fans for supporting, not only our Dirty Dancing and Studio 54 Night events, but all our other activities. And a big thanks go to the visitors of Mecca for giving us such a great atmosphere when we play there.