Small talk about big things

Interview with Smallpeople

Small talk about big things

27-03-2013 | 10.35

Smallpeople just came back from the smallest continent on earth, where there is no real deep house scene to speak of. Wondering whether there were any other big things going on in Smallville, I talked to Just and Julius about dreams, challenges and accomplishments.
Are you in the Smallville shop at the moment?
Both: ‘Yeah.’
So if there is a customer, you have to go?
Both: ‘No.’
Just: ‘People usually know where the records are.’
You just came back from Australia. How was it?
Just: ‘Exhausting, but nice.’
Any kangaroo adventures?
Julius: ‘I saw a kangaroo from the car, but other than that we only saw possums and flying foxes. We played in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, and we had 2 days off. It was fun, and we met some cool people.’
Are there any big things happening in your life right now?
Just: ‘For me not really, but he just got a kid!’
Julius: ‘Yeah, I have a 3 month old boy. He is definitely something new.’
Just: ‘And of course Australia was a big thing. The whole trip was a bit of a dream. It’s a crazy idea that there are people on the other side of the planet listening to our music.’
Julius: ‘There’s a bunch of boys who are big fans of the music, ordering records and merchandise stuff from our online store for some time. It was funny to meet all of them at this boat party in Melbourne. It was like 10 boys telling us how great Smallville is.’
Just: ‘People are much more energetic over there when they dance, more physical. It’s more of a workout sometimes. Here, people are mostly just grooving, you know, with their eyes closed.’
Does Smallpeople have big dreams?
Julius: ‘Well, actually the big dream is already happening. We opened the shop because we wanted to have a shop. We started the label because we had good music around us. And we started to do parties because we wanted to get some artists over that we like or that inspire us. It all went naturally. And now there’s a lot coming back from people all over the world that like what we do. I just hope it goes on like this, step by step.’
What is the biggest challenge you had so far?
Just: ‘Technical issues, shitty sound systems. turntables that aren’t set up properly... No wait, I think the biggest challenge is to keep the record store alive, probably. We only buy music for the store that is somehow related to our taste. Maybe one day no one will listen to the music that we have...’
Are there any indications that that will happen?
Julius: ‘No, actually not.’
Do you sometimes take a record from the store to play it and then put it back to sell?
Just: *looks over at Julius* ‘Yes, I do. I listen to it or I play it in a club and sometimes I think: oohh wow, that’s a bad record. But maybe someone else really likes it.’
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Just: ‘That we haven’t sold out so far. We stay true to ourselves and the music, and we’re not trying to be the next big thing.’
What would be so bad about being a bit more commercial?
Just: ‘I believe at one point you’re gonna be uncomfortable in your situation: you’re in a position where you never wanted to be, and you’re not happy with what you’re doing.’
Julius: ‘I consider it an achievement that we stayed like this and didn’t try to push things in directions that might be good for us financially, but would not make us feel comfortable anymore with what we do. We don’t wanna be superstars.’
Just: ‘On the other hand, we are not being underground on purpose. But if we’d be the next big next thing, hanging around with naked women and coke heads and stuff like that, we’d probably hate it.’
Do you have a special memory about Trouw?
Just: ‘So many! Nice people, very good food, amazing sound system.’
Julius: ‘Great club! We played there only once but everything was just perfect. It was refreshing to realize that it’s about the music.’
Just: ‘Also the people who work there... I never had the feeling they were, you know, super cool because they are doing this super cool club. It seemed that everyone was doing it because they wanna build something special.’
Julius: ‘So we are happy to be back!’

Text: Tessa Velthuis