Rock Assembly regulars and fan favourites, The Dixon Brothers, Kiss FM’s high energy, but super cool DJs hosted Rock Assembly 2017 as well as performing a signature set of sounds within the show
Ahead of the show we caught up with the Brothers to ask a few questions…
Tell us about you and your childhood:
AD: My childhood was full of computer games, basketball and cartoons. Justin and I have grown up very close so we were always together doing something. Roller Skating was huge for us and every now and then we still think we can skate like we did when we were kids… we can’t!
JD: Speak for yourself young buck – I still got the juice!!
Where you grew up?
AD: We grew up in an area called Beddington which is near Croydon. Living near a park was pretty cool and meant a lot of time spent building forts and rope swinging across the river.
JD: Yeah I guess we were pretty lucky – we lived in Mitcham before moving to Beddington which was also pretty cool as we had Figs Marsh Park round the corner and an prolific ice cream man in the summer months.
Did you like school?
JD: Moving from Mitcham to Beddington, meant that I had to transfer primary school. It was a little tough as I had to leave some of my earliest pals and make a whole new network of friends in a new school, in a new area. The only spare seat in the class was next to a girl who instantly took a dislike to me. Funny thing is she’s now one of our regular listeners on KISS! High School was cool – I made some of my best friends to this day there so I guess that’s a blessing.
AD: School threw up it’s fair share of challenges as it does for most young people. There were highs such as captaining the school basketball team and lows such as my GCSE results. Much of what I learnt and experienced in school still pushes me to achieve more as an adult.
What was your favourite subject?
JD: I’m actually a bit of a nerd…so anything computer oriented was right up my street. I’m also a sporting powerhouse, so rugby, hockey, basketball – I’m all the way in. Let’s not eventalk about the clay fights in pottery class.
AD: I’ve always been into art so any creative based classes were my favorites – Technology, graphics, art and design etc. However when we’d get the opportunity to play basketball in P.E I was always first in line for that class
What was your favourite school meal?
JD: Cheeseburger and chips was my lane although I nearly bankrupted our high school canteen when I realised I could get a 79p pot noodle from across the road and fill it up with gratis hot water and keep the rest of my lunch money for sweets. The trend caught on and after a month, the canteen put a ban to hot water provision unless it was for a cup of tea.
AD: School meals weren’t nearly as amazing as they are now when I was at school. To be honest I generally tried to bring something in from home. I do remember the Lasagne being acceptable… just about!
Who’s the eldest?
AD: Justin by 4 years. Every now and then I get asked if I’m the eldest… those people are then quickly removed from my friends list.
JD: …after which, I then add them to mine…lovely stuff
Do you ever argue and fight?
AD: I think we’ve had maybe 3 decent arguments in our time which we’ve been told is strange for brothers. Our parents and grandparents always instilled in us that we need to stick together
JD: I can’t afford to split up with him – we need his talent to compliment my looks
Did you ever think back then you’d be doing what you are doing now?
AD: I think I always knew I’d be a designer as that’s all I did from a young age. The addition of DJ’ing came a lot later in my life but once I started I made sure I took it from being a hobby into a reality
JD: Computers and music have always been my thing, I don’t think even realised I was heading to live by combining them in later life. Glad to be here though!
What was your inspiration?
AD: Our Uncle was a DJ back in the 80s/90s and following him DJ’ing at JD’s 10th birthday party we were both bitten by the DJ bug. When I got to secondary everyone was a bedroom DJ, which inspired me to want to be one of the best.
JD: Make no mistake, Uncle battered my 10th birthday party…similar journey as AD’s but I started when I hit university.
How did you get your break into the music industry?
We’ve both always worked within the industry be it Justin working for a record label, or myself designing for recording artists. That allowed us an insight into the industry and how it works. With a lot of hard work, persistence and a certain amount of stalking the boss of KISS we were given a shot at our dream and have never looked back
You like to keep people guessing in your shows with such a broad mix of musical styles – so what are your musical influences?
AD: I’m inspired by a range of music throughout the ages such as Jazz, soul, rock, hip hop etc. Music todays samples from a huge variety of styles that you have to be open to all that’s around you.
JD: Like AD, I’m a music fiend…I started off playing UK garage and drum and bass and then opened up to open format when AD hit LDN
What has been your best / favourite gig of all time?
JD: I’d have to say, playing at Glastonbury for the first time was a real moment. Definitely one of those times where you take a moment to check that you’re actually REALLY doing it.
AD: There have been so many highlights such as DJ’ing in Las Vegas to our very first set in Ibiza, but I think playing Glastonbury 3 times has to be top of the list for me. There’s so many stories around those shows that we’ll share with you another time
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years time?
AD: We’re soon to start releasing original music, so I hope in 5 years to be playing huge shows across the world performing tracks from our albums. Wouldn’t mind diving into TV work as well
JD: Ideally, I’d like to have my own festival in the summer – let’s see where we get to!
You have been so fantastic for Rock Assembly, playing over the years, and now hosting – how do you feel about that?
AD: Stepping out from behind the decks and hosting the event is definitely going to be a different experience for us. Nihal did such an amazing job over the past few years that it’s an honour to carry from where he left off. I’m excited
JD: Total respect for Nihal – his hosting skills are next level so was a great person to learn from. Looking forward to hosting for the first time
What makes Rock Assembly so special for you?
JD: The energy levels in the building are crazy high – you can’t help but love doing what you do to such an amazing audience. Importantly, it’s a very reactive audience which makes all the difference!
AD: Our mum was a Head Mistress so we’ve grown up with a soft spot for education and the importance of. It’s difficult growing up in London these days with so many distractions everywhere you turn. Being a part of an event that champions and rewards school children for making the right life decisions and working hard is something we’re honoured to be a part of.
How do you prepare mentally / physically for the show?
AD: 7 sit up and 12.5 press ups!! In all seriousness, we try to prepare for any eventuality that could happen whilst on stage. Studying the script but not solely sticking to it makes the experience more fun and real. Taking a moment to understand your crowd as well is super important. Other than that, just go on stage and give the best performance that we know we can.
JD: It’s all about the extra .5 press up. In all seriousness, the good thing about there being two of us is that if one of us makes a mistake, the other one’s there to cover it. Aside from that it’s something we’ve naturally fallen into and feel at ease doing.
We’re always trying to get the top acts to perform at Rock Assembly. Who would you like to see perform?
AD: I Think Major Lazer would absolutely smash it! High Energy is what it’s about at Rock Assembly. J Hus would be a great artist to feature as he’s really making some noise right about now.
JD: Tinie Tempah has just released his album so it’d be perfect timing campaign wise for him. Stormzy is also having an incredible run right now so it’d be great to see him on the stage
Do you have a message for all the people who are going to this year’s show?
AD: We want full involvement from start to finish whether it’s screaming at the top of your voice, dancing and jumping around like no one is watching or snapchatting everything, this day is for you
JD: Watch out we’re about to do a madness – we’ve got some stuff in store for you guys…just trying to work out what the legal restrictions are!
What would you say to a young person today to give them inspiration for their future?
JD: If you ever get stuck in a rut and not sure of the road ahead. Think to yourself “what do I like doing / what am I good at” and start some self-promotion socially. You never know who’s in the market for the thing you love to do
AD: That you really can be anything and do anything that you set your mind to. Make use of all the resources around you and don’t take “no” for an answer.
Thank you – and as a little plug – just remind everyone now, when / how they can listen to you on Kiss FM
You can catch us on KISS Monday nights at midnight but if that’s a little too late (it is a school night) you can listen back to the shows on kissfmuk.com every week. Also come say hello on our Twitter (@dixonbros) we always tweet back!