Rob Da Bank Interview

House | Tuesday 13th December 2011 | Annalisa

He started out just like one of us with his own night - Sunday Best - and when he saw that people loved it he took the opportunity to make it into a festival, and we all know how much of success it's been. Bestival started only six years ago in 2004 and had just 10,000 guests. Last year the figure had since increased to 43,00. We had a chat with the man who can, a legend and proudly putting the UK on the map for one of the Best Festivals in the world.

First things first - where did your name come from? 

Ha ha, I got asked that yesterday and I didn't have a hilarious answer. Ha. Literally sort of 15 years ago when I started DJin someone said to me and sort of said you need a DJ name, he was a bit mad and he said called yourself Rob Da Bank and it just kind of stuck. So, yeah, no kind of bank robbery story.

There's a receptionist at Radio 1 asks me every day it's getting slightly boring now. Ha ha.

A big project on the cards for you is being a judge for the Trident Perpetual Festival - what is the idea behind this?

Well obviously festivals are like two a penny at the moment and people love going to festivals. The idea is to get someone to go globe trotting around the world, go to all these amazing places and report back really.

Gonna grill em and give them a hard and see if they're made of the right stuff.

Do you think you could survive it? 

No, ha ha. At the ripe old age that I'm at and with my third kid on the way. I was thinking about it this morning, I find it difficult to get to one or two new ones a year, so I'm quite jealous really of who ever gets it. Last year I managed to get to the Exit Festival which I've never been to, and this year I'm going to the Garden Festival. I try and give myself one new one to aim for outside of the UK. Yeah, it's a cracking job whoever gets it.

Have you tried and tested all the festivals in the UK then?

No not at all. I mean there are 420/450 music festivals in the UK so its a big job, I'm sure someone could do it! I mean I've obviously been to all the major ones a few times. Things like End of the Road, these are things that I like talk to the promoter every other week but I can't get to because it's Bestival or something like that. It's kind of tricky, but it would take up your whole summer if you where to do it.

One of the questions for the Trident Perpetual Festival is Who would you most like to share a tent with at a festival? What's your answer?

I saw that Lenny had beaten me in the poll I think. It asked if you'd rather share a tent with Lenny from Motorhead or me and he beat me. I think I'd like to sit up all night with Prince, and talk music and life. I mean not in a romantic sense, I'm married with kids. But Prince is like my ultimate hero, so yeah probably him. He'd fit quite easily into a tent as well cus he's quite small. Ha ha.

What new talent should we look out for this year?

Gordanbenett! There's so many, there's me and my chums at Radio 1. There's producers like Breakage and in the Dubstep world Short Stuff he's really good.

I mean there's loads of really new bands out. Obviously we all know about like Delphic, Ellie Goulding. People like the Middle East.

What advice would you give to anybody who is looking to becoming a DJ or musician?

Just the things that everyone says, the formula. Do something different, you know from other people. You know, if you love Jay-Z or The Strokes or Florence and the Machine, who ever it is you love, you want to sing like them or produce like them, like Skream or Benga or whatever  then do it but think 'am I just copying this person or am I adding something fresh.'

All the things that are coming through at the moment, all the exciting things are pretty different. If you looked at someone like Florence two years ago you wouldn't of been able to know she'd win best album. There's a gamble. Unusual things are doing well at the moment.

Anyones got a chance. You could make an album on a £50 key board and it could go to number one. There's no rules any more.

What is Sunday Best?

It's kind of like a whole plethora of things from the club that I started that we still do occasional parties with which essential turned into Bestival. Thats the party side of things, then there's the label: Sunday Best Recordings. There's T-Shirts and clothing stuff. It's like a mini empire. of everything really. It's an ethos really as well. I mean there's a lot of people they buy the records they come to the festival and they come to the parties, it's not a way of life, but a way of having fun I suppose.

What differentiates Bestival from other festivals?

It's mainly the crowd really, the people that come down. That's what I'm most proud of, the people that turn up and make it a crazy eccentric off the wall place. Proper party people, and it's not just pure hedonism, it's a lot of creative stuff that happens down there. Yeah we have a great line up and amazing stuff going on onsite but we rely on the people turning up to make it happen. We've got one of the best crowds out there I reckon.

It's as much about making friends and having a laugh as it is about seeing the bands or whatever.

Is it the highlight of your year?

I wouldn't say that. Ha ha. Bits of it are. But when you kinda of work on something it's difficult to you know relax. You can't properly enjoy it unless it's relaxing. I always look back on it and think yeah that was brilliant or no that wasn't so great or this or that.

I think the highlight of my year is doing things like going to Glastonbury, yeah going to other peoples festivals. Ha ha.

Don't get me wrong it's the best job in the world, just not for the weekend.