The jetsetting, party-starting life of a top international DJ surely necessitates a swanky beachside retreat — after all, what’s a DJ without a pad in St Tropez where they can lounge in a spa swigging Bollie?
True to form, UK hard-house master Carl Cox spends his summers living in a lush beachhouse… in Frankston, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. St Tropez, it ain’t.
“I bought a house on the Mornington Peninsula about five years ago, and every year I take some time off over summer and relax down here. I’ve been trying to work on my new album while I’m here, but it’s difficult — blue skies, beaches, wineries just up the road. It’s very distracting,” Cox told Sydney Star Observer from his Frankston retreat.
While Frankston might be sunnier than Cox’s Lancashire birthplace, it’s fair to say the outer Melbourne suburb, situated at the very end of a train line, has a certain… reputation.
“I didn’t know the history of Frankston until I bought a house here, and everyone started saying, ‘Whoa, you’re living in Franga mate, Frank-anistan!’ I thought, oh God, what have I got myself into?
“But technically I live in Frankston South, I just want to make that clear,” he chuckled.
Before he jets back to more glamorous locales in Europe for the rest of the year, Cox will entertain the crowd as one of the headliners at the Mardi Gras closing party on March 6. The genial DJ said he was excited about the high-profile slot.
“All the people I know who go have said it’s amazing — the crowd, the vibe, the energy of the people… everything about the gig is phenomenal, and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for many years.”
Cox is no stranger to queer parties — his latest album is based on a set he performed at the (in)famous Burning Man festival, a mass freak-fest in the Nevada desert.
“There certainly are a lot of different people there,” he said coyly.
“And look, I’ve been playing gay parties my whole career. I’ve always been into high energy, disco music. I came from that scene.”
Cox’s career kicked off in the mid-’80s, but his love of music started way before that.
“I came from humble beginnings — I started out playing my music to family and friends, and doing weddings. And I came from the disco era. I used to rollerskate everywhere, I was a dancer before I was a DJ, and I still like to bust a few moves every now and then when I’m playing.
“I think I’m still a big kid at heart when it comes to music— I’ve still got such passion and joy about it.
“I’m 48 this year, so a lot of people I used to play to don’t really go raving any more — they hand it down to the next generation. Most of them have no idea who I am. They know the Bloody Beetroots, the Presets, Kaz James, but not me. When I play, it comes as a nice shock to them.
“I’m not stood up there thinking, ‘Oh God, I’m 48’, I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to rock the house with this set!’ ”
info: Carl Cox plays the Mardi Gras closing party on March 6. Visit www.mardigras.org.au