‘A journey’: Lee Mvtthews reflect on their ‘nuts’ 6hr-long Endurance set as it drops on YouTube
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‘A journey’: Lee Mvtthews reflect on their ‘nuts’ 6hr-long Endurance set as it drops on YouTube

"We realised how many people support us tooth and nail."

In May 2022, Lee Mvtthews rocked up to Auckland's Spark Arena and mixed for six straight hours to a rowdy and ready crowd. I was there, it was insane. 

Over the night, Graham Matthews and Tom Lee covered a wide range of genres, smashed back some vodka lychees provided by Dan Carter and, most of all, fucking delivered. 

Now, one year, eight months and 25 days later, the set is out in full for every raver to sink their eyes and ears into.

We got to chat with Tom and Graham about what the night was like and here's what they had to say. 

Can you give us a quick and cheeky set breakdown? 

GRAHAM: It was a massive overhaul. We went through our entire library and made a huge playlist of songs we thought would suit, or songs that we always wanted to play but never really made the cut. From memory, that was roughly 1500 tracks.

We grew up in a period where events would have a variety of different sounds throughout the night, so that was something we wanted to take it back to.

So house/bass house into trap and dubstep was a transition that we were very accustomed to, especially having delved into those genres when we were starting out.

Then, of course, we had to do an extended drum and bass section. We thought that 3 hours would do the trick.

Lee Mvtthews' six-hour Endurance set at Auckland's Spark Arena. Lee Mvtthews' six-hour Endurance set at Auckland's Spark Arena.

The filth section at the end is just cooked tunes, stuff that would be too much for our sets normally but we had got an opportunity to have some fun, so were just like: 'Let's 'av at it'.

The building of the set was very time-consuming, but with a playlist that size it was good to have so much variety. It meant that we could find combos that flowed together nicely -  that was the driving force behind what tracks did and didn’t make the cut.

TOM: As primarily drum and bass artists, we wanted to separate the set into two halves: One multi-genre, the other drum and bass. The first half would contain all of the music we played before we started to focus our music on drum and bass. 

Our main focus during this time was around trap, future bass, and of course, DUBSTEP. So 1.5 hours was mainly these 3 styles, then the 1.5 before that focused on bass-house, jersey, mid-tempo and everything in between. Then, for the final 3 hours, we switched to drum & bass. 

Are there any songs you wish you played or wish you didn’t play?

G: Yeah, there are hundreds of songs that would have been awesome to play, and it’s funny, we come across them occasionally and think: 'F*ck, that would have been epic playing that'.

We also found we were a bit pressed for time towards the end. There are so many different factors when playing for that long - if we played the house and dubstep stuff 1 BPM slower than practice over the course of the set, we’d end up losing quite a bit of time. So there were actually several tunes we had to skip during the ‘filth’ section.

Lee Mvtthews' six-hour Endurance set at Auckland's Spark Arena. Lee Mvtthews' six-hour Endurance set at Auckland's Spark Arena.

There’s nothing we wish we didn’t play. We spent a very long time making sure we were happy with everything.

T: I'd say that's always the case, especially upon reflection, but it was also about creating a journey that made as much musical sense as possible across the entire 6 hours. We wanted everything to blend nicely in key as much as possible so the listeners could have a great experience. There are always songs that fall outside of that, yet you've got to sacrifice your taste for the flow of the set.

It's been around 18 months since the set, what do you reckon you guys took away from it?

G: We realised how many people support us tooth and nail. We’ve been doing this for over 10 years now and it’s almost like we’re still just 2 ratbags who like DJing. We don’t focus on numbers or whatnot, so it was quite overwhelming seeing that many people turn up and go nuts for just us, no others on the lineup.

We also learned that the human body can withstand 5 hours without needing to use the bathroom, while also ingesting multiple beverages during... well, I can, Tom went 5 or 6 times. 

T: Firstly, DJ-ing for 6 hours to a room full of people wanting to hear every single song you play is probably one of the most fun experiences you can have DJ-ing. Secondly, DJ-ing for 6 hours is easier than you think, as long as you're hydrated and the tunes feel fresh, its all go.

And third of all, Dan Carter is a legend for supplying us with vodka-infused lychees 

Why’d it take so long to drop the full set video? Perfectionism, a hectic schedule, or is there something else?

G: A bit of all of the above. we’ve done live streams in the past and we’ve given notes about cutting to a different camera as we were doing something technical and it would be cool to include, so we wanted to edit it ourselves, mainly to save some poor bugger from having to deal with 6 hours worth of feedback.

The decision to film it was made the day before, so it was a bit fast and loose on the setup. We used GoPros which film in 12-minute chunks. They'd often have dead frames at 11:59, so when you’ve got 3 cameras that started recording at different times, and they’re all having their own issues throughout, getting everything synced up is quite the task.

Perfectionism definitely plays a role there too. I’m sure a lot of what we’ve edited would have been fine and no one would have noticed, but if something was out, and our hands weren’t doing the same thing as the audio, then it just felt off.

Lee Mvtthews' six-hour Endurance set at Auckland's Spark Arena. Lee Mvtthews' six-hour Endurance set at Auckland's Spark Arena.

T: All of the above. Full credit has to go to G-boy on the edit here. There's been a lot of other concerns, so this wasn't an instant priority for us. I think it's been nice to draw it out a little. Plus, we get to re-live it after some decent time has passed - as do the audience!

Get the whole set pumping at your next drinking session and, from pres to kickons, it will cover you with godly DJing.