Inside The New Operator Bag - Gary van Niks

In light of our limited collection in collaboration with Operator, we’ve approached DJs representing different aspects of Rotterdam nightlife and talked to them about what brings colour to their lives. For this edition, we spoke to Gary van Niks. He forms a DJ duo with his girlfriend Jony Trash, and with their music, they take you on a trip through a world of rhythm & blues, soul, garage, beat, surf and punk on vinyl. He also co-owns the label Spazz records and Nospray Bookings

Describe yourself in three words.
Passionate or obsessive?

Where are you now?
At my home office/clothing room.

What's always in your bag when you go to a gig?
Something that's always in my record box is "I Wanna Be Your Dog" by The Stooges because it is my favourite song ever recorded, and it still gives me an adrenaline rush every single time I hear that intro.

What ecological measures would you take if you ruled the world?
Well, there's a lot to take into account here. I'd be writing a book. I think the first step might be a redistribution of wealth. Not only for ecological reasons, but ecological measures are never the cheapest measures for people. We have to put a lot of focus on renewable energy and other cleaner sources of energy. We would have to ban the production of most unnecessary disposables and products that are being disposed of because they were overproduced. There really is a lot to gain on each aspect of production and living.

How do you brighten up your existence?
Being with my girlfriend. Running Spazz Records and Nospray with friends. Hanging out with friends. Seeing bands play live. Listening to records.

Describe your perfect night out.
Things that come close to perfection. You go to a rock'n'roll Halloween Fest of which you barely checked the line-up and find out that one of your favourite DJ's, Fred Verderf, is playing in some small upper floor bar, and you and the others around are in the right mind of madness to have a ball on the dance floor. So, I guess the perfect night out for me comes close to a thin line between madness and surprises.

What is your biggest loss?
Losing loved ones. There's no beating that.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Never really was aware of guilty pleasures until recently. I feel eating meat is becoming more and more of a guilty pleasure. I never liked how the meat industry operates towards animals, but I've been downplaying that to myself in the past because I did really enjoy a nice slice of meat. Now I try to eat drastically less meat, and when I do, I try to get the meat of animals that were treated better. Admittedly it's hard to change ways and very easy to fall back into old habits.

Which music have you been listening to recently?
At the moment, I can't stop listening to a song by Swedish artist Lilla Lovis named Spottar Aldrig Ut. I have a soft spot for insanely catchy bubblegum pop, and this song, even though I have no clue what it's about, is fantastic! And so is the video.

My girlfriend just let me hear these lo-fi garage-pop bedroom recordings by a Texan duo named Zero Percent APR, and I'm hooked! They just released a Halloween album named Halbum. There's a song on it, True Fright, which sounds like a 50's doo-wop tune recorded at the bottom of a swimming pool filled with blood-red jelly. The kinda song you'd hear in some weird David Lynch scene. I love it.

What is your ultimate destination?
I guess my ultimate destination would be quite like my perfect night out, somewhere between madness and surprises. So far, my favourite destination has been Valencia, Spain, it was just that.

Gary is wearing The New Mixed Bag at Hans Tweedehands.
Photo by Jan Bijl.