Talented Femme DJs Exist, Look Harder: A Quickie With DinoBitch

DinoBitch isn’t your average doofer. Not content with just whingeing about the music selection at parties (as so many of us are), she took it upon herself to personally provide the sounds she wanted pulsing through the scene.

Cut to four years later and DinoBitch is gracing the stages of festivals, nightclubs and parties from Alice Springs to Melbourne, soaking up some much-deserved love and clapping back at her haters along the way.

This week, Dreamland Magazine took a moment to find out about her big break, best moments, and the realities of being a femme DJ in the “boys club” doofing scene.

D: First of all, I have to ask, how did you choose your name?

DB: Haha I get asked that a lot. Let’s say it’s in homage to the badass crew of Turbo Dork DinoBabes in my life – and to channel my Dino Dork Spirit through the primordial practice of booty chakra activation.

Rare video of ancient man attempting booty chakra activation atop his trusty dino-steed

D: How long have you been DJing for, and how did you get into it?

DB: I wanted to DJ for years before I actually got around to learning how to do it. I’m pretty shy, so the thought of doing a thing on a stage kinda made me wanna puke. But eventually I found myself whingeing too often on dancefloors because the music seemed so damn serious so much of the time, so I got my shit together. I do love loads of serious tunes as well of course but I really wanted to chuck some playful filthy cheeky chunky vibes in there to help balance things out.

After playing at a couple pals’ parties as 40 Acre Forehead (RIP) and uploading a couple of Soundcloud mixes, I got my first big set at Deliverance in November 2014, which was my first time playing as DinoBitch.

I was super nervous and awkward as hell but the crowd response was epic! It was Sunday afternoon and the dance floor was dead when I started but within a few minutes it was going completely bonkers! It was an awesome feeling – the ultimate encouragement to keep pursuing the thing. I was lucky Scott from Wide Open Space Festival and Max from Re:Growth were there, and the legends offered me sets on the spot after I finished. From there the momentum kept building.

Actual footage* of the crowd going off.
* not actual footage

D: There aren’t many female DJs in the scene – usually, we only see 2 or 3 out of 50+ artists – do you think that’s because it’s a boys club or just because not as many women are interested in playing this genre? Or perhaps a bit of both?

DB: A boys club definitely.  Sure, there probably are quite a few more men than other genders actively participating in the industry, but I don’t believe that’s due to lack of interest. It’s more like ingrained lack of encouragement and women/femmes not being taken seriously or given the same opportunities. It’s really hard to find the confidence to put yourself out there or even pursue your interest in the first place in a culture like that.

It’s good to see that more male promoters do seem to be noticing and getting more proactive about addressing the gender disparities, but there are many more who get defensive and brush off the issue when called out on this stuff. They’ll say stuff like “We book artists based on their skills not their gender” and leave it at that.

I totally agree that artists should be booked based on their skills not their gender. Of course! But it’s not that simple when it’s such a massive boys’ club culture. It’s not an equal playing field. I wish all promoters would address this when booking, and put in the extra effort to do their research and actively seek out and encourage more talented femmes to come out and play. Not tokenistically, but for their merit. Femme DJs are ridiculously under-represented in most lineups, and it’s not for lack of talent or availability.

Yes there may be less female DJs around overall but not nearly THAT many less!  If you’ve got a lineup of 2 or 3 out of 50+ artists please try a lot harder, and please don’t just give them the opening sets. I know of loads of amazing femme DJs in the scene if anyone needs a list 😉  

When someone says talented femme DJs are too hard to find.

D: Have you ever had pushback because you’re a female?

DB: As for pushback, I’ve gotta give a shoutout to my first public hater on social media following my set at Bohemian Beatfreaks 2016. He was extremely offended by my ‘low vibration’ tunes and wrote a very intense over the top post on the event page calling for my immediate ban from ever playing festivals again. I bet it was dropping the Peaches track that pushed him over the edge. This guy definitely had a deeply blocked booty chakra. His post created quite a stir of ardent and witty defenders— and led to probably my biggest sudden upsurge of Soundcloud followers to date. Thanks bro.

D: What do you love most about the scene?

DB: All the love and healing and letting go that comes with being on a connected dance floor when everyone is deep in the moment together. And of course, the ridiculous cuckoo d-floor shenanigans that tend to be at their peak on the last day of a festival.

Just a couple of cuckoo boys.

D: Proudest moment thus far in your career?

DB: I’m pretty sure my DJ career just peaked 2 weeks ago at Chiwowwahtown when my friend rocked up to my set as my techno twin doppelgänger fanboy… so funny! He had a t-shirt made and everything! It said “DinoDude” on the front and “Dino’s Bitch” on the back. It was freakish how well he pulled the whole thing off. I kept looking across the dance floor thinking I saw myself. It was all very existential.

Haha! Also: Catching my friend’s dirty knickers in my teeth on stage when she threw them at me at my set at Regrowth was a pretty rockstar moment.

Making memories…

D: What makes an audience great?

DB: Energy, enthusiasm, collectively dropping into the vibe and everyone having heaps of fun. Also, I love to see some (respectful, empowered) booty smashing smutvibes going around. And lots of fabulous freaks and queerdos.   

What we’re aiming for here…

D: What motivates you to keep going when you don’t feel great?

DB: If we’re talking “keep going as a DJ” stuff, finding amazing new tunes and then thinking about playing them for the aforementioned great audience usually does the trick. Also, realising that it’s ok to take a break when you need to. Self care is a priority.

You gotta get that r-n-r time in.

D: What cool stuff are you working on right now?

DB: You can catch me this Friday night at Bohemian Beatfreaks closing Tree of Life stage (1:30 to 3:30 am) after Melbourne techno legends HandsDown and LeighBoy (12-1:30).

Also: Tam the projection mapping/VJ wizard behind Club Sandwich is going to incorporate my weird illustrations into some weirder visuals to use during my DJ sets. I can’t wait to see what he does with them. I love his wacky aesthetic and think it will be a really complementary collab. I dunno when or where this is gonna happen exactly, but you should totally be there 😉  

You can realign your booty chakras with a dose of DinoBitch’s popping primordial sounds this weekend at Bohemian Beatfreaks 2018. If you’re itching for a stomp in the forest with a few lovely ones, this is the event for you.

Get your tickets to BBF2018 here (before they’re all gone!). And don’t forget to send your good vibes straight to DinoBitch here.

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