Corey Duffel is an inexplicable whirlwind of legendary skater realness, 45's, kindness, and style. He graced night two of Sea Witch fest with a groovy DJ set inspired by the vibe of the crowd. His wife, Rachel Travers, was headlining the night with Wax Idols, and having them both providing jams gave Brick and Mortar a warm loving glow. We talked must-have records, skating, and why LP's aren't anywhere in his collection.
SEA WITCH: What record do you not leave home without?
Corey Duffel: Something I’ll always have with me is Stone Roses’s “Made of Stone,” “I Wanna Be Adored,” or maybe “Sally Cinnamon,” because a lot of times I’m with my wife Rachel (she’s playing right now with Wax Idols) and that band just means a lot to her. A lot of the songs I play are songs I love because they’re songs we share together. It’s more me playing a song for her. A lot of the times its something that’s a solid bond in our heart.
CD: You try to put a set together for the crowd, but you really just play what you want to hear and hope it works out for them too. I try to get something groovy, and if you don’t like it, piss off.
SEA WITCH: Do you feel like its important to feel out the vibe before you start spinnin’?
CD: Yes! When I saw you with your shaved head in the crowd that just made me play The Cranberries. That’s why I played “Salvation”. I try to read my audience a little bit but it’s kinda just what I want to hear. I just asked Wax Idols if they wanted to hear anything, and they were like, “You know what to play, just give us something you like.” If there are close friends in the band, I’ll play songs that they’re going to hear and get stoked on but someone else in the crowd might be like , “Why the fuck are you playing the Walker Brothers?” and then I’m like, “Hey did you hear that Nick Cave song? That one was for you!”
SEA WITCH: Do you play with people whose music you don’t know?
CD: Well tonight with Peter Danzig, he’s been a friend of mine for over 10 years, but I’ve never heard his music before. And so I had no clue what he was going to be playing. Sometimes like tonight, I could play all post punk that would fit with Humid and Wax Idols, but for some reason I only wanted to play nothing but 90s hip hop tonight. That’s just my vibe. It’s nice to play alongside my wife. She’s more talented than I am, I just have the record collection. She’s a prized jewel.
first photo by Taylor Morgan / third photo by Dan Zaslavsky / art by @idrawmazes
SEA WITCH: Why only 45’s?
CD: I like singles. It was just the way of the soul DJs in England, back in the 60s and 70s. My cousin does a soul club in Oakland called Silver and Black, and he’s the one who introduced me to records as a kid. He let me know, he’s like, 7 inches only, fuck LPs! And so it always stuck with me.
SEA WITCH: How did you transition from skateboarding into DJing?
CD: Well the music’s always been a big part of my life and record collecting as well. I’ve always had a record collection , and records are meant to be heard. So finally I started asking my friends if I could play their shows and talked to club promoters and stuff and it just kind of happened ! And with skateboarding, I got to travel the world so much, so I was always going to amazing record stores before vinyl took over and everything got so expensive.
SEA WITCH: That’s another good thing about 45s, is you can travel with them much easier.
CD: Thank you for saying that! Yeah, nobody wants a 12 inch. I don’t care what they say. That’s just too much.
CD: What’s great about skateboarding and music is it’s about individuality, so it doesn’t really matter who’s the best at something. You like people for a certain reason. Like Wax Idols, they touch you in a certain way. It’s the same way that somebody skateboarding might connect to you.
SEA WITCH: What’s your favorite place to DJ?
CD: I’m actually going to say Brick and Mortar tonight, because Danny the sound guy is fuckin’ on point. It’s anywhere you go where you have a really good sound guy who’s actually passionate and willing to work with you and doesn’t fade you out during the middle of a song. I can’t stand that.
SEA WITCH: What’s your go to liquor store snack when you’re on the road?
CD: There’s always peachy gummy-o’s. And I really like the Sourpatch Watermelon Kids.