A long holiday weekend means plenty of time to recover from gay Atlanta's busy nightlife. And that's just the way organizers of Brut want it as the sexy underground party makes its Southern debut.
The creation of duo Dan Darlington and Peter Napoli has done New York, Los Angeles and now, on Sunday, reaches Atlanta by bringing its dance party with the distinctive beats to Heretic.
“We want them to explode into dance and not care what other people are thinking,” Darlington (second photo right) said.
So we chatted with him about his background, what sets his sexy parties and music sensibilities apart from his competitors, and why Atlanta is an ideal spot for his dance-you-ass, all-night soirees.
Welcome to Atlanta. Tell us a little about your background.
I grew up a jock, and went to college to be a pharmacist. I did that for 13 year and then I went to DJ school in New York and learned how to DJ. I tried to get a job, but everyone wants to be a DJ today. I couldn’t get a job, and the job I could get was working for free on a Monday night. I did that for a year. I started doing charity events, small paying jobs. Finally, I said I want better than that, so I started my own parties. That was three years ago. Now I am a full time party promoter and DJ.
Tell us about your musical style.
My style is different than what gay men are normally used to. I joke that I don’t play a lot of circuit music. My music has a lot of vocals, but mine is more tech house, jackin’ house, vocal house, beat house. I don’t play a lot of progressive house but occasionally I will find one that talks to me. I don’t limit myself to one genre of music. I play what has a funk to it. Circuit music makes you want to throw your hands up and dance. My music makes you dance with your hips. It is more of a grind.
What can we expect at your party?
A lot of people want to pigeon hole us and put us into a leather party. We are not just a leather party. We tell people that we want them to come dressed as sexy as they can feel. Because that confidence has an energy, an energy that fills the room. When you have people who are confident in their own skin, they are going to do a little more than what they would normally do. We want them to explode into dance and not care what other people are thinking.
Who are your attendees?
The majority who come are muscle bears and bears in their 30s, 40s and 50s – and people who have been going out and are tired with the same old, same old. They want something different and new, that reminds them of what it was like when they first started going out. For those people that have come out, we start to get people in their 20s who want to escape people in the 30s and 40s. It turns out to a great crowd, very dynamic.
What makes this party unique?
It has sexual energy, mixed with really different dance music. It’s not like any party. We don’t play the same thing. It’s very different. Very dark. A lot of people like to call it underground. I would not label it that. I would label it sexy and fun.
Where all have you held your parties?
We started in New York, then went to Chicago, then San Francisco and then Los Angeles. The first party was in July of 2013.
Why are you bringing this to Atlanta?
We are coming to Atlanta because every time we come to a city people say they are refreshed. They have been missing it. Our goal is to get younger people to experience this kind of camaraderie. The plan is to bring it to other cities. One of the reasons for throwing it is, when I was in my early 20s, I went out every night to a bar or club, and I felt like I was part of something bigger than myself. It meant a lot to me. I’ve talked to younger people. The younger people don’t have a strong of a connection to the gay community or going out. They don’t need it. Their straight friends accept them more. They go out with them. But I think they do need it. The people who come to Brut feel they have a camaraderie with everyone else.
I have been here a few times and constantly have a great time with all the boys that are there. I hope they accept us. I know Atlanta has its tradition. I am hoping something new can come in and people will take to it. We have two parties this year. We are also slated for Labor Day weekend at Heretic and Xion, but with a different look.
Your beneficiary is Ready 4 Hope.
Mike Woodside was one of the first people I met when I came to Atlanta to start scoping for venues. He told me he had a charity going on and it would be a great idea to get involved. Any help we can give to the community is a no brainer.
Tell us about working with Peter?
He is my (business) partner. He has been there since our first party. He is like my younger brother. Our styles are very synergistic. We both don’t play progressive music. Peter is very versatile, but for Brut his music tends to have that dirty, late-night feel to it. It’s very drum driven and very deep. Mine is kind of the same, but with vocals. Our styles mesh up.
Why is the Heretic an ideal location?
The Heretic fits our brand perfectly. This is a beautiful bar that has been lived in and partied in. It has memories and has stayed around a long time. Alan [Collins, the general manager] is one of the nicest guys I have met. Everything about it is perfect.
[top photo via]