In this conversation, Brandon Block discusses his journey as a DJ, his struggles with addiction, and his path to recovery. He shares insights into the early days of DJing in Ibiza and the impact of fame and notoriety. Brandon also emphasizes the importance of self-care and the need to detox from technology. He highlights his work in mental health advocacy and the creation of support networks for those seeking help. In this conversation, Brandon shares his journey of personal growth and how it led him to help others. The importance of mental health and self-awareness is discussed, highlighting the need to prioritize our well-being. Finding balance in life and setting authentic goals are emphasized as key factors in achieving personal fulfillment. The conversation also touches on the power of DJing and meditation in promoting self-discovery and presence.

Transcript

Adam Gow 0:00

Hi. I'm Adam Gow DJ from the unseen times currently known as Wax On. Welcome to the ones that DJ podcast DJing and DJ culture have been a huge part of my life. For better or worse. They've given me a massive buzz at times and loads of stress at others, and taught me a load of valuable lessons along the way. On this podcast to speak to DJs from around the world who've made the names when it was just about skills and selection, not social media followers, will discuss their journey through ascendancy and what pie plays in their life now, whether they're still on the scene said goodbye to the decks forever, or still get sneaky mixing when life gives them the chance. Whatever road that travelled, they were always once a DJ.

That was nice. Hey, thanks for tuning into the show. This episode gets into a lot of stuff about mental health, wellness, self care, and more. I sometimes get labelled as a bit of a Grinch from abuse on Christmas, but as much as it's loaded with excitement in good times, for many, I'm always aware that it's a really lonely time for others. I know you hear this pretty much everywhere these days, but it's super important to reach out to people if you're struggling mentally or emotionally. If there's people in your life, you feel like you can talk to them, please do. But if not, there are organisations like Samaritans mind. And another place that Brandon mentioned, which I wasn't aware of is the hub of hope. They're all a quick Google away. I hope you enjoy this conversation with one of the UK biggest DJs of the superstar era. Someone who's done way too much for us to list it all. And nowadays gives a lot of time back to helping others. Mr. Brandon block. Let's go. Brandon block. Thanks for coming on the podcast. How you doing today? Pleasure.

Brandon Block 1:44

Nice to see ya. Sorry. It's taking so long to get this little we're get together government. We've got we've got early and that's

Adam Gow 1:51

fine. My job random block you far busier than I am.

Brandon Block 1:54

Actually may I'm probably not at the moment, which is nice. But I get resigned yesterday. But now I'm not.

Adam Gow 2:03

You just come back from doing a retreat haven't Yeah. Well,

Brandon Block 2:05

yeah. Yeah, we did that. That was in October. One of the most profound, incredible experiences, although when I was running it, I also myself had a moment, let's say, or how would I say it an emotional awakening. Journey happened with while doing a breathing exercise, which, you know, I've had experiences before I've transcended sort of thing or being in the moment. And this was quite a profound experience, you know, by being it's very rare that you can, I mean, it's not now a lot of people got a lot of skills around getting into the present moment and being, you know, thinking about what's happening or thinking about what's going to happen or think about something in the past. Being in that moment, be clear of anxiety and fear and stress, whatever you want to call it, adrenaline, any of the hormones that you know, you release with day to day life, and just being you. It's very rare, very rare, but you know, great experienced of retreat, all the lads had a fantastic time. All had incredible emotional breakthrough spiritual breakthroughs, really, like you know, a lot of people who've never done something like that before. You're sharing, openly sharing trauma that you just saw, Wow. I never would have thought this person, you know, we all make judgments based on what we think we know or, like, based on what we see it will be here. And yet, the truth of the matter is that we all have stuff that has happened to us in our past, all of us, you know, under percent is never been, you know, no one's past has been ideally perfect. I just won't believe anyone who says that. So, you know, and how we deal with those traumas moving forward is tough. I mean, that the good thing about nowadays is in the mortal world, although there's a lot of things I don't like there's a lot of things that are good, like the the available availability of information, I, this sort of stuff. mental well being your physical well being emotional well being all these, you know, these coaches, practitioners, whatever, a lot of people out there have the human condition awakening. For me, I like to help people just because I like to help people that have been through, you know, I don't, I don't like charging through it. I think it's, you know, it becomes a it doesn't sit with my ethics at SE.

Adam Gow 4:54

Now I think that's really interesting because I was having a similar conversation with a hypnotist typist earlier today who was saying the same thing and my kind of counterpoint to that was where you run a risk with that, is that I think you'll probably be someone who thinks that time is more valuable than money. I would guess. Brandon, Brandon, can you give me an hour of your time? Or Brandon? Can you give me Yeah, but 20 quid

Brandon Block 5:25

now? Yes. Okay. I would probably feel better do me an hour of my time. As opposed to, I don't mind. So at 20 quid that's not the issue. It's not about the money. It's about the I

Adam Gow 5:40

think what what, what I'm trying to say, though, is that I think, if you don't charge what there's, there's a slight danger of is that other people might not appreciate that your time

Brandon Block 5:49

I get that. I get that I get the accountability. And if you don't charge I mean, look, I've got a friend who's been coaching me with my diet and my sort of gym workout. But he lives in Switzerland, and he's one of the old dream boys. And I met him in Ibiza, but years ago, and we had a member session. We've been friends ever since. But we never saw each other all of a sudden, funnily enough, he stripped like bourbon area less now. I was in my no picture garage where I lived in northwest London. And there he is filled up his car. Turns out, he moved around the corner. But you know, he lives in Switzerland, that Sweden now so I don't see him. But he's been coaching me online as a Keto trainer. He's 55. And he's ripped like, never 2% body fat. If he did it for years, but I said why I'm finally ready to take the plunge and over go review coaching me. He said, I'm going to charge you because you won't. You won't be accountable for down. It'll be like, Well, I'm not paying for it. So just take it or leave it. And you know, I've I've stuck to the programme for three months, I've lost 10 kilos. I put a ball weight on without doing weight training. Yeah, I feel wholeheartedly better. It's an achievement. Another goal sort of, I suppose achieved something I wanted to talk procrastinated about using weight for a long time. But more recently, it just got painful again, because I got a bad hit. And you know, went up to 95 kilos to me, is it? It's a heavy weight? Yeah, so a lot of weight on my stomach. And you know, so I've lost a key that was to be stolen. It's not coming off as quick now. And like most humans, we want it to happen. Now, you know, instant gratification is always the key. Which is why we go to substances and stuff when she's worked quickly. Yeah. Anyway, I'm digressing a bit, I get what you're saying. Just for me that what I got my help, let's say, a three back in the day. I think it's totally true. I do. I asked for a token now. Yeah, I say, Look, I need you to pay for me 10 sessions or whatever. Obviously, the first one, I will we'll have an assessment. See, if you were to work together, see if any of you got media, generally, what happens is not found there recently is that I've said to a friend of mine who contacted me about you know, drugs, drink, whatever, whatever else it is, be thinking changes, behaviour changes, said, Look, whatever chat. I'll give you some pointers tell me if it works. If it doesn't, and and then you can sign up. If you want 10 sessions, five sessions, whatever is invariably what's happened is they've they've said, Oh, I've had a great week about nothing. I'm all right, blah, blah, blah. And I guarantee you in a month's time, there'll be back going who?

Adam Gow 8:42

Yeah, so So we've gone, we've gone in pretty deep there on on kind of what life and work looks like for Brandon block in 2023. If people are familiar with the sort of midnight ease, let's say version of you, for lack of a better word, it might be a little bit confusing to them. So let's go to the Start your story if we can just kind of look at what your arc is, and what's brought you to where you are today. If that's cool, absolutely. Let's start with DJ and then okay. So I've read a bit. And as I mentioned before, I don't want to labour on this, you know, you've got your book out, there's a load of information about it, but it'd be really nice to go in on some key sort of touch points. So

Brandon Block 9:29

the book came out in 2011 is quite old now. And none of this stuff I've just talked about is in there. Yeah. Which I'm considering writing some extra chapters or a new, smaller version with a new title called in between the lines because the first one was called a like an lines or random block, which was quite act at the time. Why not at the time, but it was quite active words describing Yeah, so my book came out 2011. Again, it's it's a sort of, Diary of club land. And and my behaviours back then. So for those who don't know I'm steady fortunate to be I've always been a DJ I think it before acid house let's say it was rare groove wasn't it where it grew soul funk Hip Hop I'll do a lot of outside parties again now which I love you know local disco my best my ally we were you know we were partners in the DJ we bought our beer kit we travelled London doing various gigs everywhere pretty much like much of the other DJs back in the day no technique stacks because they weren't around then as soon as they come by we got and yeah, I suppose progression that progression is great from pubs to nightclubs, nightclubs, to you know

Adam Gow:

and you promote it, didn't you? In the early days I've got let me just consult my notes Well, Abby,

Brandon Block:

I I wouldn't say we promote as such. Well maybe we had well actually tonight. I was part of opening the fly of records, which was Charlie Chester for those you know, flying was very big record label back in the day also club night was myself dethatcher never great song Logan so DJ started. We did promote a couple of nights myself and Dean went to another Sunday afternoon session. Thirst was at Haven stables at Ealing. I also went to print out a Sunday night very famous Sunday night in London called foo bar shotty meets fucked up yonder recognition which we mostly work that time with from our very good friend Lisa loud we promoted duck club there we should have been very popular we just accused down the road every Sunday night basically that was like the continuation of the week or the weekend it's a and then the start of the next week so yes promoted but then outside that I mean I went to Ibiza and that time in 1990 with Alex P were matching my best mate baggy God rest his soul. We'd met I bet Alex like your company is previous we played together we got we got we hit it off. We didn't see each other and after that until I went to Ibiza and I got a message through various channels saying Alex is here on the island somewhere. Spending spending time at the pleasure of The Guardian Seville I think it was say can you meet him at Space tomorrow morning or whatever it was able to come and DJ with him at his club on our way yet so they're actually there was a night that it ensued before that which was a bit involved in Alex had actually nicked a bus for the passengers to drive to drive home from Pasha because he lost his lift who couldn't buy the cab so jumped on the passenger bus and drove it for the people obviously not stopping at any of the stops you know that you could pitch it out you know people's eyes flip past the train station when you go really fast trying to catch up look into their stops ringing the bell going oh this bus stop on the back of that he got arrested and turned up in my place first thing in the morning. worse for wear out swearing and shouting that they'd said I'll meet you at a space tomorrow disappeared again. So that morning the next morning after a great night out we went to space to call my records and as far as that goes that was the first day of the job this space with Alex and that was the first day I got to the tree got to Pepe resilio the owner it said right I'm going to put you on the algorithm Troy you now and put you on the books.

Adam Gow:

So when was that? 9091 So you were at you were there early then really in terms of the Yeah, we went

Brandon Block:

in 1990 with Charlie Chester to organise the shortfill about chilling the documentary that we've made the then took back a load of DJs primal scream and blah blah blah and then missed out or go back with him because some reason anyway, did that work? That's another story. Yeah, and then went back with Alex and you know the rest is history about the space terrorists it was Was there

Adam Gow:

a lot of other DJs from the London scene then going over are just you guys are

Brandon Block:

not at that particular time. Obviously there would been you know, Danny Rand Paul Oakenfold, Trevor funk, Johnny will Johnny Walker and Nicky all the way you'd been in 8786 87 net to noise and they brought that back that sound the Balearic sound with the club's spectrum. The trip story, which is Nikki's club, and then there was spectrum with Trevor fun calling up Paul Oakenfold. And then obviously Danny started Shoom these all clubs at the back of that sort of Ibiza experience, let's say but then myself I moved out there for that the year and I'd be 91 I went for the whole summer. But there was no one else DJ out there as such from the club scene, it's in London, myself and Alex, there was the Jays who were obviously doing the local bars and it weren't clubs. It wasn't the club stuff. Yeah. So basically merely supply their space. But then on top of that, we was getting asked by all the other clubs because space was so successful. Every other club with amnesia, we played amnesia in residency there on a Tuesday, we had a residency asperities on the residency at space on Seattle residency at passcert, Monday nights at a residency at CU on a Thursday night. So we was doing every night a week, basically. And that led to partying hard.

Adam Gow:

How old would you have been at this time? Then?

Brandon Block:

I've got you know what, I can't even work it out. 2626 right. 26?

Adam Gow:

Because you got you got to have some energy to party like that. 24. So basically, you were young enough to have the energy to do that.

Brandon Block:

Oh, yeah. Make it really personal.

Adam Gow:

Was it all? Was it all that acid house and stuff you were playing? Or was the scope to play soul and funk and stuff like that?

Brandon Block:

I know that back then obviously, we would play more acid house but they need space, we played sort of a bit of everything really was very eclectic. It's a bit about the house, I suppose you could call it the beer exam. We We champion cross section records, but because of space being such a multicultural, incredible club. We used to meet DJ strum, and it will very soon after space with me that all the DJs from the rest of the world came. We have DJs from Germany, Belgium, from France from Italy. And they were all big communities there at that time. But it either either or right so they all had the experience of like club land at that time. And so talk to Lee we got to meet all these wonderful people, these great DJs always fantastic to talk to music, which is coming in. They're all making their own versions of sort of like house music. So the Germans were very into like their New Belgium was like new Bebo. So the main mainland Spanish had a sound called baccala, which has been it which is really tough house like technote old days. The Italians are bigots. They're disco cycle tracks. You know, the Germans were into they're sort of technically, technically getting that sort of suppose early days of charts and technote it wasn't so noisy, but it was really cool. Obviously, the Americans were into their deep house and acid house. So there was all this wonderful music, all these wonderful people. We met every one of them and we have we made friends with every one of them. You know, an ale, you asked to come and play on the space terrorists we used to come on DJ Sasha Deke, we write it all early days, just to mention a few but there were so many more Mark students from stellar and spoon. West bam, God. So many German Dorian groves, there's groceries in the club in Germany loads the outer nodes DJs all different places in Europe in Chico Sachi. Obviously, Daniel Devonian black box used to become a place to play a lot this there was always it was very fortunate. Very lovely days. Yeah.

Adam Gow:

So you were like really, really ingrained at kind of the dawn of the superstar DJ then Right?

Brandon Block:

And you know what you're not it's so many people say that I suppose. Yes. I never thought of it like that. But I suppose Yes, we were. DJ became a really big part like, soon after, I think it was to think the impact of the clubbing days that everyone had. That whole clubbing thing was so well thought of at the time that the DJ is playing the music world like I suppose we became famous. I suppose superstar DJs were what we are. Yeah.

Adam Gow:

Yeah. So when you came back to did you come straight back to England after that summer then

Brandon Block:

I came back to England every summer every winter for sort of October to a season get to our before again, but by this time, what I'd also happened with my success as a DJ as my dog arbejde got into relevant gyms ridiculousness. And obviously the concert party in the consulate out being out and constant you know, Hedden ism music club and wherever it's taken his toll because not only would you just part in all through summer part in all through winter as well, because obviously club scene had just taken off, like a spread like wildfire. You know, where the world every night was a club night, you know, I remember at eight going out every night of the week. Yeah, very small clubs, and it carried on like that, but since I can remember and then, you know, my habit spiralled into the realms of unwellness and just stupidity Really?

Adam Gow:

Did you? Did you see that happening at the time? Was it something where you're like, I know this is getting worse? Or are you just totally oblivious? There

Brandon Block:

was a moment. And I thought, I know, I know, I have a problem. Now, I know I can't stop this on my own, but I'm not ready to stop. And in all honesty, my thinking was, if I keel over doing this, then I'm alright doing it, I was ready to go because I obviously, it was known to me now is I have obviously had a lot of underlying trauma, which I attribute to the attitude of, well, you know, I if I, if I die, I die. I'm not bothered cycling. But obviously, I was bothered, because, you know, I was very you I had many illnesses at that time, which had cooked through my year, you know, my party, let's say I was to die quick enough. I was in too much pain, daily. And the and the drugs weren't masking the pain anymore. Doesn't matter how much I took, or taken obscene amounts of drugs, he still was masking the pain because I was so ill physically. Were there

Adam Gow:

people around you that were trying to kind of help you help you clean up and control or were you around people that were don't

Brandon Block:

yeah, don't forget that you're asking be back prepare clean up, this is not a 96 This is not a time where people knew about stuff like that. This is people weren't aware of it, people weren't, you know, if you said drug addiction, they'd go, what's that, you know, like, where we were that it's only when you go to AAU, and Ca me and you know about at XX I said oh, good word and a great label I don't like but you know, that whole sort of stigmatised, private or don't say anything, the environment is where you end up. And that's the only place available to know about, whereas now, we have many models of getting better many models are thinking of discovering how our brain works, how our how to manage trauma, how to deal with trauma therapies, you know, therapists, by the dozen, who are all great doing that work, and you know, slowly, humanity is starting to realise that we need connectivity, where you can get help from our fellow human, we can get the support we need because you know, some one nugget of information from someone could be that key to changing your your way of thinking or your you know, your neural pathway that you need to do.

Adam Gow:

So what what was the thing that kind of the straw that broke the camel's back? What was it that made you seriously would be like, right, I've got to do this now.

Brandon Block:

I couldn't take any more. I couldn't do any more drugs. I was sitting in a hospital asking to pay killers and, you know, Daisy pans Hypno. Today, Victor might be go sleep or to buy a yacht or to, you know, anywhere can be hands on. And I just realised I couldn't totally my body said to me, I can't take my brain said to me, I can't take the more

Adam Gow:

had you been able to keep DJing up until this point where you could because sometimes people they can kind of just keep riding the wave?

Brandon Block:

Oh, no, I was I was functioning, whatever you want to call it awkward. Yeah, what I've done is stopped going to get because couldn't be bothered. Right? I'd prefer to prefer to stay in my local pub with the nodes and get smashed, and just carry on getting Subash without having to travel three or four hours up the road. Or do three or four gigs within a night, which was tiring because my body was I was beginning to get tired. So I was like, it'd be cheaper for me to stay here and do instead of going up the road with me to spend all that money I'm going to earn on gear by staying awake, and by going to these places, so I ended up cancelling lots of gigs. Which wasn't great. But for me at the time, that's where I was. So I was at. So in a way. I don't know, I was minimum maybe I was minimising I own sort of harm minimization that way. Yeah. Got quite a bad place to be made.

Adam Gow:

So what what was your process then of kind of self care and getting better? Look.

Brandon Block:

I'm always very grateful for that moment of clarity. Because if I didn't have that moment of clarity, I wouldn't be here today. Right? I know that. I'm quite Yeah. quite aware of that, that that's the case. So I suppose that I was I was only able to keep myself self care after I'd started dealing with the the self loathing or the self despair and insight, because you don't, you don't need to do this. That's one way of not take care of yourself, right? Take loads of drugs and drink in a web. There's loads of other ways that take care of yourself, the way we eat. The way we don't exercise the way we the way we see The way we stress the way we, you know, we buy into with the ego, could we make ourselves aware our stress anyway? We know that Yeah. And what we take in information wise what we absorb, or can be contributed to that, you know, when we humans, so we like to experience stuff that's, like still good in very short space of time. Because we're genuinely tuned into feeling bad on the whole. I mean, I'm generalising that shouldn't but we kept it a level of sort of just below massive stress, by what we read the papers, what we looked at the news about what life throws at us, we generally function in little bit stresses that makes sense. We need a basis to wake up in the morning, a bit of adrenaline to get us out of bed. But what we do is we generally pick our phones up and then we level out our stress, we release causal straightaway, because we think all and then as opposed to say, what do we get to do tomorrow? We go what I've got to do today. You know, what we've got to do today, and said, What do I get to do today? So it's about the leg for us. It's about information is spared. But for me, the self care thing was just stopping do I was doing for that time, but that time for me. That was my self care. Just getting sitting with my head and sit in my diary, my fear, my stress, and my rewiring my brain after so much good luck. It'd be anywhere near Senate. Yes, it is. So myself care, which is not putting myself in those environments. But I did DJ carried on I didn't stop DJ and I didn't stop seeing my mates and didn't stop all the other stuff. I just I white knuckled it, I suppose in a way. Did

Adam Gow:

you did you have? Because you did because in my notes, I've got that you went into Caprio Nightingale hospitals. And so did you have kind of accountability partners and things that helped you through through that time or anything? Not

Brandon Block:

really. I mean, there was aftercare groups, there was support networks in within that environment. I was I was told to go to, you know, 12 Step fellowship meetings, which I did for a while. CA I had a sponsor who relapsed that will offload him and you know, when other bad Well, again, that's you know, I never did though you see, I never relapsed, I went to I was adamant and my decision was so final. There was no danger and out there. But I mean, this is called Network, I'll tell you who my mentor is to this day, and he was ude. My psychiatrist at that time, he was the consultant psychiatrist to Westminster in Chelsea, and also to the copier Nightingale which was like the first real mental hospital for dealing with addictive behaviours in London. His name is Dr. William Shanahan. He's now the consultant head psychiatrist, the whole primary group. Wow. And he's now my he's still my mentor to this day. So he speaks to me for free, whenever I need to speak to him, because he said, You're my star pupil, or you always had been, you took so much gear, I never knew how I never you know, you survived what you did. And yet you're here to this day is quite within my book. And you're here to this day, you help people so he refers people to me, who he can't help in that hospital, maybe or you take maybe some do some help us outside of that environment.

Adam Gow:

So, in the late 90s, then when you were going through this, this kind of experience, would you ever talk to people about kind of getting therapy and things? Because it's even up until like, a couple of years ago, if you'd say to someone, I'm having therapy, the juggler, why do you need that? What's that all about?

Brandon Block:

I never spoke to anyone really about that stuff back there, not in those in the 90s was sort of a it was just so that unknown about and not you know, what, what is this? You can't even started me to explain this stuff. There's only like, two facets for me. When I was able, mentally and also to even start veteran out to to, to do any sort of stuff because I was struggling because I I've done so much damage to my head. That it took me a long, long time to rewire a lot of neural pathways ie around you know, my, my fear my anxiety, self worth, you know, is struggling with. I struggle with food a bit. I mean, now I have the tools and many, many of them to be able to, you know, be aware of anything that goes on like that. But yeah, back then. I would see my therapist, my psychiatrist, I'd see him once every, however it was every six months or so, but he was really my only sort of In regular therapy, I've, you know, spoken to people intermittently before but never had a proper, I've never felt sort of what it is. He's probably I think because he had done it what is he? He was my, how'd you say he's my higher power in the West boat? Whatever expedition, not that I eat to that necessarily I'll be idea we will have a higher power I think or higher powers or whatever helps us, you know, get through wherever they are. He sees it, I suppose he's my higher power. And you know, I still speak to him. So it was a to, as I said it was your late in the 2000s that that sort of stuff was started being talked about?

Adam Gow:

Yeah, I mean, it must have been mad that the sort of late 90s Like, your kind of level of fame and kind of being in the tabloids and things like that, it must have been really hard to try and rationalise what you've been going through us, you've got that kind of you've you've got a lot more noise than most of us at that time.

Brandon Block:

Yeah, I mean, but you see that that we got to stop happened after I'd stop taking drugs. Yeah, all that sort of fame and I suppose success and you know, as you say, the tabloids and you know, I had in my column in the Daily Star, I had MTV, I was doing TV shows left, right and centre and all those I love the eight shows or that the nightly shows, I'd buy a TV on the satellite channel blocos Brits on the back of the Brit Awards, obviously. So yeah, on the top of the pot set a hit record. I mean, more notoriety and fame came from all that stuff. Yeah. So and literally never a concern that I would ever go back to the lifestyle ever. I never ever thought that I never knew I knew that whenever. So I suppose be very grateful. So that that that wonderful part of life you have to be and some people go home which aspiration but you know, to have that fall into your laptop soon. When I was aiming for any of that it wasn't any of my goals in life to be on TV or but you know, I've done that I've had the experience of everything. I've been very fortunate, as far as you know, to say I've been on TV I've been on one hotel I've been on CPP Brava. I went on. Other reality shows back in the day.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, I mean, you've hit on a couple of things that I did want to ask about. So obviously, like the bricks is a thing. I was wondering with that, if there was if that had kind of any advantages.

Brandon Block:

i Well, I mean, someone said to me after that you're a household housewives favourite now? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the bricks is 2020 23 years ago now might have been spoken about so many times. It's just a moment in notoriety that say which, you know, I'm sort of known for a little bit so it doesn't surprise me back then. It was quite funny. And looking back on it, and looking back on it is very funny. And then, you know, the fact that it took me about one minute to make the decision wherever I was going to collect this made up award. You know, spontaneity. Great fun. But yeah, as you said, incredible.

Adam Gow:

And the other thing that I noticed that I found really interesting was something that mentioned about about part of the reason for wanting to go into big brother being to get away from your phone.

Brandon Block:

The guy said that something that

Adam Gow:

I read something around that yeah, saying that you kind of wanted to detox from your phone effectively and because because you you're quite organised aren't you with like, when you check your emails and stuff like that, now,

Brandon Block:

I you know what? That put down on my emails because it keeps me It keeps what the idea was that people go, Oh, if they read all the way down go by I'll only send email because I found that we are all consumed by technology, right? And unfortunately, this is it's not great. Right? It's changed us. It's changed our mindsets forever, never to go back. So I think we've got to be mindful of how much we use it and how often we're on it because we without knowing you get into that, you know, the rabbit hole or you're firing neurons all the time. And what that does, it just gives you a brain that you get taken into burnout that people aren't aware of it people are just constantly are with my phone, my phone and my phone to get and I just find it I found it back then of technology was getting really, really fast moving and you know, like things like YouTube and all that sort of thing. Basically, it's given people wondering was quite human needs a need for significance? Yeah, right. So I think back in the day, people had certain people had to have a voice because people were leaders, people, certain people were leaders, but had to had some to say, whereas now anyone can say anything. Right? And they can. And the thing I find difficult is the fact that people pick on people. And they say, the most horrible, deep, hurtful things which which hurt, you know, the power of words is, is unbelievable, and how that's worked out. How that's become, you don't actually have pain, but it causes pain. You say hurtful things to people, they get pain, they get pain from it, it can be, you know, anxiety, fear, whatever it is. So a sound that we make of our voices, causes anxiety, pain and fear. And this is where humanity is kind of struggle moving forward a lot, I think, you know, I mean, there's an awareness and a lot of people aren't buying into all that. But you know, it's a, you know, initial mindful about the time we spend on it, what we look at, we will get, you know, and I was aware before, sorry, just sorry to rabbit on a bit, Adam, but I was aware about this whole mental, or you're right about Big Brother. So maybe at that time, I was aware of that stuff. I knew that there was a imminent, sort of worldwide mental health pandemic happening anyway, because of this, right. I knew that and that's why I started this group at the Ministry of Sound, I started my own. I start with a friend Michael Paul burns, he started a group called tuned out at the Ministry of Sound, which is now by monthly. We get guest speakers it's a free Group. We are inviting lovely people to come in and say their stories of inspiration and stuff. So Doc's come and smoke we had last week we had Fat Tony got so I've got Kevin Bishop. Barry Ashfur from the top pistols I've had lots of pygmies get GVC spoke of abject Jumping Jack Frost met all the people on quests for you know, bettering themselves will come and spoke. So I realised I read that I was getting into that whole thing. So I've talked to us via Facebook, on my phone, I'll probably take Instagram off my phone, the only thing I use it for sharing start geeks and stuff like that, right? And probably when my retreats go on, that sort of thing. But generally, I try not to get involved in Birstall, too much of that I would check my emails, emails once a day, twice a day, maybe I go on Instagram, every couple of days, maybe to just have a look. I suppose. I'm mostly looking at cat videos now. And yeah, honestly, it's true. And, you know, not that sort of nice things, that doe dog and all that. So yeah, it's about being mindful about your environment and what you're, you're subjecting yourself to.

Adam Gow:

So can you just kind of talk us through your journey because because now just to give a bit of context, you do a lot of work with people around coaching and you've done a load of qualifications over the years. So that how did you first start that what was it that made you think I want to be there for people I want to because it's not just like you're mucking about doing this you've really really got in on it.

Brandon Block:

I mean, that I've attempted to get toying with the idea of doing the cancelling qualification now because I've done some of it already. By but you know, I've done a lot of other stuff which enables me that same to work with people on a certain level which is enough I think for now I'm not as I do work with people People often come to me say and I help them I don't mind that I think that that came to me in around the late to the early 2000s When I started to feel I've learned a lot of stuff about myself and how I you know react about certain situations and about drugs and drink blah blah blah, and I'm ready to help people people were asking me anyway back then, you know, what, how can I do? Yeah, get off this thing. Yep. And I went to work for truck service because I thought you know what, I'm gonna go volunteer somewhere. Turns out my maintenance running the place. She said that by all means come and volunteer be love interview. And he's putting some training courses because you can't just come in here and talk like that sorted by City and Guilds in my in beacuse. There are various cognitive behavioural workshops. There is motivational interview workshops, yeah. Essays and stuff and you know, I've done more recently I work for the episode see Trust, which is again another organisation help people recover from blood borne viruses generally transferred from sharing needles to training courses with them. So yeah, I've constantly I've sort of put my account down a bit saying it because it's quite demanding work can be quite emotionally draining. So without getting the support behind you, if you're going to do that work, you need to get supervision you to get someone on your side to be able to unload that stuff, too. Yeah. So So I generally help people in a different guise. Now, I may open do my coaching package, I offer it again, again, it's like, how do I feel about that, I genuinely just don't mind helping people with a bit of stuff. If they want me to have a chat to him, I'd prefer to refer him on signpost and have a chat. So I could put you in touch with people who could help you, we should do. And I'm happy doing that.

Adam Gow:

But that's a great thing to do. Because Because with your kind of profile, you know, just just being able to make people aware that it's okay. And there's people that you can talk to is that, because it's I mean, the thing is, we self work, I don't know if you'll agree, but I feel I've done I've done different bits of self work over the years. And I think it's really, really powerful. And it's just the start, and it's the that's the hard thing, once once you get that little start and you get a bit of benefit from it, then you can really kind of dive in and there's there's so many ways you can approach it. There's coaching, there's counselling, there's just a load a book, there's all sorts of things you can do, but it's just just having that impetus to actually be ready to look at yourself because it's scary. It is

Brandon Block:

I you know what I spoke to someone earlier funny so that you asked me that question. We'll talk about that subject. A friend who's doing a level five counselling and I was saying like, well, How good's at level three and level four to one to get you sort of qualified you go up to level chapter five, which goes a bit more into into the cognitive stuff. But it was says how mental health will look. It's the last thing we look at. It always has been. And now it's just us we need to look at because we can't function without our minds working. Right. Okay. So you know, when people have illnesses, you'd have to have an empathy for them because you know, it's tough. And we'll break that working right? We don't work right. The altom automic processes autonomic processes which gave our breathing see all our senses all controlled by our brain right? I feel it I'm emotions our physical world read will be if it's all out of whack, because you can't do anything. You're not able to this is why workplaces are suffering because of people being stressed out being overworked, too many, too many expectations. Too many, you know, targets to reach which are unrealistic, this whole thing, and people don't wear it out. So did you put demands on people? So to say, right, let's see what you're able to do. Because, you know, like, so if we don't manage your own, as you say, expectations about our own self work. We're never get anywhere and you need to do some. You don't need to. I dived in. I've dived out again, I don't I it's called my one of my favourite pieces. I say a friend of mine. She calls it paralysis, analysis paralysis. Yeah. So you can overdo it. You get into a rabbit hole of you know, all this reading all his work, you've got an IT process, you got to set into place and then you got to decide what works for you. Because you could read and read and read and read. He overwhelms me, because I just go Jesus, you know, I like to be allowed to sit down and go right, let's let's look at that. And work on that. So got for me, there's a guy called Dr. Joe Dispenza. And he started is incredible. Right? For me, it made sense. It was my sort of wow moment if you go up so why do I do this? Why do I feel this? Why do I have this tendency to repeat to the old anxiety world? Why do I still and I heard him talking to me. That's me, mate. That's what it is. And that's what helped me to realise that when I start thinking a certain way, I think I get it. I know what's happening. I also developed an amazing skill on a data on my site. It's amazing is when I tell people to go wow I could feel my thought the process. I could feel this thought I could feel it go to my spider court. I could feel it go down the back of my spine into my belly emotional set up and it could feed it went up in whatever form it was either negative or positive so I could feel that process. So I know what I'm gonna get anxiety about She's still negative though. And that's like, dulled. Really. It gives me a chance to go right, this is gonna happen. Or I could try and chase this talk before it goes all the way or you know, you have an awareness cycling. Yeah.

Adam Gow:

Yeah. And it's kind of like it's, it's about the search, isn't it and finding the thing that works for you. Yes, absolutely.

Brandon Block:

You'd have to, but as you say, there's so much out there so much you can go and, you know, immerse yourself in. But find the stuff at work she had. Don't be thinking that you have to do so many things. Just find what works for you because you will go over well, it's better to be underwhelmed and able to cope with it than being overwhelmed being Oh, God, do it got to do it. She's what we do. Yeah, it's purely a no take it too much on another, you know, you'll know about Yeah,

Adam Gow:

and all of this stuff equates to physical, doesn't it? It's like if you go right, I need to lose weight. So you start going to the gym seven days a week. You start getting a bad knee start getting a wonky hip, you're getting burned out you're gonna get in a bad mood you know, doing doing things in a manageable way and then just having a week off sometimes if it's too much it's it's all about this kind of balance Absolutely.

Brandon Block:

Life Balance might you've got it in your coin in a phrase. Yeah.

Adam Gow:

This Yeah, this is all really interesting stuff. Like I love talking about things like this and this is why it's great to get you on because you've kind of done this through your own journey. Thanks well so what what does kind of like the week to week life look like at the moment because you do in the me sell shows aren't? Yeah, myself.

Brandon Block:

Yeah. It's it's very balanced. At the moment, I do my gym three times a week I do other days where I go, dip it in the car cold see with my mates. We did that early morning. I get, I get a chance to do most of my stuff in a day, I could do podcasts for people. It's getting more manageable as you say. And you know, the winner don't I got out some I was doing my do the cold dip in the morning, they get out and put the fire on, warm up. It's fairly manageable. And you know, Touchwood, I can still DJ once once that weekend. But it gives me time to look at the other stuff I want to do again, like the coaching and right in the programme. Again, I've taken some downtime at the last few months. Just to just to get myself into a place where I want to find my passion again.

Adam Gow:

It's a great thing to do, like I spoke to people on this and you know, you get I was saying to someone about like Eric Clapton won't play guitar for six months, or that's maybe a quote from 1015 20 years ago. And it's like, you don't have to do everything all the time, sometimes taking a step back. And working out. It's like with goal setting, isn't it? Like I did a big I did some goal setting exercises at one point. And I had a good friend of mine who was kind of helping me through all this. And, and it was about, like saying you want to do something but like, is the reason you want to do it true that D you know yourself, you've been honest with yourself that you want to do this for things this reason. Because if you can be absolutely true with yourself about who you are, which is another thing we don't always do, because we think we're someone or we think we should be someone when we're actually someone else. And if you can get into that and and find the right sort of thing that you want to achieve at the right time for the right reason, then that's when these things are a lot easier to do. Well,

Brandon Block:

other doll makeup girl method practitioner, does she know. So doll mapping is the best goal setting model I've ever seen. And it's not just about see SMART goals are orders, right? They're not demands, like cities are right, you must do this by this certain time, in a realistic, achievable timeframe. There's no passion in it. And what you're saying is you've got to find your passion, my passion, so are the goals you're trying to achieve. And they got the right reasons. Are they valuable? Are they? Are you passionate about them? Do they have meaning for you? Or are you just doing them? So this is what goal mapping allows you to find out and it's a great model. And you're right, you can't set goals and you can't see goals from a negative place anyway, when you're on the backfoot of trying to you know, motivate yourself in situations you start trying to set goals you'll never achieve because you won't be motivated by weight. Or you set the goals, the mini goals to be able to get yourself into that place where you can cheat the bigger ones. But yeah, right. I think it's about finding your passion. downtime, now overwhelming yourself. Give yourself so if you're able to do that, obviously it's not always a luxury that people do. But if you can take some time from chasing the goals, sit down and say what matters to me what really, really matters to me. And Am I cheating these goals for the right reasons? You're right? And then if you say to yourself, yes, then you carry on, you can say so that really, as you say, reason we feel like repeat because we look at comparisons all day long. 100% all day long, you're comparing yourself to others. So you're not that all that wonderful side authentic self. How's that even possible? When you're looking at as far as be someone else, every moment of the day, you're never your authentic self, unless you put that down. And then you say, I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do. And do it for me. And I do it for now. What else and I'll do it, whether it whether it's good, bad or indifferent. But the longer the sooner you let go of those comparisons, the expectations and lives where you want to lead, then it's very difficult. Don't get me wrong. But you could do that, then you've achieved some sort of authenticity.

Adam Gow:

Yeah. Amazing. Right, right. I'm gonna let you go now. That's been absolutely fascinating. Really, really good fun. And I hope you've enjoyed it as well. I

Brandon Block:

always love talking about this stuff. And you know, people talk to like minded people is always wonderful, because there's always stuff that you I was quite impressed by your knowledge as well, mate, and the fact that you've been on a journey, and it's nice to hear that sort of stuff. Obviously, it's questions you asked me made sense. And it wasn't just about Oh, wow. took showers cocaine now could fucking are the stand up. So all good.

Adam Gow:

Yeah, yeah, no, no, I appreciate it. I want it to be a different experience from the obvious because, because it is about for me with DJing, it creates so many opportunities it helps us with, with a lot of things because for me, it was like, when my son got to two, I just kind of like felt a little bit lost. I was like, Well, who am I? What am I not, you know, I've had got so much positive experience and good friends and things from DJing. I was like, I need to kind of get into that a bit. Again, if I can. So doing this whole podcast is part of that it's sharing this experience and understanding what boxes it's ticked for different people and things like that. So yeah, I always, always love talking about these sorts of things. Massage. Well done. Yeah. And you know what you were saying at the start as well about meditating about the breath. Yeah. Like, I used to meditate a lot. And I say a lot. You know, I used to meditate daily. And in probably a couple of years, there was maybe only two times where I felt that otter presence. Yes, but wow. When you do it is absolutely incredible.

Brandon Block:

I by the idea of cut the time of my life, really. And that was one of them. And I beat that and I had the whole spiritual guide say get everything come and take me up to the mountain and Indian chief and you know, my inner child my child came together with me as an adult and my father was there working on where they were mating plan you know, walking to top this bound in with holding each other's hands and then getting there and dancing around the fire and stars and moons and bloody Elmo the tribe come together type thing, you know? Yeah, but yes, you say it's those moments are very rare. But if you can get them then you know, it's doable.

Adam Gow:

Yeah. Amazing. Well, yeah, I'll let you get going, mate. And, and I'll speak to you soon. Bye.

Brandon Block:

You take care, mate. It's lovely talking to you. Let me know where you're gonna put it out.

Adam Gow:

Thanks for listening to the one to DJ podcast. If you've got any questions or feedback or any suggestions for guests, please just get in touch with us at onceaDJpodcast@gmail.com or on Instagram at @onceaDJpodcast. Take care. We'll speak to you soon. That was nice.