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Go BackSPUNDAE 2004 TO THE FLOOR? NAH, IT’S JUST DIVINE INTERVENTION! - Founder Guiv Naima on fusion & acquisition etc...

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Founder of San Francisco club concern Spundae, Guiv Naima discusses a decade of trading, and the tremors relating to Godskitchen’s heavy $1 million US deal and acquisition of Spundae Worldwide…

Back in 1993, Peter Beckers and Guiv Naima established Spundae in the US to expose the San Francisco scene to their expanding vision of electronic dance music –Spundae is now one of North America’s leading electronic dance music promoters… The inspired duo first took California by the britches, bringing in DJ’s like Sasha, John Digweed, Timo Maas, Paul Oakenfold, Tiesto, Pete Tong and a multitude more names into their SF mix. A sound adventure, ‘Spundae Recordings’ later started up in 1997, and in an effort to expand internationally they brought in Torsten Jurk as director. Spundae Worldwide thereby went on to launch in 2001, with Brooks Pettus as managing partner. With its business escalating wildly over the last few years, Spundae formed partnerships with clubs such as; Circus in Los Angeles, M Bar in Houston, Vision in Chicago and numerous hot spots in Las Vegas, all while maintaining the San Fran ritual of Friday’s at Club Ten15. Nothing however compares to the deal they’ve now done with UK dance giants Godskitchen, who have been slowly edging up to their table. After months of negotiations Godskitchen acquired Spundae Worldwide and will become the chief branders for large-scale events, festivals and tours, while Spundae remains the base for the weekly events, (or something like that!)

This journey by Godskitchen is the biggest business venture for any UK club brand in the States, and with the backing of some incredible sponsors (who also support Eminem) and a $1 million deal, what’s the problem? They’re dressed for success, and it looks a fast track adventure is ahead for these two clubbing communities; we couldn’t really see any obstacles as we spoke to Spundae originator Guiv Naima across the Atlantic…

Hello Guiv, how are you doing?
Guiv Naima: “Very well thanks, recovering from the WMC, it was a mad house!”

Spundae… Strange name, where does it come from, and what does it mean?
“We were sitting down the week before we wanted to start our weekly event, trying to figure out what to call a Sunday night show. We were thinking, since it is the last day of the weekend parting and DJ’ing, let’s take spin records into past tense (spun records) and combine it somehow with the day we doing our event Sunday, so we came up with Spundae! J

What are the backgrounds of Peter and yourself, the original founders of Spundae?
Peter was born in Germany and moved at the beginning of the 1990’s to the US, where he became a manager of the club DV8 in SF - that is how I met him! I was born in Iran and raised in Germany. I also moved at the start of the 1990s to the US… When I met Peter he asked me to run his door since I speak multiple languages, and that way I can deal with the tourists. The rest is basically history…”

OK, is it true that the UK’s Godskitchen has acquired Spundae to promote US events after a $1 million deal with Allied Domecq?
“Yes, they acquired part of our company which is Spundae Worldwide. We are looking forward to seeing where this venture will take us.”

Godskitchen owner Neil Moffat (in the latest DanceStar US Magazine) told Ben Turner recently that you’d been talking since the summer of 2003 and that ‘the conversation developed into a buy-out scenario…’ What do you say?
“I don’t know the time frame of when the talks began exactly, but it has been for a while. The idea of the buy out was put on the table and we thought this offer thoroughly through before coming to the conclusion that is a great deal for all involved. The most important part of the deal, for us, was that nothing is going to change for our customers, or to our relationship with the artists that we’ve built up over the years. For the people and our artists, it is still the regular Spundae that you have been attending for the past eleven years.”

You started the acquisition with a tour in February 2004, ‘Spundae Presents Godskitchen.’ When the first Godskitchen US festival takes place next year in 2005 where will Spundae be?
Spundae will be where is today, we’re still going to put on great shows, with great talent.”

Will the two brands ever become one; and if so, would it be called ‘GodSpun?’
“Ha-ha! No Spundae will be doing what it is doing right now, doing all the club nights, and Godskitchen will be doing one-off’s, tours and all the festivals.”

Spundae won the ‘Best Nightclub’ title in the 2002 DanceStar Awards and was nominated this year, did you attend and what were your thoughts on this mega, celebrity-studded event?
“Yes I went, I think it is great for electronic dance music to get accepted in the mainstream, hopefully DanceStar will have better luck in the future in the US to get the show broadcast on MTV to reach a broader audience.”

Founded in 1993, you’ve been rolling with Spundae for a long time, what’s been the secret to your longevity?
”Just be true to the music, talent and most importantly, all the heads that come every week to your club.”

Lucky for you the thirteenth release on Spundae Records (Momu’s ‘Bring It On Back’) is a massive success, what are the plans for the label side of things? (And for your Spundae record shop on Haight Street in San Francisco?)
“In regards to the label, we’re looking forward to the Jondi & Spesh album release ‘The Answer’ coming this summer.”

San Francisco’s Friday nights at Club Ten15 are your base parties, what’s going to happen to them?
“They are still going on, they are still one of the strongest weekly parties in SF.”

You had a lot to manage and oversee with all the elements involved in Spundae’s development, what’s been your method of getting the best from the elements?
“You just have to put the right people in the right positions, and trust them to make the right decisions for the company, and let them do what they do best in - don’t confine them.”

Do US legislation and a stormy political climate (regarding electronic music) concern you on a day-to-day basis?
“Of course it does, it is sad that they are blaming everything on the music. This society needs to start taking responsibility for its own actions and stop blaming other people, this is why you see so many crazy lawsuits in the US.”

How would you like people to remember Spundae?
“That we did great DJ centric shows, with the music and artist at the very center!”

Have you been to Ibiza clubbing, and will you be there in 2004?
“I’ve never made it, but hear it is great. Hopefully I will find some time this year to come check it out?”

Anything else you’d like to mention?
“Thanks for this opportunity to speak my mind, and have a great summer in Ibiza! J”

Words by Lisa Loco