27th December 2022

Just Ace 90s podcast: more than a nostalgia poddy

HERStory Podcast – Episode 40: Danny Yau, Just Ace 90s podcast

Danny Yau is the voice, creator, producer, and everything to do with the Just Ace 90s podcast. The podcast was launched in late September, with the season closing out earlier this month. When we talked, it was like chatting to a mate while leaning on the Annandale Hotel bar listening to another brilliant band own the stage.  He chose a chance to appear on HERstory Podcast for Slice Radio as his only interview in 2022, in support of indie podcasts.

Have you heard the Just Ace 90s podcast yet? If you’re a fan of Australian alternative music, this is for you. It would either be a history lesson or a little nostalgia, I strongly advise you at least give it a go. 

In brief: Danny Yau host and mastermind of the amazing Just Ace 90s podcast. This is not any personal nostalgia ride, but more of an objective, well researched journey from 1990 through to 1999 and 2000. 

Each episode focuses on momentous moments that helped establish the scene. This first season travels from 1989 and the rise of Triple J, record stores and labels, Rage and music video shows, street press, formative bands, the importance of tapes and CDs ending out with the importance of music festivals, including the fundamental Big Day Out. 

As a Millennial, there was a little catching up to do when I began tuning in to Just Ace 90s. But once I got into it, it was like: ‘Yep, yep and yes you’re speaking to me!’  

I feel the 90s was an (pardon the pun) instrumental decade for alternative Australian music. With no social media or music streaming, it meant this alternative music scene managed to stay underground. 

I was in high school, had disposable income, with the time to listen to the radio (love you Rosie Beaton!) and hang out on music forums. Life wasn’t about the scroll factor. It was slower. I spent time reading learning lyrics from the CD lyric books and playing along on guitar. 

It was the same for Danny. He happily describes himself as a nerd. He even started a fan website for one the most acclaimed Aussie bands of the decade, You Am I, in his teens. 

The band found it and named it their official website. Thus Danny ended up running their fan club after the band.

Affiliation with You Am I was the start of a career in the music industry and media. He spent over a decade with Warner Music in Australia and the UK, Channel [V] and ARIA. Through it all he has been a radio presenter, music journalist and has played in several bands including Lazy Susan, The Hummingbirds, Josh Pyke, Bryan Estepa, Aerial Maps as well as making his own music.

Just Ace has had several thousand listeners. Over 100k downloads. 4.9 stars on Apple Podcasts. In the top 100 podcasts in Australia and is number one in music.

Humble Danny said this was beyond his expectations, that he was overwhelmed by the attention. 

We do cover the role of women in the Australian music industry in the 90s (the reason we organised the chat!). 

There are the women who fronted formative bands of the era, made the Big Day Out work behind Ken West and Vivian Lees, and the female editors, designers and photographers in the music press. 

We (well, mostly me) hope you enjoy the episode. Danny is an inspiration. I wish I devoted as much time to HERstory as he does to Just Ace. 

Let’s make it a New Year’s Resolution. 

Ashlea Pritchard


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