2018 saw the birth of a burger van like no other, combining influences from the iconic techno scene in Berlin with the freshest ingredients locally sourced from the brand’s home city in Blackpool. Fast forward just four short years later and Boris the Burgerhain van has become world famous, with support from the biggest artists in the genre, whilst winning awards and popping up all over the festival circuit.
The unique concept burst into the limelight after press coverage from the likes of Skiddle, Mixmag and ourselves back in 2019, with owner and founder Russ Mow telling the globe about how he came up with the renowned mobile food outlet.
We sat down with Russ to learn more about where it all started for Burgerhain, his favourite moments since starting the brand and what the future holds.
Q)Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Russ. Firstly how has your year been so far?
A) Work wise, up and down however, we keep on pushing. I have a great team, fantastic local customer base and an amazing girlfriend that keeps me well motivated.
Q) We love the concept, what inspired you to create the unique food outlet?
A) After 14 years I left the Parachute Regiment and was working in Iraq as “a hired gun”, the money had dropped considerably, so I was talking to a colleague about our future employment. He said “I’m leaving this game and getting into food or undertaker work”, I asked him why he had chosen one of those two career paths. He said, we’re all going to die and we must eat on the way there (I did laugh but it is true).
So, I came up with the idea of music themed food from a food truck, my mate in New Zealand chose the name as were hugely into the Berlin techno scene – This was the creation of BURGERHAIN.
Q) Talk us through how you approached piecing together the menu, and how it’s evolved over time.
A) Initially, I looked at friends record labels, names of big techno tunes and DJ’s names/ aliases, to see how I could incorporate them into a world-first catchy menu. For example, personal friends which I wanted to help promote and I knew they’d support the business.
Dasha Rush’s Label – Hunger to Create.
Altern8 – double cheeseburger as there are two of them, Mark Archer is a huge Burgerhain fan and great friend.
The Horrorist – our opportunity to create something hot and gory looking, it’s our best seller at the moment.
The list goes on, we’ve had support and created food named after the likes of Ben Sims, Truncate, LFO, Lars Hemmerling, Dock Records, Ben Klock, Cypress Hill, Paul Weller (mod farther), Laurent Garnier, Jeff Mills, Dasha Rush and many more. The full menu can be found on Uber Eats and Blackpool Eats.
Q)What’s your favourite item/order on the menu and why?
Very, very, tough question….. hmmmmm. The menu has over 100 items…
Warm up (sides) – Homemade currywurst
Main Lineup (gourmet burgers) – Hunger to Create Burger
After Party (desserts menu) – Ferrero/ Snickers thick Shake.
Honestly our menu is like no other. The food is unreal, our own recipe, very lean, the best quality Angus beef is used in our burgers. We do vegan and gluten free too.
Q) It’s been quite the journey for Burgerhain so far, but what’s been one of your favourite moments since starting the brand four years ago?
A) I honestly couldn’t pinpoint a moment. The original van gets recognised everywhere, people taking photographs which is always humbling and I do get stopped at events in the UK and Berlin asking if “I’m the Burgerhain Guy”, just as you did at The One In The Woods. Mixmag interviewed us and we hit over 300k views in less than a week, this has to be the up there with the most emotional and humbling moments for Burgerhain.
Q) You’re also a DJ yourself – Man øn Wax, tell us more about your sound and any influences which feed into your playing style.
A) I’ve been playing since 1992 at the age of 14. Back then most thought rave was just rave, I knew I liked the sounds of bleeps and drums, so I naturally gravitated and still do towards LFO, Nexus 21, Joey Beltram, Jeff Mills, those kind of producers – originators/ pioneers. My biggest music influences in more recent times are undoubtably Dasha Rush, Lars & Gunnar Hemmerling, Mark Archer (altern8), Mareena (Tresor), Gez Varley (G-Man), Mike Humphries (mastertraxx records), Truncate, yes these individuals, not the sheep type.
I like to find new sounds, Berlin is way ahead of time with music, so the majority of my wax digging, partying and relaxing is done there. I have been travelling to Berlin for a very long time now for these reasons – overall peace, love, embracement, multi-culturism and education. My education and love for Berlin is most definitely expressed in my mixes.I use subtle samples a lot whilst mixing techno and obviously when scratching. It’s usually only the trained ear that catches them being discreetly placed in to mixes, which is cool, I like to play like I’m playing to a room of DJs.
I have been using Serato since 2008, it enables me to chop up tracks, use cue points and just be generally creative due to its accuracy, for me it’s the one DVS system that is way ahead of the rest. I will only use Rane mixers due to their robustness, quality of sound and again accuracy on the EQ’s and faders. I dislike nothing more than a DJ that just mixes in and out on the intro and outro. with the good old boring bass drop. Very boring, so I find myself doing the opposite.
I come from an old-school hip hop background, I find that all DJs that started with Hip Hop are much more creative than those that do not. Due to its difficulty to mix, it kind of forces you to be creative, which most definitely rolls into all of my mixes. Tracks these days are made to mix, it can create lazy DJs. Techno and Hip Hop have a great history, check a book out by Dan Sicko called Techno Rebels, it will educate many.
Q) The distinct van has also been spotted at many UK techno festivals, with Skiddle naming it the UK’s Best Festival Burger. Can we expect to see the famous truck popping up more often on the festival circuit and perhaps further afield in the world?
A) Yes, we were overwhelmed with the ‘hat tip’ from Skiddle. Unfortunately, we are stepping back from the festival scene as the running/ pitch costs are far too high. The majority of festivals have a bad habit of ramming in far too many vendors for the capacity of their event, which in turn make it very difficult for us to make it worth our while financially.
Q) It’s been great to see the expansion of Burgerhain, with a kitchen in Waterloo Music Bar Blackpool and a new techno trailer. Do you have any plans to open a dedicated bricks & mortar site?
A) Yes, we have a kitchen in the famous Waterloo (FY4 2AF) which works perfectly with our music themed food. Ian Fletcher who owns the Waterloo has become a father figure and great friend to me. The Waterloo has just been awarded The Best Live Music Venue by Planet Rock; It truly is a remarkable interior also now sponsored by Motorhead themselves. In time I would love nothing more than to move our world-famous brand to its true home -Berlin – it will happen I manifest a lot for this.
Q) What’s on the horizon for you and the brand during the rest of 2022?
A) Well, we’ll keep doing what we do – takeaways and deliveries on Blackpool Eats and UBER EATS, serving the Waterloo customers and being booked for private events which is going really well lately. People can keep in touch with our FB page as we update daily; BURGERHAIN. MUSIC THEMED FOOD.
Q) Looking further ahead, what are your future ambitions for Burgerhain?
A) Keep serving the best burgers about, keeping my team happy and driving towards settling in Berlin, all in good time. Thank you for this interview, we hope you enjoy the mix!
Check out Russ Mow aka Man øn Wax in action via the soundcloud link below.
Find out more about Burgerhain and order their award-winning food via their website.