Having dominated Dallas' dance floors for two years with their unique approach to “party rock”, The Party continues to roll deep with an entourage of loyal jitterbugs.
Celebrating the two-year anniversary of the creation of their wildly popular DJ collective, Markus Underwood (Nature) and Will Rhoten (Sober) rap to us about the past, future and what it takes to make people wiggle. And The Party, in true form, is throwing themselves a raucous birthday bash at the Zubar tonight--you know, just to remind their fans what makes their music so damned fun.
OK, so, when humans celebrate their second birthdays, they're still considered fledglings. How does The Party rate their own evolution in the last two years?
Rhoten: We’re fully developed.
Underwood: We’re still getting going to a certain extent. When we started, it was just a night--actually, it was a night in Denton in 2006. Two or three months later, it was me and Scott (Scott Quinn, aka $elect) starting to do parties out here. A month after that it was me, Scott and Will. And when we started getting together as a trio, we set a whole list of goals--big ones. We wanted to do a party here and a party there--all across Texas and tie in this and that. We had a lot of long term goals and I think that, two years down the line, basically, everything that we set out do on paper, we’ve accomplished…and more.
The Party entertains in Dallas, Houston and Austin. Is there a future plan of “world domination?”
Rhoten: Not necessarily world domination. We have opportunities to play in other places, but we’ve really been focusing on the Texas scene because this is where we’re from. We really want to put that on the map verses, ”oh yeah, we toured.” We really wanted to just to do what we did here and make that impact on Houston and Austin and build with the people that are doing stuff there. And it’s gone really well. I mean, we do Houston the night after the (two-year anniversary) party and there’s actually some kids that are going to drive to our two-year (party) here and then bus it back to Houston. We’re really proud of the whole Texas thing and we wanted to do that first and foremost.
The Party certainly appeals to a younger crowd. Do you see yourselves--in the words of Wooderson--getting older while your fans stay the same age, or have you seen your crowd evolve with you? Does your music particularly speak to a young crowd or does it span across the age gap?
Rhoten: Well, what we do is “party rock,” so it’s not like we set out to only play new-electro or whatever, and that’s what I think still sets us apart. We all came together because we all have common ground on the types of music we like. I think a lot of people do exactly the opposite of that. They’ll be like, “OK, I’m going to play like four hours of French bangers” or whatever. Some of that crowd crosses over, but I think people want to hear some familiarity in the mix. We definitely bring that, whether it be a new dirty-south record or something right out of the '80s that everybody would know. It’s not something that we set out to do, to hit a certain age group. I think that’s what attracts people of all ages, that there’s something for everyone.
What’s been your No. 1, solid-gold song in the last two years? One that almost always makes the set?
Underwood: I got that. It’s "Calabria."
What’s your favorite party that The Party has thrown?
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Rhoten: I’d have to say Pace Rock and the '90s Jump Off. The '90s Jump Off was at The Loft, and we played a lot of grunge and, like, crazy Rage Against the Machine and Danzig’s “Mother” at the end--and kids were stage diving. And everybody dressed the part.
Underwood: For me, I would have to say it was the rolling skating party, truthfully. Working the whole party from the ground up was good. It took quite a bit to get everything together for that. The place itself…everything. It was awesome.
Rhoten: Oh! I have to say (addressing the earlier go-to song question), over the last two years, a song that I always like to play and always gets ‘em is Debbie Deb's “When I Hear Music”. I could drop it right now and people would cheer--that’s what happens…
The Party’s second anniversary throw-down is at Zubar tonight. And (woohoo!) it's free to attend. The theme is red-carpet Hollywood glam and a photographer will be on deck to immortalize your grand entrance--Think bowtie and sneakers or hot pants and blinding jewels. --Krissi Reeves