DJ Bad Holly admits that she got her start at DJing through a complete and utter accident.
Holly Evans, a.k.a. Bad Holly, volunteered to DJ a party at Doublewide last year at the last minute--and to her surprise received and abundance of positive feedback.
"Several people I'd never met came up to me that night and exclaimed, 'Oh my god! You're the best DJ ever!' Of course I was flattered, but also amused and surprised since I'd never played before."
This naturally boost the newcomer's confidence, propelling her to branch out and attempt the art of spinning in various places around town.
Since that auspicious fluke of a night at Doublewide, DJ Bad Holly has found herself spinning around town regularly, hosting a regular night every Wednesday at The Cavern on Lower Greenville, while spinning the fourth Monday of every month at Billiard Bar and the third Saturday of every month at Fallout Lounge in Expo Park.
Make sure to check out her quirky DC9er mix and entire Q&A after the jump.
How long have you been DJing for?
Almost a year.
How did you get your start DJing?
By complete and total accident! Last summer, a mutual friend, Jeremy Gomez, asked my boyfriend, Jeff, to DJ his upcoming birthday party at Doublewide. After agreeing, Jeff remembered that his band, Ghoultown, had a show the same night. I jumped right in and volunteered to DJ, figuring that it sure would be lots of fun to make my own dance party. So, Jeff gave me a crash course on using the mixer. I completely expected Jeremy's party to be a one-off, but people loved it so much that it took off like wild fire! Several people I'd never met came up to me that night and exclaimed, 'Oh my god! You're the best DJ ever!' Of course I was flattered, but also amused and surprised since I'd never played before.
There are a few key people who have really supported me since then and helped me build up to where I am now: Kim Finch from Doublewide; Ulisses Rusher and Joe Silva from Fallout Lounge; Alan Cook from The Cavern. Also, my boyfriend Jeff and my friends Marlena and Traci.
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What was your first gig like?
Anyone who knows Jeremy Gomez and knows me also knows that it couldn't have been anything other than completely, totally, ridiculously out of control mega-dance party fun! I danced the entire five hours that I played and had an absolute blast. I couldn't wait to play again.
Who/what are some of your biggest influences, musical or otherwise?
Anything silly, ridiculous, or inappropriate in all the right ways. Lots of stuff I like is probably considered "obnoxious" or "annoying" but only by boring people. Stupid dancing, whether it's being done by me or by/with others. Funny people who are as quick with the wit as they are with the ridonk. Obviously, I'm a huge music fan. I'm also a skincare junkie and a makeup artist. (Hello, shameless self promotion. Ha!)
I grew up listening to '50s doo wop and rock and '60s soul and pop. I love Motown and think Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson did so much for music. The Temptations are definitely in my top five all-time faves, although I prefer Paul Williams as a lead singer to David Ruffin. Ruffin kicked serious ass with his amazing vocals but my favorite songs were sung by Williams. In high school, I discovered ska which is such an easy addition to soul music. I also listened to '80s new wave, rock, pop, and hair metal. I've never been the type to abandon one genre when I discover a new one or allow my tastes to be swayed by what's "cool" or popular, so, to this day, all the music I've listened to throughout my life is still an integral part of who I am.
I have a great admiration for musician/bands whose performance is over-the-top. Freddie Mercury (Queen), Lux Interior (the Cramps), Eugene Hutz (Gogol Bordello), Craig Jackman (Throw Rag), Michael "Olga" Algar (the Toy Dolls)--there is no comparison.
Which DJ's do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
Girl Talk/Gregg Gillis is pure brilliance! Mash-ups aren't typically ones of the styles of music I'm drawn to, but Gillis's vision, his taste, and his sense of humor make his music so much fun and really make him stand out. I mean, this dude is using 15-, 30-second clips of 20 or 30 different songs on one track and it totally sounds like someone wrote a brand new song to sound that way. Who'd have thought that Roy Orbison, Dee-Lite, Nirvana, and Salt-n-Pepa all being played at the same time would sound good? I also dig old-school hip-hop DJs like DJ Hurricane (Beastie Boys), DJ Mr. Mixx (2 Live Crew), and Grandmaster Flash. Locally, DJ Joe Virus is a bad ass. He currently plays goth and industrial at the Lizard Lounge on Thursdays and Sundays, but no one in town does a better '80s night!
What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
I should've called myself DJ ADHD because the genre doesn't stay the same for long. This ain't no one-trick pony, y'all! I'll go from '50s doo wop to '60s soul to ska to old-school hip-hop to punk to '80s hair metal to '70s rock to psychobilly to surf to '60s pop to glam rock to '80s new wave and back again. I have an undying love for silly music and ridiculous lyrics! Make sure you listen to the lyrics on my mix for a good laugh! Really offensive old-school hip-hop is hilarious--it's so upbeat and happy yet so nasty. Everything I play, I also listen to.
How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
Unless it's a theme night or wedding or private party, I like to start each gig without any preconceived notions and play according to both my personal preferences and to what the crowd is responding to. I've been told several times that I have a good ear for knowing what songs go well together, even though they might span several decades or different genres. I'm able to seamlessly join together songs that people might not expect because I know and love and am extremely passionate about everything I play.
How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
I'm constantly researching music (which I love doing) and adding to my extensive collection. I want to be familiar with everything I play so if I'm doing a theme night or private party, I'll dedicate several hours to that process.
What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? (Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether?)
In all honesty, my main objective is to entertain myself! Ha ha! It just so happens that other people out there are entertained by the same thing! I also like turning my audience on to new songs and artists. I've found the best way to do that is by playing any obscure or lesser known tracks in the middle of a group of songs or artists that the crowd is familiar with. And I definitely want people to dance and get silly!
What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
High energy from start to finish. I'll be dancing and singing along to every song I play. You'll hear at least one song with kazoos and one song with hand claps in it. Ridonk! A costume box has been known to make frequent appearances. You'll hear songs you haven't heard in years. As Kim from Doublewide described me, I "play all the songs everyone knows they wanna hear but are too embarrassed to ask for."
What kind of equipment do you use?
CDs, two CD players, and a mixer. I think that's what's called "kickin' it middle school." Ha! I'd love to kick it old-school with vinyl and turntables but with the wide variety of music I play, I'd need a team of helper monkeys to cart all those records around. I love monkeys, so if anyone out there wants to provide me with a team of them, I'll switch to vinyl in a heartbeat.
Requests. Love em or hate em?
A bit of both. When fans request songs that I've introduced (or re-introduced) to them, that's totally bad ass! When people act appalled because I don't have or won't play a certain band/artist/song, I give that behavior two big thumbs down. I'll always be confused by people who start their request off with, "Man, this music sucks". My reply? "Hmmmm, things are not looking too good for you hearing the song you want." It seems lots of people missed the day in kindergarten where they taught about asking nicely for things. The thing I hate most about requests is when people ask for shitty Top 40 they can hear on the radio at least once an hour, like anything by the Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, or songs that make me want to vomit out of my butthole like "Single Ladies" or "Rude Boy." People who ask for that kinda shit obviously aren't paying any attention to what I'm doing and might wanna march their happy asses on down to bars that cater solely to douche bags.
If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
Oh wow. I'm gonna go with a show featuring Gogol Bordello, Queen, Throw Rag, the Specials, and the Toy Dolls. Is that asking too much?
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What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
The incredibly wide range of genres you'll hear me play, my over-the-top energy and enthusiasm for what I'm doing. I'm a total dork and I embrace that. I'd rather be playing close to the dance floor, dancing along with my fans instead of being stuck behind a DJ booth. I like being involved with my audience and being approachable. I don't care about what people consider to be "cool." If it makes people (or even just me) laugh, I'll play the most ridonkulous song in the world!
When/where will you be playing next?
Every Wednesday for Danger Zone upstairs at The Cavern (Lower Greenville). Monday, May 31, (and the fourth Monday of every month) at Billiard Bar (Lower Greenville). Thursday, June 10, at La Grange (Deep Ellum). Saturday, June 19, (and the third Saturday of every month) for G.Y.N.O. (Git Yer Nutzzz Off) at Fallout Lounge (Expo Park)
What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2010?
More gigs, more fun, more outrageous antics! And I'm really hoping for that team of monkeys.
Los Straitjackets - Munster's Theme
Bobby "Boris"Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers - The Monster Mash
The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird
The Contours - Do You Love Me?
Ween - Mr. Richard Smoker
Queen - Seaside Rendezvous
Village People - Macho Man
Total Coelo - I Eat Cannibals
Josie Cotton - Johnny Are You Queer?
Boyz II Men - Motown Philly
Bobby Brown - My Prerogative
Eazy-E - Gimmie That Nutt
Leslie Gore - It's My Party (and I'll Cry If I Want To)
The Angels - My Boyfriend's Back
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears - Bitch, I Love You
Huey "Piano" Smith & the Clowns - Don't You Just Know It
Pete Wingfield - 18 With a Bullet