Having grown up in the '80s, DJ Sean Michaels gives credit to the era for the his diverse taste in music, and he claims that much of his inspiration came from the time period as well.
"My music pallet is not just one type of music," he says. "Some of my favorite stuff was the '80s alternative stuff like Depeche Mode, Erasure, [and] New Order."
The party DJ has been spinning for 20 years now, and he remains adamant about keeping the art of playing tunes pure, too.
"DJs use turntables or CD players to play the music," Michaels says, after explaining why he thinks using computer programs such as Abelton does not qualify someone as a DJ.
He currently has three weeklys in the metroplex area, spinning each Tuesday and Friday at Duke's Roadhouse in Addison and every Thursday at Cowboys in Arlington.
Check him out some time, and read out full Q&A with him after the jump. And while you do, give DJ Sean Michaels exclusive DC9er Mixtape a listen.
How long have you been DJing for?
How did you get your start DJing?
Well, I was thrown into it at a bar I worked at in 1990 because I was the only one that knew the music.
What was your first gig like?
Trail and error, but it was a fun learning experience that's for sure.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is anything above 120 BPM that is electronic, but my club style ranges from alternative to club hits. These days, you have to be diverse with music if you want to keep a gig. A lot of the DJs today don't know all types of music, they just know what they play.
Which DJs do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
I really don't have a favorite per say, I'm really picky when it comes to DJs. Nowadays, you go to a show and you see a DJ using laptops to put their show together. Ableton? This is not DJing, this is a live show where the computer does all of your mixing for you. They are just producing it. DJs use turntables or CD players to play the music. Serato is a CPU-based program, but you have to know how to mix and blend music correctly to put on a show.
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What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
Electro house/progressive house. Tis music has come so far over the years, and it will only get better with time. When I'm just listening, I love good jazz.
How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
Well, it all depends where I am. If I'm DJing a club, then I read my room, and let that guide me. If it's a festival or big event then I'll prepare a set for that particular show.
How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
In the clubs, I just go with the flow of the room. [For a] big event, I'll take about four to five hours preparing a set.
What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? (Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether?)
I like to do it all--entertain and educate them. It can be a tricky thing to do these days because everyone does not do their music research anymore. They just want to hear what the radio stations feed them. But I have seemed to figure out how to keep them interested over the past few years.
What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
A little bit of everything. In the clubs, I'll be playing a lot of remixes of current day tracks along with some of the electronic hits as well. When I play at just a bar, you will hear alternative, and all of the current-day hits as well.
What kind of equipment do you use?
Well, considering that most of the clubs nowadays don't have their own gear, I have to travel compactly. I use Serato with Mac Book Pro, Rane Mp22 Mixer, Denon Hc4500 Midi Controller. But I have always loved a good set of turntables.
Requests. Love em or hate em?
I don't mind them that much, until that one person says, "Can you play something crunk or ghetto?" Then I just blow them off.
If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
I don't know! It would be kind of cool to work with U2 or some group on that level.
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What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
That's a trick question. Umm... all DJs have their own style. So I would hope that I'm completely different than most of the other DJs in this market.
When/where will you be playing next?
You can catch me at Duke's Roadhouse on Tuesdays and Fridays, and at Cowboys in Arlington on Thursdays.
What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2010?
A lot, I hope. Keep your ears open and eyes tuned into my website for details.
DC9er Mixtape Tracklist:
1. My First Kiss- 3OH!3 (Chuckie Extended Remix)
2. Bumpy Ride - Mohombi (Chuckie Remix)
3. Like a G6 - Far East Movement ft Cataracs,Dev (Chew Fu Rmx)
4. Housebeat - Spencer and Hill
5. DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love - Usher - (DJ Kue Remix)
6. Body Shots - Kaci Battaglia (WaWa Extended Mix)
7. Louder Than Words - AfroJack & David Guetta (Original Mix)
8. Dynamik - DeadMau5 (Original_Mix)
9. My Otherside - Red Hot Chili Peppers(Benny Benassi Remix)