How long have you been DJing for?
I started spinning back in 1989 or1990, when I moved to Dallas from Gary, Indiana. I had one turntable and a tape deck (remember those?) along with a cheap Radio Shack Realistic mixer and I would record songs on tape and mix back and forth between the two.
How did you get your start DJing?
Well, it started with me going to clubs in Chicago and listening to the radio as a teenager. Before I was old enough to go out, I would listen to radio stations WBMX and WGCI with DJs such as The Hot Mix 5 and Super Mix 6 and the things they were doing on the radio was a representation of what was (then) a new culture, which was being called "house." Once I was old enough to go clubbing, my friends and I would make the short drive to Chicago and soak in the fresh vibrant music, fashion, and culture. After experiencing this I knew I wanted to DJ.
What was your first gig like?
My first gig was back in the early '90s at a place called S.O.A. which would go on to become a hub for the underground dance music scene in the mid- to late-'90s, and even later when the location became known as Minc. S.O.A. had just opened up and a friend of mine named Keith Pillars hired me to play at his event called "Show and Tell." The other DJs for the party, Tim Shumaker, Clayton Acklin, along with Keith, would play an influential part in helping to spearhead the underground house or "rave" culture locally, here in Dallas.
Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise?
First off, my biggest influence DJ-wise would have to be the legendary Ron Hardy (R.I.P.). After my first trip to the Music Box, words can't come close to describing his influence. My biggest influences music-wise would have to be the Chicago DJ/producers who laid the groundwork for an entire generation of young men and women across the globe to enjoy what would become known as "UK Rave" or "Acid House" culture. Without DJs like Ron Hardy, Frankie Knuckles, Farley Jackmaster Funk, Wayne Williams, Lil Louis, Leonard Remix Rroy, there would be no Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold, Armin Van Buuren, David Guetta, Rusko etc.
How would you describe your personal style?
That's a hard question to tackle. I don't like to pigeonhole myself. House music DJs originally were pretty diverse with their playlists, and personally I like my sets to reflect the overall diversity of house music culture. I might drop varied and seemingly disparate (to some) genres like tech house along with some nu disco and maybe some deep or afro or jackin house in the same set.
Which DJ's do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
That's another tough one. Nowadays, it seems like everyone and their mama is a DJ, so its hard to pick a "favorite." I do try to listen to as many DJs as possible because you never know what hot music you are going to be exposed to. For example, a few years ago I was listening to local DJ Kelle Marie spin and she dropped a dope track that I'd never heard before. The track in question turned out to be called "Rej" by German group Âme, which became one of my favorite tracks to spin. DJs that I try to follow include, but aren't limited to, Theo Parrish, Gene Hunt, Karizma, DJ Jus Ed, Mike Dunn, Snuff Crew, Franck Rogers, the Martinez Brothers... I could go on for days.
What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
I love disco,which is where house music (for the most part) comes from. But I also grew up on the blues, soul, hip-hop, a bit of gospel and a bit of rock 'n' roll.
How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
It all depends on various factors, and a very important factor is the ability to read the crowd. With my Disco's Revenge event, I always want to complement my partner's [Woody Rosen] style. Woody's sound is geared towards deep soulful vocal house, so I try to maintain a healthy balance between our two styles.
How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
For any self-respecting DJ, preparation should be at the top of the list. For me, DJing is like a form of communication between the crowd and myself, and my job is to connect to them. Knowing what songs or tracks to play (and when to play them) is all part of the preparation.
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 think all three. If I'm able to give people--especially those with no knowledge of the culture--"something different," then perhaps I can turn someone on to a new culture and maybe they will want to "educate" themselves to the music and culture.
What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
Well, if someone comes to a Disco's Revenge-related event, they will hear the best music available, and they will see people dancing and singing to the beat.
What kind of equipment do you use?
Vinyl, CDs, Technics turntables, Pioneer CDJs, and whatever other equipment the venue has available.
Requests. Love em or hate em?
I love to hate them. Do I look like a jukebox?
If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
Anywhere in the world that has a first-rate sound system and people who are plugged into the music and culture and I would be happy.
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What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
One thing that sets me apart is my passion. Being from the Chicago area and growing up around the culture allows me to have a different perspective on the scene as a whole. The same can be said for someone who loves house music from NYC or Los Angeles or San Francisco for that matter. I think we respect and understand the overall music and culture a bit more.
When/where will you be playing next?
Monday, October 11, I'm scheduled for Cool Out at the Cavern. Saturday, October 30, I'm throwing a Disco's Revenge Halloween party at Zubar and, Saturday November 6, Disco's Revenge will be celebrating Woody Rosen's birthday at the Absinthe Lounge.
What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2010?
Continuing to grow the Disco's Revenge brand by hosting quality parties and showcasing quality house music from around the world. We are doing our part to keep Dallas disco! Visit our blog.
DC9er mixtape track list:
Franck Rogers - Stolen Moments
Tikkle - Outer Limits
Eric Kupper presents K-Scope - Latin Blues
Big Moses - Brighter Days
Luther Vandross - Shine (Pablo Martinez Remix)
Runaway - Brooklyn Club Jam
Phaze 2 presents The Mirror Ball Project - Push Push
Chip E ft. K Joy - Time To Jack
This Ain't Chicago - Ride the Rhythm
Jazz N Groove - Givin My Love
Michael Procter - Fall Down
Quintin Harris - Deja Vu (instrumental)
Marshall Jefferson presents Ragtyme - Raindance
M.IN & David Keno - Sickness
Terrance Mcdonald - Mind over Matter
Timmy Regisford - Child Like
Musiq Soulchild - The Reason (Shelter Mix)
Jiva - I Realized
Aaron Carl - Crucified
Omar - Lay It Down