Who does DJ Dan want to meet? "Martha Stewart---Because she's a gangster"
DJ Dan kicks back with Eventvibe to discuss his career and upcoming projects...
EV: "The hardest working DJ in America!" You rose from the Los Angeles rave scene. What originally got you started in the industry?
D: I started out going to clubs when i was in high school/college and one of the first dj's that i got into watching was Donald Glaude at a club in Seattle called "The Underground". I eventually moved out to LA and hooked up with Ron D. Core. He got me involved in the rave scene out here just as the rave scene was starting to take off.
EV: What specific point in time did you say to yourself, deejaying/producing is what you wanted to do?
D: I originally went to school for design but when I graduated I couldn¹t get a job that really excited me. At this point, i was living in LA and the scene was really starting to take off. Ron D. Core and myself launched a party called "No-Doz" and eventually my bookings just started to take off. I went from dj'ing in my bedroom to dj'ing in front of 3000+ crowds. There was no turning back from there. I may go back into the design biz later on, but for now im pretty content dj¹ing and producing.
EV: The Dj Dan sound is distinct and funky as hell (and I think the industry needs more funk Spencer); where does your musical influence come from?
D: I'm inspired by all types of music but I think that some of the most influential artists to me have been artists like Prince, Depeche Mode, New Order, Midnight Star, Zapp and Roger, The Police, Daft Punk and the list goes on.
EV: The 'Lift' mix series has drawn huge success. Do you have plans for another volume? Or what do you have planned for 2009?
D: The Lift series was amazing but i've taken on a completely new project. I've finally finished my first artist album. It's been in the making for quite sometime and I'm really looking forward to releasing it. I have an arsenal of brand new music that no one has heard and I've been waiting for the right time to drop it. The album can be best described in two words "Future Retro".
EV: I've always admired, in your words, how you don't "base [your] mix around the newest tracks of the weekŠrather, what would make a great set." What do you look for in music that you play or producers that you follow?
D: It just has to hit me in that certain way. The first thing I think of is "How is this going to make the crowd feel?" It's just gotta have that feeling of fun, funk, and energy that I am looking for to inspire me. EV: Being one of the most popular in the industry you've met many of the top figures in the nightlife circuit. Name 3 people outside of the industry that you'd like to meet and why.
D: Martha Stewart---Because she's a gangster Snoop Dogg-------Because he's a gangster Jack Nicholson----Because I always thought he was a tortured soul that I could really learn something from as an artist.
EV: Are there any DJs or producers that you have your eye on?
D: I always have my eyes and ears open for upcoming talent. The newcomers are the future of the electronic scene. I've had my eye on FUKKK OFFF, AC Slater, Popof, Olivier Giacomotto, Bass Weazal, Will Bailey, Calvertron, Dopamine, Jeff T, and Felguk.
EV: Do you prefer DJing or producing songs?
D: Both are important elements in expressing my musical creativity. Both are equally as important to me at this point in my career. I really love taking other people's music and using it in my sets while throwing in my own tracks as well. The cool thing about house music is that it is ever-evolving and it really allows you to experiment and try new tracks to a totally open minded crowd. What more could you ask for really? I love it as much today as I did when I first started.
EV: What was the most influential experience you've had in the industry that pushed you to pursue your goals? What's been the worst experience you've had?
D: I think ONE of the most influential experience was when I got to play my first big tune in front of thousands of people. Its amazing to see a crowd light up to something you create and put your vision into. It was a big sign that I needed to tell my story through this medium. There's been many but that was the first.
The worst experience? There have been a few but the most recent one was playing in South America and the promoter left me at the gig with no ride, no money, and I had to get back to the hotel an hour away to pack quickly to make my flight home. And I left my hard drive in the hotel room with all my music on it and never got it back. That sucked!
EV: What kind of music did you grow up on?
D: I grew up with eight siblings and most of them were into heavy metal. My sisters were into more alternative stuff though like The Police, The Cars, and The B-52¹s. But like I mentioned before, I was heavily influenced by Prince, Depeche Mode, New Order, Midnight Star, and Zapp and Roger.
EV: How has the nightlife industry changed since you first began and now? Has it been for the better?
know, It's just different but I never feel like there is a need to
compare it. Now we have much more amazing sound systems, professional
clubs and promoters. Before there was something really cool about the
Renegade style of promotions and raw sound systems and venues but I
think if I were to choose, Id keep things the way they are today. If we
were to go back in time, we'd all realize how spoiled we are by the
state of the art clubs and systems we have now.
EV: Can you share the story of hunting with your father that changed your lifes path to creating, rather than destroying?
D: Haha, Yes, of course. When I was growing up, around 5 or 6 years old, My dad took me hunting as he did with all my brothers. He taught me how to shoot which I actually thought was really cool because he had alot of really cool and funny targets to shoot at. Unfortunately when he actually killed something, I totally freaked out and started crying in front of his hunting partner and he sent me to the truck all day and he told me that I embarrassed him. It was an ego trip on his part because the rest of my brothers were totally into the sport---He told me I was "different" than the rest of my brothers. The next day he took me shopping at a store that was the equivalent of a Wal-Mart and he let me pick out a new 45 Record, as he always did when we went shopping. We were on the way home and I was spinning it on my finger and it flew out the window in the middle of traffic. My dad stopped the car in traffic, got out and picked it up and handed it back to me. My dad had a very bad temper and was very tough on my brothers growing up, but for some reason he never messed with me. I always thought it was strange but that day he handed me back the record, he said I'm not tough on you because I know that one day you are going to be a very successful artist of some sort and I don't have to worry about you. I was always intimidated by my dad because he was very wise and had an amazing ability to forecast things. It just seems surreal that he was telling me this as I'm spinning a record on my finger. Who knew at that time that spinning records would become a hobby that eventually turned into a lucrative career. Crazy!
CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO PURCHASE DJ DAN'S HIT ALBUMS!!
DJ Dan began spinning in L.A.'s early '90s rave scene and then became
DJ for San Francisco's aptly-named Funky Techno Tribe. Along
with headlining raves in the US and worldwide, DJ Dan has remixed
popular dance artists such as Cirrus and released albums and singles on
labels such as Ultimatum, Kinetic and Moonshine, including 1998's Beats
4 Freaks, 1999's Funk The System and 2000's Put That Record Back On.
DJ Dan was raised in Seattle and eventually settled in Pasadena
and San Francisco, California. Living in California exposed Dan to
different kinds of music; such as high energy and hip-hop and rap from
Los Angeles and disco and house from
San Francisco. Originally a
fashion design major, Dan put design on hold when he decided that music
was his true calling. In 1996 Dan released his first mix CD, Loose
Caboose. After building a DJ career locally, Dan started building a
production career. The production aspect took off for Dan when he did a
remix for Orgy's cover of "Blue Monday." In 1998 he released the mix
CD, Beats 4 Freaks on Moonshine. Dan put himself on the club hit map
with the release of "That Zipper Track" and "Needle Damage" in 1999.
The tracks exploded onto the club circuit and were further impacted
with the release of remixes by Terry Mullan and the mix CD, Funk the
System. The popularity of the releases earned him a slot on a world
wide tour with fellow label artist Carl Cox and producing remixes for
other Moonshine artists like Cirrus. Another Late Night along with the
single Put That Record Back On followed in 2000, speeding along Dan's