Sunday, 19th August 2018. 8:01:57am ET
Interviews DJ Interviews Interview- DJ DvlsAdvct (DJ Spotlight)






Getting to know:

DJ DvlsAdvct:   



Jack Phoenix:  Let’s start with your name, DJ Handle, age, if you wish, and residency home base?


DJ DvlsAdvct: Jared, 25. DJ at Asylum Guild in New York.


Jack Phoenix:  How long have you been a DJ?


DJ DvlsAdvct: My first live gig was September 2005, but I was a "bedroom DJ" for about a year before that.


Jack Phoenix: Where was the first gig, how did it go


DJ DvlsAdvct: The first gig was in a club called the Fuze Box in Albany.  It was called Coda, and was run by my friends Lee (aka DJ Strange?) and Ernesto (DJ Ernesto).I had practiced and planned a set all the while creating mixes and beatmatches just for it,and then I had to improv on top of all of it.


I played stuff Albany had never heard before (Combichrist, Grendel, Celldweller, Iron Lung Corporation) and got everyone dancing, including a random group from a birthday party. From that point I was completely hooked.


Jack Phoenix:  Have you played anywhere else besides NY, if not; do you hope or plan to soon?


DJ DvlsAdvct: I've spun at QXT's in Jersey, but other than that not very much.  I'm talking to friends out in Las Vegas, Ohio, Portland, Boston, Vermont, Atlanta and elsewhere about coming out for gigs.


Jack Phoenix:  What made you interested in DJing for more than just a hobby thing to do?


DJ DvlsAdvct: I think the things that drew me in were the same things that draw a lot of DJs in.


I was promoting for a Goth club called The Abyss, run by my dear friend Penny Green, and I noticed that the crowd was getting very bored with the music.  There are only so many times in one month you can go to a club and hear the DJs spinning the same music. And, at that, while I love the guys that were the DJs on a personal level, they weren't very good DJs.  The song choices were not logical, the flow didn't exist.  And I wanted something different.  I wanted energy and flow, and I wanted to bring that to the crowd.  So I started practicing until I thought I was good enough to go live.


Jack Phoenix:  Were you asked to come back after your first gig, what was the club's reaction to you at your first gig?


DJ DvlsAdvct: The night was run by my friend, so of course he asked me to come back.  But he only ran it two more times and then it ended.  The other local night, Abyss, well, that was a different story.  But after a few gigs and a lot of falling out with the guys who ran it (and after Penny passed away) I ended up running my own monthly event


Jack Phoenix:  What was that event called, how long did it run?


DJ DvlsAdvct: That event was called Revolver (though I wanted to spell it R/EvolvE\R but everyone talked me out of that).It was a monthly event that I just started to be able to spin more with and for my friends.  It ran for about 10 months.  I eventually started using it to test out new equipment, bring out my turntables, and just to have fun.  It wasn't a serious event, and I just wanted to have fun.


Jack Phoenix:   You have an interesting DJ name:  What's the story behind it.


DJ DvlsAdvct: Well, it was an online moniker of mine for a while.  I just always considered myself to think like a devil's advocate.I would constantly have debates with friends and disagree with them just for the sake of it, to see their reactions.  As I grew up it just became an alter-ego of mine.  As I became a DJ decided that I wanted to play music others wouldn't just to play it.  There is a point where club hits and "safe" music need to be ignored. The debate was between DJ Devil's Advocate (which I eventually shortened) and DJ Peepers, which was an imp template I was developing for a gaming system an old friend of mine were designing.   Thankfully I didn't choose Peepers. Against the better judgment of some friends, though.


Jack Phoenix: Ok, I'm new to town and hear about your event.  If I was to go to your club, what would my first impression of you probably be as a DJ, in and out of the booth there?


DJ DvlsAdvct: Out of the booth... well, I'm a sarcastic, cocky, funny asshole.  I don't really care who you are, and I don’t expect you to care who I am.  I'm just a guy who loves this stuff.  I try to have fun and provide an energy to keep people in the room, regardless of the music playing.  I like to have fun and I like to make sure my friends and those around me are having fun.And I'm a DJ who will get on the dance floor and rock out.  Apparently, from what I've been told, that's strange.


In the booth?  Well, first thing you'll notice is I spin on a laptop with a cool looking controller.  Some people roll their eyes and walk away but, well, I'm not here to impress those people.


Second, I mix, beat match, use effects and blend different genres.  I will mash songs together and do really long transitions to build the energy.  I dance, and try to "perform" while I DJ.  I've learned that DJing is a big energy trade.


As the crowd's energy grows, my energy grows.  But as my energy grows I have noticed that other people relax.  I have no problem making a fool of myself in the booth, flailing around and trying to keep things high energy cause, well, if I look bored why should I expect anyone around me to have fun?

I am there to entertain people and keep them having fun.  If that means I need to do the foxtrot in the booth to ::wumpscut:: then that's what I'm going to do, just because it'll make people laugh, help them relax, and then they'll think they won't look like as much of a fool as me when they are dancing.


Jack Phoenix:  SO, what's your setup when you DJ, vinyl, CD, Computer?  What do you use as a setup, and how does the present setup you use make a difference to other layouts you've used?


DJ DvlsAdvct: Well, I spent the first three years DJing live on CDs, or on digital vinyl.  I learned the mix and beat match on vinyl and the tactile nature of it sucked me in.So I went out, bought two turntables and a mixer, but alas, I didn't have any vinyl.  A lot of this stuff is never released on vinyl, or is REALLY expensive. So I bought Final Scratch with Traktor 3 and started using my laptop as a giant hard drive just to be controlled by the vinyl. That and CDs were my main method for a while.  CDs lose the tactile control, and a lot of the nuance of DJing.  I don't find it very enjoyable.


Now I spin on a laptop with a VCI-100.  I have customized the controller to do whatever I want, really.  I have instant tactile control over effects and loops, and its how I've grown to love what I do.The main difference between them is this: Vinyl has so much tactile response.  Riding the pitch is easier because I just have to nudge the record to make it do what I want.  I'm very limited, however, in loops and cues because, well, that's not what turntables are built for.


CDs are the easiest medium to spin on.  You are very limited to the technology in front of you, and usually you have a digital read out for your pitch.  Once you have beat matched the tracks, if you don't have an expensive mixer or CD deck, that's pretty much all you can do.


So the blend comes naturally. On a laptop it cuts out the middle man.  I no longer need to manually beat match (oh noess!  I said that out loud).  I can, in fact, focus on doing long, three minute blends with loops, effects and EQ.


The nice thing about it, in the end, is it’s open ended.  I can do almost anything, and I'm only limited by my creativity and understanding of MIDI.


Jack Phoenix:  So, where are you DJing now and what is in the upcoming future for you as far as spinning?


DJ DvlsAdvct: I am spinning at Asylum Guild in New York City.  It's the only weekly industrial night in Manhattan.  On the horizon?  Well, I spin at Sinteque (AnnabelEvil’s gig in the city), and a friend of mine and I are looking at starting something new, we're just shopping around for venues (the hardest part in this city).


Jack Phoenix:  What was the best gig you ever had, and what happened to make it so?


DJ DvlsAdvct: The first time I ran my own night I spun with the three DJs that taught me to DJ: DJ Strange?, DJ Ghost and DJ Ernesto.  They were my close friends, and I got to give them a gig, and let them show their art form for everyone.  I pulled a decent crowd, everyone had fun, and I got to spin with the people who made me the kind of DJ I had always wanted to be.


Jack Phoenix:  What the absolute strangest thing you ever saw at one of your nights?


DJ DvlsAdvct: A few months ago, at Asylum Guild, we were all hanging out, the night was winding down, it was about 3AM, and this guy comes down in high top sneakers, skin tight jeans, a gas station vest, a trucker hat and the most epic mullet I've ever seen this side of 1987.


He started "dancing" by jumping into the air and spinning around.  We all started to get a huge kick out of this.  He almost fell a couple of times.  It was my turn to go on so I started rocking out with the silly stuff (covers of 80's tunes for the win).  This guy went nuts.  Then a few friends came down, everyone took their shirts off and started doing pushups on the dance floor...There's video of it, just hasn't been uploaded yet.


Jack Phoenix:  Now that sounds hilarious!


DJ DvlsAdvct: It was quite an experience.


Jack Phoenix:  You've probably had some nights where, no matter what you play, people don't dance, at least not at first.  How have you handled such times?


DJ DvlsAdvct: Well, in my experience, there are two different situations.  There is the situation where no matter what you play people won't get on the dance floor and just wander around.  And there's when everyone stands around the dance floor waiting for you to play that song to get them to dance.The first is a lot harder because usually the crowd just doesn't want to dance.  They just want to drink and party with their friends.  In the situation I play more obscure music that isn't very danceable and try to fade it into higher energy stuff to get them having fun.


The second situation is a guess and check, really.  You got to find that song that will explode the energy.  Hits are good for this, tracks you know they will dance to.  The hard part with this is if you pick an overplayed song they might just get fed up.  I try not to focus on the really popular songs, and instead try to build the energy with songs I know have energy that will make them dance, and the place the well known songs within there.


Jack Phoenix:  What are some of the artists a newcomer would hear you spin during your set?


DJ DvlsAdvct: Well, Nitzer Ebb, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Icintilla, Cyanotic, Mindflux Funeral, Schallfaktor, Industriegebiet, genCAB, And One, Ego Likeness, Steril, Noisuf-X, Caustic, Frontline Assembly, Memmaker, [X]-Rx, Stromkern, A Split Second, Pig, Chemlab... and other stuffI spin a lot of different styles of music together so as not to get bored, or bore the crowd


Jack Phoenix:  What are you listening to nowadays, on a personal, not club, level?


DJ DvlsAdvct:Lately I've been listening to a lot of Psytrance, some older industrial (Chemlab, Acumen Nation), My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, new Goldfrapp, and the new Prodigy album (which fucking rocks). Once again, all over the place.  I have musical ADD.



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