My #1 goal is to have fun - not to make a living from this.
have a day job to take care of the "making a living" part.
I'm not swimming in a sea of money, but I'm able to "make it
by" without DJing at all, and I'm not looking to change that.
When it comes to DJing and promoting, money is important
- very important - but
my main goal is to throw the most entertaining parties that I can
so that everyone, both onstage and in the crowd, is having
a good time.
I will never forget where I came from.
was born in Tulsa, and I have always lived in the general Tulsa area.
I moved back into Tulsa proper in 1999. I love this city.
I'm not the biggest fan of the city government, and it would be nice
to have a little less road construction happening at any given time...
but I love Tulsa. This is my home.
grew up listening to Tulsa radio. When I was younger, I bought
music from Mohawk Music, and Buttons, and Starship. I listened
to K-107 when I was a kid, and when I found out about Tulsa's KTOW
progressive radio in the late 1980s, I switched over to that.
I even DJed in the early 1990s as part one of the most infamous alternative
music crews in the Tulsa area, "The Edge of Insanity" (which
later became known as the "EOI Network."
I go out to eat, I want my pizza from Mario's. I want my Mexican
food from La Hacienda or Elote. I want my Chinese food from
Sezchuan Express, or Keo if I'm feeling especially fancy. I
want my cheese fries (no bacon, please) from the Brook. Feel
like coffee? I'd rather go to the Gypsy than a Starbucks any
day of the proverbial week.
isn't perfect... but it's a part of me, and I am fortunate enough
to be a part of it.
Uniqueness and innovation are imperative.
have never been a very "go with the flow" type of person.
Even in my high school days, I was rather odd... mainly because I
wanted to be. The status quo in my school were mainly listening
to either country music or Guns + Roses. I was the weird kid
in black listening to Depeche Mode and the Smiths and the Cure and
Nine Inch Nails.
when I put on my events, I'm usually going to try to do something
that's at least a little bit different than what you can find elsewhere.
instance... I probably shouldn't tell you this, but anyone
can put on a retro night. It takes skill to have a
good retro night. The basics are easy - you get some
old tunes and you play them, hopefully in a manner that people will
specialize in retro nights, but I aim to make them different than
most, with light shows that often include rare vintage light fixtures
and DJing that usually includes mixing from real vinyl records.
I'm never going to walk in and just start punching keys on a laptop
to play a few MP3s for people. (I'll hire "laptop DJs"
for my events, though, if I like and respect their work.)
is not enough for me to just "throw a party."
I have to offer something at least a little different. If people
are spending their valuable time and money to come to an event of
mine, they deserve something genuinely special. That's what
I aim to give them.
I will show the utmost respect to my performers.
you're working for me at a paid event (not a charity or other freebie
event), then YOU'RE GETTING PAID, unless you outright refuse.
You'll know at least a close ballpark estimate of what you're being
paid (usually the exact amount) long before you ever set foot behind
the decks. Whether it's a paid event or not, then you're going
to be treated with plenty of respect. I'll never ask anyone
to do something "for the exposure." "Exposure"
doesn't pay the bills, and any promoter worth his/her salt knows that.
I often have a definite clear "vision" of how I want an
event to go, I also am open to discussions and differing opinions
from my fellow DJs. It's a team effort, and when you're working
with me for the night, we're on the same team.
The DJ industry is oversaturated with clueless newbies, and I only
select DJs in whom I have a sufficient level of confidence.
I won't hire "just anyone" to work at my events; yeah, it's
supposed to be enjoyable work, but it's not "amateur hour"
a professional... but I don't walk around with a stick up my butt.
It's important to me that people are having fun. Unless
I'm stressed out (which, granted, does happen from time to time),
I'm usually cracking jokes and doing everything I can to make people
- including the DJs - feel welcome.
all things considered, I guess that DJs are supposed to feel
somewhat "privileged" to be able to get to work with someone
like me. Whatever. In reality, I feel the other way around.
I feel geeked when I ask someone like DJ Axis if he wants to work
together again and he says "yes." I am excited when
I can reach out to DJs like Sokmonkey, Bone!!, and Morbidkitty in
Oklahoma City and have them agree to perform with me. Knowing
that I have solid, established, professional DJs who actually want
to work with me makes me really feel privileged... and it
tells me that I just might be doing something right.
any DJs who work with me ever think that I'm not doing something right
- if they feel like I could improve somehow, or they want to give
me tips and input - as long as they're being civil about it and we're
able to talk through things, I'm more than happy to address things
and do what I can do make things better.
want to be continue to be known as someone with whom DJs enjoy
working, and with whom they would want to work with again afterward.
That's a big deal to me.
I will never physically assault my performers.
ties in pretty closely with the whole "respecting my performers"
thing, but it warrants its own entry on this list.
wish I didn't even have a reason to mention this, and it sounds like
it would be common sense... but, unfortunately, due to a recent incident
in the Tulsa music scene (with which I was, thankfully, not involved),
it is apparently worth mentioning. I haven't been in a physical
fight in a pretty good while. Even if I disagree with someone
vehemently, I think that it's always better to solve disagreements
with my words, not with my fists or with weapons.
being said: If I'm attacked, you'd better believe that I'll
defend myself, and the attacker will not be too happy with the outcome.
If someone I care about is attacked, I'll be jumping in to
help them. Luckily, I haven't been in either position in a very
main thing here is this: No DJ should ever be afraid that a
promoter could abruptly flip out and attack him/her. That is
never going to be an issue for those who work with me.
I will focus on positivity and progress, not juvenile drama.
used to be one for "scene drama," and I dipped my toe into
it a time or two in the past... but I outgrew it years ago.
I would much rather concentrate on putting on the best parties that
I can than focusing on woe-is-me negativity.
accept that life is never perfect, and I can get moody from time to
time, but I'm not one to throw public, angst-filled tantrums like
some kind of spoiled twelve-year-old when I don't get my way.
Scene drama just isn't my thing; it wastes valuable energy and concentration
that I'd much rather apply in a positive manner toward the success
of my events.
If my name's on the poster, then I'm putting in my share of the work.
first club promoter with whom I ever worked (nobody you would know,
I can practically assure you) told me, outright, when his first turn
in the DJ rotation came around, that he was skipping his first turn
in the rotation because he wanted to "socialize."
When his next turn in the rotation came around, he played a whopping
two songs and then asked me to continue DJing instead of
him because the vibrations from the stage were [allegedly] messing
with his vinyl emulation software... so he just couldn't even attempt
to go on. He didn't try to perform for the rest of the night.
will never treat my co-DJs that way. If I'm advertised on the
promotional materials as one of the DJs for the evening, then you'd
better believe that I'm going to be putting in the work just like
the rest, unless I have a serious emergency situation arise.
I will never get plastered at an event that I'm promoting.
I'm a bit of a "control freak" when it comes to my own performances.
As my friends know, I don't mind a drink now and then. If someone
I've hired to DJ at one of my club events has a drink or two, I've
got no problem with that.
moderation is key.
will never see me "hammered," "trashed," or "wasted"
when I am hosting or when I perform as a DJ in a professional setting.
(Heck, you probably won't even see me in that condition even if I'm
DJing at a friend's birthday party or any other "non-professonal"
event.) I don't like the idea of compromising my performance
in such a manner, and in order for me to give my audiences the best
experiences that I can, I need to keep a clear head. I owe that
much to those people who are taking the time out of their lives to
come to my events.
I want to be known as a true, honest professional.
art of DJing is one of the absolute cornerstones of my life.
I've been doing it for over twenty-six years, and it's more than a
hobby to me... it is a passion. It's like something in my bloodstream
that I can't shake off.
my professional reputation in the DJ industry is massively
important to me. It's not something that I'm willing to jeopardize.
as a DJ and a promoter, I want people to have a great time, but I
also want my performers as well as my audiences to see me as someone
reliable that they can genuinely respect.
a real human being. I pride myself as a professional, but you
might occasionally hear me drop a "cuss word," or two, or
a baker's dozen - depending on where I am and who's around me at the
time. :) I will occasionally say things, in person or
online, that aren't 100% agreeable... and I'll be happy to get into
mature discussions about those things if you disagree.
being human, I will
make mistakes - oh, I know that I'll make mistakes
- but I'll be mature enough to own up to them.
I will try really, really hard to not spam the hell out of people.
I'm promoting an event, then I have to get the word out.
If people don't know about an event, they probably aren't going to
just stumble into it. So, I have to tell my fans as well as
my friends about my forthcoming events. I can't apologize for
that; it's the nature of promotion. Heck, that's pretty much
the very definition of promotion.
there are certain things I try to avoid. I will try, really
hard, not to try to put my flyers/posters up on your Facebook over
and over and over and over within the course of a day.
You might see me post about an event several times within the week
before the event, and you might see me get on a roll and post a bunch
of music videos or other items that are associated on an
event page within the course of a day, but I will at least try to
keep it interesting and not wallpaper your newsfeed with a dozen pictures
of the same poster design.
you'll see me tag people who are directly involved with an event.
If I hire DJ Sokmonkey for an event, then he's probably going to get
tagged, so that Sokmonkey fans can (gasp!) know about his forthcoming
performance. That just goes with the territory when it comes
one thing I won't do: You WILL NOT EVER see me tag dozens of
people in an event post on Facebook just to force their attention.
That is - pardon my proverbial French here - a bullshit tactic.
Tagging sixty or eighty or a hundred people in a promotional post,
without their permission, is not only annoying to those people (since
now they're all having to click through a notification), but if they
still have their settings set to the Facebook defaults, then that
means that the sleazeball promoter will now be using those
people's Facebook pages, without their consent, to spam their
friends for the promoter's event. When I see promoters doing
that, I usually don't go to their events - and I usually unfollow
them on Facebook.
And, yeah, as a not-so-esteemed colleague of mine once told me - and
I'm paraphrasing here - "...but they can turn it off or tell
me to stop tagging them." People shouldn't have to
do so. Luckily, that's a tactic that real professionals
don't do, because it's so incredibly desperate-looking, and - again
- it's widely regarded as a bullshit tactic.
I will always be thankful.
I'm hosting an event, odds are that you're going to see me off-stage,
between sets, walking around talking to people. Of course, I'll
be chatting with friends, but don't be too surprised, even if you
and I have never met, if I come up and personally thank you for showing
audiences are essential to my success as a promoter and as
a DJ. As I posted in my last
blog entry, I feel insanely lucky to have the fans that I have,
and I will always be extremely grateful for those people who choose
to join me at my events.