Friday, November 27, 2009

Interview with the hotest veteran DJ: Dru West

(Listen to a special 43-minute episode with DJ Dru West, click on the title)
DJ Dru West Presented by The Great Unknowns Podcast, Ep XXI
Electro Remix Ep 3.7 by DJ Dru West
Dru West was born in Milwaukee, WI and currently resides in New York City. This DJ has played in clubs and underground parties all across the US. In such cities as Madison WI, Milwaukee, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, Denver, San Diego, Los Angeles, Dallas, South Padre Island TX, San Francisco, and now New York City where West hopes to expand his DJ career.Since I was a kid I had a passion for music. Iremember my mom buying me a fisher price radio with a tape player and mic on it. I use to pretend I was a radio DJ. I then asked her to get me a second one so I could play different songs back and forth.

West has been in the club scene for nearly 15 years, but it wasn’t always a successful journey.

In college, West played top-40 music in the only club in La Crosse, WI and was a Top 40 Radio DJ. After attending his first rave in Chicago, Dru started performing in underground raves throughout the Midwest.

In 1999 West moved to San Diego and this is when his career began to take off as a club DJ. West was a DJ/Promoter for the infamous Club Velvet, that drew 3,000 plus clubbers every Saturday night. When West moved to San Francisco in 2003, his career went to a new level, putting on events in various clubs under his E-Clipse Productions Company. Dru worked in famous clubs like 1015 Folsom, Fuse, Club 6, Mighty, and an assortment of other popular Bay Area clubs and underground parties.

Today, West is getting acclimated to the New York Club Scene. He has played at Club Libation and is currently working on some new production, in an effort to release a new CD in the spring of 2010.

When did you know you wanted to be in music?

Did you play an instrument when you were a kid?
Yes I played trumpet and then expanded to drums and some piano as I got older.
You are from Wisconsin, originally. How did you end up in San Diego?
I was working as a Marketing Manager in the bars and clubs in WI for J&B Scotch Whiskey. The company I worked for relocated me to San Diego, which turned out great for my DJ career.
So, how did you get into the DJ scene? What was your first gig?
I use to DJ parties in our basement of our house in college. When the only club in town (Sneakers Night Club) was auditioning DJ’s my friends encouraged me to try out. Needless to say, I got the gig.
Do you remember how many people attended that first club?
About 800 plus.
Can you tell me your biggest audience attendance was?
About 10,000 plus.
What was the craziest party?Definitely when I played before Crystal Method in South Padre Island, Texas during Spring Break in 2004.
When you left San Diego was it because you were offered a larger venue(s)?
I moved back to Madison, WI and started a production company called E-Clipse Productions. Since a law past banning raves in WI, I went to capitalized on my connections in the clubs (through J&B and Miller) to started putting on various events.
I see that you were with the Lighter Knight DJ's in San Francisco. Is this collective still together? No. The two people I was in that collective with are now apart of a huge burning man crew in SF. I heard that you did the music score for a modeling runway show also in San Francisco. Tell me about that. How did it feel to have a different type of spotlight?
Honestly it was great. I felt honored to be apart of such a great show. The live mix I did turned out so amazing that I released it as my first CD called Runway Journey back in 2005.
You're in New York City now. Is it everything you'd hope it would be or is it so saturated with competition with other DJ's that you feel that you don't have the popularity you once had?
NY is very interesting and can be an amazing place for a DJ. However, so far in my experience here, I have found it to be a tough go. Most of the promoters and club owners I have met do not care about a DJ musically, but more how many people the DJ can bring through the door. In my opinion, yes you want a DJ that will bring in a crowd, but that is also the promoter’s job. What bothers me about this, is that most promoters and club owners I have run into so far in NY do not want to agree on a flat rate to pay the DJ for their services. They rather pay the DJ based on how many people show up to see them specifically. Honestly it should be a flat rate or a combination of the two. Never the less, it has allowed me to focus more on the production side of things, while I continue to meet connections, build a following, and scout out place’s to start putting on my own club events.
Because of technology changes, do you feel like the music industry is better or has it become too crazy, because people are almost on equal ground?
I feel on some level because of technology things have progressed in the right direction. Especially from a production stand point and incorporating that production with a DJ’s live set. However from just a DJ stand point I thing some of the technological changes have allowed almost anyone to be a “DJ”.
You have your own company called, E-Clipse Productions, correct? Are you working with any other DJ's at the moment, or are you still recruiting to build your own collective?
Yes. I am currently scouting out places to begin putting on events in the New Year here in NY. I am also meeting up and coming NYC DJ’s to join me once I find the right venue.
What is the future of DJ Dru West? What can fans expect from you in the future?
My immediate plans are to continue to network and get familiar with the NY scene. My goals for the New Year are to start my own bi weekly internet radio show called
E-Music, began putting on events in NY, and continued working in the studio on new production for my Spring 2010 CD release.

To listen to the special full-length Electro Remix by DJ Dru West, go to: Great Unknowns Presents

For more information about DJ Dru West, go to: E-Clipse Productions

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