It’s finally time to start preparing yourself for another edition of Mojostock. For anybody that decided that it wasn’t that important last year… you missed out! That’s all I can say. This year you have a grand opportunity to redeem yourself… and I suggest you take it!!
It’s a “G” Thang!
Speaking about redemption, I give you George Adrian. For someone that just started to establish himself and then “disappear” for a spell… He has definitely caught my attention on his way back into the thick of things. He has appeared back at the Melody Inn and if you had the chance to catch his first appearance at Thurzdaze (Mousetrap), you can understand the he is all business. If you haven’t already done so, I would take the time to introduce yourself to his intelligent brand of eardrum thunder at Mojostock 2011.
…When were you first introduced to Djing?
G: “First time I ever… ever saw a DJ, or knew of “turntablizm”, was when I was five. My mom’s coworker’s son went to the same grade school so it was convenient for me to get off the bus at his house then get picked up after the adults were done working. I grew up with this kid and he was obsessed with rap… All I wanted to be was the B-boy, graffiti artist. It was something I gravitated toward, you know? My parents didn’t listen to it… it wasn’t the “new wave” that my sister listened to. It was something I wanted to do, before I even KNEW what I wanted to do! It may sound cliché, but back then the DJ’s were so cool. I just wanted to be that guy…”
… So, when did you get gear and decide to go about it your way?
G: “I didn’t start buying records until around 2003, copped some gear but then it got stolen. Upon moving back to Indy I hooked up with Arsenic Jimmy who had a set up in his basement and I started focusing on purchasing more vinyl to try and get a handle on mixing. He taught me a lot considering his ear for production so I give him a lot of credit for opening a lot of doors in that respect. I owe a lot to Jimmy for giving me the opportunity to learn the ropes on his gear…without him i don’t know if I would’ve stuck with it.”
… Has it always been drum n bass for you?
G: “…as far as DJing?”
G: “Well, I wouldn’t classify myself as a ‘turntablist’ because then you’re a human sampler. It’s a lot of cutting, transforming… it’s about mixing and blending tastes. With drum n bass, it was just the tempo…that snare. I’m not a musician and I don’t feel like I’m that musically inclined. I just feel that I’ve always had good internal rhythm and if I were to ever play an instrument, it would be percussion. I’ve been referred to as a “mixologist” which even though I don’t really know what it means, I guess it seems an accurate definition of what I’m trying to do as a “DJ”. One of these days when i can find the time, I’ll definitely try to expand my horizons by adding a few tricks to my bag other than the various genres I know I can play.”
… What is it about DJ’s that draws people in?
G: “We’re just a beacon; The DJ is the flame that has the ability to attract crowds like moths. You go to a place and there’s music; you’re like, “what’s that sound is, who is that… I have to go check it out.” When you’re good, you have a following so there will always be someone that wants to hear you play out. As a DJ you have this interesting role in music/performance, you’re not just a musician. It’s just based more on your knowledge of the music you’re manipulating at that given time, technical skill, and charisma.”
…When you first played out, what stands out in your mind?
G: “That I wasn’t prepared, I was a guy that wanted to get his foot in the door and just because I got this opportunity (@ tha Melody Inn) doesn’t mean that things are going to go right. You have to understand all the parts, the setup, quality of equipment and what frame of mind you’re in. Not surprisingly, I think I have only had maybe 2 or 3 solid sets at the Mel over the past 6 years or so which I walked away from satisfied as far as accomplishing what I set out to do.”
… What’s the hardest lesson you’ve ever had as a DJ?
G: “Records, mp3, or equipment a DJ does not make. A DJ is a creative individual that has to be doing something special. I don’t care how well you can beatmach, how many dubs you have in your “crate”, or what kind of turntablist tricks you have up your sleeve. At the end of the day, it’s how you put all those pieces of the puzzle together in your mind, using the decks and mixer as a means to an end in order to translate your idea to the dance floor. You have to find that special connection…you have to move yourself before you can move the dance floor. Personally, I like to conceptualize my sets as an hour long progression of one idea through several emotions represented by the tracks themselves. When you have a story to tell, it’s a much more intimate experience between the DJ and the dancefloor, ya know? Trying to manage that relationship, especially in Indy where something like minimal drum and bass and/or UK bass music aren’t embraced as much in a live setting, has been something I’ve battled with the past few years. I play a lot of different genres in an effort to keep it fresh; however, much of it isn’t too dancefloor friendly so the audience either just doesn’t get it or isn’t there at all. All in all, DJ’ing for me is a challenge that I love…almost like a mental fetish with the focus it requires to do so many things at once and not train wreck. Once I began to get a handle on how intense a gig can be, the lessons became embraceable as opposed to obstacles.”
… Do you believe it’s important for DJ’s to have general table etiquette?
G: “I think that if you’re not in the right mindset, like jaded or misanthropic or always a ‘debbie downer’, it’s going to translate into what you’re trying to do. If you’re in a negative spot and you go up on the decks, it will translate into; ‘I don’t give a fuck’. That spot is wasted on that bad attitude instead of going to someone that really had something to say or prove.”
… Who in the local scene has influenced you, back in the day and now?
G: “There are really good DJ’s in this city. In no particular order… Shiva, Slater, John Larner, Sea Monkey, Top Speed. It’s hard to turn back the clock because there has been so many thru the years. It’s hard to pick a single influence. In my opinion, there are two DJ’s in this city that are making an honest living plying the craft and that is Slater Hogan and Top Speed.”
“Now a days, Cody (Kodama) and Chris (Hollowpoint) have their fans and Jim Laughner ‘Dubstep Jesus’,(which I will take credit in coining) is making moves, too. As far as Drum N Bass is concerned, if I was to pick one DJ that has helped me hone my skills and inspired me to sharpen my tools in the shed, it’s Sea Monkey. His musical palette is probably the most comparable to mine so it’s logical that I would gravitate towards his “ethic” as a DJ.”
…What changes have you noticed in the scene?
G: “Obvious example would be Juxtapoze. All the Drum N Bass DJ’s that were taking part in Konkrete Jungle got tired of the promoter not putting back into the night. We had a coup d’etat once we were fed up with the way we were being represented. We felt like everything was closed source so we wanted to open the source to every DJ or genre. Let’s show everybody all the great DJ’s this city has to offer, ya know? It was a lot of hard work and we wanted to be diverse as possible which worked for a while. After my ‘situation’ happened, the crew carried the torch for a while. Over time, without the solidarity, passion, and vision it’s drifted back into that “us vs. them” feel that plagued Konkrete Jungle. We put everyone on for a common cause but now it seems like everything’s gone back to the way it was before. Majority of shows are in bars or night clubs where you have to be 21 to enter, which leaves younger people in the dark unlike the mid to late 90’s and early 2000’s. It’s the big problem since the rave culture was basically shut down in this city. I feel like we are starting to lose our customer base. As musicians, DJ’s and performers we’re ambassadors to the music that we love and to continue the singular “tradition” of exposure to new sounds those raves had.”
… What’s in your future, anything big coming up?
G: “A lot of school. I’m an art school dropout and here I am 13 years after my first attempt at college. I think I’m on the right path now. As far as DJing is concerned, I feel that I’ve taken the next step in my progression as a DJ where I’m more attached to the music. When I played at the Mousetrap in late January, I was dead set at playing my heart out and I just had this experience with the crowd that night. I got compliments from random people and it has motivated me to continue on this path and step my game up to be a better DJ. I’m just concentrating on being in a better place now. Easier said than done, I know…but with the Zaptown articles, the online dnbradio.com show, various gigs, working on the orchard and other miscellaneous projects you can rest assured I’m always trying to make something happen, ya know? Can’t knock my hustle…”
As you can see, “G” is on the up and up and doesn’t plan on stopping there. You can catch him every Sunday on dnbradio.com for his weekly cast of FMRL radio from 9-11pm. Enjoy his latest mix while you prepare for Mojostock 2011.