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Turnin' da Tables

By Jimi Bruce

There were many magical moments for me at Dj Times' International Expo 2000 such as the time an angel found  TWO 12" copies of JoiCadwell's "Superstar"(Carpenters, circa 1974) abandoned at one of the phone centers on the third floor, and brought them to me saying, "didn't you forget these?"  I really hadn't but to anyone bringing me the Vinyl, I say "Yes!"  And I love the version she did!; The magic of  "you've got to give to get" idea exchange transcended into the nights across town at Atlantic City's premier nightspot , De'ja' Vu (New York Ave & Boardwalk) as their End Of Summer Bash tied-in with the International Expo 2000. In this interview I will speak with mixers John Hohman & Harris and Gary Deane.

Gary Deane

It's Monday night , August 28th, and Gary Deane is my guest right now here at DeJaVu Where he just got off the turntables with a set.   Now I remember a time not so long ago When a DJ had to go to all the record companies and pick up the latest vinyl all over town, You'd come home with about fifty pounds of  records which is kinda hard to manage on The Subways of a city;now there's Promo Only, and that's how I'm gonna introduce Mr. Gary Deane! 

GD: how ya doin!

JB: much better since the Dj Expo started; I saw you on one of the panels earlier today at one

Of the seminars;

GD:  I have one tomorrow as well; ah, tomorrow's is MP3s, speaking of new formats

JB: right.

GD: It's  computer music.  First there was vinyl, then CDs, now it's MP3s.

JB: that sort of rhymes!   Gary, I look at you up there on the dias and it seems, you look

Like a  DJ veteran like me.  Is that true?  Tell us about your history?

GD: I've been able to survive twenty-seven years as a Disc Jockey, and that is something in itself.

JB: Where'd you play first?

GD: Buffalo, New York in a roller-rink - that's where I started.

JB: That was 19;.?

GD: Heh, 1973.

JB: Yeah, I mean c'mon, history is a nice perspective for young DJs.   I think my first gig was a high school dance in 1970 where suddenly they needed someone to play some 45s

Cause somebody didn't show up; next thing ya know I'm in college spinin' frat parties.

GD: It always happens that way, ya always start bein a DJ when you least expect it, somebody else doesn't show-up, and you get the gig.  That's the way alotta people start.

JB: Do you have alotta vinyl in your personal collection?

GD: I've got about 10,000 pieces.

JB:  And how are you adjusting to the new technological revolution?

GD:  Well, I tell you what, if I was still playing on the same turntables I started on,

I wouldn't have pitch control.  The most important thing a DJ can do is incorporate new 

Technologies and new mediums into their show!  If they ignore it, and say, "I only do this-",

Then they are ruling themselves out of some very, very particular potential possibilities.

JB: They're gonna get left behind?

GD: No, they're gonna be standing still in a world that's moving ahead.

JB:  Ya know, people are resistant to change, I own about  3,000 records and had a hard time

Accepting CDs.  How do you keep  playing all the new technology and the vinyl too in your own repertoire?

GD:  It's not difficult, you just add on to what you already know, it's what you've always done; you learn a new technique to mix,  you find a new headphone, you do this, you do that

Yopu always add to what you already know.  The day I stop learning is the day is the day I need to be buried.

JB: Okay.  Where do you play right now regularly?

GD: a place called the Lava Lounge  in Baltmore, 601 East Pratt Street in the Inner Harbor.

JB:  What style do you play there?

GD: Everything.

JB: Do you branch-out into other cities and venues?

GD: No, I stay home.

JB: (laughs!)  Gary Deane on the first night of DJ Expo 2000, headin' through the rest of this year,  where you coming out for any special events?

GD: I'm gonna take it easy up to the opening of a new club in about a month and a half called Hammerjacks in Baltimore as well.

JB: Awriight!  Are they lookin' for any DJs?

GD: Nope, I got it covered, I already have my staff picked-out.

JB: (laughs)  Thanks a lot for talking with me and DJZone!

GD: Thank you.

John Holtman & Harris

JB:  The DejaVu nights continue here during DJ Expo 2000, and the next mixer is John Holtman from Metromix who I'm sitting here with right now, and how are YOU?!

JH: Great!

JB: I saw you slammin' the tracks, got some pictures of you doin your thing, tell me and DJZone readers about  yourself and Metromix.

JH: Ahh, we're actually based out of Pittsburgh, Pa., and New York (laughs), we have studios in Pittsburgh; we spin all over the country, we been playin with MP3s for probably six to eight months now in nightclubs - along with vinyl and CDs.  I had and exciting time;

A fun time tonight!

JB: Aw man, you were smooth!

JH: Thank you.

JB:  It's such an interesting room whenever we come down here, ya know, and do the DeJaVu thing at the Expo, it's slow at the beginning of the night, then by the time you guys

Get bumpin it's like a whole trance we're into ya know?

JH: (laughs)!

JB: Um, how long have you been playin'?

JH:  I've been playin since 1977.

JB:  Alright, and I notice you're on a lot of the expert panels;

JH: Yes, we do a lots of different things in Metromix.  We have a who crew of people back in the home office that do syndicated radio shows, we also program, consult,  nightclubs,

We do major productions like we're working with Nile Rogers from Chic, and we're part of that band;

JB: yeah?  Is Chic still around?

JH:  Yes they tour actually, I actually tour with Chic.

JB:  Oh, Okay;

JH:  We were involved in Divas 2000 with  Nile, and we DJ and we've just done remixes; we just did a remix for Sony on Jagged Edge, it debuted at #1 on the 12-inch Sales chart for  Billboard magazine; it's been there for four weeks, now.

JB: Wow!  Jagged Edge?  That would be "Let's Get Married"?

JH: Yes.

JB: Okay!, I'll look for that and suggest that all of our readers look to hear that too!!

JH: Thank you.

JB: Is Metromix your company, did you found it?

JH:  Actually Harris, my partner, and I found it.  This is Harris;

JB: Also sitting with us now (just joining us) is Harris;?

H: just "Harris"

JH: like "Madonna"!

JB: So you guys are a team?

H: Hohman n' Harris - Metromix.

JB: This is a guy who, I always thing your voice is so striking on the panels at the DJ

Seminars; You said something the other day that was really funny, everybody's talking, and you said, 'well ya don't have to have a radio voice;' and here YOU've got the most radio voice up there!

H: Rite, but the point was, that I was tryin to make, ya see is I might have been a li'l more fortunate, but it's not necessary for a DJ to have a [baritone] . All they need is to have enthusiasm for what they do, and project it to their crowd.

JB: Exactly. Ya know a lotta the conversations I hear, an matter of fact I was walkin around the exhibits and convention center finding out who's a DJ, and they say something like,"I'm learning."  Now I never really like, Learned how to jock, I just developed a feeling for I it.  Isn' that the way you wanna get into it, like nobody can  really TEACH you, don't you have to "just DO it"?

H: Yeah, like with anything you do, you have to Practice your art to develop the skill.

JB: I remember going  down to the Village to, say, watch and hear Larry Levan, and If he did a mix or somethin' hot, that would stay in my head until I  went out and bought two copies so I could emulate that! 

H: That's right!

JB: So where are you guys from here?  Do you do a lot of these conventions or are you out spreading the word?;

H: In September we have gigs in L.A. and San Francisco, and we do a lot of traveling. We also go into markets; wee also have syndicated radio shows!

JB: How does somebody syndicate a DJ mix show, for example, is there a short answer to that question?

JH: It's not easy (laughs)

H: Yeah, there's a short answer, first you gotta get it on - one station.  Depending on it's success, you're in a better position to broaden the number of outlets.

JB: Now, by "success" you mean advertisers or audience?

H: Audience!  Let's just start with audience success;

JH: How many people are actually listening to your show weekly.

JB: Right, how do you measure that?  I mean, it's all Arbitron

H: Yeah, Arbitron.

JB:  If you're on overnight, let's say, and they don't rate that time period generally,

then , how can you know?

H: Well, see the Arbitrons are available for overnights, stations don't PAY for 'em. Ya know, [they say] "aah, fuck it,  we don't need that; it's throw-away.  And in our case they don't start at midnight, they start in measured time;

JB: Right, like eleven, ten, or  whatever..

H: Or nine, or eight, and they go to midnight or one.  An' there's another way, there's call-ins, when it gets to radio, they do a lot of projections based on call-ins to the station. So that's something you can generally measure.  Ya know the jocks, the people who are receptonist  at the station, or whoever's answering the phone'll say, "Oh yeah, we got twenty calls about XYZ;"

JB: So where can my readers hear you on radio next or see you?

H: Every week, every week and depending on where they are in the country; we can't tell  you where; like locally , right around here [Atlantic City] we used to be on BSS..

JB: Boss, yeah I remember that when I was jockin there for a minute. The BUZZ is happening now in the area as the new club and dance station.

H: Yeah, and we just haven't gotten around to them yet.

JH: Do you have a card, so whenever we're doing something, we'll send it to ya?

JB:  Here ya go, no problem!  Thanks for talking to Djzone.


Next issue I talk with Chris Cox

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