My radio career
having taken me to the city of Nashville to jock on WVOL
("today's R&B/Classic Soul"), I feel compelled to
investigate whether there is a New York style Club scene here.
So now "Turnin' da Tables" for DJZone.net, on-location from
the Music City, Nashville!!!
inkling of a club scene cropped-up when I read an ad in the Panorama
for something called, "The Ritual of Spring", a festival of
spinners apparently held here every March. I missed it because
of scheduling and the trials and tribulations of re-locating afar,
but through e-mail was able to stay in-touch with it's founder and
coordinator, John Freeman - a.k.a. "Mad Monk" of Mad Monk
Productions. Currently producing late night parties in downtown
Nashville, I caught-up with the Monk himself amongst the Lounge
Lizards at a new Nashville space called Liquid Lounge.
This is Jimi Bruce for djzone.net, on-location at Liquid Lounge in
Nashville, Tennessee. It's a beautiful, growing club, two
floors, two bars, and some of Nashville's hottest DJs. I 'm on
the ground-floor bar/lounger area with Mr. John Freeman who is
"Mad Monk". Good to finally meet you!
JF: Good to meet
JB: Tell me what
Monk is all about?!
JF: Well as
my other two partners will tell you as well, Mad Monk Productions is
a company dedicated to bringing positivity, responsibility, and
change to the Dance scene here in Nashville. Steering
everything to an older, cleaner audience; just doin it bigger and
better, and at a higher quality level than anything Nashville's seen
what do ya mean by "cleaner"? Like, you gotta take a
JF: Not that they
have to take a shower (laugh), No, but actually they DO have to take
a shower and wear decent clothing. Ya know what I mean?
It's just like
getting the Dance Scene outta the gutter, an you exactly what I mean
by that; like Nashville's been plagued by some dirty-ass stuff and
some warehouses. Ya know little kids and whatnot. So
we're tryin to get it to, ya know, sort of "national" level!
JB: Show'em how to
JF: We just
educate, that's all we do.
JB: Where are you from?
JF: I'm from
Nashville, Tennessee originally. Moved to New Orleans, Louisiana
That's where I did
my Rasin', my comin'-up.
JB: Your come
upance and stuff. Alright. So how long have you been doing this thing
here in Nashville?
JF: We started Mad
Monk back in October.
JB: So basically
JF: Well, no,
actually Mad Monk does everything. We represent DJs, we
organize it, we fund it, we finance it, we put it together, we
advertise - start to finish, yeah, we do it all.
JB: Okay. And so
you're the founder?
JF: One-third of
the company. Me, Tonya, and Sonny put the whole thing together
last October, and we've be, ahh, nothing but success ever since.
JB: Let's go back
in time real quick, what was "the Ritual" about?
JF: The Ritual Of
Spring was a celebration of change. It was basically a show of
people. Basically the last couple of years, parties in general
in Nashville, the quality levels have just absolutely plummeted. We
Do have events here, but they've been like, no production, no lights,
no sound, poorly put together, very poorly organized; the DJs have
been getting a very bad, ya know, bad experiences here and that kinda
thing. (little dicks, as Brian just said in the background)...
JF: But, ah, that
aside what the celebration of chance was all about was showing DJs
that Nashville could be a top-level place in the country to play, a
place you'd want to play. To show them that the party is
lights, sound, and the party is well organized, the party can be for
an older crowd and not so ravy. It could be for an older,
JB: Well, you got
the right idea goin' on, ya know, and I wish you a lotta
success. Do you do any other clubs besides this [Liquid Lounge]
JF: This is
the only weekly we have right now, ah, we're doing six shows this
summer; six Outdoor festivals which you'll know All about to cover.
It'll be downtown, kinda like a dance in the district on uptown mix,
only all Dance music. Like from four to twelve; thousands of people...
JB: I think that's
what Nashville needs, just in the short time I've been here.
Ya know when I
moved here from the Northeast, people told me that there's just three
music cities in the country. New York, L.A. and here
JF: That's right.
JB: And I always
thought that this is like, you know, just Country. But since
you're doing something like this, you're showing there a lot of other
diversity in music here.
right. Ya know we're not the kind of company that claims that we
started it, because we didn't; but we're gonna be the company that
will definitely say that we put it on the map in Nashville.
When we do these shows this summer, we will literally say to the
whole world , that Nashville has a scene, and is ready to take the
ring with any city. Like we're ready to go with Atlanta.
JB: How can
DJ's reading my column get in touch with Mad Monk Productions if they
want to spin with you?
JF: Sure. (615)
365-8170 or Madmonk2@aol.com, or Madmonk01@yahoo.com
located at 815B Elissa Drive, Nashville, Tennessee 37217-1310.
They can call us
or e-mail us either myself, Mitch Tyler or Mrs. Pierce wiil be happy ta....
JB: Well I see
that Tyler and Pierce are here, so let me talk with THEM!
Thank you Monk!!
there more than Country Scene is "da ville"?
JB: Now I'm here
with Sonny of Mad Monk Productions. Sonny, how ya doin'?
JB: And what do
YOU do at Mad Monk Productions?
SO: I do a lot of
the DJ bookings, handling DJs...
SO: Nashville born
JB: I don't hear
SO: Comes and goes...
JB: What you
envision for Mad Monk Productions?
SO: Well, here at
Liquid it's happenin before our eyes. Class. We want to blow
JB: and if readers
want to contact YOU?...
SO: They hit me at
(615) 641-6063 and at Madmonk02@aol.com.
Thanks! Next is Tanya Pierce, also of Mad Monk Productions.
lovely, and, Tanya, nice to meet you! What's your Monk specialty?
TON: I guess
my specialty is Marketing, designing, anything that needs to be
designed for promotion...Printing, Graphics, anything like that,
I take care of most of all of those type of things.
JB: What's your
TON: I'm not from
here, I'm from Pennsylvania.
JB: What city?
Tyrone...it's down by Penn. State.
JB: In the middle.
TON: Uh huh.. And
then I've moved around, ever since my whole life; I've lived in
eleven different states...
JB: How's you get
into this kinda music and scene.
Sonny introduced me to it about like two-and-a-half years ago.
I knew nothing
about the scene at all till I met Sonny. He just opened my eyes and I
fell in love with it instantly and it's been a big part of my life
good. Obviously you've traveled a lot. Have you been to
other big cities?
Yeah! I've been to New York City; other places, actually I've
been to Avisa, Spain which is a big Dance, party - over there it's
just THEE place.
This type of music
is what they're known for over there. It's an island off the
coast of Spain. Beautiful and all.
Exciting! Wow. That's great! So tell me your vision of Mad Monk
Productions and how things are gonna progress for the year 2001 and beyond?
TON: Ah, my
vision is to continue doing nights like this here at Liquid Lounge,
and hopefully other clubs as well, and then to also coordinate other
big events like John was talking about the Summer events. Were
really excited about getting into that. Um, and one day just to
make a name for ourselves that people in Atlanta, New York, big
cities like that know who Mad Monk Productions is.
does Mad Monk mean? I figured I'd save that question for you!
(laughs!!) Who thought of that?
got something to do with like, Monk symbolizing, like, spirituality, virtuality...
JB: Like the
Exactly! Like you look at the emblem and it says it all.
The meditating Monk... Mad Monk means like, we want to stick to
the values of the Monk, but we're the kinda Monks that Get Down!
spirituality in partying.
JFREE: There you
GO! That's exactly what it is!!!
good. So now yeah, Partying is my religion; and Tonya why would
some DJ reading my column want to get in touch with you?
believe that any DJ reading your column would want to come to Mad
Monk Productions for the simple fact that Mad Monk Productions isn't
about throwing "raves", we're about throwing serious Dance
events. We're trying to change the scene; make it very utmost
respectful and classy! There's nothin' wrong with gettiin
dressed-up and coming to an event and dancing your Ass off!!!!
I help design fliers, do some of the marketing, and advertising; all
of us are very dedicated to changing the scene in a positive way.
JB: So If
they can't get to John or Sonny, they can contact you. Do you have
a separate e-mail address?
TON: Yes I do,
it's firstname.lastname@example.org , and um we got a August 4th show, I don't
know if you heard about that or not?
TON: It's at
Exit Inn definitely we've got that lined-up, and we're looking at
some other shows. We still got the Wednesdays; right here at
Which is starting
to get really - it's awesome!!! 'Gotta come check us out when
you're in Nashville!!!
Awlright!!! Thank you Tonya, ya know, you and me...you got so
much energy, and I hope it comes through in this article to you the reader!
TON: Thank you!!!
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