Reno EDM – Boggan Throwback Interview
Real Name: James Boggan
Hometown: Ventura, CA
Profession: DJ and Producer
Hobbies: Making tunes, playing tunes, and I like to watch the occasional movie.
Affiliations: Subsciety, Bump, Würk, Bass Union
When did you first get into electronic music and what influenced you to become a Dj?
I was introduced to it almost 4 years ago through a friend of mine from Russia. He gave me Andy C and Grooverider’s Ten Years of Drum n Bass Arena mix. I listened to it over and over until the cd was toast. From there I searched for drum n bass podcasts and just started listening to it on my own time. I was a complete stranger to the scene here and not until early 2008 when I first heard Rusko, and that instantly gave interest to learning how to dj.
When was your first Dj gig?
My first gig was actually opening up for a rock show my friends threw in December of 2008, at Studio on 4th. There was about 125 people there. I was at the time learning to play on others’ equipment and couldn’t afford my own yet. I opened on my friend’s traktor. I was a little nervous, and I still am every time I step foot in front of a crowd. Shortly after this event, I had the chance to start playing at Red Rock with the Bump Crew. My first set there was down in the basement in the dark with a couple vinyl records and a Pioneer 555 cdj at 4am haha.
What genres do you play and what others do you have an interest in? Which is your preferred style to play out?
I play a little bit of everything that’s bass. I play dubstep, drum n bass, mid tempo, glitch, electro house, breaks, hip hop, and 2-step. As long as there is a big sub and huge bass line, I’m sold.
For those not familiar with your style, how best could you describe it?
Big. I can move in and out of songs when I want or I can blend tracks for 32 bars. Its a mix of everything heavy and not. And I like to include alot of vocals. Ill jump from 140 to 180, swing to a 100, and slam back into 140.
What are your latest accomplishments as a DJ?
I have been really happy and thankful in 2010. I knew it was going to be a good year, and it really has treated me well. I’ve had the chance to open for some big acts this year, along with getting the chance to come up with Würk. I run a weekly at Würk called Subsociety Thursdays. One of my more successful shows of 2010 was at the Knitting Factory in Reno. It was based off of a completely local line up and we brought in just over 1,000 people. It was the largest show I’ve played, and had one of the craziest vibes ever. I also recently landed the first Sunday of every month at Edge Nightclub. And I was asked to do a podcast for Made In Glitch, which will be coming out in January. And along with the January Spotlight, I can see 2011 getting off to a big start.
Out of all the events you have been involved which would you say was your favorite and why?
I would say playing at Red Rock has always been a favorite. Good people, good music, good sound, and a nice little venue. Adam Glass and Jek Yellowhair have been a big part in upcoming. They helped me get on my feet by letting me get consistent play every month for almost 2 years. Its been a good run with these guys. Other than that The Big Bounce in the Summer of 2010 has been my favorite event. I didn’t play there this year, but I had many friends who did. It has and always will be my favorite event that I’ve experienced.
So who’s throwing the best parties in Reno at the moment?
That is a difficult question for me to answer. But if I had to stand outside the box and take a look at the bigger picture, I would say Champagne & Bacon/Fresh Bakin’ has thrown more successful electronic music events in the past couple years. For example; The Big Bounce, Libra Party, Bassnectar at the GSR, and not to mention The Glitch Mob, RJD2, Nosaj Thing, and Stanton Warriors at GSR in January. And the many many shows that are being booked. Also, a lot of producers and dj’s that I respect and look up to have and are being brought to Würk through Fresh Bakin’.
Any strange requests, odd happenings or just weird things ever happen while you were ever playing?
My favorite. One friday night at Würk about two and a half months ago, I was approached by a girl from the audience. She was standing next to the stage screaming something out loud. I couldn’t understand her. I believe it was Hamm who was with me on stage at the time and he walked over to find out that she was insisting that we play a song for her 21st birthday. “Can you play Deadmau FIVE? He is my favorite techno song rider!” and when he told her that I probably wouldn’t play Deadmau’5’ for her, she came back with, “But its my 21st birrrthday and I want to hear my favorite sonnng!”. It was a little hilarious, and actually turned into a recurrence. It happened again a few weeks later, but it was a guy asking me to play DeadmauFIVE.
I love taking requests though. I have been blessed in the fact that I have been requested more songs that I’ve wanted to play rather then not. I have had people request Rusko, Zed’s Dead, Nero, and Mimosa. Those are requests I definitely don’t mind filling.
When you play out live do you pre plan your sets, or do you play on the fly and mix match genres to try and read the crowd?
I will make crates in my Serato, but I don’t necessarily use them for playlists. I generally play on the fly and mix to the crowd. I said to a friend once, “I don’t have any idea what I am going to play tonight.” he looked to me and said, “Do you ever know what your going to play?”
As a Dj you seemed to have pop up out of nowhere and make a name for yourself quickly in the Reno scene. Just saying…No but really, what do you think brought you the quick notoriety?
Something I’ve held on to since I’ve started playing music, was wanting to be a part of building the dubstep scene in Reno. I have a firm belief that if I want something to happen, then to ‘make it happen’. There was a recent article brought to attention on the forums and that article was called, “20 Reasons Why Local Musicians Stuck at the Local or Regional Level”.
I have and always will stick by number four, “Poor work ethic. The old saying that harder you work, the “luckier” you get is true
Are you currently producing any music?
I am actually working in Ableton right now. My friend Hamm FM (Fancy UP Top, GLC) and myself have been working on original and remixed tracks, as “SIX UP”. We have a couple edits that we’ve individually compiled. We are currently working on a album to put out. We have a bunch of ideas coming out.
I’m also starting an album of individual originals by myself.
What format are you playing music with these days? What do you prefer and why?
I made the switch to Serato this time last year. Before that, I played on vinyl and cd’s. I was getting so many digital tracks and no new records, so I decided to make the decision to go Scratch live. And recently I’ve given up on turntables all together and I’ve made the switch to MIDI. I use an Akai MPD 26 mapped out to Serato. I like using the controller, it allows my creativity to take over the mixes.
What’s the one track that you never leave home without?
I don’t have just one track that I never leave home without. But to be honest there is a track by Fancy Up Top called “Pretty In Sync” that I have not been able to keep out of a set in months. I like to support local producers and friends of mine whatever way I can. You can listen to the track here
What’s your all time favorite track?
I can’t answer this in full honesty. I can think of multiple songs that I like way too much. But I can tell you one song that has been a major influence in my life, “Voodoo Chile” – Jimi Hendrix
Who are your favorite Producers and or Dj’s that you listen to, play or have been influenced by and why?
Mimosa, Eskmo, MartyParty, NastyNasty, Eprom, Rusko. I enjoy listening to their music, and I think they all have a particular style that is notable and recognizable.
Has the EDM scene changed in the years of your involvement? What would you say the biggest difference is?
It wasn’t too long ago that I got involved with the scene. A couple years back in early 2008 is when I started going to events. Breaks and electro house were huge at the time. The Bing Bong Twins (holla back) were still clearing dance floors because, the genre “Dubstep” was boring and didn’t quite have the appeal it does now. And “all ages” parties were going off still. The biggest difference now, is that dubstep is definitely not clearing floors. I have more people requesting dubstep over any other genre, including hip hop, “something to dance to”, or my favorite, “music made by real people”.
So how’s the scene in Reno (in your eyes) these days?
I think the 21+ scene is flourishing, and the all ages scene has dwindled down to almost none. I think the scene is at a half way point between dying back down or getting bigger. This past summer of 2010 has been one of the best experiences of my life. I only see 2011 giving back more.
What would you say are the best and worst things about being a DJ?
One of the best things about being a DJ in my opinion, is being able to control the atmosphere and vibe at a party. The worst? Girls asking you to play real beats, like real music, made by real people.
What are your thoughts on file sharing websites, record pools and blogs vs. file purchasing websites?
I’m all for it. Blogs make the artist popular. I buy just as much music as I download music from blogs.
Where do you see your Dj career going in the years to come?
To be honest, I hope my dj career doesn’t last much longer. I really look forward to producing and writing my own music and from there out considering myself a performer.
So do you think all that hair acts as a sound dampener while in the dj booth? Do you have to special order headphones to fit your head now? Does the hair have special powers?
It absorbs the sound from the stage monitors. Helps me out in the long run. And its getting long enough to where, I will never need a hat.
What are you doing when you’re not out playing music?
Lately, it seriously seems like music is the only thing going on. If I am not out playing, I’m either, eating, sleeping, or writing music.
Any suggestions for other artists or promoters, either up and coming or just in general?
If you want something good to come your way, then make it happen.
Anything you would like to add or get off your chest?
Fuck dude, duh!