information about themselves as they interview each other
in this Exclusive Interview for Ravers Digest...
|You are well known as "Americas longest running Drum and Bass DJ, but Soulslinger claims to have brought Jungle to America. What's up with that?|
|UK Hardcore (Proto Jungle) was here before anyone heard of Soulslinger and I was playing that style of music. You do the math. At the end of the day I have the reputation because I linked with a lot of the early UK hardcore producers and label owners back in 91 and they were sorting me out with all the white labels and tests. At that time no one was really quite as vocal as me in the states pushing that style of music.|
|Though everyone knows you as AK1200, those closest to you know that you have other aliases (William T Mix, 'El Mix', etc). Why the need for so many damn names?|
|Along the way you pick up funny names people give you and some of them sort of stick.|
|How did you link up with Moonshine? How has your experience with them been over the years?|
|I knew Steve Levy (President of Moonshine) through Dan Donnelly (head of old drum and bass label "Suburban Base"). At the time Steve's label was in the UK in 1993 and he was partners with a guy named Stephan. Through one reason or another, Moonshine moved to the States and Steve kept in touch with me over the years. As a person I feel like I have been looked after decently, but as a Drum and Bass artist on the label I feel like I wasn't as high a priority as some of the other non-drum and bass artists who sold fewer units than I.|
|What inspired you to write "Drowning"?|
|I didn't write Drowning. It was written by Cleveland Lounge. I played the remix by Dave Aude and basically gave the track life in the States.|
How would you describe your DJ'ing style?
What is your focus when DJ'ing?
|At the moment I would say I play really hard rollers with a bit of showmanship and 'stage presence' (scratching, arm slapping, etc) throw in as well. When I am playing I pay attention to the crowd and try to follow their mood.|
|How many Gorilla Breaks records do you own?|
|I think I might have misplaced some, but there are a few lying around. I still have the yellow one in my box.|
|Have you ever hurt yourself scratching?|
|I pulled a groin muscle ones (just kidding). No. No injuries yet.|
|Have you ever had a residency at the Magic Kingdom?|
|No, but I have done an instore at a mall here in Orlando, and I had to actually play in the middle of the mall. It was the worst.|
|Besides Chess King, what other stores do you like to buy clothes at?|
|I am a Guess, Structure and J.Crew type.|
What is your favorite aspect of traveling all over the place
|My favorite part is going somewhere I haven't been before. It is cool to expose the music to a wider geographic area. The worst part is people not really knowing that a lot of stupid sh*t can happen at a gig, and not understanding why I might sometimes be preoccupied when they are trying to talk to me and thinking I am rude or something. That's not cool.|
|You have a new mix CD coming out on Moonshine. What was the concept behind it and what went in to creating it?|
|A whole lot of nothing went into creating it, that's for sure. The whole deal was completely spontaneous. It was recorded live at a rave in Oakland during the Moonshine over America tour this year. It features MC navigator (of Freestylers UK) on the mic. Basically I just wrote down what songs would go well with each other and rolled it out. Some of those tunes I had never even mixed before.|
For all the animal lovers out there, do you have any pets?
If so, please describe them.
|I got noodles, a little West Highland White Terrier. My girlfriend also recently purchased two fish, but they will probably be dead by the time this interview comes out.|
|Your music style has changed over the past few years. How would you describe your progression musically as a selector?|
|I think I am weirder than most DJs because I find newer styles of Drum and Bass more appealing. At one point things got quite hard for me, so I turned to the chilled out Bukem style stuff. I then started feeling quite a bit of jump up. Now I am playing the cream of the crop, hot fresh tunes. I don't usually play light tunes anymore, but to me that seems like an advantage because I have tasted and played the entire spectrum of Drum and Bass.|
|You are a part of the Planet of the Drums Kru with myself and DJ Dara. Why did you want to join up with a couple of skinny white guys like us?|
|Honestly, because that by us getting together it shows unity in the American Drum and Bass scene. If three DJs who were literally each other's biggest competition can work and grow as one unit, it shows that anything is possible in this scene, and of course there is strength in numbers. Us three collectively can accomplish more for our music than we ever could alone.|
|What are your some of your favorite movies? Favorite magazines? Favorite foods? Favorite DJ'ing equipment? Favorite classic rock bands? Favorite pastimes?|
Movies - Ishtar, Kentucky friend movie and a lot of the stupid
comedies out there (Naked Gun, Airplane, Road Trip).
Magazines - People (easy crosswords) and Rolling Stone.
Foods - Italian and Lobster tail.
Equipment - Pioneer DJM-500/600 and technics 1200s.
Bands - Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin (acoustic stuff), Bad Company. Pastimes - working in the studio, getting baked, spending time alone with my girl as Dave Minner (not AK1200) and of course riding the Hulk at Islands of Adventure!
|Finally, what happened at the Rob Playford / Blame show at Winter Music Conference 97? Rumor has it you blew off your set?|
|Oh man you had to pull that one didn't you. Well, honesty is the best policy, so here ya go... You came up to me and said we should do some E. I, being the easily influenced naive type, said "OK." I got so mashed up, I couldn't even get the record over the spindle onto the turntable. Everyone was there, Roni, Krust, Blame, Bukem, everyone. It was my first gig ever at the WMC, and Rob Playford kindly stepped in and saved me from serious embarrassment after my first mix.|
|What part of Kansas did you come from?|
|The backyard. Actually I grew up in really really tiny ass towns (3,000 - 12,000 population) in Florida, Colorado and Pennsylvania. Went to college in Pittsburgh. Now reside in Philadelphia where I am growing fat eating cheese steaks and drinking birch beer.|
|What is your favorite rumor? Is it the one when you killed the dog?|
|The "Dieselboy killed on dog while on Heroin" is definitely a classic in my book. I am actually thinking of putting up a page on my website where I confront and dispel rumors about myself. The rave scene is like a fucking soap opera, I swear. One of my favorite ongoing rumors is that I am gay. What I find most interesting about this rumor is that that is usually goes side by side the rumor that I sleep with all the female promoters I play for. I am like "Which is it? Am I gay or sleeping with all the girls?" Fucking-a. for the record, I am straight.|
|Is it true that you were once an opener for Jeff-E's old band Big Engine, and actually wrote the lyrics to "I'm So Dizzy"?|
|It is true! I once opened for Big Engine at a small bar in Youngstown, Ohio many many years ago (before Jeff-E was a DJ). The group closed their set with a cover of that old song 'Dizzy'. It was interesting to say the least. No, I didn't write the lyrics ya cheeky bitch.|
|Describe your feelings when you found out you were going to join forces with your longtime idols, Dara and myself.|
|I had a Kleenex moment. Interpret as you will.|
|What do you like to do when you have a lot of time to kill in each city? Are you the hermit in the hotel type, or do you like to get out ?|
|If there is enough time to spare I like to step out to a movie theater and get caught up on the latest releases. I am a hardcore movie fiend. Also, I might try to hit up some stores to do a little clothing shopping or try and catch up on buying stuff for my apartment that I don't have time to get with my limited time at home. If there isn't a lot of time to do that sort of thing, I might grab a bite to eat and then catch up with some email on my laptop or play a few video games. Worst case scenario - hotel porn and room service.|
|What is your single most favorite possession inside your home?|
|My home theater. I spent every single dime I had on it when I moved into my apartment. Full on Dolby THX 5.1 pressure inside, and if I had more space I would upgrade to a 6.1 DTS-ES system. I am thinking I need the rear channel speaker.|
|Would you ever get a tattoo that says "I love Jungle" inside a little heart?|
|Uh no. I might get a tattoo on my butt of a butt with a tattoo of a butt on it though.|
Where do you see your talent taking you?
What is it ultimately that you'd like to do?
|I would like to settle down into a 2-day a week DJ'ing schedule with an emphasis on production during the week. On the side I would like to run a small clothing company and possibly a record label. Anything is possible...only time will tell.|
|If you had the chance to publicly set any record straight, or to have your say about anyone who maybe annoyed you, who would it be and what would you say?|
|I would like to say that my career as a DJ wasn't handed to me on a plate with a side of cherries and whipped cream and a VIP pass with a limo waiting out front. I had to bust my ass to get where I am today, much in the same way that you and all of the other steady working DJs out there have. So to all of the little haters and Breakbeat Science lounge shit-talkers out there I would like to say - if you spent less time throwing up hateful little anonymous emails and negatively running your mouth to anyone within earshot you would have more time to promote yourself and this music and our scene. The whiners never win. Get off your ass, stop writing your bitchy little posts and do something with yourself. Bitch.|
|Your most recent release is called the 6ixth Session on the Palm Pictures label. In its first month, it consistently outsold every single domestic DnB album ever made, not to mention almost all of the UK artists released in the US. How does it feel to be the one who has raised the standard?|
|It feels good to know that I am having some kind of success at promoting Drum and Bass in America. I have busted ass for almost 10 years trying to get this music some recognition.|
|At what point to you become Dieselman?|
|Maybe when I grow some more body hair.|
|What do you do when you have spare time?|
|The following in no specific order: sleep, catch up on bills/errands/calls/email, spend time with girlfriend and friends, watch movies, and clean my apartment.|
|Are you a Drama, Comedy, Horror, Adventure, or Sci Fi moviegoer?|
|I like everything, though I wish to note that Romantic Comedies are not at the top of my list.|
|Are all of your records alphabetized?|
|Yes. All the records at home and all of the records in my bag. It helps me find what I need to find quickly. My home CD collection is not organized though. What can I say? I am a neat freak.|
|What cities are left on your list of cities not played?|
|There are a few. I still have yet to play in Montana, the Dakotas, Alaska, New Mexico, Iowa and Idaho. All cities within those states have not been hit yet.|
|Do you have any other super sharp skills we should know about?|
|I am decent at video games. I know my way around a UNIX system (many years spent working in computer labs). I am also a pretty mean Trivial Pursuit Player.|
|Did you ever own records by Wham, Duran Duran, or Culture Club?|
|No, but I wouldn't mind picking up a "Best of Duran Duran CD."|
|What was your most embarrassing moment as Dieselboy? (you know mine)|
|There are a few actually, but the one that comes to mind was a party back in like 93 or 94 called 'MASSIVE DOSE' in Connecticut. I was booked to play an early slot at this party and when I got to the venue there was no DJ monitor. I had to spin my 45 minute set without a monitor. I train wrecked every single mix! After my set was over it was a tossup for either Micro or Osheen to go on. both DJs refused to play without a monitor so I had to play another 45 fucking minutes. I was terrible. It was one of my first out of town gigs and I thought I was ruining my career by playing so badly. When I was done playing, I was scared to leave the DJ booth. I was so ashamed of myself. I ended up trying E for the first time that night because I was bummed about playing poorly and I figured that it might cheer me up. I ended up having a great time after that!|
Rave On Magazine would like to say "Thank You" to both Damian (Diesel Boy)
and Dave (AK1200) for investing the time and energy to make this interview.