Hey, DJ! Q&A with Mike Dee(z)
Every Friday we spotlight the hottest cats (and kittens) behind the decks in the MHC, grilling them to gain some insight on what it takes, exactly, to get the party rocking, to find out about their most treasured crate digging experiences and what they really think when we stumble up to them half cocked and ask them to play that new song by such and such -- you know, the one that goes...
This week: Mike Dee(z). A Friday Noise resident at Beta who performed at last year's Monolith festival, Dee(z) is a native born in Westminster and raised on the hard streets of the Northglenn. He got his start spinning records at his old band's after parties and eventually became a full-fledged DJ when he realized he made a better DJ than guitarist. Catch Dee(z) on February 19 at Beta and then the next night at Artopia.
Name: Mike Dee(z), Deez, or D
Club night(s): Friday Noise Resident @ Beta
Style(s) of music you spin: Mostly indie remixes and electro at Beta. As far as guesting and one-off gigs, I like to blend everything from hip-hop to dubstep, funk to '80s and metal to punk, depending on the venue/crowd. Typically, I like to mix as many styles as possible, making the transitions sound as natural as possible, without coming across too novelty.
So what's your story, in 100 words or less? Born in Westy. Raised in Northglenn. Completed BA in communications/broadcasting at fort lewis in Durango in '01, moved to denver from '01-'06. Moved to Chicago for Graduate school at Columbia College Chicago in '06, finished with an MAM in Music Business in Dec '08. Moved back to Denver, and been here since. Throughout high school and undergrad, I was convinced I was a guitarist/vocalist, playing in three different bands from 2000-2005. Having pillaged mom and dad's vinyl collection over the years and adding to it my own collection, my bass player and I began "deejaying" our own bands after parties. After the demise of my last band, I realized I was much better at deejaying than playing guitar, and soon after found myself in Chicago for school but immersed in the trenches of the DJ scene there, as well. Being there forced me to evolve much quicker, to be taken seriously. After two and a half years in Chicago, I moved back, and it's been non stop since.
Name of a track you can't get out of your head: Fabolous - "Everything, Everyday, Everywhere"
Name of an artist you're currently championing in your DJ sets: Since the beginning of last summer when I first heard her version of Sam Sparro's "Black & Gold," I cannot stop playing anything and everything I find by Ellie Goulding.
What's been your best crate digging experience in another country (if you've had a good one)? Unfortunately, I never got to dig in the crates overseas, as my budget priorities pertained to eating and getting to the next city. Haha. Plus, I was always trying to travel as light as possible. First introduction to electronic music was a mixtape DJ Shane gave me while in Australia in March '95 titled, "The House Sound of Sydney." Does that count? Haha.
Best club experience in another country (again, if you've had a good one)? Tiger Tiger in Newcastle England. Didn't get to play, but made out with an Irish girl that looked like a young Debbie Harry.
Musical mantra: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
Favorite DJ experience: Monolith '09 -- right deck Serato control record melted to the shape of a sombrero halfway through my set, but I didn't care. The whole weekend was awesome.
Worst request: I know it's cliche, but all requests are pretty lame unless I'm deejaying at the roller rink circa 1988, in which case, fire away.
Worst club faux pas you've committed: I think just any time I've done a poor mix at the club level, its unacceptable.
Most treasured vinyl score: Hand numbered, limited-edition Beastie Boys "In Sound from the Way out," dad's original pressings of nearly the entire Neil Young catalog up to Trans and mom's '80s vinyl.
What other music-related projects are you currently working on? Trying to play some reunion gigs with former bandmates currently playing in the band Trout.
What's something happening in the local music scene that should be getting more attention? The lack of options on many nights of the week. There are enough talented DJs and bands, that there should be a multitude of musical options and destinations that are successful every night of the week.
Question we didn't ask you but you often ask yourself: You're not taking yourself too seriously are you?
Next time we can see you spin: February 19 at Beta with Villains
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