Thursday, February 14, 2008
*Snowboard Mag Interview*
*What up every 1...my interview in SNOWBOARD MAG has just dropped and i am super hype about it.check it out if u get a minute.peace! just copy the link.
A-Dog gets interviewed by Snowboard Mag
DJ A Dog has been heating things up for the snowboard community for nearly a decade now. He's kept beat fiends satisfied at the U.S. Open, X Games, SIA, and many Burton events throughout the U.S. and Canada. A Dog's skills have not only captured the snowboard industry's attention but that of the Hip Hop community as well. Opening up for acts like Common, KRS One, Wu Tang Clan, The Roots, J5, Dilated Peoples and most recently for the GZA at SNOWBOARD Mag's SIA party, where he straight up killed it on the one's and two's and pumped up the crowd with just the right amount energy for the GZA. If you haven't yet seen A Dog in action, make sure to catch him the next time he's at a venue near you.
Exile: How long have you been riding?
A-Dog: Been snowboarding about 12 or more years.
Exile: How did you get into snowboarding?
A Dog: I got into snowboarding as a winter outlet for skateboarding and was instantly hyped on it.
Exile: What terrain do you prefer riding?
A Dog: I pretty much freeride nowadays...used to try and push it a little in the park but I got a little more confident on a skate deck. I mean I get my jib on, u know.
Exile: How long have you been DJing?
A Dog: I've been DJing about 10 years or so.
Exile: How did you start?
A Dog: I always was a fan of Hip Hop in high school and started making mixtapes for myself and my peoples. My stereo had a crappy turntable on top and I used to switch from tape to phono just to bust a little scratch on some funny shit. I used to buy a few Hip Hop records and was hyped that 12-inch singles had a remix version and an instrumental as well. I was always dreaming up blends in my head...like that Gangstarr would sound ill with the Black Moon beat. Ended up having a roommate with tables and would just rock those, then he moved out and I knew that needed to have my own set up and here we are....
Exile: What’s in your studio now?
A Dog: 2 Technics 1200's, Vestax 05 Pro SL, Stanton (DJ Craze Edition) Needles, Burton headphones (they make it all), Rane/Serato Scratch Live, 12-inch Mac Powerbook and I make my cd's on this old Yamaha 4 track recorder, nice and analog sounding.
Exile: What genre of music do you spin?
A Dog: I play Hip Hop, culture & dancehall reggae, soul, funk, downtempo and also some breakbeats.
Exile: Was it hard for you to make the switch from vinyl into the digital realm?
A Dog: It wasn't that tough switchin' over to digital. Like my man Majai (big up!), I had a pretty big cd collection of the Hip Hop I had on vinyl. As for the Serato, I was stoked on how you had some new options to your advantage, things like accessing doubles so quickly, makin' remix joints at your crib and being able to play them that night. Trying to take the record off was an issue for a minute.
Exile: Have to agree, being able to remix a song and play it that same night is definitely a great tool to have on your side. So having other choices, why did you choose Rane Serato?
A Dog: I choose Rane/Serato because all the dj's I admire (Babu, Mix Master Mike & A-Trak to name a few) had made the switch over so I felt if those cats are switchin it must be official. Funny thing is that at SIA in Vegas the last year Burton had the rail jam, me and my man DJ Russel were sliding our big bags of records down the side of the rail setup and bringing them into the Hard Rock to play the after party then it's Mix Master Mike's time to rock and he just rolls in with a laptop and starts killing it instantly...I was sold. I used the money from that gig to buy it as soon as I returned home.
Exile: What are your favorite features in Serato?
A Dog: The features I like are endless and with all the updates it never stops.
Exile: How long did it take you to learn Serato?
A Dog: Learning it wasn't tough. I just use it as my digital record bag and I begin using the features more and more.
Exile: How long has it taken you to convert your vinyl into digital files?
A Dog: I wouldn't say I have transfered everything. I'm still converting it little by little. Plus, you can almost get anything you need in digital as far as tunes go.
Exile: Do you miss lugging around your vinyl?
A Dog: I do not miss lugging around my vinyl, but it is the illest sound! I still got a whole room full of it and I still buy it as well.
Exile: How did you begin DJing for snowboarding event?
A Dog: I skated for and ended up working at The B-Side which was Burlington's premiere shop for 10 years (thanks Christene & Rob). I worked there full-time for about 5 years and loved it. So I was learning all about the industry and meeting our reps. I was DJing house parties and a little at the bar. I ended up being asked to DJ at the U.S. Open (Stratton) through a friend who worked there. Since then I've been involved with Burton doing all kinds of various events. I was even sponsored by Analog when it started. Mad props to Rene & Blotto who helped me out greatly and of course Jake. It was always fresh because I was a snowboarder as well so I got the chance to ride some places that I might not be able to go to on my own.
Exile: What events have you DJed at or currently doing?
A Dog: I've done the U.S. Open in Stratton,VT for 7 years, Winter X Games at MT. Snow, Brooklyn, VT (Killington & Mt. Snow) Thanks 2 Craig, Jon, Seth & Big Jay at Fridge Mag, Abominable Snowjam at Mt. Hood, OR, Burton Sales Meetings (Copper Mountain, CO, Keystone CO, and Vail, CO), High Roller Rail Jam in Las Vegas (2 years), SIA Tradeshow for 6 years, Burton World Tour Parties in NYC for 5 years, Analog Mixtape Release Parties (Salt Lake City, UT) 3 years, Grand Prix (Okemo, VT), Analog Party in Vancouver, BC, and Queen City Rail Jam in Burlington,VT for 3 years.
Exile: That's quite a list. How have events changed throughout the years?
A Dog: The events changed through the years only in the aspect of the growth of the culture which is dope for sure.
Exile: Do you feel that as some events have grown that it has also changed things for you as a DJ? How?
A Dog: I get to network with Hip Hop headliners and promote myself in hopes of more DJ work in the future. The list of Hip Hop acts I've met through DJing snowboard events is bananas.
Exile: So what are some of the acts you have opened for?
A Dog: KRS-One, Common, Mix Master Mike, Method Man, The Clipse, Bootcamp Clik, Sean Price, Wu-Tang Clan, Z-Trip, Zion-I, Guru, The Pharcyde, The Roots, Jurassic 5, Souls Of Mischief, Hieroglyphics, Smif-N-Wessun, R.A. The Rugged Man, C-Rayz Walz, MR. Lif, Akrobatik, Q-Bert, GZA, Babu & Dilated Peoples.
Exile: As a DJ, who have your influences been?
A Dog: Q-Bert, The Beat Junkies (J-Rocc, Babu, Rhettmatic, Melo-D), Triple Threat (Apollo, Vinroc & Shortkut), DJ Revolution, Z-Trip, A-Trak, Craze...to name a few.
Exile: Any production in the works?
A Dog: I just stay cookin' up Hip Hop remixes to play out. A lot of 90's Hip Hop mixed with current joints.
Exile: Are you collaborating with any other artists/DJs?
A Dog: I have a collective crew called The VT Union (Nastee, Dakota, Manus, B-free), we are a live group and Nastee is one of the top DJ's out here. He does all the beats for us. My man DJ Russell, DJ ZJ & D.Brown have a DJ School (THE LAB) and entertainment company (Lotus Entertainment) and I run Status (sneaker & streetwear boutique).
Exile: Aside from snow events, where else can people catch you spinning?
A Dog: I DJ all The VT Union Shows and a bunch of Lotus Entertainment functions and Higher Ground (our biggest show venue) as well as 3 local residencies in town at The Red Square, Half Lounge, Nectars, Metronome. I also got picked up by a management company, Copeland Entertainment be on the lookout.
Exile: What was the first record you purchased?
A Dog: First record I bought was Funkmaster Flex and The Ghetto Celebs.
Exile: Five records that never leave your "crate"?
A Dog: Souls Of Mischief, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, James Brown (Greatest Hits), A Tribe Called Quest (any album), Run DMC and Talib Kweli(any album).
Exile: What song/album influenced you the most?
A Dog: Public Enemy - Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back and Eric B. & Rakim - Follow The Leader.
Exile: What advise do you have for an aspiring DJ?
A Dog: Just keep the passion for DJing alive and it will take you places!
Exile: Any shouts?
A Dog: All my folks at Burton snowboards (Blotto, Rene, Jeff & Ian, Liam, Tom, Greg & Anne-Marie, Paglia, Fisher, Jeremy, Simmons and Jake) Status crew(J.rawls, HK, Jess, Ry & Greggy), The VT Union (Nastee, Dakota, Manus & B-Free), Albert at LRG, Nibus Clothing, FRANK 151 (Craig, Mike, Chris & Tim), 2ONE5/Living Proof (Slick Nick). If I forgot anyone...you know it goes. Holla!
Story used by permission from the fine folks @ Snowboard Mag