RESIDENCIES: C89.5 FM's ElectroMix (techno, trance); Neighbours on Tuesdays ('70s-'90s), Wednesdays (house), and Thursdays ('80s new wave); the Fenix Underground on Fridays and Saturdays (techno, trance, house), and Sundays ('80s).
When did you realize your DJ calling?
"It was a Battle of the DJs at my high school in 1984. The competition was usually four DJ crews with their entire setup in each corner of the gym. Each crew would spin for 45 minutes, then a final 15-minute set where all the scratches and samples would really fly off the decks. First prize was usually around $1,000 to attract the top DJ crews of the Bay Area. Many of these old-school guys are gone now, but their intensity left a lifetime impression on me. I knew it was something I had to do."
Who are your idols?
"Big Audio Dynamite: The first time I ever saw a live band and a DJ perform together. They were incredible. Steve Masters (Live 105 FM DJ, San Francisco, 1986-'96): This man is the biggest inspiration for most of everything that I have done in Seattle--like creating the Drive at Five on C-89. Randy Schlager (Powermix at Neighbours): A master of his craft. He's a true mentor that always knows the right thing to do. Also, he's really tall. Donald Glaude: The first time I heard him at the Underground in '92, he was scratching Sir Mix-A-Lot and Siouxsie & the Banshees over a hard house track and I asked myself, 'Who the hell is this guy?' It was amazing."
What song do you never, ever want to hear again?
"Too many singles to mention, but I'm getting awfully tired of all the 'diva' stuff."
What's the worst part of being a professional DJ?
"Interruptions. What I do is not necessarily automatic; it requires focus. Manipulating emotions in the room, bringing people to the highest highs and the smoothest lows, I need to be just as deeply into the music as the dancers. Too many interruptions--like people talking to me at the booth--pulls me away from that flow. My most favorite thing? Playing new music."
Your high-school prom playlist recast:
Fairfield High, CA, 1986
--Freestyle, "It's Automatic" (Music Specialist)
--Egyptian Lover, "Girls" (Egyptian Empire)
--Kraftwerk, "Tour de France" (Warner Bros.)
--Art of Noise, "Beat Box" (Zang Tuum Tumb)
--New Order, "Sub Culture" (Quest)