Djs. I interview them.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I walked into the Soma Cafe to see Figure sitting at a table with his laptop, bearing a sticker displaying his name topped with a metal skull. He was jocking his flat billed black hat, olive green button up, and a black Member's Only jacket.
His nose was in his laptop where he was beefing up his Myspace friend's list via a friendbot.

Deltron 3030 came on and he started to tell me how revolutionary this album was when it came out. Telling me it was a huge influence on him when he was in High School.

BTB: Let's start with an introduction and a little about how you got started.

Figure: I am Figure from Kid Without Radio Records. I started DJing about 9 years ago when I was a Sophomore in High School. Around 1999.

BTB: What got you into DJing?

Figure: I was surrounded by music growing up. My entire family is musically inclined and my dad was a DJ. I was always really influenced by music so I just started doing it.

BTB: Does your dad still DJ?

Figure: No. He's Old. And busy.

BTB: What equipment did you start out with and do you still use any of it now?

Figure: I started with two really generic belt driven turn tables that went out within two weeks. No I don't still use them, but I kept the boxes for fun.

BTB: What was your first Vinyl?

Figure: I have two answers for that. One vinyl I just went out and bought to have was Puff Daddy and Mace, Can't Nobody Hold Me Down.
Then I spent about $400 on every scratch record I could find at this one website. I didn't know what to look for in that genre, but that's the direction I wanted to go in so I bought everything I could.

BTB: Where was the first place you got booked?

Figure: 1123 in Evansville, Indiana. It was their biggest punk venue and still is to this day. I DJed in between sets and before and after the show.

BTB: What genres did you start in?

Figure: Turntables, bass, hip hop.

BTB: How would you describe your sound now?

Figure: Grimy, fast instrumental in lite of the new European dance music.

BTB: Who were some of your early influences?

Figure: DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, DJ Craze, and Africa Bambaataa from my early hip hop years. My dance music influence comes from a lot of stuff on Turbo Recordings. A lot of the new Mad Decent stuff, a lot of early punk music like Dead Kennedys, etc. In general good hard hitting music.

BTB: Have you ever seen any of your influences live?

Figure: Yeah, all of the ones listed. I've seen all of my early influences preform and 50% of the people I want to see now at Festivals. I've played with some of them.

BTB: How did you get signed to your label?

Figure: A guy named Egadz. I ran across him on the net. He was doing a lot of big stuff on his own and took me under his wing. He finally signed me three years later.

BTB: What do you feel is different now that you are signed?

Figure: Knowing that anything I make that's up to par I can get pressed and released in a professional manner. Opposed to giving it away free and having to pay out of pocket to get it out there.

BTB: What's on your Ipod playlist these days?

Figure: Les Petits Pilous, Boy 8 Bit, Radiohead, Popof, ZZT, and Mustard Pimp

BTB: If you could have any super power what would it be and why?

Figure: Those who know me already know my super power. If you knew it you wouldn't be sitting here. I am not at liberty to discuss this any further.

BTB: What's your favorite clothing label?

Figure: My Creation. I'm supposed to say that because they are my sponsors, but I actually wear them everyday. They make really quality clothing.

BTB: How do you decide which song to start the night with?

Figure: In my opinion there are two different types of nights. One where you're booked to be a performer. People are watching for you to start and you need an intro. You kind of have to come with a product and create a soundtrack with the set. Those nights come from festivals and headlining spots more than anything.

Then there are the nights that are more club oriented where you have to mix out of the DJ before you and it's all about keeping the music going and the people dancing rather than you being looked at as an artist that they are there to see.

BTB: The night is at it's peak moment and you have everyone in the palm of your hand, what do you play?

Figure: Something classic, but not too epic. Depending on the crowd those days, that could span from Daft Punk to Little Wayne. Not that those two artists would be on deck, but it illustrates
my point. Another good thing is to use a tempo tool to change the energy.

BTB: Speaking of tempo tools, what software are you using these days?

Figure: I've had almost every piece of equipment I've ever wanted and clutter just gets in my way so now I keep it minimal. These days I'm using Ableton 7 and a midi keyboard with plenty of nobs for adjusting effects and Live with a slew of VST Softsynth for production and remix purposes. For live DJ purposes it's strictly Serato with two turn tables and the occasional processor.

BTB: Where can someone go to check out your sound?

Figure: They could go to I have a new mixtape called Kiss and Sell that is a good example of me live at this point.

BTB: What's on the horizon for you?

Figure: I have my cd "The Octapus Junkyard" coming out in a couple months on Kid Without Radio Records. I have a solo West Coast Tour starting in January that'll go for about a month and a half. In the Spring I'm doing a tour called "The American Beauty Tour" with Glue, Cutalinguist, Casone, and DJ Wickit. It's a 48 city tour. I have a lot of shows booked around the midwest in the meantime.

BTB: Is there anything else you'd like to say I haven't covered?

Figure: I encourage people to go to my myspace,, and to to get tons of free MP3's, free mixtapes, and updates on music in general.

BTB: Famous last words?

Figure: Drink more water and watch more Tim and Eric

No comments:

Hit Countershtml hit counter