Tonight, we’re kicking off our first VERSUS at the brand spankin’ new ICON Ultra Lounge with bangin’ headline sets from Flinch and Run DMT. We had a chance to ask John from Run DMT some questions, and were pleasantly surprised at some of the insights this bagpipe-playin’, classic-rockin’, Mortal Kombat fan gave us.
He also hooked up some fresh tracks – you know you want some.
Check it out.
ALMOST NEW: Mickey Factz – We Young (Run DMT Remix)
Tell us a little bit about yourself – where are you from, what kind of music you grew up on, and, for the ladies, whether or not you’re single.
Well, RUN DMT is me (John) and Chris. We both grew up in TX, me in Dallas, Chris in the Valley (south TX), and ended up in Austin for various reasons. Austin is such a great city to be in if you want to be involved with music, because the city really supports its musicians and DJs. Our musical background is very eclectic. I grew up mainly on classic rock, jazz, and classical thanks to my parents enthusiasm for quality control in music. In around 7th grade, I discovered hip hop, such as Notorious BIG, Gang Starr, and Wu-Tang along with Aphex Twin’s “Come To Daddy”, which was the real beginning for me in terms of electronic music fascination. Chris has one of the best collections of CDs I have ever seen and he has the know how to explain why each album is amazing. He shows me new stuff all the time and that really plays well into our creative process. Chris is 100% single ladies, so you should totally hit that. As for me, I am very happily engaged to an amazing woman.
Is there a story behind “Run DMT”?
RUN DMT is obviously a play on a name of very famous hip hop producers. It was either that or Beastly Boys (jokes). Chris started making RUN DMT shirts around January of last year just to sell at raves and various other sundry occasions. At the time, we were working on this musical project that didn’t have a name which was taking off fast, so we decided to combine the two efforts and call it RUN DMT.
You and Chris, the other half of Run DMT, are playing DANCEiSM’s very first Versus at the Icon Ultra Lounge. How do you feel about that?
We are very excited to finally play in Los Angeles. We love Cali and are gonna put on one hell of a show. It’s also really cool that they are giving us and Flinch the opportunity to represent the bass music community on their big club switch. We can’t wait to see a lot of our L.A. friends. Love to all.
Your bio says you play bagpipes…is that true? How did you get into that, and does it influence your producing?
That is hilarious. Actually, my family used to take me to this Celtic festival every year and eventually I fell into it. The irony is that I went pretty far with it, joining the Dallas Pipe Band and going to lessons very week. I can still play, but my lips strength isn’t what it used to be. I def wouldn’t say that it influences….well maybe.
I love Baraka’s Theme Song. Were you a fan of Mortal Kombat to begin with? How did you end up working on Baraka’s theme? Tell us more about that whole saga.
I will tell you something right now, we LOVE the MK. We both grew up in arcades and MK was one of the most badass things a kid had ever seen. We were talking about MK mere days before our friends at Teenage Riot Records came to us about the opportunity to write a track for the album. We were literally sitting in a car going down a list of possible characters trying to think of one that we could actually write a song around. We initially though one of the robot characters, but Baraka is such a creepy, yet gangster character on which to base a song. It actually took us a little while to get an idea going for the track that wasn’t predictable, until we created this insane walking bass that reminded us of metal claws scraping on pipes. It was as awesome opportunity.
What are your top five songs right now?
Electronic Top 5 (linked below):
1. Calvertron – Future Proof – This tune is so dancey, yet so dirty and in your face. It’s like slapping the audience in the face with a metaphorical bass penis.
2. Crizzly – Big Booty Bitches – This kid is off the radar with his drops and this track is a regular staple in our sets. It’s also free, so search him on SoundCloud.
3. AFK – Boombastik – AFK is a duo out of Dallas who is making so seriously amazing dubstep. Especially dig the vibes on this one.
4. Kastle – I Know – Super mellow 2step vibes. We are both big fans of this transition for B.Rich.
5. Zeds Dead – Adrenaline – So f’n sick.
Are you a raver? How do you define a rave?
Chris is def the rave expert. I never went to raves when I was younger. I loved the music, but never ended up going out. When I got to college, that whole world opened up. As far as my views on ravers, I think that they are a big, important part of the electronic music scene and we appreciate their support as much as we appreciate the club kids. As long as the vibe is positive, we are behind it, and we are all about manifesting good things for people.
Which producer/DJs do you look up to? Why?
Chris and I are both huge fans of Flying Lotus. He makes music that is human, that speaks to the soul. Its true art, complete with imperfections, but Flying Lotus’ imperfections add to the perfection. We also both come from the drum and bass scene, so we have lots of respect for several producers in that genre. Bassnectar is another huge influence on us. He inspired us to take a sound and run with it, ignoring the genre constraints. We are excited to play with him at Camp Bisco.
You guys started producing in 2010, roughly a year ago, and you’re already touring nationally and have a song on a major soundtrack. What advice do you have for aspiring producers out there?
Well I feel the need to clarify that Chris and I both had been heavily involved with our own electronic projects, and thus dealt with a lot of the drama and learning prior to RUN DMT’s inception. We are always learning though. My advice is going to sound cliché, but the most important thing is to work hard at being good, which includes building your skill set constantly, paying attention to dance floors, talking to everyone you can, and keeping an open mind to anything musical, because you never know where you will find inspiration.
What are you working on now?
At the moment, we just completed a remix for BLOKHE4D that is ridiculous, we are working on a second EP for Play Me, and lots of remixes for Flinch, Figure, Evol Intent, Bird Peterson among others. We have another free remix about to drop any time now as well as a free EP featuring a bunch of our downtempo leftfield stuff. We are also have future plans to score a film for a Dallas film crew. We also have collaborations with Trowa, Crizzly, and Figure on the way.
Once the dancefloor is sufficiently blasted, what drinks should we buy you to show our appreciation?