DJ Prince $$ Talks New Year's Eve, Wolfgang Gartner, Miike Snow, Daft Punk'd, and More

Name: Thomy Hoefer

AKA: Prince $$

Current gigs: Right now I do random spots at The Vig, but that's like if someone needs me to fill in. Otherwise, Fridays I do Sticky Fingers with William Fucking Reed and then Cheap Thrills with Jared Alan on Saturdays at Brick.

Genres spun: I like some of the nu-disco as well as indie remixes, but lately I've been getting more into the harder electro-house stuff like Wolfgang Gardner and Porter Robinson.

Origin story: I've been DJing since probably 2000. I was more into the jungle scene back when raves and stuff were going on and I kind of fell out of it and started doing the family life stuff. Then I came across Shake! and was doing random photography for them, and one day I decided I would do a 30-minute set and I asked William about it and he approved. He kept asking me to do it more and more, and has since brought me on board as partner since he enjoyed my sets.

Explanation behind your DJ name: Many of my friends used to call me "Princess" because I tend to overdo it when it comes to maintaining my hair, and using flat irons and such. So they called me Princess and I thought it would be funny to use dollar signs and make it my DJ name.

Have people called you DJ Princess before? Yeah. It's funny.

Preferred poison while DJing? That would be a vodka and soda with two lemons.

What's something about yourself that might surprise others? I suppose that I have two daughters and I'm married.

What do you have planned for Adios Mother Fucker at Bar Smith on New Year's Eve?
I'll be spinning the 11:00 to 12:00 spot with William. We like to do a tag team set where we battle each other with songs we select.

So you'll be the last set at Bar Smith for 2010? Yup. It's going to be great man, just being able to play that last hour for 2010 and then seeing something I constructed with the Daft Punk'd guys. I built the big pyramid that they're going to be performing in. It will just be really great to kind of open for them and have them blow up the spot with their Daft Punk remixes.

What else is in store for the party? We always have DJ Radar downstairs in the main room, which is great, he's been in the scene for a long time. He's one of the founding members of the Bombshelter DJs. 2ToneDisco will also perform. They're like these young kids that do an audio and visual production. It's going to be an awesome party.

Any resolutions for 2011? Definitely got to hit the gym. Ever since I started building more and more stuff like doing visual productions for [DJ nights] I definitely have been lacking on the gym stuff and putting on too many pounds.

So you're a lighting/scene designer? Yeah, I dabble in it. I'm becoming more involved in it. I started building DJ facades and it's just been increasing from there, coming up with more and more ideas. The kind of thing we've got at Sticky Fingers is that I try bringing in new lighting and visual elements, so you come to Bar Smith and there's going to be something new, whether it's a roof constructed out of fabric or tarps that we use to project visuals onto, or something I create by hand that shoot lights through. I always try and make something new.

So you built the illuminated pyramid that Daft Punk'd used at the Cheap Thrills Halloween party? Yeah. I was trying to come up with something for us to do on Halloween and I had already been building DJ facades. Like, let's build a pyramid that would actually fit in the facility that we were in. We had a maximum of 15 feet for the ceiling, so, I would build the biggest thing we could fit in there when it comes to making a pyramid. And we got Matt Castleberry who does some amazing video productions and so I constructed about a 12-foot pyramid and he did the visual production on it. And we just kind of met along the way and it ended up perfect.

What albums are you looking forward to in 2011? Albums, not really. I mean when it comes to music it seems like everybody's got a couple good songs on their album. It doesn't like anybody comes out with a stellar album. I was somewhat impressed with the La Roux album last year and the Calvin Harris album, but beyond that...not really. I've been more interested in finding nu-electro artists who can really like blow my mind. I was really excited for the Deadmau5 album, but wasn't really thrilled with it when it came out because all the tracks that were really good had been released six months earlier. I was impressed with his visual display that he's got going on with his stage act though. Kudos for that.

Do you find yourself more visual or audio oriented? Actually, it's kind of an even table for me. I like to see things combined. I can't really say I like one more than the other. I mean the music drives it but I think when it comes to a memorable experience, it's got to be about visuals. When you think about Daft Punk, their music is okay, there's a few tracks that we remember, but when it comes down to it anybody who's seen Daft Punk live or Deadmau5 live, they' leave talking about the visual experience rather than the music.

Is that the same for a lot of certain concerts? Absolutely, we've listened to our favorite artist's music on CDs countless times and that's music that's been studio produced and is at its top level. You go to a concert and you're going to end up with a hit or miss type of situation with whoever that's running the board when it comes to audio, so it's like you need to have that extra element in order to make up for the fact it's not going to sound as good as it did on that album.

For instance? Roger Waters came out [to US Airways Center] and it was amazing, they did the whole visual of a wall being built on the stage and stuff getting broken down through the wall. And it's not the same as it was with Pink Floyd, because they always made sure that their shit looks like completely out of this world when it came to the visual aspect of the performance. It's the same thing with KISS. Their music is sub-par at best, but they put on a fucking amazing show.
What do you dig about the local DJ scene? The support between everybody. Yeah, everybody kinda butts heads as things progress throughout the year. Everybody battles for nights. But when it comes down to it, everybody has each others back. And that's just nice to see. Its kinda one big family. As we all know, families fight, but when it comes down to it we all have each other's back.

Other clubs where you've performed: I've done Rogue Bar, The Vig, SideBar, Brick, Bar Smith, Mondrian Scottsdale, San Carlos for White Rabbit, and some various Adult Swim spots at the hotels where those were at. I've never done the big, big clubs, however, I've never even dove into the whole Axis-Radius thing. There's something about that area that doesn't appeal to me. It just doesn't seem to be my scene.

Bygone club you miss the most: I'd have to say Homme Lounge. That was definitely the spot that closed that had a good feeling to it.

Craziest shit you've seen at a gig? I'd have to plead the Fifth on that one.

Best experience as a DJ thus far? Having a full club and somebody come up to me at the end of the night and asking for a certain track and then telling me that I did a great job. That's what I'm in it for, for people to want to know what I played and tell me that I did good.

And the worst? Playing at an empty place and then not getting any money at the end of the night. Bringing all your gear, your speakers, your turntable, just everything, and having to work a day job in the morning and then nobody shows up. There's nothing worse than playing to an empty spot.

Personal mantra: I'd say, feel the crowd.
Worst request you've ever gotten? Can you play some Slayer? They actually asked for some Slayer at and electro dance party.

What sites do you use for music? There's Beatport, Track Source and then the pirate in me is always just typing in the name of the track in Google and putting the words "media fire" after it and there you have it.

What else have you been listening to lately? Porter Robinson and Dirty Loud. There's just so many to list off.

Last album purchased: I think the last album that I made an effort to get was the Miike Snow album.

Track that's been going through your head lately: Illmerica by Wolfgang Gartner.

Any side project you'd like to plug? I've been doing something with the Daft Punk'd guys where we're working on something that's more Tron-oriented and trying to look ahead of the future of what Daft Punk'd is going to be doing.

When not DJing, where can you be found? You can find me at a machine shop in Gilbert working on metal.

You won't play metal, but you'll work on metal? That's correct.

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