Self.Destrukt on How Industrial and Aggrotech Are Perfect for the Brokenhearted
Damion Malaki gets into the grind at Rogue Bar.
Valentine's Day might be fun for cutesy couples hellbent on Instagramming their every "ahhh"-inducing move, but for those flying solo, the Hallmark-marketed holiday can get real annoying, real quick. For those who've recently been dumped, it can get downright depressing.
The hard electro sounds DJ Self.Destrukt will be spinning along side fiancee Defense.Mekanizm at The Cupcake! Broken Hearts Ball at Rogue Bar in Scottsdale ought to help salve any dumped punk seeking a little refuge. We spoke to the goth/industrial selector for this week's installment of DJ Dossier.
Name: Damion Malikai
AKA: DJ Self.Destrukt
Preferred genres: Aggrotech, industrial, elektro, terror EBM, and hard elektro
Current gigs: Cupcake!, every second Friday at Rogue Bar; and Fallout.Shelter, every fourth Friday at Rogue Bar. All residencies I share along with the beautiful Defense.Mekanizm. Plus, we have other things in the works for this year aside from just those Fridays.
How did you get into the DJ game? It started in the rave scene in Houston about 14 years ago. I was there every Saturday listening to the music and dancing. I loved how the DJs would seamlessly mix tracks so I couldn't tell when one ended and the other began. I ended up practicing on anything I could get a hold of. All vinyl back then. And I just kept going.
What's the explanation behind your nickname? In the past I had always lived in a state of constant self-destruction, in some form or another. Not really thinking into the future because I never really saw a future with me in it, so my self-destructive tendencies never bothered me. I use the name now because I would not be who I am without having put myself through all of that.
Anyone make dumb jokes about your nickname and the NIN song "Mr. Self Destruct" because of the genres you spin? Surprisingly, no. Not that it would bother me. I take jokes directed at me with a grain of salt. Some people take themselves to seriously.
Why do you dig those particular sounds? Primarily the bass. I've always been a bass junkie, but the rasp of the vocals and the dark sounds associated with the genres are also a big part. There is just something about that I can't resist.
Where have you performed locally? [In] Tucson at Club Sanctuary a few different times, but only Phoenix aside from that. I haven't tried to book outside of the state yet, mostly due to the fact that we're always doing about 1,000 different things. But we have things coming up in L.A. [at Bar Sinister] and Austin [at Elysium] this year already though.
What's with the getups you and Defense.Mekanizm wear during gigs? Other than themed nights when we try to dress up to match accordingly, that's just how we dress daily.
What's the craziest shit you've seen at an event? When I first started DJing again in Phoenix, I was booked for Fight Club Sadisco* -- same rules as fight club, but at an event that everyone can enjoy. I have been apart of the S* crew for a few years now and they've done other Fight Club Sadisco* [events]. I believe the one I spun at was the fifth installment. It's always something crazy when it comes to Sadisco*.
What bygone club do you miss the most? I never got a chance to experience everything that everyone else here in the scene did since I've only lived here about eight years on and off. I would have to say currently, it would be Sanctum. Because that place had a lot of potential but just never got to the place it needed to be at.
What misconceptions do people have about you, if any? That I am not approachable and that I am usually don't sound as they imagine me sounding. Probably because I enjoy laughing and joking around a lot. But because I look they way I do I should be talking about goat slaughter and the sins of the damned of something. People I'm sure make many assumptions though.
Why do you stand out from other local DJs? I think the fact that we are always wanting to progress sets us apart from other DJs. We enjoy spinning, but ultimately we are just spinning someone else's music. We plan on incorporating drum machines, original tracks by us, vocals, and other live mashups and remixes to mix things up. I personally know most of the DJs in our scene and I think they are great. But at times I think some don't want to progress as much as others, although it's really just a matter of opinion anyways.
What's your favorite track of the moment? I've been enjoying "Son of Satan" by God Destruction, although I really enjoy all of their stuff.
Explain the difference between goth and industrial music for the uninitiated. Trying to explain it as opposed to having someone [hear] it would be much easier. There is a feeling that distinguishes the two while listening. Of course, I could explain that one more harsh and raw, but it's hard to explain music to the uninitiated, because they will usually never get it until they listen to it. Then it clicks.
How do you create energy in your mixes? First I summon the power of the Devil to help keep the momentum going.
What artists have been finding their way into your set lately? Shiv-R, God Destruction, HexRx, and Nitronoise to name a few.
Any guilty pleasure artists or tracks? Damn, I can't think of one off the top of my head. I think stuff on the radio is crap. And when I'm not listening to harder stuff. I'm usually listening to electro and stuff like the Knife and Ladytron.
What's your take on all the recent venue-related drama in the goth-industrial scenes? I really try not to pay attention to the drama even when it personally affects me. Because things will happen that we have no control over. It's simple as that. More support was also needed, but people like to talk about what everyone needs to support after things are about to disappear.
What are the benefits or drawbacks having a fellow DJ as a fiancée? Amazing. I love that we share the same passions and goals. It's inspiring. I can't think of any drawbacks. I know we've wanted to play the same tracks before, but we're like-minded so I'm not surprised.
Does it suck being single on Valentine's Day? It shouldn't. I understand that people are fixated on not being with someone. I think people put to much into finding that perfect someone. Just let it happen.
What do you have planned for the Broken Hearts Ball? [A] mix of hard electro and industrial electro songs about love and hate.
Is industrial, goth, or aggrotech the perfect soundtrack for the mopiness of singlehood or the anger of a breakup? Yes. I would have to say all those set quite the tone for those dealing with broken hearts.
Got a bad breakup story you'd like to share? Luckily I've never really had to deal with any bad breakups. Always a very mutual and respectful process. Mostly....
The Cupcake! Broken Hearts Ball takes place at 9 p.m. on Friday at Rogue Bar in Scottsdale. Admission is $6. See the event page for more details.
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