DJ Dossier

DJ Blonde NOize Talks Das Bunker, Sadisco, Receiver, IDM, and More

Name: Colleen Fay McLaughlin

AKA: DJ Blonde N0ize

Current schedule: I've been a resident at Sadisco* for the past six years. I'm also spinning in Tucson at Club Sanctuary for their anniversary party. It just so happens to be my birthday along with DJ Plastic Disease and a host of others. Duplicitous celebration. Then I go back to L.A. on January 21 to at Das Bunker for estrogen night. I will be stationed in the noise room.

Genres spun: Since my name is BlondeN0ize it's a bit of a given that I spin noise, power electronics, IDM, dubstep, noisecore, etc.

Why do you dig this music? You can feel it. It moves through you, and onto it you can project so much more since it's without words. Words are toxic. I don't need anymore toxicity in this life. It's that outlet again. To really move my damaged body [and] battered mind and to lift my spirit.

How do you protect your hearing from the cacophony? Guess I don't. My ears are one of the only things fully functioning. Thankfully.

Are you sick? I am still fighting cancer, but I feel okay...most days. I take my meds and go to my cancer hospital in Houston. I only go once a year now! That's huge.

What's your DJ origin story? I was a club kid since the original Nile days (when I was only in high school) and was in awe with DJs. I became obsessed with music and would bring new finds to them, which seemed like a natural process. Honestly, I owe it to Sadisco* for giving me my first chance on the decks. I wanted to do something different and focus on noise and harsh electronics, mainly bands and acts that were unsigned. DJ ///she/// then taught me how to spin and six or so years later, here I am.

Explanation behind your moniker: It was chosen long ago in hasty fashion for the sake of flyers at the time. I took it from my old AIM name. What can I say, I love noize and I'm blonde. There you have it. (Pretty silly, I know.)

What's been your best experience as a DJ? Anytime you look up and see the floor packed. I get really into the music I spin. You will most likely see me dancing, so I get damn excited when others are into it as much as I. Bloodfest was an amazing a sea of people covered in fake blood and just moving endlessly. The last Estrogen Night at Das Bunker when the room was packed to the booth was another moment like that.

And the worst? That's difficult. DJing is an outlet for me so I always have fun. When the headphones are on, I forget that I am a cancer patient. I'm lost in that music and completely absorbed in that space. The only bad experience could be caused by equipment malfunction. (I hope I don't jinx myself.) It happens to us all. A track skips or something shuts down and there you are in silence with all those eyes on you. Time to panic. When I spun at Tranz, one of tracks skipped. People get over it.

What's your mantra? Don't have one, sadly. Just get up and do it.

Why do you describe yourself as a "one woman panzer division"? Because I am fighting on all fronts. I say that I know how to fight. I have been for six years so to encompass all I am as cancer patient, a grad student, a DJ, model, etc. I am a one woman army. My family, friends, my studies all largely shape my life. I hope that others look at what I do and find inspiration, take strength from it. There were no examples when I took ill. It was something people didn't talk bout. I brought it into the open.

Where else have your performed? Other than Sadisco* and Das Bunker, I did Bloodfest 2009, Glam, Vex, Skandal, fetish and zombie balls, and was a resident at the now-defunct Club Hell. We put on electronic saviors a cancer benefit show as well as [gigs with] Zeller and iVardensphere. That was fun. And I spun at the Unter Null show at Mardi Gras. Also performed at Chasers, Stray Cat, Homme Lounge, etc.

Which bygone club do you miss the most? [It's a] tie between Jugheads and Homme Lounge. Jugheads really gave Sadisco* its first home, and I have many a wonderful memory there. Fight Clubs, Clockwork Orange, etc. Homme was where we did S_ wed nights. More great memories.

Craziest shit you've seen at a gig: The old Sadisco* days were pretty crazy, but fun. It's hard to say without pissing people off since everyone has calmed down so much now. Therefore, I plead the fifth.

Worst request you've ever gotten? People often request VNV Nation. It's not a bad request, I just don't understand why they'd request it from a noise DJ. It makes me sad for them too, that they wont step out of their comfort zone. DJs are here to expose you to new music. If we all played the same things, why would you ever leave your house?

What sites to do use for music? Crunchpod, Ad Noiseam, A Different Drum, Ant-Zen, Metropolis, Hymen...I know I forgot something. I am lucky enough to be on some distro lists as well, plus I know many of the bands who send me stuff early.

Which underground artists have you been pimping in your sets lately? Just did a guest podcast for Neurotek Radio this past weekend where we debuted some new fractured transmissions. Always on the look out for anyone new and upcoming. Used to spin Receiver (still do) before he was known.

Favorite local bands: Hardwire, Alter der Ruine, and Premeditated Light all did electronic saviors for me and are some great guys.

Best concert you've been to in the last year: Kinetik. Yes it's a festival but it counts. Going back again this year. Still keeping my fingers crossed I get to spin as well.

What else have you been listening to lately? I listen to more than just noise. Pretty into Julien-K as of late. I love good vocals. And lots of Faderhead. Cannot wait for the US tour.

Last album purchased: That's difficult. I have a cascading mountain of CDs since transferring everything over to my notebook. Might have been Bloodwater, the newest by iVardensphere.

Song that's been going through your head lately: Prick's "Communique," because it was in the car on the way to Bunker on New Year's Eve and we were screaming the lyrics.

Prefered poison while DJing? I don't drink,, water. I am a vegan raw foodist.

What's something about you that might surprise others? That I am actually shy. No one believes that unless they know me really well.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.