It's tough to argue with DJ Evil One that the life of a DJ is all about degenerative shenanigans, despite his chosen moniker.
The globetrotting turntablist has seen his share of the wild life on the road, but secretly wishes hopes for something a little more laid back, like s'mores and a little "Kumbaya." Catch his alter ego Saturday, September 24 at AiRIA Nightclub.
Real name: Eric Bowler
Origin of your DJ name: It was around my junior year in college and my roommate started calling me "Evil E" when we would be out partying. At the same time I had started DJing, so I just kind of adopted that name for my DJ name. I couldn't completely hold on to it, because Evil E was Ice-T's DJ, so I flipped it to be Evil One.
What genres do you specialize in? I started out primarily as an underground hip-hop DJ, but my love for music has seen me become much more well rounded over the years. Now I enjoy spinning House, Disco, Rock, Indie, Hip-hop and other party jams.
Tell us about the first time you caught the DJing bug. I always loved hearing the DJ scratching on old rap records and wanted to be able to do that. And then, it was being able to control the vibe at house parties. I've always been a total music nerd, so being able to spin records was a dream of mine as far back as I can remember.
What is Camp Spin Off? Camp Spin Off is such an incredible experience. We take 30 to 40 kids from around the world and just immerse them in DJ life. They learn how to beat match, they learn digital production, they get to meet incredibly talented DJs like Revolution, Spider, Samantha Ronson and Reflex. Throw in pool parties with said DJs, s'mores, zip lines and cabins and you get a once in a lifetime week long excursion. For the counselors, it's great to be surrounded by kids that have that same passion for music that we all had growing up.
Were any of the kids particularly talented? All of the kids are talented, but there are always a couple each year that stand out and make you say "Wow, I'm going to hear this kids name in a few years."
What's the best way to teach DJing skills? I think the best way is to start with the basics and then let the aspiring DJ hone their style on their own. It's best to let them figure out what records work in what situations and how to creatively string together a four hour set. That's the beauty of DJing -- we all have access to the same music, so the talent lies in what you do with that music on your own.
What's the weirdest thing you've seen happen in a club? This could be an article in itself, and actually will be in the book that I'm currently working on because I've literally seen so much weird stuff while DJing. Even the most mundane gig can turn out to be completely bizarre. From people having sex, doing drugs, fights. You see a lot in this business. I think the weirdest thing I've ever seen, though, was one time in an undisclosed midwestern city, the opening DJ brandished a hunting knife on a guy making requests. He told me he was going to cut his throat. I called for the manager.
What's the best thing about being a touring DJ? The best thing is being able to see the world doing what I love. I'm really fortunate to have friends all over the world.
How about the worst? The down side is having my friends spread all over the world. The traveling is really taxing on your body and your sanity. All those lonely days and nights on the road wear on you and I just long to be laying on the couch having a home cooked meal from my supportive girlfriend while my dog looks on.
What's your advice to other DJs? Find a mentor and do whatever you can to learn from them. Also, really learn your craft before you put yourself in front of an audience. You'll thank me later.
What's your professional motto? Be a nice guy, do a good job and then do it again.