DJ Dossier

DJ Sam Groove Talks Underground Raves, Cops, Dirty Trickz, Oliver Twizt, Cool Kids, and More

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Best experience as a DJ: By far the best experience Ive ever had was at my last Dirty
Disco event. It was a huge one stage desert party, with over 1000 people in attendance out in the middle of nowhere. The vibe was incredible all throughout the night and when morning came, I played the sunrise set. When the sun was finally up, there was still over
300 people dancing in the desert and every single one of them had a smile on their face. "Its all about the nod"

And the worst? Some nights are better than others, but when I get the chance to play out, I always make it a good experience.

What do you like best about the local DJ scene? Arizona is full of good talent. There are tons of great producers and performers in this state, and unfortunately many of them do not get the recognition they deserve. I would really like to see artists become successful, not because of politics or popularity, but due to their skills and hard work.

Explanation behind your DJ name: In 2008 when I started my production company United Groove I adopted the name Sam Groove. I give a lot of credit to a good friend and old mentor of mine, Lil Ernie Groove. He opened a lot of doors and helped guide my career.

Have underground events you've worked at been shut down by the cops? Way more than I can count. Between all the house parties, desert parties, and warehouse parties Ive been to in the past few years, I've been threatened with arrest simply because I had my headphones on. DJing is not a crime!

How has the local rave scene evolved over the years? Its great that events are now being held a large, legitimate venues like the Marquee and Stratus. Although I miss the thrill of calling the infoline the night of to find some random warehouse, I don't miss worrying about cops shutting the party down.

What other clubs have you worked at during your career? The first show I ever played was at the Sets in Tempe. Cream, Myst, E4, Cafe Carumba, Bar Smith, Dirty Pretty, and Jackrabbit are some of the clubs Ive played. There's been so many different rave spots over the years that its hard to name them all. The most memorable ones would probably have to be the Marquee, Icehouse, Madison Event Center, and Stratus.

Craziest shit you've seen at a gig: Cupids Revenge 6 at the Madison Event Center in 2008. I played the opening 2 hours with Luminous and I've never seen an event get packed so quickly. About halfway through the event I leave with some friends to get some alcohol. When we get back to the party I'm hammered and I see tons of cops on horses, flashing cop lights, and hundreds of ravers being hoarded out of the venue into the streets. "What the hell did we just miss?" "I don't know, but lets go inside and find out!" Mmm, there's nothing like the smell of sweaty ravers and pepper spray inside a warehouse.

Whats your mantra when it comes to DJing? "I wanna rock. ROCK!" No, Im kidding, I dont really have a mantra.

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