Fight Club Sadisco* is justifiably legendary around town. How often do you get to watch real live fights to the grinding sounds of electronica, industrial, and generally angry jams? This year, the down-and-dirty party goes down on June 18, at The Firehouse Gallery.
Last year, our own Benjamin Leatherman climbed into the ring, and his blog post about the melee remains one of my favorite Up on the Sun entries.
Toby Tyler Heidebrink, better known as DJ Squalor, is one of the driving forces behind the event. He doesn't just orchestrate it, but provides the music during the event, cranking out misanthropic tunes to soundtrack the beatdowns and slugfests. We caught up with Squalor for this week's installment of DJ Dossier, to see what's new with him since our last exchange.
Name: Toby Tyler Heidebrink
AKA: Squalor and/or Mess. Those are separate names for the same musical characteristic. Squalor is my solo DJ/performance name and Mess is my name under the S*UPER DJ DUO: MESS &* PHETAMINE.
Regular gigs: I have been blamed for the fairly infamous revolving club night, Sadisco*. I helped build it from nothing to something known within the "industrial" scene, around the planet, I guess.
Too bad I, myself -- as one of the "resident DJs," as well as one of the many designers -- aren't as "known." But we do get booked around the country, in one form or another.
Sadisco* has even thrown down in Cali, almost full scale.
Beyond that, as Squalor, I recently recorded an EP with Hex|rx (the band performing at Fight Club S,* featuring me too). Thats due out soon. Collecting remixes at the moment. Then we have MESS &* PHETAMINE (feat GO Go Fail). This has become my main focus. It's a DJ duo [featuring] myself and $&M, another S*DJ. He's the Phetamines. GO GO FAIL is our side kick, duh. "Room clearing, red-lined, over driven, underwear DJ-ing, circus" is how we have been described.
Genres spun: Anything full of heart and fueled by hate, sex, or drugs. If it's dirty, wrong, fast, and has the right pulse, I drop that shit. Industrial, EBM, hard electro, harsh dance, electroclash, experimental, noise...
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What's it like spinning while people are beating each other up? Not much different from when people are not. Its dancing vs. fighting. For me they are both just color commotion at random flashes 'cuz I kinda can't not freak out when I spin. I always only pick the songs I NEED to hear LOUD so I can DANCE! So yeah, I do it for me mostly. It just works out that others like it, too. Bonus, I guess.
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What do you dig about the music that you play? That others dig it. EVERYTHING, or I wouldn't play it. So many reasons, so little time.
What are some skills that every good DJ needs? They [just] need one: TASTE!
What's your musical background? I don't know!? Really, its always been in my life and not in an instrument way. I have just always listened to almost everything. I saw Heart in '74 via the womb. Like, Heart the band. My mom went.
What is the craziest thing you've witnessed at Fight Club? I always love when two chicks agree to fight and one realizes she just agreed to get beat down, like, gorilla style. They are always like, 'Oh no! Shes really beating me up! WHAT NOW!?.' Or, the crowd at The Sets busting in three metal screen windows [while] cheering on the fights through them. They had fist indents in them. That's when the owner tried to shut us down, but the sound system was ours so we basically hijacked the sound and I went on stage, [and] auditioned live for Alter Der Ruine singing a song in hatred at The Sets.