During the daylight hours this weekend, local artist and music fiend Aaron Moore can be found waltzing through the aisles at Phoenix Comicon and perusing its vast repast of dorky pursuits and offering. After the sun goes down on Saturday night, however, the 33-year-old will become his DJ alter ego s.alien and crank out nerdcore tracks, Internet hits, and high-energy dance songs at the Kids Need to Read charity's popular Geek Prom inside the neighboring Hyatt Regency.
Moore is a major fanatic of both goth/industrial and some of the staples of geekdom - like Wolverine, Warhammer 40k, and Transformers - and even works on captain's chairs for a living, albeit on Airbus planes as an aircraft seat technician instead of some intergalactic dreadnought. In other words, he's an ideal choice to be at the controls of the sound system during Geek Prom. We spoke with him about his particular passions, attending Phoenix Comicon, and what sort of stuff he'll be dropping on Saturday.
Name: Aaron Moore
AKA: DJ s.alien
Preferred genres: I mainly specialize in electronic. Goth, industrial, EDM and geeky stuff. I love music and discovering new stuff. Being a DJ seemed to be the natural progression to let people know about music. Plus, I love to dance and people need to get out there and shake it.
How did you get into the DJ game? I've been friends with DJ AKA and DJ Nixx for over ten years now. They spun at Doom Disco every Saturday for quite some time and let me give it a try. Fell in love with it. Them and self.destrukt have given me the opportunity to get up there and spin. I'm also part of an art studio called Post Mortem Creations. DJing gives me the ability to spread the word about music and art by combining my two great loves: music and art.
Where else have you performed? Last weekend, I partnered with City of Madness [for] a Demons! themed dance night. Got the crowd moving to some old school industrial -- I'm talking '80s, and mid '90s Nitzer Ebb, KMFDM, and Thrill Kill [Kult]. Post Mortem Creations also setup a mini-art gallery. Played at Fallout Shelter several weeks ago. I'm shooting for many more to come.
What's the craziest thing you've seen at a gig? Recently, a bloody dancer upside down on a stripper pole.
She was covered in fake blood? Well, the top half.
Do you have a particular mantra? Own what you're doing! Love what you are doing! No reason to not give every show no matter how small the best you have. Excitement is infectious.
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What do you dig about DJing? I'll always love goth/industrial music. However I don't want to be pigeonholed in only doing that. Working on some of my own mixes of songs and my own music. The ultimate goal is roll out of bed in the morning and work on what I love to do. Don't need to be a millionaire, would be nice, but that's a sense of accomplishment. To create.
How do you create energy in your DJ mixes? I like to dance, I just imagine what gets me amped up on a dance floor.
What's your favorite track of the moment? Oh man! I can't do just one! Phaeleh, "Afterglow" and Knife Party, "Destroy Them With Lazers."
How much preparation do you put into a particular set? I put as much time as needed. Spent weeks going over these songs. I want to make sure these people on Saturday have the best time they can. This is their night just as much as it is mine.
How many hours per week do you geek out on non-music stuff? Reading, drawing and games...at least seven to 24. If we're talking about what's in my head then it's pretty much constant.
Conversely, how much geeking out do you do over DJing and music? I would say about the same amount of time. Sometimes there's scheduling conflicts.
What sort of stuff do you geek out about? I love comic books. Wolverine and batman are my favorite characters. I'm a huge Warhammer 40k fan, probably have over 50 of the novels. I would play the tabletop game but then I would never DJ. Huge horror/zombie fan. I should be able to make it to the Zombie Walk [on Friday] night.
What's your geekiest moment EVAR~! Whoa, so many. Seeing Transformers turned into a live action movie brought a tear to my eye. Then when I discovered Deadpool was going to be in the Wolverine movie my friends and I cheered. Or having those epic Star Wars debates in fine dining restaurants.
What are you looking forward to the most at Phoenix Comicon? Besides Geek Prom, obviously, wandering around the main hall and seeing all of the different booths [and] tables set up. To see so much creativity and passion for the things I love is amazing.
What do you have planned for your DJ set at Geek Prom? I've prepared just about 10 hours of music to provide a wide variety of high-energy songs to keep that crowd moving. Going to be a big one, too.
What sort of tracks will you be spinning? Some '80s, Internet fan favorites like The Guild's "Do You Wanna Date My Avatar." Throwing in some indie tracks and definitely some nerd core such as mc frontally/mc Chris.
Is "Fett's Vette" gonna be in the mix? Yes, sir. Some others of his as well, "Hoodie Ninja" and "Nerd Grrl."
Any particular moves in your repertoire that you plan to bust out with? You know, I go with the feel of the music. It just comes out.
Besides nerd-friendly mixes and costume contests, what else is taking place? I've been working really with Kids Need to Read, who are setting it up. We have door prizes, theme dances and a fashion show setup.
Are you wearing a costume? Wish I was. Unfortunately, been spending most of my time getting the best music possible. However the Arizona Avengers and Justice League of Arizona will have that mostly covered. Not to mention it's all about the fans.
Will you be dancing behind the mixers? Yes! It's going to be crazy fun. All are welcome on stage.
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DJ s.alien is scheduled to perform at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, at Kids Need to Read's Geek Prom in the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom.