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DJ of the Week — Stormy Roxx

DJ Stormy Roxx

Every week (or so…) we introduce you to a local LGBTQ party DJ and ask them about their experiences in the scene and feature an audio mix they’ve made. If you’re interested in being featured contact alley@qpdx.com.

DJ Stormy has been one of my favorites since the early days of Skervy and Booty, which really ushered me into alterna-queer Portland nightlife. He’s been playing this town for a long time and knows our changing community well. And I have seen a lot of the shifts along with him. A DJ with great energy and a wide array of friends to compliment his style behind the decks, Stormy Roxx continues to play all kinds of parties. This Saturday he plays the iconic, if controversial Blow Pony along with DJs Linoleum, Airick and others.

When & how did you start DJing?

I started DJing cuz i love music, & I just happen to love dancing too! My first attempt at DJing was during Junior year in high school. My buddy & I wanted to DJ one of the school dances. It ended up being kinda high tech in a way… we were playing from cassettes & videos, & I guess a few CDs, but I don’t remember there really being CDs much at that time. We had spent hours building DIY dance lights with a controller board & gathering music & videos. I think we rented a fog machine too. We were excited to bring the whole show! Not long after we started, we blew the speakers. That was that.

Later on after moving up to Portland I was part of the crew that was working/performing at the Paris theatre downtown when it reopened as a nightclub/venue about ’94/’95. All the folks there were freaks from the old City Nightclub. There would be dance nights, a regular cabaret show & bands like the Dandy Warhols & my old band, Dyed Black. (Incidentally, one of the cabaret girls was a pre-Scissor Sisters, Ana Matronic. She did a fierce lip synched performance to Siouxsie’s “Red Light”).

I was taught to DJ on vinyl & how to use a mixer. First for DJing the cabaret show, then later for dancing, or between bands. At one point I taught Greg aka DJ Gregarious, how to mix from one record to the other & he went on to make his own history!

I played a lot of Goth, Industrial, Glam, Punk & random obscure stuff & Show tunes at the time. Later on I became the house DJ at the old Eagle when it was still downtown & DIRTY! I also did some random rock’n’roll dance parties here & there.

Eventually Skervy started & I was so impressed by the freaky crowd that would show up. I joined up with Puppet & Zanne immediately for that! Later on we did Booty… & since then there has been all kinds of things happening! It’s pretty amazing to have been able to watch the community grow.

How did you get your DJ name?

I have recently bedazzled it to StormyRoxx. I wanted to create some separation between the everyday me & DJ me. Plus it seemed appropriate cuz I tend to play bigger harder stuff whenever I can 😉

Who are your influences/inspirations?

I love all kinds of music of all genres, but sometimes getting exposed to the right music from any genre may take a while if ever. Some people say they don’t like country, but maybe they just haven’t heard the right song yet. I used to DJ more rock type stuff, & very little electronica cuz I believed at the time that electronic DJs  only played boring redundant techno & house music. I didn’t want to be one of those DJs so I stayed clear of it not knowing there was a universe of sound waiting to explore.

My first year at Burning Man I heard DJ Lorin (Bassnectar) play, & it blew my mind! Here was a DJ seamlessly blending all kinds of genres with big heavy rocking beats & everybody was getting down! I finally started getting into beat matching after that & seeking out new heavy sounds. I got turned onto other genre blending artists like “Too Many DJs/Soulwax” & Diplo.

Nowadays, I’m so turned on by all the genre twisting music out there that is constantly morphing!

I’m also inspired by artists & other DJs who show personality, passion & emotion through their music & bust out from the narrow, mundane & overplayed.

Why do you DJ?

I do not love music cuz I DJ, I DJ cuz I love music!

I feel passionate about doing it. It’s like having sex, or shouting into the Universe!

I feel like I have a piece of myself to share.

What parties/clubs do you DJ currently.& What genres do you like to play?

I have been playing Blow Pony the past few months. I am also developing a new night called DreamMachine with DJs Huf’n’Stuf & Lustache. It will be a Saturday night afterhours installation with a focus on house/disco type music. Nothing too heavy or too pop, just fun & sexy tunes for late night grooving with the potential of getting weird & witchy or something, heheh.

I also like to play out of town in San Francisco or Seattle. In SF I usually play “Booty Call” with Juanita More & Joshua J., & “Oh!” with DJ TacoTuesday. In Seattle I love playing at “Pony”!

I will be DJing Blow Pony again this Saturday. I’m excited for this one cuz my buddy from Seattle, Marcus aka Ursual Android aka DJ Porque will also be playing, plus our own DJ Linoleum whom I really dig, & I will be sharing the Branx sound system with my buddy Jeff aka DJ Freq. I’m looking forward to that cuz he & I are both Burners, & have some similar interests in music & DJs. I guarantee you will hear a lot of newer heavier stuff Saturday night in Branx…. Some Moobathon, Dub-Step, Drum-Step, Glitch-Hop, Electro-Breaks, Booty Bounce all mashed up with Disco, Hip-Hop, Ghetto-Tech, Rock, Pop & all kinds of genre hybrid shenanigans! Benders, Blenders, Bangers & Drops is what I really like to play when there’s a solid sound system. We will be playing 3 sets each. My sets will get heavier through the night. I’d love to see a sweaty moshing frenzy along side the dancing!

What are some of your current favorite tracks?

I’m constantly looking for fresh sounds. I also love listening to old stand bys.

On rotation right now:
“Filthy Love” We are Enfant Terrible
“Rumble in the Jungle” Zeds Dead
“Upside Down” Bassnectar
“Hussel” M.I.A. (An-Ten-Nae remix)
“Join in the Chant” Nitzer Ebb
“Scientist of Love” Jessie Evans
“A Black man in Space (sax mix)” Son of Raw
“Strength of Strings” Gene Clark

What do you wish would stop being played out right now?

With all the new amazing music out there now, it drives me nuts that people are still stuck in the 80s! Really, another 80’s dance night? now 90’s? I enjoy music from all periods but I’m not interested in constantly reliving an era long gone…That & bad pop music. Anybody who knows me probably knows how I
feel about Lady gaga.

What was your worst DJ experience?

Other than the high school dance…

One night at Booty some girl didn’t like what I was playing cuz she thought it was too dirty. The floor was packed with dancing & she reached over & pushed stop! She was escorted out.

Worse than that though, was another night at Booty. While I was DJing, Jho came up to inform me that Puppet & Tony were outside dealing with a guy with a gun & we were not letting anybody leave & we didn’t want people to panic either, so I had to keep DJing & occupy peopels attention while knowing my friends were outside dealing with a potentially dangerous issue. Thankfully nobody got hurt!

What was your best DJ experience?

It’s hard to say what was my best experience. There’s been many! It’s more related to the next question….

What makes a DJ experience good for you?

I love playing on a good sound system with balanced highs/mids & deep bass.
I like being able to hear myself on said system.
I love it when I rip out a set I’m proud of that I’ve specially arranged & rehearsed for an event, & everybody is digging it & moving to it.

What really makes the experience rock for me though, is everybody else involved. When all the other DJs & performers are rocking & the audience is going with the flow & sharing the exchange of energy & having a great time!! It’s electric & inspiring to see people joining together.

What are your main pieces of equipment & what is your favorite?

Photo by Amelia Santiago.

I currently DJ with 2 Denon S3500 CDJs. I love ’em cuz they are tight. When hit play, it plays. Plus it ahs a few built in effects & looping capabilities & they have separate pitch & tempo control. PLUS the tempo control has several setting choices & allows to go to 100%!!! I love it cuz I shamelessly alter the tempo & pitch of tracks to make ’em fit. I can play stuff backwards on them too!

What else do you want QPDX to know about you?

Mostly that I have this to say…
To every problem there is at least one solution. To every conflict or disagreement, there are several perceptions of the the same issue. Instead of buying into what one person or group says, use your own mind. Try listening to all perspectives. Encourage communication where each perspective is shared, find the common truths & work through it together.

I see too much separation happening in our community due to people getting hurt or hurting others, misinformation, lies, not owning up to one’s own shit & calling forces to gather behind them via gossip & facebook.

It doesn’t need to happen. I think we have an amazing, creative & unique Queer community here in Portland, & it’s a shame when petty issues are allowed to grow into Big issues.

Support & love eachother, we are stronger  when we are together!

See you Saturday!
Big Love!
xoxo
DJ StormyRoxx

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