The Sound of Madness [DJ Addiction]

A Glimpse Inside the Deejay Booth

Musical Selection.

I’ve been asked and have had numerous conversations over the years with various people from DJ’s and listeners alike whether there’s any rhyme or reason behind the music that’s played. Many believe we just walk into the DJ booth and flip a switch and tunes magically mix together like we’re motherfuckin sorcerers. Truth is, we are. But, there’s definitely some things that go into it.

This is inherently on the DJ’s themselves, as we all have an eclectic taste of music but most of us have our specialties. The songs you hear most from the DJ’s while they’re on the air. Some will try and change them up with different flavored theme shows and some stick to what they enjoy and are good at, but each of them are adept at putting on the show and changing it up whenever is needed.

I’ll try and break these down by random nights and events to give a little more insight into what goes into them.

The Random Night:

Speaking from personal experience and with some other DJ’s, there’s definitely nights where you go in or are you’re already sitting in a room and someone asks “Hey someone crank some tunes!” and one of the DJ’s pops in the booth. Most of the time we’re just firing things up and coming off the cuff, but even that cuff has some wrinkles to it. It may not necessarily be as thought out as planning a big show, but there’s the thought of ‘who’s in the room right now’? WHAT room am I currently in? Is it a mellow and chill vibe? Are they wanting to dance or rock? Should I just spin what I’m feeling to spin tonight and let them groove?

While its not nearly as difficult choice as prepping for an event or to put on some type of show or have a ‘theme’, there’s still a little bit of choice and thought that goes into it. Each DJ wants to ensure that people are tuning in and having a good time, and most will adjust with the flow of the room.

The Event:

When it comes to the Event, things can get a little more tricky, however it doesn’t always equate to complete pandemonium. The hardest part usually about doing an event is finding out the theme for it. We usually ask if there’s something the people want to hear, a type of specific genre, if a mood needs to be set, and a few examples of songs that they’d like to hear, so we can build a playlist around that particular type of music. Depending on the length of the event, this can become even more difficult, as you may not want to put an entire room to sleep constantly playing slow slongs, but not want to go too upbeat and off the course.

Sometimes these events are larger then that, involving multiple DJ’s, (such as March Madness) and you find yourself in a conundrum with a few ways to go about it, so your music doesn’t overlap. Most DJ’s will attempt to communicate with others on the type of music they’re playing so even if its similar, you don’t play the same songs. Though you often hear this on the radio, we try and mostly avoid it as its abit annoying whenever it happens. It does happen though, and we’ll frequently message another DJ playfully removing the songs that we had on our lists (alot of us have the same tastes).

The Requests:

This is a difficult portion. We try and play as many requests as we can throughout the night but its not always simple. Sometimes on any given night we get requests that don’t necessarily fit with the genre but we try. Sometimes we might ask for another request that fits with the genre if its a ‘theme night’ and sometimes we might just go with it and either break the mold or transition it into another set for abit that brings about that flavor of music and keeps with the beat. This is often where that individual DJ choice comes in or that motherfuckin sorcery where we draw forth the curtains of oz and work some magic.

The Individual Night:

On individual nights throughout the week its DJ’s choice. This is where they get the time to shine. Showcase their own individual likes and dislikes, and put on the show. On any given night you might expect to hear different things. Most DJ’s have their own individual musical styles that they like to play, some like to change it up, but there’s definitely some thought that goes into it. Have these songs been played before? Is there new content out there? If I’m playing oldies am I showcasing ones that I didn’t before? What does everyone want to hear? Do I go with favorites or something off the wall to introduce them to new music? Will they like it?

The Wrapup:

To some it comes naturally. To others its an artform. Not all give thought to the actual music being played and how its selected and whether there’s any rhyme or reason to it but there’s usually a few common factors and more then alot of work and thought that goes into it. Whether DJing for a certain event, or just going on for a random night, there’s alot of common ground. That’s not to say that we always get it right, or that you might not always like the music being played (that’s why we like feedback!) but every DJ tries to offer something for everyone.

As always, if you like what we’re doing, tell a friend, if you don’t, tell us, and we’ll fix it.

The Sound of Madness [by DJ Addiction]

A Glimpse Inside the DJ Booth

The Pregame Warmup.

Sounds kind of weird, right? But most of us Deejays have one. What is it, what does it do? Exactly what it sounds like. Its the little rituals that we go through before we go on air. I’m not exactly talking about blood sacrifices (though this apparently works in a pinch if your tech isn’t working right), but the little odd quirks that we use to get through the anxiety and uncertainty of our show. Fears of public speaking, crowds, unsure if people are gonna like your music, or like what you have to say, if your flow is right, etc etc. There’s alot going on!

But, I know what you’re thinking. “What anxiety!? Most of you have been doing this for years! It should be easy. You’re Deejays, social people, used to entertaining the masses!”

Truth is, alot of us are social introverts (imagine that on the internet!), and that little bit of a social extrovert doesn’t come out without a kick in the pants and usually only at night and for so long. You have to get over the hump, so to speak. For some, its as easy as taking a deep breath, maybe a stiff drink (or 2, minimum), or listening to a few ‘pump you up’ songs before you go on to get into the flow. I asked some of our Deejays to share some of their own pregame rituals to offer a little bit of better understanding of how this all works, and how they get going.

DJ Kitten:
Go pee ( in the bathroom of course).. but I always make sure that I do that before I go on first so I’m not startled.

Listen to whatever song is “speaking” to me that day. As a floater what song made me want to jump on air. I’ll listen to that a few times.

DJ Rivers:
I charge all my shit >.> (this is likely untrue, or the only time she does)

I have a pregame playlist. I set up the zen zone in my living room, make a drink, and brace for my inevitable tech fail. i have one tech catastrophe during every show. i angered the radio gods somewhere.

I chicken out of talking at least three times

DJ Wildthing:
First thing.. I test my headset and mic volumes to make sure its working.  I have had instances where if I don’t its wtf mode.

I get my cherry coke zero and do five minutes of bends and stretches since I am in the chair from anywhere from 3-6 hours depending on the night.

I then sit here for 30 minutes cranking my ZONE music which is often Ozzy, Sixx AM, or Lordi to get me pumping… the last song I listen to is always Avril.. Head Above Water currently… because it helps me focus and says hey Girl you got this…. and then it is go time.

DJ Russ:
I get nervous so I pee, a lot.

I checked my music over and over, had I picked music people would know, or if they didn’t know like. I stretch and move about a bit and get myself to a place i’m going to be comfortable to blab on air. I test my kit a few times… and then again…

Like Kitten I play the music to get in the headspace and remind myself as nervous as I am, I love playing music and sharing a bit of myself and that for reasons you lot like my accent so that if all else fails will carry me through.

Then i hit play to go live and immediately need to pee again.

DJ Curbside Prophet:
I hadn’t really thought about it until you asked honestly. I always make sure I go to the bathroom, have a drink(or coffee) on hand, I make sure all the animals are out of my room and close my door that has the ON AIR sign that my sister made me.

So as you can see there is quite the variety, and that nerves can and will often do attempt to get the better of all of us. It does for me too! I’ve had my own pre-game ritual for almost a decade and it usually never changes. Though this has been a well kept secret (jokingly) for some time, it really is because of the nerves (I hate public speaking until I’m comfortable). Many have theorized its been anything from rubbing one out to sacrificing baby goats, its much more mundane then that. I start crafting a show idea or setlist the week before. The day of I start putting together a playlist that covers the entire three hours, hours in advance. Throughout the day I’ll re-arrange it numerous times as the energy hits me. Right before the show, I include one pump up song that always goes before my opening. I get up, take a drink, go outside, sit in the chill air for a few with my dogs and have a smoke, wash my face (super cold water), go BACK outside for a few, stare up at the stars, then close my eyes and think about anything other then the show, and when I open them, the switch goes off. Its go time. I do the mmmbop walk back into the house, have another drink (2, minimum), pee, wash my face again, then set down and start the show.

So there you have it for this week. That first glimpse inside the booth and a look into what the Deejays do to get over their nerves with their pre-game warmups. If there’s anything you’d like to know or always been curious about DJ’s, feel free to hit me up on the Revo Forums or Discord, anytime. I’d love to hear from you.