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.