Clubplanet Interviews DJ Z-Trip

Clubplanet Interviews DJ Z-Trip

by Marcos Colón
12.10.2009

Las Vegas is a city for the hungry. For those who yearn for success, money, power, respect. That’s especially the case when it comes to the nightlife business. You have to have the smarts, energy and most importantly, the talent, to make it in the nightlife business in Las Vegas. That’s why when we found out that DJ Z-Trip was asked to take over the late great DJ AM’s Friday night residency at Rain inside of the Palms Hotel and Casino, we knew there was something special about him. Billed as “Z-Trip’s Revolution: A Party for the People,” this new Friday night weekly just off the strip is something to marvel at, with Z-Trip manning the helms week in and week out as well as bringing in special musical guests. Clubplanet recently caught up with the man described as the father of mash-ups, and chatted about his ‘Revolution’ at Rain, the ups and downs of the nightlife business, and what’s in store for 2010.

ClubPlanet: How’s the year panned our for you so far?

DJ Z-Trip: The year has treated me good man. It’s been crazy, it’s actually been an overwhelming year.

Clubplanet: What have you been working on lately?

DJ Z-Trip: I’m just finishing up this Dead Weather remix, and it’ll be coming out soon. It’s funny because I’ve been doing all these different shows which is great, but the downside is that you never really have the perfect balance because something always suffers. I have to use that time between gigs to work on my production. I just haven’t had that much time on my hands this year, which proves to be a great year, but also is tough because it’s difficult to knock out all of the production.

Clubplanet: What would you say is the best way to describe your sound?

DJ Z-Trip: It’s really tough for me to describe my style. My style is the all-encompassing. I’m trying to master every style of DJing, whether it be reggae or drum and bass to house, I try and keep a little bit of all that stuff on deck.

Clubplanet: Your weekly party is called, “Z-Trip’s Revolution, A Party for the People.” What were you thinking about when you came up with the name for that party?

DJ Z-Trip: It was about trying to break down barriers a little bit. With Vegas there’s always this preconceived notion of what to expect with music. I was trying to break out of that a little bit. I was trying to push boundaries a little bit. I feel like most people, when they go to Vegas, want to hear a little bit more variety. As I’m doing these shows, you have to sandwich in these unpredictable tunes with all the hits, and it works because it gives people a variety.

Clubplanet: You’re considered the Godfather of mash-ups. Who are some other guys out there that you think are doing it right?

DJ Z-Trip: It’s tough because, the whole term mash-up to me was something that was sort of thrown on me. I look at it as just mixing. When someone says you’re a ‘mash-up’ DJ, well really you’re just a ‘mixing’ DJ. It’s a little redundant. That style of mixing is how people like to identify it. I think that Jazzy Jeff is an amazing DJ, that guy covers so much ground. DJ Craze is also another amazing DJ. I could go on and on with names, and these are guys who can stand many different styles. Craze started off a hip-hop DJ, then as a battle DJ, then he started doing drum and bass and now electro. You can always go back to where you’ve been, but not many people know how to move on to different styles.

Clubplanet: What’s your process when making a remix? Are there any particular steps that you take?

DJ Z-Trip: It depends on what the track is and what the track wants. I don’t really try to be different just for the sake over being different. I try my hardest just to experiment as much as I can with a track. I’ll listen to the track for a good week or two weeks, just to analyze it. Eventually I’ll figure out the treatment that it needs. When I got the Jackson 5 track, I began listening to it and I realized that the best approach was the minimal approach. You really don’t want to compromise the integrity of the tune, so you have to due things with a level of respect, so you’re putting your spin on it, but you’re not totally taking away from what got people interested in the first place.

Clubplanet: What are some other cities you like to play outside of Las Vegas?

 DJ Z-Trip: I think that just about every town in Colorado is amazing. Up in the Bay, San Francisco is amazing. Austin and Chicago are great, as well as all through Canada. It’s always fun there. To me, the places I like to play are the places where I can get away with playing a lot of stuff.

Clubplanet: Essentially you’re in the nightlife business. What would you say are some of the things that aren’t so great that come with the job?

DJ Z-Trip: Well there’s always the age-old, you’re always on the opposite clock as everyone else. Naturally you’re eating late, you’re eating unhealthy at three or four in the morning. Your sleep schedule is shot. You also miss some birthdays and family, loved ones, so that’s a downside too. But that’s the nature of the job. You have to find the right balance.

Clubplanet: What can everyone look forward to from you in 2010?

DJ Z-Trip: I actually have a few tricks up my sleeve as far as production goes for the shows. When I play I always try and get down with different artists, whether it be an MC, a drummer or a band. In 2009 I took a break from that but I think I’m going to go back to that a little bit more. I recently did a show with my old crew, Bomb Shelter, and we haven’t played together in years and we got the chance to go down these musical roads together that we weren’t able to do before. It’s like surfing, when you come out of the pipeline the crowd goes wild.

 

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