Published on June 14th, 2012 | by TLV News1
GLOtron (Mississippi Dubstep) at Two Stick FRI 6/15
Interview by Rebecca Long
All photos courtesy Robert Underwood (No Filter Photography)
Your bio says you’re originally from Jackson. Do you still live there? I grew up in Brandon, Miss. So, basically Jackson. I grew up going to all the shows at W.C. Don’s, Hal & Mal’s and the Hardcore shows at all the churches in Clinton. I currently live in the Cotton District in Starkville, and plan on living here next year as well.
How did you come up with the name GLOtron? I was at a monthly party in Memphis with the band ELECTROCITY. Their party has grown from 150 people raging in a small dive bar in Memphis, to having a line out the door all night, absolutely slam packed, with a VIP area and the best music around—and they throw the biggest, craziest, best party in Memphis, at the nicest club, Senses. When they were still a small party, I would travel up every month. I was starting to DJ, looking up to these guys as role models and mentors. My friends and I were hanging out in the hotel in Memphis before an ELECTROCITY show and brainstorming things that I wanted to convey when I DJ to help me come up with a name. I combined the letters ‘GLO’ from the abbreviation of the band Ghostland Observatory—I’m a huge fan of the dancing moves and stage presence of Aaron Behrens, their front man. ‘GLO’ also comes from the word ‘glow,’ like radiance, luminosity, spark, and light. I want to radiate good vibes, an electronic expectation, and make sure everyone has a good time at my shows. ‘Tron’ comes from my nerd background. I’m huge into computers, technology, and a huge fan of the 1982 Disney film, and Tron: Legacy.
Daft Punk is one of my biggest music and live performance influences as well and they wrote the score for Tron: Legacy. When combined together into GLOtron, the words sounded good together and resembled everything I wanted people to think about when they hear or see my DJ name. It was my idea to trap you into the best party of good electronic vibes, some sexy dance moves, and the best music around with so much energy you’ll be crawling away after the show with a struggle to get back into the real world.
Do you play any musical instruments? I don’t. I have a small keyboard that I’m trying to learn how to play so I can write melodies to original songs, and it has some buttons and knobs to control some of the DJ software, but I don’t know how to play the piano, or any other instrument besides a few chords on the guitar. I’m really interested in learning the piano to help me write some songs, and melodies so I can create some original content. I was in choir and performed in musicals in high school and learned how to read music and sing, but have no instrumental background. I wish I could play the saxophone though!
What musicians have influenced your sound? If you could only see my room, I have saved every poster from every concert I have ever attended that had posters, and my room is covered floor-to-ceiling. So live music concerts have influenced my life and sound more than any other element of life and growing up.
I grew up watching local Jackson bands multiple times a week. They influenced my stage presence, as they would have so much energy on stage to the point where it overpowers everyone in the room and you can’t help but dance, stomp your foot, or nod your head. That to me has made me strive to put on the same kind of show where I express whatever music I’m playing as I would want it to be expressed to me. Because I love all styles of music, you’ll see me having so much fun because I’m getting to blend all my favorite pieces into one magical puzzle. My sound as a DJ comes from so many emotions I’ve experienced at these concerts that I want to express to people listening and watching.
Your bio lists a diverse range of electro-music genres, but it seems like you’ve tried to stay away from the more Americanized “brostep.” Is this intentional? Yes! I don’t know where this term “brostep” came from with this negativity that comes along with it, but maybe that’s just what it is—a negative term for music or the group of people they don’t like attending these concerts. I’ve heard people call “frat” guys or “posers” that go to shows getting down to electronic dance music and calling the music “brostep.” I definitely don’t play music I don’t like, and my tastes are very diverse. I think music should be appreciated by all kinds of people. If you’re at a concert or bar or show to have a good time, I think discriminating between non-bros and bros is the stupidest thing, and is just giving people who want to hate on Dubstep a term to throw around. I was in a fraternity, though I’d say I’m not your typical “frat guy.” I picked up DJing because I would play music on iTunes in my room and people would come in, love what I played, and dance—and it made me so happy to show them a good time. It just snowballed from there once I learned how to mix songs with a computer and mixer.
You can’t please all the people all the time, but I definitely don’t want any negativity coming from people calling what I play “brostep.” But if that’s a genre, and I play “brostep” it’s just a word for a category. So to categorize my fans in a negative manner would be stupid. I encourage all “genres” of people: bros, steppers, non-bros, frat guys, hippies, hipsters, nerds, romantics, musicians, sorority girls, weirdos, and anyone who likes music. Because I’ve never found anyone who doesn’t like music.Genres, music, and people change with time, so I hope people remove this negative connotation with “brostep.”
What kind of setup do you have on stage? I just bought a MacBook Pro, and I DJ with a Pioneer DDJ-S1. It’s an all-in-one DJ controller running Serato ITCH. My VJ has a MacBook as well, and runs Resolume.
You’ve been working on 3-D mapping. Any developments in that area you can share with us? 3-D mapping is part of all of my shows. I have a VJ–Jeff Bourque, VJ InDIVID, who is really doing great cutting edge things with his work. We’re constantly working on new content and building new set props to bring a full visual element to the show that you’re just going to have to see in person. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth 1000 words”—well, I’d say his work is worth a billion words. We have created different shapes of screens that get videos and images projected on them and then we manipulate those videos to create a beautiful, tangible, and stimulating visual element to the aural element of my DJing. We’ve been doing 3-D mapping for about eight months.
You have an Aerospace Engineering degree. Do you have a day job? I did receive a degree in Aerospace Engineering, and don’t currently have a day job with that. I’m interning with a professor still working on a satellite, between MSU and NASA. I also work very hard to stay on top of current music, and create my own.
Aspirations? I aspire to influence people in a positive manner, be a good role model, and a great friend to anyone, and show people that I give a f**k. I want to DJ music festivals, and go on a world tour one day with my DJing. I love to travel, express myself, and meet new people and I hope my DJing allows me to do that.
This article was published in The Local Voice #158 (June 14-28, 2012)…Click here to download the PDF of issue #158.