By: Mel McQueen
NY now L.A based DJ, Lindsay Luv, sits down to talk to us about vintage clothing, spinning it up at the Playboy Mansion and remixing for the likes of Ravonettes and Dangerous Muse.
What artists do you admire?
The Gossip, The Raveonettes, Michael Jackson, Sia, Chromeo, Neil Young, Jack White, Teddybears, DeadMau5, The Cult, Madonna and Lady Gaga
How did you start your career in the music industry?
I came to NYC from Boston and began working with a company called The Orchard- they were the largest US independent distribution company and I was doing A & R and Business Development. Aside from the daily office work I would travel to music conferences and such and seek out up and coming hot bands that could benefit from great online distribution. At this time I also began assisting The Orchard CEO’s Scott Cohen and legendary songwriter/producer Richard Gottehrer (Blondie/The Go-Go’s), on their side project developing Columbia artists, The Raveonettes. I eventually changed jobs to a major music marketing agency and became the NYC events director creating indie music based events as the marketing strategy for top Fortune 100 brands. At this time I was both discovering and helping break some artists on the rise through the NYC events I was creating for my brand clients. Some of the up and coming artists I booked for events at the time included Chromeo, Justice, Mickey Avalon, Busy P, White Denim, Ladytron, Electric Six, The Presets, DJ AM, SebastiAn among others.
Who taught you to spin? How long have you been DJ’ing for?
I am actually mostly self-taught. The late Adam Goldstein, aka DJ AM, was a friend and I was often sending my great indie finds to him for sets. He one day suggested I give it a whirl myself and when I was out of work at one point I said- what the heck! I was extremely passionate about music and I just didn’t know if I would ever be able to conquer the technical side of DJing but I was willing to give it a real chance with my newfound free time. After buying recommended equipment by AM and a few informal lessons from local DJ friends I essentially taught myself with a LOT of practice at a local club and friends studios during most afternoons. I’ve been DJing for close to two years and I still learn more everyday!
What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever played a show?
I Don’t know if I would call it ‘unusual’ but the most unreal place I ever played was definitely The Playboy Mansion! I recently headed out to LA for summer residencies and the second day in my new home I was playing at the legendary Playboy Mansion for a huge charity event. I was in shock when the gates opened and I went inside and in even more shock when I realized I was spinning for the likes of Hugh Hefner and all of his bunnies and celebrity guests. It was surreal and a fantastic welcoming to the west coast!
Who are your musical influences?
Well in terms of DJ influences I would definitely say DJ AM, ATrak, Deamau5, Discotech and Boys Noize and for musicians I am constantly inspired by Chromeo, Madonna, Robyn, Annie, The Faint, The Gossip, The Raveonettes and Lady Gaga. They all are incredibly talented and break boundaries with inspiring music to keep my sets rocking!
I hear you like vintage clothing, what is your favorite piece?
My grandma’s white fox coat! I normally do not promote fur, as I am a 19 yearlong vegetarian; however, this piece is sentimental and has her initials inscribed inside. It looks fantastic with my typical black rocker wear and it is warm during the cold NYC winters. The best vintage is always the kind that has a story or lineage behind it.
What tracks are big on the scene right now?
Definitely Drake’s ‘Over’, Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro”, JayZ’s “Empire State of Mind” (still!) and Eminem’s new album is getting a lot of spins! I tend to get a headache if I hear songs too much so I try and find remixes of the super popular tracks of the moment and mix them in with more indie stuff to keep my sets inspiring.
Tell us about your most embarrassing moment? if you can share it with us haha?
I haven’t had a really specific bad one quite yet (fingers x-ed) but anytime a wire becomes unplugged accidentally and the music shuts off or you press something funny and the record goes into super speed or some other accidental malfunction can be very embarrassing when the crowd stops and stares or even boos at you. I usually am able to recoup pretty fast because chances are at this point I know what I hit wrong and can move fast to fix it.
You obviously see guys dancing all the time. What move impresses you most on the dance floor?
The fist pump! Haha, ok maybe not the fist pump…. I did recently DJ and had one guy get up on a chair with his shirt off and dance like crazy…while that sounds dreadful, he was actually getting the crowd moving and had the whole room up and going. As a DJ there is nothing I want more than to see the crowd go nuts and stay sweating till the very end. Shirts off works for me!
What’s one of your all-time favorite recordings by a band/musician?
I love the song “Standing in the Way of Control” by The Gossip. I heard lead singer Beth Ditto, perform it live at SXSW music conference in Austin, TX one year and it was probably the most memorable live show of my life next to Madonna. Beth Ditto is a large woman who got practically naked on stage and belted out the most heavenly a cappella I have ever heard live and on the fly. She vocally mixed in pop favorites like Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” into the intro of her song. She was mashing up her own music on spot in the most ingenious way- kind of like a live DJ. She had the crowd raging and I was jumping up and down going nuts. She pushes boundaries, challenges stereotypes, and is more successful because of it. But above all, her voice, passion, and lyrics get every crowd member moving and this makes it one of my favorite songs!
What’s the first song you ever remember hearing?
I was raised by two music-loving ‘hippie’ parents so I would say I was listening to Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Social Distortion, and The Rolling Stones from my conception. “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young is the song that most reminds me of my childhood. I love rock and having this background has helped round out my musical tastes when I DJ open format sets.
What do you like most about your profession?
I love the chance to share my passion and music discoveries with others. I have as much fun researching new music as I do sharing it on the dance floor. When I find a new song and then get the chance to blare it from an incredible sound system for a packed room of people ready to dance, there is nothing more fulfilling. I really enjoy nightlife and I am a night owl, so it is great to have my days to work from home or get into a studio to remix and then get pumped for the big night ahead.
Which songs get the biggest workout?
Never fail my number one song to get the crowd off their ass is Kevin Rudolf’s (fg Lil’ Wayme) “Let it Rock” followed by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” remixes. Seriously I have yet to see those sonsg not work in freaking people out. I think Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” and “Bad Romance” are a close second and my personal favorite is Chromeo’s track “Night by Night”.
Heard you remixed a Dangerous Muse track that came out on Warner Brothers and a Ravonettes track for Vice Records, how did this come about?
The Dangerous Muse track for Sire Records (part of Warner Bros umbrella) came out recently as part of a special official Remix promo they put out in conjunction with the new album “I Want it All’. Dangerous Muse is one of the bands I booked years ago when I was doing music event marketing and I fell in love with their music. Mike Furey, the lead singer & half of the duo, is as talented as he is hot and as nice as he is talented and thus we have remained friends through the years — so we were excited about myself and my (sometimes) NY based production partner, DJ D-Major, working on a remix for their new project. The Raveonettes and I also have a history of working together and a friendship and thus they have a trust of my ability to create a great sounding remix and play it out at my gigs. DJ D-Major is an incredible producer and between his strong production background and instrumental talent and my ear and marketing abilities we have made a great team when certain fitting projects pop up like these ones. Our first remix we did together and were joined by DJ Bobby Blaze, for Tigercity’s “Fake Gold,” which was popular in the music blogosphere and on the decks. I think producing and remixing is another element of my career I really enjoy beyond my work DJing in the nightclubs.
Where do you draw your influences from?
I definitely get a lot of influence from the blogosphere. I spend hours reading thousands of music-related blogs. I love blogger Arjan Writes ( HYPERLINK “http://www.arjanwrites.com” http://www.arjanwrites.com) as he is a fellow music lover with a keen understanding of dance floor music and has also been a supporter of my own DJ career and remixes. I also am inspired by the NYC indie scene and fashion. Fashion tends to go hand in hand with music and the fashion of each decade can influence the music produced and played.
When all the partying is over how do you like to chill out?
I am actually such a homebody! Most afternoons when I am not in a studio I take a long walk or a hike here in Cali and then settle in with emails and downloading tunes and on my few nights off I am all about a night at home with a bottle of wine, some Thai food delivery and one of my many 80’s DVD’s. A good friend, small group of friends, and/or my boyfriend is often part of the mix.
Photography: Ademar Dias