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Interview: Scumfrog
by Royce Haven: 02-04-2004

Jesse has taken some time from his busy schedule to chat with us fellow Groovanauts:

1. What is the biggest influence in your music?
Everyday life in New York City

2. With super-clubs closing all across America for various reasons, do you feel this is killing the scene?
No, because at the same rate there are tons of new clubs opening as well, so I don't know if the dance music scene will suffer too much. Besides, let's not forget that this scene has always been underground, and it doesn't lend itself to become too big, without causing many (political) problems. I think that most fans of the scene will agree that the best parties are in mid-size venues. From a DJ point of view, 200-600 people in front of me is my personal favorite.

3. What is your take on music file sharing?
It doesn't keep me awake at night (or in my case, during the day) The recording industry is having a tough time and it's only going to get worse due to a series of social, technological, and economic changes. File sharing is a popular scapegoat among record companies because it places all responsibilities of a sinking industry with the consumer and the advance of technology. In essence, the people that scream the loudest about the evils of file sharing are mostly the ones that helped bring down this industry to begin with. I realize there is considerably less money to be made from recordings than a decade ago, but I try to adjust and shape my professional life according to the changing times. Less financial dependency on major record companies is vastly becoming a priority.

4. Britney or Christina?
Both at once, or don't bother.

5. Do you think that some DJ's that are making over $10,000 a set are overpaid?
If it means that the production of an event suffers severely because of the DJ fee, and if the DJ doesn't contribute to the production other than with his tunes and a pair of headphones, then yes. On the other hand, if the DJ is solely responsible for 100% of the draw, why would the promoter make more money than the DJ? Every event is different and fees are usually negotiated according to many different variables.

6. Why did you become a producer?
It's what I do best. I play many instruments, but I didn't want a career as a musician. Writing and recording a song is fun, but making a recording sound fat, juicy, bouncy and addictive has always been my thrill.

7. Is Bush going to get re-elected?
Will Celine Dion make another album?

8. What was the best party you spun at in 2003?
Spundae LA in July

9. Any new projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?
My new single “Simmer” will be dropped on Miami during the WMC.

10. What is one of the weirdest things you have ever witnessed while on tour?
This summer during an afternoon soundcheck in an empty club in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), I took the caps off the turntables, which caused them to move slightly. A huge rat came leisurely walking from under it, onto the console, looking at me and my crew, not in any hurry to get out of there. I jumped three feet in the air, and had someone else remove the other cap.

11. You have always maintained a respectful reputation in the industry. Some of your peers on the other hand have not. When would you say someone is “selling out”?
When it comes to DJ/producers, a great example of selling out is a DJ that doesn't dare to play his/her own music anymore. So thank god for pseudonyms! Selling out can be a beautiful thing though; you work hard all your life and at the end of your career, when you don't really care about being all that cool anymore, you cash in on a series of shampoo ads and send your kids through college. For now, I'll hold off on it, but don't put it past me.

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