OUTPOST1 interview: Dave Q

OUTPOST1, October edition, is this Friday! For this month, we’ve got Dave Q, one of the original heads responsible for America’s best and original dubstep party, Dub War. As per our usual OP1 pre-party protocol, Dave Q graciously sat down with us for a good ole fashioned Q + A.


Photo via Brooklyn Bass

Bonus: Be sure to check out (and download for free) the latest sounds of Dave Q here. Also scope October’s promo mix from Party With Tina here.

Get to know this month’s guest beneath the jump!

How did you first get into DJing? What was your introduction? I started DJing playing old 45’s on my plastic Fisher-Price record player in my parents’ basement when I was 2. Beyond that, it was after a trip to London in 2001 when I bought a bunch of early dubstep white labels at Blackmarket Records from Horsepower, El-B, Zed Bias, etc. and I decided that they need to get heard in New York.

What is your approach to DJing? How much of your set is spontaneous versus mapped out? I don’t plan out my sets in advance, but I normally start making a mental playlist a few days before a gig based on what I imagine the vibe of the party will be. There are a few different directions that my sets have been going lately (from house to dubstep to footwork to more experimental music), so I just calibrate which ones will fit with the event that I’m playing.

Do you feel like one producer or DJ now is particularly killing it? Nguzunguzu, Machinedrum

In the moment of a show, does the crowd matter? In what ways? Absolutely. It’s the DJs responsibility to not only guide the energy of the people in the room, but also to empathize with it.

Who are your biggest inspirations, either in or outside of music? Lou Reed, DMZ, Marcel Duchamp

What was your first musical instrument/machine/looper/etc? Do you still use it? My trumpet. I don’t have it anymore, but I wish I did. I do still have the bass guitar that I played for many years growing up.

What was your first gig like? How did it compare to your most recent? My first proper gig was a memorable one. It was at Bangers & Mash, a grime night that Shadetek used to run. That was the first time most people in the room had heard dubstep. My most recent was a fun one as well, playing a load of unreleased footwork tunes to a receptive crowd at LPR in NY.

What has doing Twisup been like in comparison to throwing the Dub War parties? Do you view the two as separate entities or a new evolution of another? Twisup was me starting to get excited again about throwing parties after taking several months off after Dub War’s 5-year-run came to an end. It was refreshing because it was smaller, there was no pressure to book any one style of music, and I could just enjoy myself. I have recently been starting to feel the desire to try something bigger again though.

What does an average day consist of for you in relation to DJing? Between my day job and music, my weeks are really busy, so I fit music into every spare minute of my life that I can. Whether riding the subway to work or sitting at my desk or lying in bed at night I have headphones on at all times listening to new music and thinking about what would be interesting in a set.

If you could pick one type of venue or particular spot to play where would it be? In what ways would your set list reflect the environment? Obviously the soundsystem is priority number one at any venue. Beyond that I tend to like playing dark, cavernous underground spaces where people can lose themselves in sound. My dream event would probably be in the anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge (where I once saw Pole and Mike Paradinas play before they closed it for public use after 9/11).

How do you combat boredom when traveling? There’s nothing boring about traveling for me. I love being on the road.

What can we look forward to when you play Albany? Probably a lot of footwork and grime. Maybe some jungle. I’ve been excited by the intensity of faster tempos lately.

Special thanks again out to Dave Q for his time and to Taylor Merrihew for helping with curating the interview. Outpost1 is this Friday, October 21, at the Fuze Box in Albany, and is free before 11pm for those 21+.

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