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Raising The Vibration with Wanita Music’s DJ Jawa Jones

DJ Jawa Jones

DJ Jawa Jones is vinyl DJ, radio host ,and founder of Wanita Music. Originally from the island of Java (or Jawa as it’s known in Indonesian) she moved to London in 2002. There she began immersing herself in London’s legendary nightlife. Jawa Jones frequented clubs like Rhythm Factory and The Lady Luck Club. These experiences helped influence her growing affinity to diverse styles of music. Things changed in 2017 when she was invited to spin records for a holiday party in Munich, Germany. This performance hooked Jawa Jones on being behind the decks and spinning the music she loved.

In 2018, Jawa Jones established her own night called Wanita (which means woman in Indonesian). She began building a platform for supporting female artists, musicians and DJs. After Jawa Jones moved from Munich to London she expanded the club night into the Wanita’s radio program on BarrelHouse Radio. There she welcomed the collaboration of female DJs from across the world. On her program her guests play and celebrate all female fronted artists while drawing upon music from the 1950’s throughout the 1980’s. Genres included in the broadcast are rock n’ roll, country, garage rock, yeye, soul, rhythm and blues, punk, post punk and new wave.

Now with a successful broadcast, Jawa Jones has set her sights to more ways to promote women in music. These ideas includes the Gold Digger Series, upcoming DJ nights and Raise The Vibration, which will be live-streamed via Mixcloud on February 13, 2022. To learn more, I caught up with Jawa Jones and asked her about Wanita, djing, and her future endeavors.

NixBeat: First a little about yourself. Where are you from and what got you into record collecting?

Jawa Jones: I am Jawa Jones, a vinyl DJ based in London, UK, radio host and founder of Wanita. I am half English & half Indonesian, born on the island of Java (Jawa in Indonesian) and moved to London in 2002. I started seriously record collecting when I began djing in 2017. 

NixBeat: In an interview on All To Back To Mine (published on January 25, 2022) you featured 7” records that held a special place for you. These included Kim and Grim’s “Lonely Weekend” and Ervinna & The Stylers “Get Ready.”  What other records do you hold dear and why are they important to you?

Jawa Jones: The records that are special to me are those that are gifted by friends. Keb Darge (BBE music) gave a stack of records of female Motown artists for my birthday last year. These included The Marvelettes “Here I am Baby” and “Keep Him” by Barbara Mason. Another friend Loggy gifted me a Czech version of “These Boots Are Made For Walking” ,by Nancy Sinatra, covered by 60s Czech pop singer Yvonne Prenosilová  — which I love! I often play these records at Wanita events and the Wanita Music radio show. 

NixBeat: Prior to moving to London in 2002, you grew up in Jakarta and then studied at University in Melbourne, Australia. After moving to London in 2002, you began frequenting DJ nights. What DJ nights did you attend and how did they influence your interest in music?

Jawa Jones: Moving to London in my early twenties was an exciting experience as back then there were so many great clubs and different culture groups running nights in small bars. It was nothing I had experienced before living in Jakarta and Melbourne. I was into techno and drum ’n’ bass in 2002. So I would go to Rhythm Factory in Whitechapel, Fabric on Thursday nights, and the Cross in King’s Cross. I would also go to indie and electro nights. I loved the Kill Em All sessions at Bar Fly with DJ sets by Olly Dixon and Tim Lawton of Eat Your Own Ears on Sundays at the Lock Tavern ,and Trash run by DJ and Producer Erol Alkan on Monday nights. I loved the mish mash of indie to electro and post-punk, no wave to garage rock at these events. I then stumbled into The Lady Luck Club which was a ’40s and ’50s vintage vinyl night and that blew my mind. I was dancing to jazz, rhythm and blues ,and rockabilly for the first time ,and that led to me discovering music I’ve never heard before.       

NixBeat:  In 2017 you got behind the decks with your first DJ set with Dr. Dr. Robert, and were hooked on the experience. What about DJing attracted you to this medium and how did it inspire you to start your own nights?

Jawa Jones: I’ve always loved dancing ,and love how the music played by DJs can take you on a journey. So to be behind the decks and immediately see how the music you play can affect a person’s mood and vibe of the room was a thrilling experience! The records I play are always the ones that I would enjoy dancing to myself, so I would apply this approach to the nights I run. I was listening to DJ Honey’s radio shows; Kiss! Kiss! Bang! Bang! and Girls in the Groove and she inspired me to start my own night: Wanita in Munich in March 2018. I was already collecting female- fronted soul, ’60s RnB and ’80s pop so I would play these records on the night.  

NixBeat: Having performed and sponsored numerous nights as a DJ, you have brought out all kinds of records for your sets. What kind of music do you spin for your nights and do you have a preferred style that you spin?

Jawa Jones: At Wanita I would play female- fronted ’60s soul and rhythm and blues, girl groups, yeye, ’60s garage. As the night progressed to the wee hours I would drop some no wave and ’80s pop like Madonna, B52s, Delta 5, Kate Bush, the Bangles…seeing people dancing and singing along to the music I play makes me smile. I am also a massive fan of garage punk and rock n’ roll. So on Queens of Fuzz night —which is another night I run— and other events I get invited to spin, I would play 60s garage, psych and early 70s rock.

NixBeat: How important are DJ’s to your local music scene and within worldwide music community—and why do you think that is?

Jawa Jones:  DJs are important in entertaining and educating people through their music selections and also for building a community of like-minded people locally and internationally. I have always admired how Lady Kamikaze and DJ Nino would attract such a wide range of people to their night Lady Luck Club  — there you’ll see rockers, mods, transvestites and fetish folks all hanging out and dancing. It was a friendly atmosphere, there was no snobbery and everyone was there to enjoy the music.    

NixBeat: Now based in London, England what kind of challenges and successes have you found compared to when you were in Munich, Germany?

Jawa Jones: Finding the right venue with a decent sound system is the biggest challenge in London. A lot of bars and clubs have shut due to rent increase and culture groups dispersing. I was really lucky in Munich as I ran my monthly night at a great local dive bar round the corner from where I lived. The owners of the bar were supportive of me and the DJs that played at their nights. They also invested in a good sound system because they care about the sound quality.

NixBeat:  Wanita— which Is Indonesian for woman—started as a club night in Munich, Germany in early 2018—and then later moved to London, England. In November 2020 Wanita branched out as a radio broadcast via Barrelhouse Radio. What influenced you to start Wanita and how has it grown over the last several years?

Jawa Jones:  I founded Wanita because I wasn’t seeing many female DJs in the vintage vinyl music scene and I wanted to offer a safe space for DJs to spin their favourite records. As I mentioned before, DJ Honey also played a large role in focusing my night to playing female-fronted music. Her radio shows are about empowering women and celebrating female artists. So I thought playing music by female artists would be a great fit with the concept behind Wanita. The idea of getting female DJs across the globe involved in Wanita came about in 2019. I started asking friends and vinyl DJs I met through the Wanita community to make a 60 minute mix of music by their favourite female artists across different genres. I wanted to use the Wanita platform to promote local and international female DJs and to expand the community and my knowledge of music by female artists. Then in March 2020 I was asked by my friend Ricky to host his Mono Loco Mix Tape radio show at Soho Radio and that started my foray into radio and led me to hosting the Wanita Music Show at Barrelhouse Radio in November 2020.     

NixBeat:  Wanita features female DJ’s from across the world. Who have been some of your favorite guests and why?

Jawa Jones: All the DJs and guests I invite to contribute to Wanita are my favourite kind of people! They are people I admire and respect for their work, may it be through the music they create, mixes they put out, festivals and/or club nights they run or the radio shows they host.      

NixBeat: You also sponsor The Gold Digger series on Instagram which features female record collectors from around the world. What prompted this series and what criteria are you looking for with collectors you feature? 

Jawa Jones: I started the photo series to highlight the passionate and knowledgeable DJs I have met through the Wanita community. It was also another opportunity to promote the fantastic ladies involved in the music scene so people can learn more about them and the work they do. I am working my way to asking all the women who have contributed to Wanita either through making Wanita mixes or were guests on the Wanita Music Show. That’s the criteria at the moment, but I am planning to open it up to other DJs and female record collectors in the future. 

NixBeat: In an interview with All Back To Mine you pointed out some challenges facing female DJ’s include being harassed by creepy men, discounted as an artist, or in other instances being shorted on intentions and compensation. In the same interview you’ve also stated how male counterparts, like DJ’s Diddy Wah and Fritz Buzzsaw, have been able to do their part in supporting female DJs in the music community. What are some specific ways you would like men in the music community to show support to their fellow female artists?

Jawa Jones: By actively being allies to women who are working in the music industry and supporting their work either by buying their music, attending their events or gigs. Don’t be a bystander — if you see a guy harassing a woman in a venue or behaving in a manner that is making a woman feel uncomfortable, approach the woman and ask if they are ok or inform the security staff.   

NixBeat: Are there other female DJ groups/collectives you have collaborated with and if so, why do you support them?

Jawa Jones: I have collaborated with Toronto Soul Club (Toronto, Canada) and Los Rulos Vinyl Club a vinyl DJs collective based in Bogota, Colombia  — both of these collectives are run by women who support female DJs in their local community. I tend to work with DJs and collectives who share similar values as Wanita and that is to support women and raise each other up while sharing joy through music and having fun!    

NixBeat: On February 13, 2022 you are promoting the Raise The Vibration event. It’s a live-stream fundraising event to end gender-based violence. How did you get involved with this fundraiser, who is involved and how can readers contribute to it?

Jawa Jones: I first became involved with Raise the Vibration in 2021 through discovering V-Day, which is a global activist movement founded by V (formerly Eve Ensler) who is an activist and author of the The Vagina Monologues. The purpose of the movement is to raise awareness and end violence against all women (cisgender, transgender, and those who hold fluid identities that are subject to gender-based violence), girls and the planet by combining art and activism to transform systems and change culture. This year we have 18 female DJs from 8 countries doing 30-minute sets playing female-fronted music on mixcloud.com/wanitamusic from 12:15 – 21:30 GMT. Collectively we are raising awareness and money for local charities/groups who are doing work to tackle gender-based violence. Each DJ taking part will select a charity or group in their local community who are doing anti-violence work. Readers can contribute by donating to the charities. Information about the charities and the DJs can be found in the Wanita Raise the Vibration 2022 Facebook event page, the Wanita instagram account and will be posted on Mixcloud.com/wanitamusic on the day of the event.

NixBeat: What are some other charitable events you have or would like to support?

Jawa Jones: So far, Raise the Vibration is the only charitable event I have organised and taken part in. However, I would support charities who actively do work in ending gender-based violence.

NixBeat: What does the future hold for Wanita and where do you want to see it go from here?

Jawa Jones:  I would love to start running Wanita club night in London again ,and this will happen when I find a suitable venue with a good sound system! I would also love to have live bands (female-fronted of course) at the Wanita night…and who knows perhaps a Wanita Weekender! 🙂   

On the Right Track with Black Wax’s Adam J Smith

Adam J Smith is the man of many talents. He is a celebrated musician, DJ, writer, promoter and now label owner. Smith currently plays bass for the reformed Newtown Neurotics and with the Motorheads of power pop Los Pepes. For almost two decades, up until its closure, he promoted concerts at the legendary venue The Square in Harlow Essex. As a DJ, he has worked with artists like Steve Diggle (The Buzzcocks) and The Rifles. He is also the diabolical mastermind behind the music site, Black Wax and hosts Lets Go! on Totally Wired Radio. Not only that, he launched the record label Black Wax Noise Division by releasing Chinese Junks Permanent Reduction EP in February 2021.

Originally, Black Wax started out as a regular way to share music. Since October 2020. it has been instrumental in promoting Let’s Go! and Black Wax Noise Division. Unlike other radio programs, Let’s Go! isn’t weighed down by nostalgia. Rather, it’s a show pursuing a modernist perspective by playing selections from contemporary artists continuing the evolution of punk, power pop, glam and garage rock. Although, one can certainly hear the occasional exception.  Among the modern artists Smith has boasted in his repertoire, but not limited to, are Duncan Reid and The Big Heads, The Len Price 3, BBQT, Faz Watlz, Dead Meat and Muck And The Mires

With a definitive buzz around Black Noise Division and Let’s Go!, the sky seems the limit for Smith. To learn more, I caught up with him over a digital pint. We chatted about promoting at The Square, playing with the Newtown Neurotics and Los Pepes, DJing, and what’s coming next with Let’s Go! and Black Wax Noise Division!

NixBeat: In March 2017, Black Wax started as a weekly radio broadcast and now exists as a 30-episode podcast. On the show you played rock n’ roll, glam punk and garage.  What prompted you to start the show and why did it conclude?

Smith:  Initially it was something to keep me busy after my music venue closed. I wanted an outlet for sharing music but didn’t want to rush straight into booking gigs at other venues. I’d always been interested in radio and the opportunity came up to get involved with a local community internet radio station. But, within a couple of months I had already introduced live music into the show and we did some great radio broadcasts with a small live audience with performances from Murray Torkildsen, Attila The Stockbroker, Paul Collins, Henri Herbert & The Fury, The Teamsters and Brandy Row. Unfortunately the station, and venue it was running from, closed altogether.

NixBeat: From 2001 until it’s closure in 2017, you were a concert promoter at The Square in Harlow, Essex. How did you get involved with The Square?

Smith: I did a 2 week work placement through school when I was 15 which turned into nearly 2 decades. I got involved in volunteering, my first job was handing out flyers at the end of the night. When the final punter had left the building I was given a free pass for the next gig. I would go along to the next gig and as soon as the band finished rush down to the door and start handing out flyers – and repeat.
I was introduced to promoting by Des Wiltshire, Shane Hanmore and Martin Norris. They were very influential and encouraging and let me help them book bands and promote gigs. By the time I was 18 I was working shifts behind the bar, DJ in between bands and booking full bills of my own.

NixBeat: What are some of your favorite acts you’ve put on at The Square?

Smith: There are lots because there are different reasons. Musically some of my favourite bands to have booked and watched there are Swingin’ Utters, The Damned, Buzzcocks, Dogs, The Aggrolites, The Ordinary Boys, The Datsuns.
There have been some bands who although musically aren’t something I’d normally listen to are great to work with so I have to mention Wheatus and DragonForce as some of the bands I enjoyed working with most.
A special mention to The Jim Jones Revue. As far as I’m aware the only band who played as a ‘new’ band who have only every played to a sold-out crowd (3 times). Obviously, some of the bigger bands we had would sell out, and we had some local bands that would work their way up to sold out gigs, but The Jim Jones Revue played within their first couples of years and never played to an empty room there.

NixBeat: Since 2007 you’ve been playing with The Newtown Neurotics as their touring bassist. How did you get involved with them?

Smith: I met Steve [Drewett] whilst I was working at The Square and also in the local Virgin Megastore. I booked a Newtown Neurotics gig, ordered myself the CDs and became a fan. A mate and I used to do an acoustic covers duo and play “Living With Unemployment.” When The Square’s  management at the time (local authority) were prohibiting the sale of alcohol Steve was booked to play a solo set on the bill of the last night with booze. Ever the opportunist, I offered mine and Dave’s services to back him on bass and drums respectively, so at the end of his set we got up and ran through a couple of songs with him. The next thing I know we’re rehearsing up a full set as we’ve got a slot on the Empress Ballroom stage at the next Rebellion festival. 

NixBeat: You also play with the “Motorhead of Power Pop” Los Pepes. What prompted you to get involved with Los Pepes? 

Smith: Los Pepes were the tour support on the final Jim Jones Revue show that I booked. I loved them as soon as a I heard the tracks on the promo CD I was sent. We became mates straight away and my mate Shaun ended up playing drums for them when their original drummer left. The bass player, Seisuke, lives in Japan, so when he returned home Shaun suggested me for the job. It’s a really good set up for me because Seisuke is still the band’s bass player. He writes and records with them, and will come over usually once a year to tour the latest release. And then when he’s back home I pick up the gigs and have done the odd recording and music video with them. It’s more of an international organization than your typical band set up. There’s no stopping it. 

NixBeat: To celebrate Harlow’s musical history and community, Black Wax is involved with a project launching campaigns to preserve its history for its future. The first being a series of T-Shirts promoting Harlow’s rich musical past. What prompted you to get involved and how do you think preserving Harlow’s music history improves it’s future? 

Smith: I’m a geek when it comes to stuff like that. I have a poster that my dad took off the wall when he saw Slade play the local college in 1972. Hawkwind (with Lemmy on bass), Dr Feelgood and The Pogues have played gigs on a bandstand we have in our town park, The Boomtown Rats and The Pretenders played the Odeon cinema in town, and everyone over a certain age will tell you they saw David Bowie at the Playhouse Theatre or Pink Floyd at the Birdcage.

More recently The Square hosted the likes of Del Amitri, Carter (USM), Blur (then known as Seymour), Supergrass, Coldplay, Biffy Clyro and George Ezra.

Even if it’s not music I listen to I think it’s important to acknowledge those bands coming to play in our town. The T-Shirt project is just a way to remind people of what used to happen and hopefully inspire people do more in the future. I’ve made some with gig posters and old record shop bag designs on them so far. I’m not short of material for them so hope to make more design available soon.

NixBeat: As a DJ, you’ve spun for numerous gigs, including The Rifles “No Love Lost 10th Anniversary Show at The Electric Ballroom in Camden and for Steve Diggle’s (Buzzcocks) album launch at the 100 Club in 2011. How did you get involved in these gigs? 

Smith: Mostly by putting my hand up and saying ‘I’ll do that.’ My pal Greg was running the Electric Ballroom at the time and as soon as I spotted the gigs going in I dropped him a line. Another friend, Justin, was managing Steve Diggle’s solo stuff so asked me if I fancied playing at it. I’ve done further sets at both venues which is good, someone must have liked it! I’m often looking out for opportunities to get involved and play music to people. 

NixBeat: What has been your favorite DJ performance to date?  

Smith: An unusual one, this has to be a pub garden party I did in summer 2019, the last summer we were allowed out properly! A friend of mine had just taken over the kitchen there and was running a BBQ, and the pub were launching an outside bar. By no means the biggest audience I’ve played to, but the space was packed, the sun was shining and I played a loads of old r&b, soul, garage rock, 60s pop. Everyone had a great time and I really enjoyed playing that kind of stuff, am patiently waiting for when we can do it again. 

NixBeat: You’ve got a collection of records that spans from genres like soul, garage rock, punk, glam and more. What are you looking for in a record when you add it to your set?

Smith: More recently when I buy singles it’s usually with a DJ set in mind. I wouldn’t say I’ve got a particularly large collection of any set genre, but I have a decent amount across different styles. I buy certain music depending on my mood, and usually an upcoming booking will see an increase in purchases. I’ve always got a list in my head of ‘missing essentials’ but I like to find them in shops instead of taking the easy way out and buying online – the pandemic has changed that habit a bit though.

Album wise though, I like to keep on top of new releases of bands I like whilst filling the gaps in old bands back catalogues. 

NixBeat: During the early month of the Corona Virus Pandemic, you recorded several episodes of “Black Wax — Social Distancing.” During these sets you’d play choice cuts from your record box.  Examples of tracks used included “Reptile Brain” by Imperial State Electric and “Interplanetary Craft” by Giuda. What kind of reception did you get from these broadcasts and did creating these mixes help alleviate stresses of the pandemic?  

Smith: I got caught up in the live streaming hype early on in our lockdown over here, partly fueled by both mine and my sons birthdays being in the first week of lockdown (I was sent home from work to be locked down on my birthday). So I set up my decks and looked into the best way to get online and play records. The initial reaction was great, and I teamed up with a band called The Bonnevilles one night where I did a virtual DJ set ahead of their singer doing a live streamed solo performance – we shared each other’s streams amongst our friends and fans. Facebook wasn’t kind to live stream DJs but I managed to salvage the audio and they now sit as a few podcasts.

To be honest, the novelty wore off quite quickly for me and by the 3rd or 4th month in I wasn’t interested in doing much more – I do listen to others who do so though, and one of my faves is the weekly Chills & Fever show. They moved over to Mixcloud and will soon be coming up for a whole year of weekly live streams. 

NixBeat: In October 2021, you launched Let’s Go! with Totally Wired Radio. This broadcast is a collaboration with Acid Jazz Records and Fred Perry Subculture. During each broadcast you focus on releases in contemporary garage rock, punk, glam and power pop within the last couple decades. Groups featured include Chinese Junk, The Exploding Hearts, BBQT, Faz Waltz and The Len Price 3.  How did you get involved with creating this show and why do you focus on modern music?

Smith Eddie Piller, the founder of Acid Jazz Records, lives just up the road from me. During one of the lifts of lockdown I was chatting to him in the pub and said if a slot was available, I’d love to do a show, especially without any gig bookings to focus on. He put me straight in touch with the station manager and she scheduled me into their Saturday programming which they were soon to be relaunching.

I see the show as an extension of my gig booking in that, whilst it’s easy to put on the likes of The Damned or The Buzzcocks and sell out the show, the real triumph is booking new bands and introducing them to a new audience, and the audience taking to them. I’ve done this a few times at a local pub, and had great responses for the likes of Thee Dagger Debs and Tommy & The Commies. So, I decided with the radio show that nostalgia would only get a look in if the band were doing something that made it current or relevant.

No-one needs me to play The Sex Pistols for them.

NixBeat: During each broadcast you read excerpts from reviews from several music journalist sources, including some from Nixbeat.com. What kind of criteria do you have for new material being submitted for Let’s Go!? 

Smith: Anyone can submit something, am happy for anyone to get in touch, but I advise listening to a couple of shows first to see what we’re working with so as to not be offended if I don’t feel it fits. I like to hear from music journalists who concentrate on the kind of music I play, mainly because I like to hear the music myself. So, I made contact with a few people whose websites and magazines I look at anyhow – the show is definitely not all about me, I just have access to a great platform to share music I like and I enjoy getting recommendations from people I trust.

NixBeat: Where do you want to see Let’s Go! from here?

Smith: The first couple of shows featured interviews (Duncan Reid, Muck & The Mires) and I’d like to start scheduling more of those but to be honest I’m actually finding it a bit difficult talking to people because it currently all comes back to the pandemic. When things are lifted and we’ve got more tours and releases to talk about then I’ll get on it.
I’ve been asked to compile a CD for the Jukebox at The Pipeline (the best rock and roll bar) in Brighton, which got me thinking that a Let’s Go! compilation or series might be a good thing. I don’t think anyone needs to see me on Let’s Go! TV any time soon – we look at screens too much anyhow.

NixBeat: In November 2020, Black Wax also launched its own record label. Your first release has been the Chinese Junk “Permanent Reduction EP,” which features members of The Griswalds, The Ulcers and The Unreleasables. What inspired you to start a label and what has the reception been like for your first release? 

Smith: I’ve always wanted to do it, and it’s one of the positives that has come out of the pandemic. I think if we’d been through 2020 as normal, I’d have been too busy with gigs to look at this properly. As soon as I heard the Chinese Junk tracks, I knew I wanted to do something with them. I’d been speaking to a few bands and they were just ready to go first. The responses has been great – I’d no idea what to expect really, and no idea of how many we’ll sell. With a non-existent marketing budget we’ve done enough pre-orders for me to think it’s all worth it. Just patiently awaiting them to arrive any day now so I can start sending them out!

NixBeat: With so much going on, what does the future hold for Black Wax? 

Smith: Gigs – I hope! That’s my main passion. I want to get back in the pubs and clubs putting bands on, and playing myself, but I’m not going to rush into it. I’ve no patience now for postponing/cancelling events so I’m going to wait til nearer summer to see what’s going to be possible towards the end of the year.
The second release is lined up for the label and should be announced very soon. I’d love to be able to do a Black Wax records showcase gig with the bands I’m putting out.

Until then I’ll be on totallywiredradio.com 2pm-4pm (GMT) every 4th Saturday of the month, and announcing things as and when they happen via www.blackwax.uk (mailing list sign up available) facebook.com/blackwaxrockandsoul,  twitter.com/blackwax85, and instagram.com/blackwax85 

DJ Nix Beat For Radio Bunny Hop 2021

On Easter Saturday, April 3, and Sunday, April 4, KUAA 99.9 FM will host New City Movement’s 11th Annual ‘Bunny Hop,’ in association with SLUG Magazine, Garage on Beck, FICE Gallery, and Randy’s Records.

The socially distanced celebration will feature community DJs with a Saturday night pre-party – leading into a day-long Easter Sunday music marathon helping to raise awareness of local non-profits through music.

DJ’s included in the event:

Dancing Through The Evolution with Jeffery Hacker

Jeffery Hacker, Ashley Mietus and Scarlett Hacker. Photo by Clayton Holyoak (aka Goose) at Crucialfest

Jeffery Hacker has long been involved with shaping Salt Lake City’s Music Scene. His passionate presence is widely felt, whether it’s through Djing his famed Dance Evolution parties as DJ DJ/DC,  bartending and managing at Metro Music Hall, or by his enthusiastic and constant promotion of local and touring acts. For these reasons, he has earned a place as a staple in Salt Lake City’s growing underground music community.

Unfortunately, because of the Coronavirus pandemic there is a necessity for the implementation of a Statewide lockdown and quarantine. One of the consequences is Salt Lake’s nightlife coming to a complete and sudden halt. Among the many industries affected by these measure is entertainment, with venues like Metro Music Hall temporally shuttering it’s doors.

For the first time since 2004, Hacker has had to find a new gig to sustain himself and his family until Metro Music Hall opens up again. I caught up with Hacker to see how things are going. We discussed his legendary DJ nights, the importance of Salt Lake City’s nightlife, managing Metro Music Hall, meeting Peter Hook and more.

NixBeat:  You used to run a weekly DJ night called Dance Evolution. How did this night start and what kind of music did you play?

Hacker: At the time it started out of necessity.  We wanted to dance to all kinds of music and the only thing available in SLC at the time were dedicated genre nights.  Going out and hearing everything from The Faint to Usher sounded like a great time, so we just did it ourselves.  Every night always started out as indie as possible, morphing into more of a pop night around 11 and ending with as much punk, emo and metal as the crowd would let me get away with for giant sing-a-longs.  It was awesome seeing people from different social groups meeting each other and becoming friends.  We actually hosted several “DE TATTOO” days where we partnered with Goodtimes Tattoo and they just tattooed DE logos on everyone.  Seeing all the different types of people coming in bonding with their new friends is something I don’t think any of us will ever forget.

NixBeat: In a Facebook post from December 8th, 2016, it was mentioned Dance Evolution went through a lot of changes, including jail time. How did Dance Dance Evolution Evolve over time?

Hacker: As the night got bigger I always ended up catering to the masses more.  Honestly that’s my biggest regret over the years.  I think what made the night special was exposing people to music they didn’t know and changing that up to keep up with random requests took the soul of the night away.  It was still super fun, but I think the night should have gone the other direction and become 100% indie dance.  I did have a stint on house arrest for a DUI (don’t drink and drive kids) but luckily DE had built up enough DJ’s over the years to have plenty of people fill in.  I actually moved to Denver for a year as well, and even though I managed to fly back to SLC almost every week for the party. There were still some shows I wasn’t able to make it.  Thankfully Brenton Leu, Justin Hollister, Tyler Lusk and Erik Olsen came into my life and became the best party throwers this city has ever seen.  They held down the fort just fine.

NixBeat: In the same Facebook Event Post, the description mentioned that Dance Dance Evolution helped bridge communities in Salt Lake City. How did Dance Dance Evolution accomplish this?

Hacker: We threw a weekly party for over 13 years, in that time we were lucky enough to meet what feels like just about everyone in SLC.  I think our specialty was focusing on crossing genres not just in what music I played but also what guests we would bring in.  One of my favorite memories of all time was one of our infamous water slide parties.  During the summer we would get a giant 33 foot tall water slide set up on the patio and people would just go insane.  At one of these parties we had a touring death metal package performing alongside the legendary drag performer Ursula Major.  Needless to say every single person looked insanely confused as they arrived but by the end of the night literally every single person in the venue was just having a blast on the water slide with their new best friends.  It wasn’t all debauchery though, we also were lucky enough to be at the right place and right time to help some people out in need.  We’ve hosted countless benefits which really shined a light on how amazing the people in this city are, and seeing people at their best always breaks down barriers and helps people come together.  

NixBeat:  What about DJ nights do you think are important to a music community?

Hacker: I’m from a generation where “going dancing” was everything.  I met all my friends at a dance night.  I met my wife at Area 51, and hit on her by getting Max the DJ to play her song next.  I think for a lot of people going dancing at a club playing a specific type of music is how they find “their people”.  Once they become a regular they know they’ve found their home.  It becomes a part of their routine and in a lot of ways it’s their singular release from the day to day grind of their lives.  Dance nights are VITAL to the music community as a whole because they become the primary source of in-person networking.  I can’t count how many shows were booked and planned out on the patio of metro at a DE party. 

NixBeat: How did you become involved with operating Metro Music Hall and what kind of changes have you seen it go through?

Hacker: Super long and confusing story so here is a short version:  Years ago we were at the Trapp Door (which is where the Metro is currently located) and the staff was treated very unfairly by the owner so 100% of us left and went to take over a venue called Club Edge.  About two years after we took over Edge, the owners sold it and the new owners kept all of us on.  After a while there the new owners wanted a better location, so we moved to the 200 S. location and changed the name to the Metro Bar.  Again a few years later they decided they wanted a bigger location so we came full circle and moved back to the original location of the Trapp Door.  These owners eventually decided to sell as well so I begged them to sell to Will Sartain and Lance Saunders with S&S Presents.  They obliged and now I work with the best team this city has ever seen.  Slowly but surely they’ve transformed the newly named Metro Music Hall into what I honestly believe to be the greatest venue in Salt Lake.  Full circle.

NixBeat:  What kind of clientele typically attends concerts at Metro Music Hall?

Hacker: Honestly?  Every type you can imagine.  We host all manner of events so the age range varies from 21-80.  I would say the regulars could be described as open minded and enthusiastic music lovers.  It doesn’t matter what the show is, they will always be there with open ears.

NixBeat:  Metro Music hall has attracted big name and local acts to play there. Some of these acts include MC5, The Black Lips and Gary Neumann. What has been your favorite show(s) at Metro Music Hall?

Hacker: My absolute #1 show will probably forever be Peter Hook.  I get star struck super easy and usually I will shy away from acts I’m super into, but Peter was just the nicest guy ever.  Realizing I was having a normal conversation with a living legend to this day gives me butterflies.  Death From Above 1979 was another act I couldn’t believe played here.  I’ve played them multiple times a night, every night I’ve dj’d and here they were on our stage.  I felt the same way about The Faint, The PresetsCut/Copy and dozens of others.  We’ve hosted Doyle and Michael Graves of The Misfits several times too.  If 15 year old me knew that one day I’d be eating birthday cake with Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein I would have died. 

NixBeat: What are some Salt Lake City bands you are currently enjoying and what about them makes them stand out?

Hacker: Choir Boy is pretty much my favorite band right now in general, so it helps that not only are they from here but several of the members work at Metro from time to time.  Mortigi Tempo, Lord Vox, Violet Temper and NVM are bringing a whole new scene to the city I think on top of being the most consistently impressive bands I’ve seen. 

NixBeat: With the onset of the Coronavirus, a lockdown order has been issued on Salt Lake City’s venues, bars and restaurants. How has this affected Salt Lake City’s nightlife and music community?

Hacker: It drove a stake through our hearts.  Right now there is absolutely nothing to be done though.

NixBeat: How are you and the rest of employees of Metro Music Hall coping with the lockdown?

Hacker: Some of us found new jobs to fill the gap until we can open again.  I luckily snagged a spot at Amazon which is my first new job since 2004, so it’s kind of fun.

NixBeat:  Are you seeing any attempts to rally behind those affected by the Coronavirus Lockdown?

Hacker: I think right now it feels like a lot of help is up in the air.  I’ve seen many groups pop up attempting to set up financial aid for musicians and serve industry people but I think right now most people are waiting on the government to figure something out. 

NixBeat: Do you think Salt Lake City’s nightlife and music scene will be able to recover from the effects of the Coronavirus?

Hacker: 100% I know we will recover fully.  Unfortunately though, I think it will take a lot longer than we might think.  I don’t want to speculate and risk being wrong, so I’ll just say it can’t come quickly enough.

DJ Nix Beat Guest Hosting on DJ Forgotten Boy’s K-UTE Rock n’ Roll Radio Show


DJ Forgotten Boy (left) DJ Nix Beat (Right)

On Thursday November 17, 2016, DJ Nix Beat was invited back to guest host on DJ Forgotten Boy’s —AKA Josh Price of Josh and Ian and Primitive Program — University of Utah’s K-UTE Radio program Rock n’ Roll Radio. Armed with a selection from his collection of LP’s and 45’s. DJ Nix Beat descended on the college radio program to share songs by Newtown Neurtoics, Lene Lovich, The Briefs, The Moderns, The Tubes, The Stranglers, The Damned, The Clash and much more. The program ran from 1pm to 3pm on November 17, but you can catch the program in it’s entirety below….

Part 1

Part 2


For more of DJ Forgotten Boy’s Rock n’ Roll Radio Show, check him out on K-UTE Radio on Tuesday and Thursday 1pm to 3pm. 

The Freak Out: Featuring DJ Andy Maximum & DJ Nix Beat

DJ Andy Maximum By Aron Mikkelsen

DJ Andy Maximum
By Aron Mikkelsen

The Freak Out is an all vinyl DJ night that is held on the first and third Saturday of the month at The Republican in Salt Lake City, Utah.The night is meant to inspire from the crypts of our DJ’s who break out top selections of the rawest and most criminal elements  of Punk, Junkshop Glam, Bubblegum, Power Pop, Garage and Mod. One can surely expect the chills and thrills of volatile hits and misses from the likes of 999, The Clash, The Stranglers, Purple Hearts, The Strangeloves, Slade, The Sweet, The Damned, Ex-Cult, Fashionsim, Giuda, Faz Waltz, The Cute Lepers, The Briefs and much more!!
Hosting this mess of a party is DJ Nix Beat with guests like the infamous Portland, Oregon DJ Andy Maximum aka Andy Mehos and Salt Lake’s own DJ Eric Jenson.

Everyone is welcome. Regular attendees are the curious and sensational outcasts, misfits, rockers ,rollers punkers, romantics and idealistic rebels. Most of all though, remember, it’s a night for you and your wild and uncontrollable imagination and angsty desires. We at the Freak Out seek to entertain and most of all cultivate a community of the like-minded. So, cum down and Freak Out!!

DJ Andy Maximium and DJ Nix Beat

DJ Andy Maximium and DJ Nix Beat









DJ Andy Maximum

DJ Andy Maximum

DJ Andy Maximum

DJ Andy Maximum

It’ll be a night of only the best and worst choices to make on a Saturday Night. So dress up and cum check out The Freak Out at The Republcian

Rock ‘n’ Roll Swap Meet – April 2016

At the Rock 'n' Roll Swap Meet SLC Photo taken By Jon Tamkin of the Bureau of Industrial Imaging

At the Rock ‘n’ Roll Swap Meet SLC
Photo taken By Jon Tamkin of the Bureau of Industrial Imaging

DJ Nix Beat was invited to DJ for Salt Lake City’s 1st Rock n’ Roll Swap meet. The swap meet was put on by Kate Wheadon and held at the Indian Walk in center (120 1300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84115) . The swap meet attracted a wide variety of people, booth young and old, who enjoyed a diverse array of booths offering vast collections of rock n’ roll memorabilia such as records, clothes, instruments, collectibles and more!
Check out the link to see photos of April 2016’a Rock n’ Roll Swap Meet, taken by Jon Tamkin.


Vinyl-spinning DJ Nix Beat will bring the true spirit of rock n’ roll to SLUG’s Localized on Nov. 19. Photo: jessicabundyphotography.com

Nick Kuzmack—easily recognizable as the tall, slim, fashionable figure whom you no doubt have seen in record stores, at shows or onstage—has a presence that commands (and in equal parts demands) attention. Kuzmack has, since his birth, been surrounded by a wealth of culture and passion. “I was raised on the legacy of the original greasers from the ’50s and the mods from the ’60s,” he says.

Read the full article about Nix Beat published @ SLUG Magazine!!