Rock – Rock – Rock On w/ DJ Rock Well a.k.a. The Rockness Monster (interview)
DJ Rock Well from Austin, TX is most definitely in my top 10 list for best local DJ’s. Rock Well can cut, scratch, juggle, blend smoothly and rock a party. At the tender age of 25 he’s accomplished quite a bit. He’s been on tour with KJ Hines, Zeale and various other venues around Texas. Adding to that Rock Well is also an avid producer with one hell of a soundcloud account of beats and songs. When Rock Well isn’t vocalizing crazy rhetoric on facebook, or watching old cartons he spends his time cranking out beats and ill remixes that will blow your mind. We had a chance to get inside the mind of the Rockness Monster, and this is what we received as the result.
Boy-Cott: How’s 2011 treating you thus far Rock Well?
Rock Well: So far 2011 has been pretty rad. I’ve had a few gigs and a good amount of time to work on some projects so its been a good blend.
Boy-Cott: So who turned you on to DJ’ing and Production?
Rock Well: Well I heard Kid Koala’s – “Skanky Panky” , and that was the first time I thought “hey, I wanna do that.” So eventually through a series of off events I found myself with a turntable and a mixer. I figured if i wanted to have fun I’d have to be decent so I just practiced every day while jamming Kid Koala. As for producing, I just felt that one day I wanted to show off my cuts online and I was somehow more concerned if people would jam the beat more than the cuts… So I decided to make my own beats to cut on, then the two became intertwined and I began to produce with cuts.
Boy-Cott: What are some of your favorite sources to sample from when you’re working on a new beat?
Rock Well: When I’m working on a new beat I approach it by grabbing aimlessly into my crates of vinyls (that’s more or less the surprise method). Another way is I just go on youtube and watch the most random shit. For example: I might sample someone teaching – “how to play the blues on a flute” or I’ll find a rad quote from an old tv show. Then I just take the video and convert it so I can produce with it, and cut it up in serato. It’s very seldom that I jump into the production process with a full idea in my head. Usually I just let the samples guide the process and set the tone.
Boy-Cott: Throughout your whole DJ and Production career. Which track do you hold close to your heart, and why?
Rock Well: My most meaningful track? hmm.. Honestly im kind of a bad dad when it comes to beats. I lose track of who I gave what and where some go. As far as what I hold dear right now, i’d say my justice “dance” remix. It’s got a nice sound to it, the original is honestly still on my top ten, but it was also me deciding not to care if someone else sampled it or how recent the original dropped. It was a time for me to produce for me and not to let other peoples work slowdown my creativity and work flow.
Boy-Cott: I heard you DJ’ed a Lion King themed event, and you had to wear a Lucha ( Mexican Wrestler Mask) while spinning the track – “Circle of Life”. Haaa! How did you get this gig
Rock Well: The party was actually a Black Light Party. The Lion King theme and Lucha Mask were just things I figured would make for a fun unconventional party. It was a red bull gig I had the pleasure of being invited to do after doing the Awol Nation show with Zeale that had been thrown by red bull. the Black Light Party was most definitely a great time.
Boy-Cott: As an avid DJ, what have been some of your best and worst experiences in your history. It can be at a house party, club or a small get together.
Rock Well: My best experience hands down was opening for the Goodie Mob last year with Phranchyze. It was a sea of people at the outside stage of emos, Phran had just finished his set but the folks wanted an encore. Phran looked at me and asked,” you got any instrumentals?” I told him to just start free-styling and I would catch him with the beat. So he starts and I get my battle vinyl out and start drumming out a beat with just a kick and a snare sample on the record. It was great because it was the actual DJ and MC interaction of creating music from scratch. Everybody ate it up and thought we had it rehearsed that shit. That was the first night I had ever met Phran.
My worst experience… I’d have to say my first gig ever. I was booked at a little pub I had tried for months to play at. My rig at the time was awful, I didn’t have ground cables, mismatched needles and tables and my records were in poor condition. So I set up and try to play my set, but my records kept skipping. I broke a needle trying to clean it and to top it off, no ground cables = annoying ass humming noise… I looked at the situation like this – “this is as bad as it gets”….. I’m glad I got that out of the way.
Boy-Cott: If the pay for DJ’ing at a House Party and Club were the same, which would you choose and why?