Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Interview: DJ Mom Jeans
The former actor in That 70's Show talks new music, NX35, and why he changed his explicit former DJ name.
DENTON Danny Masterson is one of the rate actor-turned-musicans who's any good. Masterson is well known for his role in That 70's Show as the rebellious but hilarious Steven Hyde. But he's also made a name for himself as DJ Mom Jeans when he spins professionally at clubs and parties.
Denton was lucky enough to have a big name like DJ Mom Jeans do a set during the big NX35 Conferette at Andy’s Bar.
When I met him in the VIP room that was tucked away above the venue for our interview, he looked nothing like the '70s misfit he portrayed on television. He was bearded (which helped Denton’s newest motto of “Keep Denton Beard” remain true) and was decked out in some laid back threads with a indie/hipster twist. Here's what we got to chat about:
Why did you come to NX35?
I am friends with Midlake. They are really good friends of mine and I have been a big fan of their band since the demos of their first full record. Every time I DJ in Dallas, I will come up and stay in one of their houses and hang out in Denton. I think it is a really f*cking cool city of young musicians, especially with North Texas being here. You know, I think it was Pulido or McKenzie who called me and said, “Hey man, we are headlining a festival in Denton called NX35 and we’re playing with The Flaming Lips, you wanna come DJ?” and I said yes.
How did you come to listen to Midlake?
I had a radio show in Los Angeles on INDIE 103.1 called “Feel My Heat,” which I did for six years. I basically spent all my years sort of, you know “Oh, there’s a new band called Vampire Weekend. This is their demo.” … I would find their music by scouring the web and going to see shows.
Is that how you discover new music to use when you DJ?
Yeah. I have been DJ-ing since the late '90s. I first started doing parties that was all like '80s hair metal and '80s hip hop together, and then from that, I started doing a trip-hop night -- and then from that I started just playing all '90s hip hop. You know, firing 12-inches and carrying crates and playing the old school shit.
From there, from doing my radio show, I was playing these indie bands, and basically when The Rapture’s record came out, I heard this song “House Of Jealous Lovers.” I got the biggest hard-on I have ever had of hearing … that’s my music and it was what became indie-electro. … Dance beats with a rock band, and that was me.
Where did you come up with the name DJ Mom Jeans?
Basically from my old job. (That '70s Show). Laura Prepon and Mila Kunis had to wear mom jeans every day and we would make fun of them. I had an old DJ name and it changed and changed again. Then basically it was sort of like I had to clean up the old version of me and become something that could be written.
There are some DJs that keep their name. Why did you decide not to?
Because my original DJ name in '97 was DJ Donkey Punch; this was before people knew what that meant. It was amazing because I would get the New York Times and the LA Times to write “Danny Masterson, aka DJ Donkey Punch” and we would fall over laughing. Like it was the greatest thing of all time. We were literally saying one of the most disgusting jail terms of all time. And the papers are writing it.
Then Puff Daddy became P.Diddy, so I did a press release retiring Donkey Punch and making it Donkey Pizzle. I was that for many years, and then the papers started figuring it out and using asterisks and that wasn’t funny anymore, so I decided to clean up my image for a bit – hence the Mom Jeans.