Despite Being Small, PNUT Is A Giant In The Mix [INTERVIEW]
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Tech House DJ 'PNUT' granted GainsMedia an invitation to the private "JPhlip Ladies Night Undergroun...Tech House DJ 'PNUT' granted GainsMedia an invitation to the private "JPhlip Ladies Night Underground Afterhours WareHouse Party" in Denver, Colorado [Venue Classified]. The bash did not start until 2am, but it was poppin! PNUT has a Residency at Mo's and regularly creates electronic music mixes specializing in Deep House, Deep Tech & Booty Tech. Support PNUT by going to her Soundcloud or becoming a fan of her Facebook.
How did you get the name Pnut?
PNUT: It was in New York. When I first met my friend Chop and her mom in a bar over there. I was kind of a little punk back then, I was only 21. They said that I was a lil peanut.
GM: What genre do you consider your music to be?
PNUT: I play tech house but I have a lot of bass. So 'Booty House,' 'Booty Tech' that's pretty much what I play.
GM: Your Soundcloud says that you taught yourself how to play the drums. Have you always been musically oriented?
PNUT: Yeah yeah. I taught myself how to play the drums when I was in the 5th grade. I had a band all through high school. Then I transitioned to not playing with a band, I would just play music by myself, to playing electronic music. I would lay drums over the top of electronic music.
Pnut's Best of SXSW 2011 mix by Pnuts
Mixes (all genres, some live, some recorded) by Pnuts
GM: What's it like to host a warehouse party in the Mile High City and are you from Denver?
PNUT in the mix
PNUT: No, I'm not from Denver but I've been here for five years. The underground scene here is ridiculous so that's one thing. It's kind of a struggle working at Pluggden with Flatline. I really love what they've done with the place-- the lighting, sound & art, but the spot has had some issues. I kind of knew that going in because the owners of what used to be a punk venue called 'Wasteland' had the cops called on them all the time. They didn't want that to be an issue tonight, so it's great that we got this venue [Theory & Practice].
GM: What programs and equipment do you use? And what is the role of a DJ in a party?
PNUT: I use 'Traktor' to DJ. But I use 'Maschine' as a controller. I have that mapped to 'Traktor' and that's pretty much what I play on. I do play with 2 CDJs too and actually picked up a Technics CDJ, its pretty cool. I like to play for the hour and for the crowd. I have a residency at Mo's and I play over there from 9 to 12, sometimes 9-2. I also play at Minibar from 9 to 2 by myself. I like to start off slow and ease people into it with some 'Deep House,' some Deep Tech. Then build up to Tech House and drop like a half hour to hour 'Booty Tech Set.'
GM: Who do you collaborate with and who has influenced your sound?
PNUT: About a year and a half ago I saw JPhlip play and she was my biggest DJ influence. But I have a longtime friend Jessy Chick, she is a singer/songwriter and she lives in Costa Rica. When I first got my Maschine, I flew down to Costa Rica and hung out with her. I spent 2 weeks down there just making music and she was a really good influence musically. She told me to follow my dreams and she really pushed me. She said I really have the talent and we actually went to that JPhlip show together and after that it really took off. I am collaborating with a few local singers for vocals and also my friend Jessy. I have a big collaboration project that should release next year sometime though.
GM: What is your favorite venue & where you think is the best place you've ever performed?
Proof! The parties are off the chain
PNUT: It depends on the music, really. You can be at the 'Beatport Lounge' or in 'Beta' but if it's a headliner that I don't particularly care for their genre or whatever, it could be crazy crowded but you know it's all about the music. I really enjoy the underground scene, pretty much every party. AA actually threw a party on New Year's in the Clock Tower and we went till 6 in the morning it was so ridiculous. It was really awesome they rented out like 3 floors so you could go on the balcony. It was amazing. The DJ was playing right behind the Clock, so any pictures the clock was right behind them. It was dope, it was one of my favorites.
GM: Do you have any upcoming events?
PNUT: Actually this show was the major one I've been looking forward to. But as of right now, I know there is some bookings that we are going to be talking about in the future, Seattle, I'm going out there for 'Decibel.' I've been talking with this guy Recess that throws parties out there, we play similiar styles of music. I just love everything he does, very Booty. Shout out to Recess.
GM: Do you always have beats inside of your head and what is the role of music in your life?
PNUT: Well actually it's funny because the past month I have been living in my friends garage. And I bought this field recorder because there's a tire shop right behind our house. So I wake up at 9 o'clock in the morning and I hear the [drill noise] from the tires and I just want to record that and use it in a song. So having this recorder, anytime I watch a movie or anything Im like, "whoa theres a sick alien noise," and I record it. I'm pretty much always thinking about stuff.
GM: Who is your fan base and are you a part of the gay/lesbian movement or do you support it?
PNUT often rocks events downtown
PNUT: Well I am affiliated with Flatline Productions, they just started a booking agency. It's me and Josh Manke, so far that's all they have signed. They are going to be ramping up shows over the next year out in San Francisco, LA, maybe Honolulu if were lucky. As far as the gay scene, my first show in a big club, besides Benders, I played for a pride party at City Hall and I really had a lot of struggle trying to connect to the crowd there because there is a couple key DJs that also run the production and their fans like top 40 music. I play 'House Music' so it's kind of hard. There is 1st Friday for women, I'd like to get in there. They have three different rooms with three different kinds of music. I am kind of surprised that House is not more represented over there, it kind of pisses me off so I don't really want to talk about it.
GM: Do you have any final shout outs or any advice
PNUT: Yeah I have a couple tracks coming out with Purple Gate Records in October. They are a small label out of Hungary & also have a project coming up with a major label it should out [in 2012]. My advice is if the door opens, push it open and walk through it! Because that's really what's been going on with me. My whole life has changed in the last year because of music. Positive things just keep happening to me in music.