school DJ DISK interview
by Bevan Jee
BEVAN: What have you and the Skratch Picklz been up to lately?
DISK: We have been working on a lot of mix tapes and the Invisible Skratch Picklz album. I'm basically working on a lot of different scratches, music, songs and stuff.
BEVAN: Tell me some more about your solo album.
DISK: I'm working on a solo album and it should be finished in two months. It's going to be straight orchestrated turntable scratching, everything's going to be the scratch just like "The Invasion of the Octopus People." I also got a song called "Beaver Claus" coming out on Altered Beats - Volume 2.
BEVAN: What can people in Australia expect from your show?
DISK: A lot of different styles of scratching!, that's my thing. I like to show different varieties of scratching. Different weird sounds are going to come from the scratch that they never heard. Its going to be like playing a guitar, everything's going to be well put with different combinations of scratching, transforming, flares, crabs, chirps, slugs, you name it.
BEVAN: You tend to refer to yourself more as a musician and turntablist rather than just a straight DJ, why is this?
DISK: I always had this thing for years since the 80s and I've always loved the scratch. My mother used to play her Spanish music and I used to scratch over it and I was like "damn it sounds pretty good," you know. The difference is that a DJ he plays in the clubs, parties and in the radio station. Myself I am more of a musician, I play the turntable like a musical instrument. Everybody sounds different but I can say I have specialized and professioned my skills to be a turntablist and more of a musician. You're moving the records and creating a new sound over the top of the sound. That's why the turntable can be any instrument, violinist, bagpipes, you name it.
BEVAN: Tell me more about this new group you are working on.
DISK: It's me and Buckethead the guitarist. The groups called Giant Robot 2, GR2 for short. Whoever's seen or heard Buckethead knows he is one of the most outstanding guitar players in the world. He's very crazy and very experimental, he's fast and one of the best. While I'm doing scratching he is going to be guitaring. There is going to be a drummer his name is Pinchface from Primus, we are also going to have another Bass Player. Buckethead is going to be playing Bass and Guitar so it's going to be a big group. We are going to be touring a lot and hopefully one-day we will land in Australia. The album should come out on Walt Disney's label Hollywood records.
BEVAN: Tell us about the new vinyl you are pressing and tapes you are releasing.
DISK: The Shigger Fragger Shows are going to be on vinyl starting backwards from Volume Five to Volume One. There is a shit load of mix tapes coming from all of us; Q-Bert, Shortkut, D-Styles, Myself, Mixmaster Mike. It's going to be maybe like 20-30 mix tapes just scratching and all that. There is going to be a 12" with live performances by the Invisibl Skratch Picklz in Switzerland, Poland, and that. You're going to see a lot of stuff on vinyl and more material like Battle Breaks.
BEVAN: What are you feelings towards the current DJ Competition scene, in particular the DMC?
DISK: DMC is fucked up. They don't respect the art of DJing. To me they're more into the money. They are concerned with selling more tapes than the DJ itself. They don't do anything for the DJ, they should hook up a tour or something for them. DMC don't give credit to DJs, it's all bullshit. I think its better for the DJs coming up and its more recognition that people can see them on tape. Its good practice for the audience, that way they can be less scared. Just do it so people can see you but as far as DMC they suck, I don't give a fuck about them. DMC to me is just bullshit.
BEVAN: I know you worked with Grandmaster DST how was that.
DISK: That was great I went on tour with him. It was a good thing to meet him, he's a funny guy. We all joked around it was a good experience.
BEVAN: What were your influences as a DJ?
DISK: When I was growing up I really didn't look up to certain DJs. Back in the days I started DJing in 1981. I started seeing DJ Cheese, Jazzy Jeff, Cash Money, those type of people. One of the first DJs I liked was DJ Cheese. I liked his style and cutting, I would practice it and try to copy it. As far as looking up I didn't look up, no one really taught me I taught myself but I looked at them as real good scratchers. Every scratch they do, I do it. Back when I started I knew no one who scratched more than me and I was eleven years old.
BEVAN: I notice the Bay Area has a lot of other good DJs like the Beat Junkies. Do all you guys hang out?
DISK: When it comes to doing concerts or DJ battles or just when we are in each other's city, we hang out, practice together, talk about music, and buy records. We teach each other new scratches we learn off each other.
BEVAN: Tell me a bit about the Shigger Fragger and how that came about.
DISK: It's a crazy guy that goes inside somebody. Everybody knows I am the Shigger Fragger, oh I guess its obvious. One day I sat in my room and me and Q-Bert were messing around, we're always joking around and I started making this voice [makes voice] and little by little I stated saying something; Shigger Fragger, Shigger Fragger, ok fuck it Shigger Fragger. I made a tape here and one-day Q-Bert said "why don't you just do something funny, do something crazy." Ever since then we did the radio show. All of a sudden I just decided to be this guy and put a bag over the head, put on some horns. The Shigger Fragger has his own language but you can still understand it. He loves scratching, hip-hop, dancing, drinking, smoking, and he loves pizza. He's just a crazy hip-hop guy.
BEVAN: You recently left the Scratch Picklz for a while. What was up with all that?
DISK: I mean nothing bad happened between us. I'm a person that likes to do new things, I been down with the Rocksteady DJs and Skratch Picklz for 6-7 years now. I took some time off and started doing my own thing and doing my own work. But I'm back, so now you can say I am part of the Picklz again.
BEVAN: So break down the members of The Skratch Picklz.
DISK: It's Q-Bert, Me, Mixmaster Mike, and DJ Shortkut. We got 2 other DJs in there; DJ Tomkat and DJ Flare. They are part of our group but they do their own thing. As far as us being together its Me Shortkut, Q-Bert and Mike.
BEVAN: I've seen all of those DJs except for Tomkat, what's he like?
DISK: He's a very good scratcher. He has his own music production where he throws big parties here and there.
BEVAN: Is there anything else you want to say to Australia?
DISK: Just be prepared for The Shigger Fragger and the Koalas. We are going to go crazy over there and chase Kangaroos. Just be prepared, I'm going to give the best show I can. Actually I'm going to try something new that I've never done for the first time in Australia. Hopefully it will work out!