Ahead of our 8 year anniversary party this Friday, August 23 2013, we get to know Brian Coxx of New York City, talking punk rock, House dancing and the Soulgasm events in New York.
When did you start DJing? What was it that got you to step behind the tables for the first time?
Originally I started out playing guitar in a band. I played in the local hardcore punk scene as well as a lot of suburb keg parties throwing beer on each other and breaking things for fun.
Eventually I got some turntables and a mixer from a friend. Started collecting records and messin’ around as a hobby. I never said “I’m gonna be a DJ” – it just happened naturally out of love for music. I believe that makes it more sincere to this day. People know when you are doing something out of sincerity and love.
I’m not mad at the fact that everyone is a DJ these days but all these so-called DJs need to ask themselves what is the real reason why they are doing it. Think about that for a moment.
Do you remember the first gig you had in which someone paid you?
First gig I got paid for was at a club in New York City called “Wetlands”, which was a club right next to Club Vinyl that had live music every night. Great bands. One night, Lee Scratch Perry would be there and the next night Agnostic Front would be there.
I was doing security there and they asked me to DJ one night on stage in between sets of the band that was playing that night. I think it was “The Disco Biscuits”.
Can you give me a scratch history of the Soulgasm events? How did they start and are they still going on?
Soulgasm started in 2005. At that time there really wasn’t too much going on for the true underground. Not many people were even going out. It also seemed that DJs weren’t taking any chances at the time musically.
I said, if I start something, I’m gonna stay true to the underground and play what everyone else at the time wasn’t. I was a dancer at the time so I knew what I wanted to hear. Now I knew what to play. A dancer playing for the dancers. It wasn’t soon after that I got housedance legend Ejoe Wilson and my friend who wasn’t even a promoter at the time The Redness Kim Hayes (better know as “Red”). Soulgasm was born. Now all these dancers are coming back out every Wednesday night welcoming a whole new generation of House dancers from all over the world.
Shortly after this other parties started such as Libation and later Funkbox, opening the doors to many smaller local parties and new DJs. It wasn’t just about the legendary DJs anymore. They were and still are doing their thing but it was time for a new generation of future DJs to shine.
When you’re producing, is it music that you want to play, music that expresses how you feel, or both? Is there anything you’ve written that you don’t think you could ever play?
That’s a good question. I really don’t play a lot of my own music. It’s just a preference. During my sets I wanna lose myself. I wanna go on a complete journey hopefully to realm of being I have never been before. I can’t get to that place playing my own music.
Is this your first time playing in Chicago?
Yes this is my first time in Chicago. Now some New York cats might get mad at me for saying this but yes, I do believe Chicago is the birth place for House. To me there is so much mystery to Chicago and the sound. I hear it in records such as Marshall Jefferson’s “Open Your Eyes” or Fingers inc.’s “Distant Planets”. I wish I could go back in time and be at the Warehouse with Frankie Knuckles or the Music Box with Ron Hardy or just some random party that isn’t so widely talked about. Looking forward to channeling those old school feelings with the energy of now.
And you can hear him yourself this Friday, August 23, 2013 at 5 Magazine’s Eight Year Anniversary Party; Facebook invite here.