Local DJs spin different paths
By Wu W.A.N.G.
This week, we catch up with two local “record junkies,” Beth Lewis (aka Lady Bandit) and Terry Repp (aka DJ TREPP), now both DJs. Individually, these two have been flying low and off of the radar, as they have quietly honed their skills in the early days of the underground Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scene, playing clubs and larger parties throughout the Midwest.
What is your music background and how did you get started as a DJ?
It was back in 1998 or ’99, or perhaps earlier, when I was in my mom’s belly. –Lady Bandit
I started playing drums in junior high, but my neighbor had turntables. The more I watched him spin, the more I wanted to do it. –DJ TREPP
Who inspired you musically?
Michael Jackson. But artists like Sandra Collins, DJ Dan, DJ Icey and Dieselboy inspired me.
Claude Young, Dave Clarke, Terry Mullan are the most influential. Claude was the first techno DJ that I watched doing actual turntable tricks. He manipulated the sound coming from the turntables by only using the mixer and he played duplicate records on two turntables. –TREPP
How has living in Dayton helped or hurt your goal of playing out more often?
Living in Dayton has been fine; it was the happening place for events. Now with the lack of parties, it’s tough. –LB
Dayton has been decent. I mean, Columbus and Cincinnati are close, so it helped me. –TREPP
What equipment do you use when playing out and why that setup?
I use Serato, a pioneer mixer and two Technics 1200s. It’s important since I use that setup while playing at home, so it’s familiar. When I’m comfortable, I can focus on giving my best performance. –LB
I use my S4 controller along with my MacBook Pro, because I’m most comfortable playing out on my personal equipment. –TREPP
What would you tell aspiring DJs about being true to the history of the party/club scene?
I’d tell them to support the scene. If you want to play for a certain promoter, you need to pay your dues with them – pass out flyers, pay to attend shows. As far as getting booked? Rookie DJs should not assume that they will be booked right away. It’s earned. Support promoters that throw quality events. When you do that, you’re supporting the scene. –LB
I would have to tell the kids to remember, realize (it’s) music that brings us together, not the drugs or superficial cliques. Drugs will be around, just be responsible, if you plan on taking that route.
What goes on behind the booth that people might not think happens?
Mmm, let’s see. I guess the newer DJs’ attitudes, such as caring less about the music, and being more interested in style. And to the people that celebrate drugs, rather than the music; you’ll eventually fade out due to lack of knowledge about this scene. –LB
In the club scene, nothing’s too taboo and debauchery is appreciated. I’ve had half-naked girls making out in front of me, or flashing me up-skirt style, during a set. I never skipped a beat.
What was the largest party you have played?
There’s a few. “It’s All About The Music 3,” back in Dayton, in 2009, and “Xmas Breakdown,” in Covington, with DJ Vaski. I was billed as DJ SazzaFrazz, and I played drum and bass. –LB
Biggest event I’ve played had to be at the Darke County Fairgrounds. Can’t remember the name.
From your perspective, how has the scene changed?
The scene has taken a turn for the worse with the age of dubstep. The crowd that Dubstep attracts is very ignorant of what EDM was before dubstep. They’re just jumping on the train. Thank God, it’s starting to fade. Those who are truly into the music, recognize other genres now. In addition, I also see how EDM has become more mainstream which is good and bad for any underground culture. EDM and the scene need to go back underground, so the quality of music can return. –LB
The scene is small, yet seems to be coming together again, particularly in Dayton. For certain, EDM is an acquired taste, but more people need to give it a chance. I see the scene coming back stronger. –TREPP
How would you describe the moments just before playing a set at a large party?
It’s a good feeling before you go on. You vibe off the energy of the crowd. I used to get nervous, but I really don’t anymore. When I did, I’d take a few shots to chill out. –LB
Primetime is the best time, the most intense time, to take that energy from the crowd – then take them on a journey. Greatness on the decks involves interaction with the crowd – especially the dancers. It’s a matter of knowing when to take advantage of the moment. -TREPP
What is your worst experience while as a DJ?
Traveling to Chicago to play and just before going on, the event gets shut down by the cops. –LB I did do a short stint, playing at an “Adult” club. Good money, but it was horrible, you had to talk to people on the microphone, beg for money (for the girls) and play bad music. –TREPP
Reach DCP freelance writer Wu W.A.N.G. at WuW.A.N.G.@daytoncitypaper.com