Rob Threezy Interview Part 2

If you missed Part 1, go read it here. Don’t forget to download the podcast of this interview for free as well. Without further ado, here is the conclusion of the interview I did with Chicago DJ Rob Threezy.

Chase: “I’m lucky enough to be sitting with Rob Threezy. He’s going to be spinning a little bit later tonight. This is kind of new for me because I haven’t really been to loft, after, rave party.”

Rob: “This is a big loft, man. This is how we do it in Chicago too. I feel like I’m home right now.”

Chase: “Nice. I’ve never been to one of these before.”

Rob: “It’s gonna be crazy!”

Chase: “Alright, we’ll see how that goes. Anyway, you’ve been making a lot of noise and making appearances on a lot of different records. Are you on a label right now?””

Rob: “As far as being signed to a label, I would have to say T & A and Man Recordings from Belgium with Daniel Haaksman. He and I started clicking because he told me he knew Diplo and through Diplo, everybody came to me through him. He and this other guy, Donna Summer, they’re the ones who really put me on the spot with everybody else, and now because of them, I’m lucky to be doing what I’m doing and I’m having fun with it man.”

Chase: “The T&A label, both T and A are deejays right?”

Rob: “Oh yeah. Tittsworth and Ayres not tits and ass guys.”

Chase: “They both contributed remixes to your EP as well, so it’s nice to see all the fellowship there among DJs. Do you find that a lot? Do you find that fellowship between DJs or is it more competitive?”

Rob: “To me, it’s fun but at the same time I think it’s a competition. I love having fun with it but at the same time, I do take it seriously. I don’t like slacking off. A lot of DJs really have big egos, and this and that, like, ‘Who are you?’ but we all come from the same music culture. I listen to the same stuff you do. Keep it real with me and I’ll keep it real with you. Let’s just have a good time, but at the same time, let’s be serious, ya know, stay on this business.”

Chase: “Nice. So you work with vinyl and turntables?”

Rob: “I started off doing vinyl when I was 15, not that long ago, I’m only 21. I started off with classics, old Italo classics from Italy.”

Chase: “Was that because it was an influence at home? I know when I first started messing around with the turntable it was because it was my grandma’s and I put wax paper down as a slip mat. So did you have those records at home and just start that way?”

Rob: “It was weird the way I started. I had bought my first turntables. They were Numarks TTX1s, actually they were pretty cool, not belt driven, they were just direct drive. I had three records from my uncle, who’s A2hype, that he had given my father. He had slept over one evening because he was playing in Chicago. I wasn’t old enough to remember. I just know that he had left them there and I remember seeing them in my dad’s room and I am like, ‘Wow, I wonder what these records are? I wonder what they do?’ I didn’t know. I was a little kid.

I got my turntables. I had three records for about half a year and I’d learned how to mix those three records within six months. I taught myself everything I knew. And yes, I started off with just three records and from there on in, I just started buying more and more vinyl. Chicago house clasics had a real big influence on me because that is what I did grow up with. That’s all I listened to, my parents, aunts, uncles, friends. It was just keeping it Chicago, ya know what I mean?”

Chase: “Nice! Do you dig for samples then?”

Rob: “Yes I do, sometimes here and there. If not, I’ll buy samples online or I’ll get them from my guys from the rest of the Ghetto Division crew. We just all share the same libraries but all add our own little spice to it. But yes I do, shop for samples. I go to Gramophones and I used to go a lot to Hot Jams but it kind of got into a big mess there. I’m just keeping it fresh. Samples are good, like I said.”

Chase: “The Ghetto Division crew, they’re all from Chicago?”

Rob: “Oh yes. Ghetto Division is Charlie Glitch, MaddJazz, Rampage, Moonman, D-51, M-Dok, Sigma, Louie Cue, Lorenzo Vektor, and me, Rob Threezy, ya know?”

Chase: “You guys have been making noise for some time now?”

Rob: “I hope so. If people are writing to us, and liking our music, and buying our music and it’s getting positive feedback.”

Chase: “Yeah, I’ve noticed because if you Google you, you get quite a few hits and it says that you dropped your first song two years ago, first release ‘Love to the World.’”

Rob: “Actually my girlfriend told me to remix that because she’s a breakdancer and I was like, ‘Yo, what is this song. I don’t know what it is,’ and she was like, ‘I’m telling you it’s a good song and if you want to do club music, they’ll like it. So I gave it a shot. I got a lot of response to it and they wanted to release it. Okay, cool, let’s do it.

From there too, it’s just like everything I’m making is good. I’m not going to say everything I make is good because I don’t judge myself. I just do what I gotta do, have fun with music, and just keep it fresh and do me and that’s it.”

Chase: “Yeah, and that’s what music should be about. When we’re producing music or doing these segments, it’s about having fun. That’s what music is these days, more so than before. Five years ago I was thinking that the music industry is kind of dead and nothing new is going to come out because who’s going to want to release music when everyone is stealing it? But I don’t feel that way anymore. It’s nice to see. Every day there is something new in my inbox and every day a lot of it is trash but you search through stuff and there’s some really good music being produced these days.

I’m feeling really good about the music industry, and not so much that it’s an industry. It’s just that we’re having fun with it and you can tell the artists that are doing it for the love and not for the money and that just shines through and we need more artists like that.”

Rob: “Of course. We do, man. There’s a lot of people who flip-flop and I really don’t like that. I’m staying true to what I know and having fun with it, like I said, keeping it fresh and do you.”

Chase: “Definitely good advice for everybody out out there. Anyway, we’ve been talking for a while so I think we should drop another track.”

Rob: “’Your love,’ that’s another good one guys. That’s a really good one.

Chase: “This is ‘Your Love’ from Rob Threezy. Hope you enjoy the track. This Chase March and we’ll be back to talk a little bit more after this song.”

Chase: “Yes, that was ‘Your Love’ but Rob Threezy and Rob Threezy is in the house right now. How ya doing Rob?”

Rob: “I’m doing really good. How about you?”

Chase: “Nice. It’s nice to be able to sit down and talk to some real DJs tonight. This is pretty cool. If you like what you’re listening to, don’t forget to check out Rob Threezy. You can find his albums online, he’s got a MySpace page.”

Rob: “Oh yeah,,, and

Chase: “Do you like Twitter?”

Rob: “It’s cool man. I need more followers. Come on guys, you’re killing me out there.”

Chase: “Yeah, I really like Twitter. I like the interactivity of it. I’ve actually discovered quite a few things on Twitter that I might not have otherwise discovered.”

Rob: “I don’t know, Twitter’s weird. I was put on to it by Dirty South Joe, who is Sega’s manager. He’s like, ‘Eh, get a Twitter,’ and this was about a year ago and I was like, ‘What’s Twitter?’ but I made one and I didn’t use it for about five months and then all of a sudden everyone was like, ‘Do you have a Twitter?’ Actually I do. ‘Oh, you should start using it.’ Okay, cool. We’ll I already had one six months ago.”

Chase: “Ya know what’s interesting. I had a computer problem with my Mac and I Twittered about it like, ‘What’s going on with this?’ I had three replies almost right away that fixed my problem for me. It’s cool. Where else can you get that immediacy?”

Rob: “Everyone’s on Twitter now, everybody. My grandma’s even on Twitter.”

Chase: “That’s cool. Anyway this is also going to be up on because I’ll type it all up so people can read it.”

Rob: “Oh, that’s a lot of typing. I gotta keep it brief.”

Chase: “So the current state of music consumption is that people don’t really care anymore. It’s so easy to download stuff, I mean, I’ve downloaded stuff, quite frankly that I haven’t listened to. So it kind of makes it hard to find stuff. So how do you feel about downloading like if people are finding your stuff and downloading it as opposed to buying it.”

Rob: “Blogs are cool. They get you the exposure but to certain extent. I don’t know because you put all your love and your sweat and all that into a track for it to be blogged within two minutes and then have 4,000 downloads, it’s like, ‘Okay, where am I gonna go from here?’ It doesn’t really make sense to me. I’d prefer blogging if they just give you a little preview of the track and that’s it. But a lot of people do want to blog your stuff these days and there’s a lot of haters out there too ya know like, ‘This track sucks,’ just because they blog it on a website that they weren’t blogged on. I mean, you need haters. It just makes you more demanding. That’s what I feel. But if sales are going good and you’re doing what you gotta do, it’s good.

There are a lot of websites out there that can promote your music the right way but then there’s also blogs that are just really, ‘Hey check me out. This is my blog, I’m putting this song out ‘cause I want you to hear it and they don’t give the artist the recognition for what they did.”

Chase: “Yeah, there’s a lot off consumers like that too where they just download it and they won’t even think about it anymore. What I’m saying is that if you like an artist, then you should support that artist. If you see they are playing somewhere go to the show. If you see a DJ is spinning, come to the show.”

Rob: “See what he’s about, check him out.”

Chase: “Definitely, if you like what you hear, go find out more. Go to Twitter, go to the MySpace, and find out some more, and if you do have a blog, you can big up somebody without giving all their stuff away too. I think some people need to realize that right.”

Rob: “Oh yeah.”

Chase: “I get kind of upset when bloggers repost stuff because one blogger will come out an upload it and a million people will link to their file without linking to their blog and that’s equally wrong. I mean, I blog but I don’t give away stuff like that. I do these interview segments and we give that away but we’re really learning all about the artists that we talk to, we play a few of their tracks, and then you got a 30 minute or an hour MP3 to listen to. It’s a little bit different then giving away your EP or your album.”

Rob: “And there is also people who make fake email addresses that say, ‘Hey this is such and such. Let me get your EP’ and then you find out that this person just screwed me over. It’s happened to me a couple times. I actually got sent a couple tracks that were mine that people said were theirs. You really can’t do anything about that. I was just laughing. But it is what it is. If that’s how they’re gonna be, you can’t change that person, I guess.”

Chase: “It’s about the music and it’s about creating and I actually feel bad for people who don’t have an outlet to express themselves because I’m a writer these days but I used to produce and I used to DJ but you gotta have a passion and you need to be able to share it. That’s what I’m trying to do with these radio segments and the podcasts and the interviews and the blogging and writing my novels and things is just expressing myself. I like to be able to connect with artists who are passionate about expressing themselves as well, no matter what genre they’re performing it in.

It’s really been interesting talking to you because normally, this is a little bit outside of my realm but I think everybody should do that. Every now and then, you should pick up a book you wouldn’t normally read. Every now and then you should visit and artists website that you wouldn’t normally listen to and give it a chance and try to become more open-minded because people who only listen to one thing-”

Rob: “It’s really hard to convert them.”

Chase: “It is. I remember there was a point in my like where I’d only listen to rap and it was East Coast hip-hop at that. Now I listen to everything a little more open-minded I guess when it comes to music but at the same time I’m a little more closed-minded too because my definition of hip-hop-”

Rob: “You’re picky. You have your trained ear. You know what you like and what you don’t like. If you don’t like it, you’re not gonna be, “Oh, that’s wack,’ maybe in your head you will because I still say that sometimes but that’s just to me, ya know? I’m not gonna tell everybody and their mom, ‘Hey that track’s horrible.’

I do have a picky ear. I’m sorry if I don’t accept all promos guys, if I don’t play your tracks. I’m picky as much as I cam with Chase over hear, I know he’s picky too. That’s good. Picky’s good.”

Chase: “That’s exactly what DJs should do. I mean Krs-One even says that on the song ‘The DJ’ with DJ revolution. So many DJs, especially commercial DJs, they’re almost handcuffed. They have to play a certain song, they have to play this certain playlist and they end up playing stuff they don’t like.”

Rob: “They’re controlled.”

Chase: “And that’s what we hear on the radio. I mean, any good DJ, fro this history of deejaying, you’re playing what you like.”

Rob: “It’s like Will.I.Am. All of a sudden he’s a Dj now. ‘Okay, I thought you were a producer’ and all of a sudden two, three months ago, you started deejaying? And I heard he’s not that good but he’s from Black Eyed Peas, which you can’t knock on. He is making his money too. He’s keeping it real, if DJing was his first passion then I understand.”

Chase: “Well I didn’t hear that but the Black Eyed Peas, when they first came out I loved them because they were so hip-hop. They did all the four elements. I didn’t see the deejaying on their videos but their dancing was pretty cool. Their breakdancing and their old-school kind of vibe. They were hip-hop and they were doing their own take on it and it’s got more and more commercial over the years.”

Rob: “Yeah, it’s more pop now.”

Chase: “Some people, me included, have bashed them for that. But who are we to bash them for it, they’ve got their fans. If that’s the kind of music they want to produce then their still hip-hop, although it’s veered away from what I would play on DOPEfm, but I don’t know if we can diss the so much.”

Rob: “No maybe not. We might need them later on.”

Chase: “It’s just interesting about the pickiness. I think we need to be picky, first off because this is DOPEfm and we’;re not just gonna play everything and on I gotta be selective.”

Rob: “You have to guys, you have to.”

Chase: “Any DJ worth his soul is going to be selective of what he plays.”

Rob: “Being picky and having a trained ear is what separates you from the bunch and that’s what gets you a little more noticed. You gotta have that ear. You gotta expose what people really don’t; listen to but it’s still kind of catchy, ya know?”

Chase: “So if there is any wannabe DJs out there, what advice would you give them?”

Rob: “Do it for the love of it. Don’t do it because you are gonna get girls, a million dollars, and money. Do it because you love to do it, And if it takes you somewhere, okay. But if it doesn’t you can’t really knock on it. You gotta be true, you gotta be loyal to the music, you really have to be the music, you have to be you and that’s it. Don’t follow, be a leader, don’t follow.

Just because everyone else is deejaying and there’s 15 DJs on every block, that’s really not cool guys at all. And I know a bunch of guys that started deejaying just because all these other producers are coming up. It’s phony to me, those guys are phony. I’m sorry to say that guys, I got love for you. Just don’t do it because you’re following certain people. Do it because you want to do it.”

Chase: “That’s good advice. Take your own style and create something new. That’s what the whole culture is about, you take snippets from something and create something new. Rob Swift’s latest album.”

Rob: “Oh yeah!”

Chase: “He’s taking classical music and just chopping it up and doing something kind of interesting with that and I haven’t really heard that before so there’s all sorts of different way you can take it. So pretty cool. Well this has been a pleasure sitting down talking with you. I’m looking forward to the show tonight and see you spinning live.”

Rob: “Thank you.”

Chase: “Alright, peace y’all.”

Rob: “Peace.”

Don’t forget to download the podcast of this interview for free where you can hear a few songs that we didn’t post on the blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview. Leave us a comment with what you think. Thanks for tuning in!

5 responses to “Rob Threezy Interview Part 2”

  1. Thanks a lot Ela,

    I've already started it. I will be posting daily page counts on the Script Frenzy website and on Twitter.

    I know that I won't be able to write every day so I plan on getting ahead of the page count daily goal quickly.

    I've been thinking about posting my daily pages here on my blog as well. I'm not sure if that's such a good idea. It might be interesting though. Everyone could see how the first draft comes together that way. It's something to think about any way.

  2. wouldn't posting it interfere with your train of thought and envisioning of the story? that could be a pressure to know someone is reading the first draft right away.

    I'm curious what your mind is producing though, but I can wait for a while.