Modest and Mellow
While they're relatively new to the paid DJ game, Automatic Midnight Productions' DJ Velvet Touch (Eric G.) and DJ Daybreak (Cris Pestolis) already know that making the clubgoer or bride and groom happy goes a long way. Eric explains their short—and so far quick—ride to fame.
How did Automatic Midnight Productions begin?
We started back in December. I work at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, and they wanted a DJ for the Christmas party and asked if I knew anybody. "Well, yeah. A friend and I deejay for fun all the time." They said, "Do you want to do it? We'll give you $100." I was going to be there anyway since it was my work Christmas party. So we deejayed that and it went really well, and people really liked the stuff that we spun. They had other events coming up and wanted to use us. So we thought, "Well, shit, we did this one thing for fun and it went really well. We're already getting booked for other events." That's when we thought maybe we should try to make something out of it. That's when we came up with the name and the DJ names. Then we did more private parties and started deejaying shows my band was playing. And now we've got sort of a first and last Tuesday of the month residency at the Prospector in Long Beach.
Did you have to buy much equipment?
With the money we've made we bought cases for the turntables we had, and we're going to invest in an external hard drive because we use a laptop to play some songs. We'll put our music on the hard drive.
So you're not necessarily vinyl snobs?
No. We prefer to use it. We think that's what sounds best and we prefer to spin vinyl, but we have a lot of good music on CD and on the laptop. So it would be silly not to use it.
Have you done many weddings so far?
We haven't done any weddings yet, but we have a lot coming up.
Are you prepared for "The Chicken Dance"?
[Laughs.] God, I hope not, man. I guess we're going to have the couples tell us the stuff they want us to play, but we'll take it from there. God, I hope not.
So you still hope to bring some of your deejaying personalities to events like weddings?
Hopefully. When it comes to those situations, we're more aiming to please than aiming to please ourselves.
Do you get many drunks demanding songs?
We get that guy. We get that guy all the time. We deejayed this party, and this drunk guy came up to us at least seven times with a bunch of really oddball requests.
Is dealing with drunks as necessary a skill as other deejaying techniques?
Not really. Trying to blend styles together, mixing songs and making sure the tracking sounds good, that's what we try to focus on. We don't want to play the Kinks and then play Black Flag right after. That's a request we got one time. You've got to deal with people's requests. We try to mix it in. That's what I think makes a good DJ too, is playing what people want to hear as much as what you want to play.
Have you encountered DJ groupies?
We've had that happen a couple of times. It hasn't panned out, nor do I think I would want it to. Girls come up obviously drunk and go, "Oh, you guys are so good. What are you doing when you're done?" It exists, but it hasn't gone to our heads. We try to be modest and mellow about it.
AUTOMATIC MIDNIGHT PRODUCTIONS' DJ VELVET TOUCH AND DJ DAYBREAK SPIN WITH LIVE MUSIC FROM CONTROLLING THE FAMOUS, PAUL LAYTON/FRIENDS OF DESIRE AND PETER WALKER AT THE PROSPECTOR, 2400 E. SEVENTH ST., LONG BEACH, (562) 438-3839. TUES., 10 P.M. $3. 21+. VISIT MYSPACE.COM/AUTOMATICMIDNIGHTPRODUCTIONS.
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