DJ Dryad: The Exclusive IDJ Interview

DRYAD is one of the top DJs on the Electronic Music Circuit in Winnipeg Manitoba. Internet DJ caught up with DRYAD via email for a quick chat on DJing and the Electronic music scene in Winnipeg.

Posted by whiteraven on Sun Feb 26, 2006

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IDJ: Have you always been influenced musically?
DRYAD: My father had an obsession with music, from being a part of the progressive rock movement to having one of the largest music collections in Winnipeg. Needless to say, there was always music blasting in the house growing up.

IDJ: How did you start DJ-ing, how long have you been DJ-ing and what inspired you?
DRYAD: Most people tend to start DJ-ing and then make the move to producing their own tracks. I did the whole process in reverse, I had been working in various projects (mostly industrial/EBM) as a producer and writer since 1999 or so. Sometime in 2004, I began to look at my huge music collection and decided it would be fun to make little mixes late at night to get away from the roommates. Mix after mix i realized that I was picking up the skills very fast due to the many years I had been training my ears in music. I guess it just kinda kept rolling from there.

IDJ: Do you plan your sets or do you play to the crowd's reaction?
DRYAD: It depends on the situation. Most of the time I try not to plan because it limits the fun of DJ-ing, but other times I love to plan a set because it feels more like producing. When I plan, I can decide how the story is going to start, what is going to happen in the story, and how it all comes to an end. For Raven in the Ruins I put quite a few hours into the production of my set, I knew it had to be an experience for everyone to remember.

IDJ: Places like Toronto and Montreal seem to have an Electronic music scene that is a lot more mainstream. How does Winnipeg's electronic music scene compare to places like these?
DRYAD: The only real difference is in the size of the crowds, which obviously limits the amount of exposure people get to any given sound. I also find that Winnipeg doesn't like to evolve quite as fast, people get comfortable with something they like and form their own little subcultures within subcultures. There seems to be a lot of aggression in Winnipeg and people here tend to float towards the harder sides of electronica like, breakcore, hardcore, jungle, and hard techno.

IDJ:If you had to put your finger on it, what do you think it is that drives you to DJ?
DRYAD: I want to be able to create a spark of emotion in the audience. I am simply just trying to tell a story by providing the soundtrack, and its up to the audience to imagine the rest. I am ultimately driven by MY imagination and my passion for seeing other people travel to other worlds with me.

IDJ: What are some tips for aspiring DJs?
DRYAD: The best tip I could give is to make a personal meaning out of the DJ-ing process, so that it isn't just an attempt to be in the spotlight. The spotlight is bright, and when you stare into it for too long your vision gets all blurry.

IDJ: I've heard some people say that track selection is the most important part of a and other people say that its something else. What do you think is the most important part of a DJ set?
DRYAD: Track selection is mechanically very important for me, because you want to have tracks that all work together. However, I believe the most important part of a set is the delivery. It's that connection of how the mixes are done and the overall attitude of the DJ. I hate the whole "throw ya hands in the air" thing, but a DJ that just stands there scratching his head is just as unenjoyable too. DJ-ing is a performance, I like a good performance.

IDJ:What do you think the trance culture has to offer that makes it so appealing?
DRYAD: On the contrary, I think that the trance culture has lost most of its appeal. I think trance became a branding mechanism for rave culture, and eventually made its way into
the hearts of pop culture and bad television commercials for fitness centers and shitty computer vendors. Trance had the potential of becoming the NEW new-age, or even something
like modern day classical music. There is so much happening in the music itself, huge melodic progressions, intense imagery, tons of mood and feeling, but after all it is just dance music to the rest of the world.

IDJ: I have a feeling that DJ-ing is not without its lighter moments. Can you give us one of your more humorous moments behind the decks?
DRYAD: There are humorous moments every time I play, usually because I've had quite a bit to drink though.

IDJ: Any plans for a new artist album in in the near future?
DRYAD: This spring I will be releasing my first official disc. There are a few demos floating around, but they were more for promotional purposes. The new CD will be a double disc of
old and new tracks which captures the two sides of my DJ-ing. One disc will be Progressive/Tech Psy, and the other will be dark and creepy Full-On Psy. I am really looking forward to this disc, and I think people will love it too.

b>IDJ: What has been the biggest highlight of your DJ career so far?
DRYAD: Raven in the Ruins. There has never been anything like that here in Winnipeg before. I had spent a bunch of time in Germany a few years ago, and there was stuff like that all
the time, that is just the norm in the old world. However, it was something completely new over here, and I was able to take part in a very prime moment of the event.

IDJ:Finally, plug one other artist, who should we be keeping our ears and eyes on?
DRYAD: That's an easy one, Lo Progression. He is also from Winnipeg, and he is an arteeeeeest to the full definition of the word. He has also been creating music for some time now,
and he can juggle amazing ability in various musical styles simultaneously. I love the way he'll grab a well known song and rip it apart into something completely amazing, or sometimes even ridiculous. Some of these crazy covers have been stuff like Tom Jones, Goldfinger, Billy Talent, and Juno Reactor.

(Author's note: Thanks DRYAD! Looking forward to the CD release!)

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