Wednesday, August 14, 2013

An Interview With D.J. Durandal

This past Saturday night, I attended Fayetteville's second Darkness Resurrected Dance Night. As with the first event, there were several Deejays contributing to the musical offering. A lively group of people showed up and there was dancing, lots of socializing and a renewed consumption of the venue's now famous test-tube shots.

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while know that, until fairly recently, I was bemoaning my near loner status as far as the Goth world was concerned. Things are improving now, and events suited to the local Goth community are finally taking place. First there was the Victorian event, which took place around last Christmas. Then, the first Darkness Resurrected Dance Night occurred back in May. Around mid July, Voltaire came to town, and just this past Saturday, we partied at the second Darkness Resurrected event. The one constant at the most recent three events has been the presence of D.J. Durandal Roland.

It didn't take me very long to figure out that D.J. Durandal is a driving force behind the resurrection (no pun intended) of Fayetteville's active Goth scene. So when I received word that he and his family will soon be leaving town and heading to points south, it occurred to me that perhaps, I should request an interview while I have the opportunity. After all, considering the work he's done in organizing, publicizing, ticket selling, coordinating with other deejays, etc., I feel it only right that I should repay the favor by giving this dedicated person whatever amount of exposure I can. So then, what follows is a short interview with D.J. Durandal:

D.J. Durandal, welcome to the Gothic Embrace.

D:Thank you.
I'd like to start out by asking, what made you want to be a deejay and how long have you been doing it?

D: I used to go to some crazy parties a couple of years back, and there was a point where I enjoyed being in control of the music more than any other aspect of the party, so I decided to volunteer myself as the DJ for these parties. I originally bought a very simple MIDI crossfader that didn't have the simulated turntables, the accursed sync button, or similar features, just faders and knobs. So while I've been doing parties for almost 2 years, my first bar gig was Darkness Resurrected in May.
Do any gigs stand out as being the most memorable? And why so?
D: Given that I have done 3 real gigs, I would say they all stand out at the moment.
What are your main considerations when putting together a playlist?
D: I try to make sure I do not have many repeat songs from prior sets that I have done, depending on whether or not I believe the same people might be in attendance. While a DJ might have a favorite song or two that you know you probably will hear during his/her set, I don't believe the setlist should be all familiar to the audience. I spend a good part of my day listening to internet radio while I work, taking note when I hear something catchy that I have not heard before.
  I also try to incorporate a few different styles of music into my playlist as well, to try to please a wider variety of ears. I know it can get boring to hear the same 130bpm OOntz Oontz all night long.
As the main force behind the Darkness Resurrected Dance Nights, what inspired you to create this event?

D: This one may be difficult to believe, but I started it up because I was (and still am) too poor to drive to Tulsa for Assimilation. The gasoline, plus hotel, made for an expensive trip. If I lose $50 on DRDN, then I will have spent less than it would have cost to go out of town. Of course, there is a lot of work that goes on, and breaking down equipment at 2am can be tiring. A side inspiration was the fact that I wanted the opportunity to have an event that essentially was just how I wanted it, enjoyable music, no drama, just good fun.
Many of us have heard the news that you and your family will soon be leaving Fayetteville. Do you have any projects planned for the near future and do you plan to continue organizing events here

 D: Yes, on both counts. November 1st will be the first Halloween Ball, and it will be at the Stolen Glass as have been prior DRDN events. I am really excited about this, as we will be able to expose DRDN to more people who would not otherwise know about the event. In addition, this event will likely allow me to build up some savings to use in booking bigger name DJs from out of town. I also have a number of band bookings in mind. My plan is to continue DRDN in Fayetteville roughly every other month, schedules and venue allowing, with the alternate months hosting a DRDN in Little Rock, AR.
Any parting words or thoughts for us?
D: This one I actually had to think about. I've seen goth events come and go in various locations, Fayetteville included. In every case that I've seen, a large portion of the blame could be laid at the feet of those who refused to participate because their ex would be there, or someone who had spurned them, etc. I had misgivings about starting up DRDN because I didn't want to have to bump into people who had given me a hard time in the past, but I got past it. That was a life lesson to me, that I shouldn't let problems I've had with other people hold me back. As long as you're living in the past, you can't see to the future.

D.J. Durandal, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview and for all of your work on behalf of the local Goth community. The best of luck to you and your family as you all pursue your dreams.

 D: Thanks again to you as well. I'm excited about what will be coming soon!

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