DOA: Hello and thanks so much for having a few words with us today! How's LA been treating you?WAIT... THERE'S MORE STUFF
Reid Speed: Thank you! LA is great. I love it. We are lucky to have a phenomenal music scene going on here.
DOA: Nice, LA definitely has a banging scene!
I know you've been DJing for quite a while at this point. You started off in NYC, as many know. For those who may be unfamiliar, please give us some background on yourself. Who were some of the regional DJ's who inspired you and helped you out when you were first getting things going?
Reid Speed: My beginnings in the scene go back to '94. I was just a raver fan who knew I was destined to DJ. I would go out to watch Dieselboy, Odi, and Frankie Bones every chance I could. I'd buy their mixtapes, learn the mixes by heart, then buy the same records and try to copy the mixes. That's how I taught myself to beat match! I got my tables in '96, and soon after, Breakbeat Science opened, so I started shopping there and getting inspired by Dara & DB and the Jungle Nation parties. I started playing out in early '97, when Camouflage founder Christian Bruna gave me my first opportunity to play, and be a resident. Then later on in '97, I joined Stuck On Earth, which was one of the largest rave promotion companies on the east coast. That opened the doors to play at massive parties alongside huge names really early on. In '98, I started working at Breakbeat Science and became a part of Direct Drive. Working at the store really helped me to break out of "local DJ" status and start playing around the country. I used to send out mix tapes to all my customers (the ones who didn't hate me for not giving them promos we didn't have!) and that got me out around the US, Canada, and even to Ireland. After awhile there, DB, 4.0 Marketing and I started doing 2 step parties, and that was a great experience for me to meet and play with many of my non-DNB heroes.
DOA: Speaking of the legendary Breakbeat Science, the CD's you released through them were quite popular! How did they come about and also, how did they effect your career in terms of exposure?
Reid Speed: Doing the CDs for Breakbeat Science was one of my favorites times in my life. My greatest pleasure in life is telling a story through music, and the opportunity to have that story out in the world, on the shelves at Tower Records where my even my mom bought CDs, was simply mind-blowing to me. It came to be about a year after I had stopped working at the store, I think they saw that I was doing pretty well for myself, and perhaps decided that I was something marketable. I was just honored to be part of an enterprise I'd looked up to since it had begun. It was so cool to be working with them not as an employee, but an artist. They made me feel like I had gained their respect. I feel those CDs, "Resonance" and "Life After Dark", are two of the best things I've ever made. Everything that came along with them was all part of living the dream: having a label, a publicist, a booking agent, touring, doing interviews, press shots, fashion shoots, the whole 9 yards! I even got to appear an ad campaign for Triple 5 Soul. I got equipment sponsors and free software and clothing sponsors. I went from struggling to be heard to touring regularly for thousands of new fans and making "top DJ" lists, being a DJ on network television, and playing movie premiers and judging DJ contests. It was the experience thousands of DJs, including myself, have fantasized about and worked so hard for. Amazing.
DOA: It is nice that you're very grateful despite the fact that you've worked so hard to get where you are!
As people probably know by now, you're also a producer. How did you first get into making tunes as well as DJing? Who are some other producers that you've gotten down in the studio with thus far?
Reid Speed: I started learning production back around 1998, with an EMU and digital performer. I worked a bit with my tour partners Ming & FS, and we made a couple of tracks that appeared on Resonance but were never released as singles. Datcyde & I released a remix of the New York City jungle anthem "Naughty Ride" back around 2000. I started using Reason around 2000, released my remix of Le Tigre's "Dyke March 2001" on Kill Rock Stars, made a couple of tracks for DJ Swamp's still-to-be-released album, and "U Hold the Weed" with MC Dino that was released on Afterdark, and a remix of "Disorder" by Deadline on Acumen. Since then, I've moved on to Logic and Ableton, which I mainly use today.
I have been fortunate to collaborate with many amazing artists over the years, including Datcyde, Ming & FS, DJ Swamp, Origin, Sense, MC Tali, MC Dino, Queensyze, Josh & Matt David, J Break, Agent K, General Malice, Natural Kauses, Infiltrata, and Mr Solve. I had completed an entire album of drum & bass and breaks tracks in late 2006 which was supposed to have been released last year, but I ran into problems with the label and essentially the whole project was scrapped. That nearly broke my heart, but I had to start writing again! Against The Grain just released the "Reid Speed & Josh David remix" of Krafty Kuts' "Bass Phenomenon" which won theTrackitdown remix competition, and upcoming releases include "The Flow" (as Beep! with Origin) on Re:Connect, and "Danger" with Queensyze on Phonomental.
DOA: That's too bad about the album falling through but it's definitely good to hear you are still making tracks. Your music has done well and gotten you involved with some major enterprises! Give us the rundown on how you got your foot in the door and exactly which companies you've DJ'ed or produced tunes for.
Reid Speed:The CDs for Breakbeat Science really opened so many doors for me. From their launchpad I have been fortunate to maintain a moderate level of success as a DJ, and that has taken me many places: DJing for the Jamie Kennedy Experiment & Spike TV's MDN; movie premiere parties for Texas Chainsaw Massacre & Pirates of the Caribbean; fashion parties for Diesel, J Lindeberg, Flaunt, Triple 5 Soul, and JNCO; gear events and/or sponsorships with Shure, Pioneer, Tascam , Numark & Matix Clothing; magazine events for Beautiful Decay, Karma, BPM, URB, The Fader, and Mixer. My tracks have been used by Puma & Showtime, by indie movies "Sabotage" and "Bomb It", a skate video, on the radio for Power 106 & KCRW, and on countless DJ mixes.
DOA: That's awesome, you certainly have accomplished a lot so far! You don't limit yourself to just drum and bass, which is always a good thing for creativity as well as opportunities. Can you tell our readers about the other genres you're involved with and what you do regarding them?
Reid Speed: I have always championed a wide range of musical styles, although I got my start with drum & bass. Over the years I have played & promoted DnB, 2 step, speed garage, breaks, house and electro/indie-dance. My favorite sets to play are ones where I can do multiple genres and people still love it! Many of the upcoming releases you will see from me are actually not DnB, but breaks and electro stuff.
DOA:Will definitely be on the lookout for the future releases. So, what prompted the decision to move from NYC to Los Angeles? Was this an entirely personal decision or were there music related opportunities in LA that weren't available to you back home?
Reid Speed: The decision was multifaceted.. 9/11 really put a damper on what was left of the scene (after Giuliani had targeted and/ or closed most of the good clubs from 99- 2000), I had reached the zenith of what I could achieve in New York, and I had met the love of my life. The move was a much needed change for me all around. But there are certainly more interesting musical opportunities in LA, if only because there are so many more people here.
DOA: Could we get some information on your radio show? Where can people hear it and what can they expect to hear once they've tuned in?
Reid Speed: Breakdown Radio airs every Monday from 6-8 pm PST (2-4 am GMT). We feature our hot picks of the new breaks, electro, house, and indie dance, as well as old favorites, and guest mixes.
DOA: Any gigs you're looking forward to where people can catch you in the near future?
Reid Speed:DJ Shortee, MC Tali and I have an ongoing tour called Queens of The Jungle, I love working with such talented ladies! Look for that coming to a city near you soon, and check out www.queensofthejungle.com for mixes, tunes, and info.
I'm also on the Future Sound of Breaks tour with Krafty Kuts, Deekline, Craze, and many more. I'll be with Krafty in Seattle (Dec 29) and Denver (Jan 5th). All my upcoming dates can be found on my Myspace page, the newly re-launched breakdowntheparty.com and soon on the new reidspeed.com.
DOA: Survey time!
What's your favorite thing about NYC?
-Running into people you know on the street... at all hours.
Favorite type of food?
Who's the best band of all time, in your opinion?
- Thats tough... but The Doors, Nirvana & Metallica (pre- black album) all rank up there.
Do you have any pets?
- We have 4 cats and a 15 year old fish who just passed, Gertrude, R.I.P.
Create your own alternate words for the acronym 'DOA':
- Don't Over Analyze...
DOA:Well, that about wraps it up! It was a pleasure interviewing you today and I wish you all the best on your present and future endeavors. If you've got any shout outs, please feel free!
Reid Speed: Thank you! I'd love to give some shout outs... Much love and respect to Xander Nasty, DJ Shortee, MC Tali, Jenna G, DJ Annalyze, Breakdown, Bailey, Storm, Concord Dawn, Mathematics, Jez (Autobots) Dash (Ctrl-z), Screwface, Merf (Breakfastaz), Deekline, Stamina MC, Zinc, SS, Silver, Phantasy, Origin, Jo-S, Noah D, Gigantor, Girl Gone, Nc-17, Benny Page, Visionary, Rhythm Beater, Gulfway Cartel, Cymbalism, Mumblz, General Malice, Direct Drive Crew, Respect Crew/ Junglist Platoon, Bassrush Crew, Camouflage NYC, Aaron Simpson, Ben Sage, Ben XO, Subsonik, Shock One, Cenobites, Doja, Kid Kryptic, Dirty Deeds, Villains, LA Riots, Icey, Keith Mackenzie, Jon Pegnato, Flipside, Bryan Cox, Jeremy Word, John Affinity, Kiro, Glue, LNatural MC, DJ Rilla, Prime Mover & Chuck B, Prolific, JMekka, High Eight, Mixologists, and Z-trip..... anyone I may have left out, I'm sorry, I still love you!
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