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[Editor’s Note: Before reading this article, press the orange button below & proceed. Thanks.]

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Tonight is the listening party for DJ Day, a Coachella Valley native and modern hip hop generation’s hero.

DJ Day is a music producer and DJ who resides in Palm Springs.  Has has produced four studio albums, collaborated on many high profile tracks and traveled all over the world as a DJ.

Within the past couple years, Day recently teamed up with Thes One (of People Under the Stairs) to create their own independent record label, Piecelock 70.

In Day’s latest release, Land of 1000 Chances, he proves that he is human.  Filled with emotion, dedication, and a 1000 lessons learned…this album came straight from the heart, the hard way.

The end product is a beautiful album (inside and out) that explores the history of DJ Day as a musician and his extremities in life as a desert dweller.

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DJ Day Land of 1000 chances listening party

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“Introspective yet candid. In Day’s ‘Land Of 1000 Chances’, there’s a sincerity that bares itself in every beat and live instrument throughout this masterwork, as crisp and vast as a desert night. In the current climate of over-enhanced production, Day refreshingly strips it down, leaving the natural beauty of his arrangements with no makeup – no overstating of themes, rather implying or alluding in a way that reveals itself in multiple listens. While produced in essence from a b-boy approach, there’s a maturity and bravery that glows from this record down the shady and sunny paths of his life.”

– Jeremy Sole (89.9 KCRW, LA)

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Tonight everyone is invited to come listen, support and interpret Land of 1000 Chances for themselves.

I had the opportunity to share some time with DJ Day and ask him a couple questions about his latest release.  Check out the interview below…

 

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DJ Day photo by Really Nathan

DJ Day photo by Really Nathan

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INTERVIEW: DJ Day

on Land of 1,000 Chances, life and vision quests

with Sarah Scheideman of The Coachella Valley Art Scene

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Regarding Land of 1000 Chances, you state in the bio that “Had I known what I was getting us into, I would have never set foot in the studio…”  That’s bold to say, so is this an album of regret?  Or a learning process?  Was there something you would have done differently?

It was a learning experience absolutely. That particular quote involves Thes One, who executive produced and mixed the record. We were both under an incredible amount of stress during post-production of the album. It’s a long story that would take up the bulk of this interview, but we made it through in one piece.

I put a lot of pressure on myself for a long time over what I “should” or “shouldn’t” make and it kind of paralyzed me creatively. There was a lot of self-doubt and questioning what direction to go. I couldn’t continue to make the music I was doing and changing my sound to fit what’s trendy wouldn’t be true to the fans or myself. I was also going through some personal things at the time and for whatever reason became obsessed with old Palm Springs. Albert Frey, Kyuss, the Nude Bowl etc. I was going through a lot of old books and footage from the pre-Sonny Bono Spring Break era. Somehow all these things ended up a part of the album. I just had to turn off my brain and let things go. The only real intention I had was to be honest, and that meant touching on some of the things going on in my life and the influences I’ve had being from the desert. It’s both autobiographical and an homage to where I come from.

“Land of a 1000 Chances”….what does this mean to you?

It can mean anything to anyone, but it means a very particular thing to me which I honestly don’t want to say in print.

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Your last LP, The Day Before, was released in 2007, how has your music evolved since then and what can we expect with this new release?

I think I’ve matured a bit. My musical tastes can be all over the place so sitting down and trying to hone it all in to make a cohesive record was a new experience for me. A lot of things got cut because they didn’t fit with the overall vibe of the album. I wanted to bring it back full circle to the first thing I ever made (People Music) while applying all the things I had learned since then. Despite being known as a DJ, this isn’t a party record. There’s a lot of subtleties and things you might not catch on the first listen. I owe a lot of that to Thes’ engineering and ideas he brought to the table while mixing the record.

xx DJ Day People Music

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After I had recorded the bulk of the album at my studio we did session tracking with live musicians in San Pedro at Piecelock70 Studio B. We wanted to blend things so you can’t tell where a sample begins and the playing stops. I’m grateful to have had top-notch folks working with me on this. Kat Ouano, who’s an amazing Berklee trained keyboardist, knew exactly what we were going for and truly made the record what it is. We had a schedule where we’d record all day, drink Green Fin until 2am, go surfing the next morning and do it all over again. It was an amazing experience.

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 xxDJ Day Land of 1000 Chances Vinyl

DJ Day Land of 1000 Chances Vinyl

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The Land of 1000 Chances comes on vinyl, CD, and for download.  The packaging for this new release is really dope, I like the art direction.  Can you explain how you came up with the album art/packaging?  Why did you choose to press it on vinyl and what is that process like?  

Thes and I came to the conclusion a few years ago that we were going to split from our respective record labels and create an artist co-op that was fully independent. This became Piecelock 70 and has given us total creative control over everything we do with no middle man allowing us to deal directly with the public. It’s important to us to make sure everything we do is above and beyond quality, with packaging and creative ideas that we think are boss. I had found the photo that’s on the cover of the LP and tracked the photographer down in Japan to get permission to use it. It’s not a staged photo, it was taken at his friend’s bar and that’s the owner’s Shibu Inu on there. That image was the anchor for everything else. We collectively came up with the overall concept and pitched ideas back and forth for what became the LP and CD. Thes is a maniac and really wanted to make this unlike anything that’s ever done before. The result is the leather wrapped LP sleeve with a Polaroid physically attached to the middle of the cover, the gold foil stamping on the back, full CKMY gloss inner sleeve etc. I’m really proud of how it all turned out.

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DJ Day Land of 1000 Chances CD

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In my opinion, this album was meant to be listened to on vinyl. I’m not an audiophile nerd, but there is a very noticeable difference in playing the record vs. digital. We had the album mastered by Bernie Grundman who also did Steely Dan’s Aja, The Chronic, and Thriller among many others. I actually sat there and watched Chris Bellman cut the vinyl master on the same lacquer that cut Thriller. That was a “holy shit” moment for me. We figured since we invested so much time, energy and emotion into making this we should have it finished by the best.

Being a Palm Springs native, can you explain a “vision quest”?

The quest cannot be explained. Only experienced.

Speaking of Palm Springs, how is your weekly Thursday gig, Reunion, at the Ace Hotel going?  I see you’ve had some cool guest DJs come though…

It’s been great. I’ve been blessed to have a lot of friends come down and rock with us. We had J.Rocc here a few weeks ago and he crushed like only he can do. We’ve had The Gaslamp Killer, Daedalus, thee Mike B…too many to name. It’s going on 3 years this month – which is crazy to me – and The Ace has been amazing with their support and giving me the freedom to create our own vibe every Thursday. We’ve also started a monthly residency with KCRW’s Jeremy Sole every third Thursday that’s been going great as well. He’s an amazing dude and a killer DJ.

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DJ Day's Reunion, every Thursday night at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs

DJ Day’s Reunion, every Thursday night at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs

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I also saw on your website you have a European tour planned out a head of you.  What are some of your favorite locations to play and why?

I’m really looking forward to being back in Europe. I’ve been fortunate to DJ there a couple times a year. What The Funk @ Nouveau Casino in Paris is a great party. The Dour Festival in Belgium that my man Lefto puts on is also an incredible event. The Cult Club in Moscow is one of the funnest gigs I’ve ever played. I’d have to say my favorite place of all though is Auckland, New Zealand. I always crack jokes about moving there, but I think I really could. I’ve been blessed with going there a few times now and the people and energy is just good. It’s a really comfortable, warm vibe. I’m just really thankful to be able to travel anywhere and do what I love. Especially as a local dude from the Coachella Valley.

When you are far away, what do people say when you tell them you’re from Palm Springs?

I learned during the Bush era never to say you’re from the United States (thanks Georgie!) so I usually just tell people I’m from California. That’s met with “oh wow, surfing and skateboarding, Hollywood!” etc. It’s a trip to see how people view the U.S. But most people – even those here in the states – have a stereotypical view of PSP as old and gay (which it is, let’s be real here), but there’s so much more to it than that. You here at CVAS have done a great job over the years to help expose that.  Thanks for taking the time to interview me and for all your support over the years.

Now that the album is complete, what’s next?..

More work with PL70. There’s a lot of rad things in store for the upcoming year. I plan on continuing to make music and possibly a yang to the yin that was this album. I’m just going with the flow. Eternal VQ.

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DJ Day photo by Jameson Kergozou

DJ Day photo by Jameson Kergozou

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For more information:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DJ_Day

https://www.facebook.com/IAmDJDay

http://pl70.net/artists/dj-day/

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