At a time when headline “DJs” shamelessly play pre-programmed or pre-recorded sets and the masses mindlessly embrace the charade, Dieselboy stands out as a rare veteran of the art and craft of live DJing. His focus on creating complex and unique mixes every performance have created legions of fans around the world. Very few artists mix live on three decks with more precision, intensity or finesse.
For over two decades one of the world’s great ambassadors of drum ‘n’ bass and more recently dubstep, Dieselboy, also known as Damian Higgins, is America’s most iconic underground bass music curator and pioneer. He was the first drum ‘n’ bass artist to chart a single on Billboard’s dance chart with “Invid” in 2000, and the first American voted into the UK-based Drum & Bass Arena Top 10 DJs online poll in 2004. He has appeared on magazine covers, been heard on MTV, ESPN and numerous video games, and sponsored by DC Shoes and Pioneer Pro DJ.
In 2002 Dieselboy founded Human Imprint, North America’s most prolific, dynamic and innovative drum ‘n’ bass label, and is co-founder of dubstep/electro label SubHuman, both now under the umbrella of Planet Human. Planet Human is beloved by its fans for top quality high energy releases by international vanguard artists including Bare (US), Mark Instinct (Canada), Mayhem (US), Muffler (Finland), Nerd Rage (US), Nightwalker (UK), NumberNin6 (US), Pixel Fist (UK), Subshock (Spain), and Zardonic (Venezuela).
Dieselboy’s legacy is one of trailblazing dancefloor devastation non-stop on the international club circuit as well as at major global music festivals including Bonnaroo, Coachella, SXSW, Electric Daisy Carnival, US Virgin Mobile FreeFest, Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Summerfest, Ultra Music Festival, Shambhala (Canada), Global Gathering (UK), Creamfields (Poland), Pirate Station (Russia), Jisan Valley Rock Festival (Korea), and PHAT 09 (New Zealand). He also toured with Moby’s Area2 and played metal concerts with Orgy and Disturbed.
Dieselboy’s DJ career began in northwest Pennsylvania DJing high school dances, and progressed as a University of Pittsburgh student learning to beat-match vinyl live on college radio and playing trance, happy hardcore and breaks at house parties. His 1994 mixtape “The Future Sound of Hardcore” led to out of town bookings and his ensuing popularity and skills led to the honor of being the first American asked by a British drum ‘n’ bass label to mix a compilation (“Drum & Bass Selection USA,” 1996).
In 1997 Dieselboy moved to Philadelphia becoming drum ‘n’ bass buyer and T-shirt designer for seminal rave culture/record store 611. In 1998 Dieselboy was the first American drum ‘n’ bass DJ to be nominated for Best Drum & Bass DJ at the Global DJ Mix Awards and tied with LTJ Bukem. From 1998 to 2004 Dieselboy hosted North America’s premiere drum ‘n’ bass weekly “Platinum” at Fluid.
A passionate connoisseur of food, books and film, Dieselboy has continuously raised the bar for mixtapes and mixed CD compilations as art forms, and each from 1992 to his February 2012 tour de force “Wake The Dead” stands the test of time. State of the art showcases of producers and graphic artists of each respective era, Dieselboy’s mixes have been described as “cinematic” and “intoxicating.”
Dieselboy’s goal in creating “Wake The Dead” was “to make the most intricate, layered, nuanced, amazing drum ‘n’ bass mix ever done. Period.” In its dramatic intro (a Dieselboy signature) the narrator describes a soul-crushing epidemic of epic proportions – a thinly veiled reference to the death of the art of DJing – a theme that has resonated amongst his DJ/producer colleagues and fans and beyond.
An inspiration for generations of DJs, Dieselboy’s longevity and relevance in a mercurial industry is a tribute to his relentless drive to create “amazing” experiences for his fans in their iPods and at his legendary live shows.
Dieselboy fans praise his skills as “genius.” Says The Destroyer: “I don’t fuck around.”