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When the Coronavirus shut us down, clubs and festivals ceased, and everyone was essentially forced inside with no definitive end in sight, DJ Times wondered: How is our tribe coping? How are DJs getting by? So, we sent out our “Coronavirus Questionnaire” to DJ/producers from all musical genres to find out.

For the short-term (hopefully), DJ Times will be presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our first installment:

Claude VonStroke, Dirtybird, Los Angeles

What’s it like where you are? Nobody in my family has left the house since last Friday. Nobody who works here [at Dirtybird] is coming in except the shipping guy, David, who has to work outside. I’m working hard still making tons of music. I’m busy creating systems and streamlining my processes to only the most important things that I really need to do. I’m also watching “Survivor” and “American Idol” and any good horror movies that are out. We are not leaving this house. I made a real, dedicated decision that I’m not going to get Coronavirus, which would be super-easy for someone like me to get.
Have you lost income-producing work? Yes, but mostly I’m sad because we had to lay off so much of our staff. It’s Dirtybird’s 15-year birthday and 75-percent of our events have already been cancelled. All my DJ gigs are cancelled or postponed through April at the moment, and I expect them to go further. Even so, I’m still very lucky and I’m never sitting around. I’m selling all the synths I’m not using on Reverb, and I finally got around to selling some of my comic-book collection – not the big keys just the riff raff! We are starting a livestream soon and I’m developing Claude’s Club even further. Our subscription service is also getting close to the 2.0 launch.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Making music for release as usual. I might do a sample pack or something for Claude’s Club. We will see! Maybe I will even make a Masterclass. But I’m not just going to do stuff for doing stuff’s sake. I’m going to do good work. 

What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? Just making music. That’s what I’m good at, so I’m doing it and enjoying it. I would be doing it even if I wasn’t making any money at all. 

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? How much we were working ourselves to death before this. All the cancellations are killing my wallet, but I’m getting some great perspective on life outside of grinding 24/7. I’m enjoying my family and enjoying not being at the airport every day. 

Have you considered doing anything online? Seen any good streams lately? I don’t really like doing projects that generate data for companies like Facebook. I like to create my own closed systems where I get the data and the contacts, so I know who I’m talking to and I don’t have to pay to talk to them. So this is why we created the Birdfeed and Claude’s Club. We control our own systems and talk to our community directly without the big corporations.

My fave stream is Diplo. We watched Maceo Plex have this $300,000 lighting rig, and it was super-sterilized. Then you go over to Diplo and he doesn’t even have a table. He’s sitting on the floor with candles and the audio isn’t even recorded out of the mixer. Believe it or not, that was by far the more interesting stream. Way more fun. 
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? I just wrote a track that’ll be out April 8th – it’s my quarantine theme song. It’s called “I’m Solo.”
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? Yeah, don’t spend all day stressing. Take some time for yourself to read a book. Also, don’t spend all your time on the internet. Think of a few new ideas every day and write them all down. In a couple weeks, look back at all the ideas and then you will see which ones stick out. Go with those. So many people are just so hyped because they are used to 60-hour work weeks… so they are doing everything they can right now – rushing out huge livestream events that are mega-urgent! But maybe take a step back and figure out how to do something cool instead of just something like everybody else. That’s how you really win. 

To check out more interviews, click here.

DJ Times Magazine is copyright © 2020 by DJ Publishing, Inc.