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. During this period, DJ Times will continue presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our latest entry, this time from the West Coast, the L.A.-based electronic talent David Scuba (David Wojnarski).
What’s it like where you’re living? Were you locked down? How did you spend most of your time? Well, I live a bit further south of L.A. near the beach, so it’s been fairly open for dining outside – but everything else is closed. The area I live in was on lockdown, but the beaches were open, so I was able to surf and spend lots of time outdoors. Most of the time I spent hanging out with the pets, cooking food, spending way too much time in my new home, exercise, hikes, skiing and making music since I had lots of extra time.
What important gigs have you lost? Like everyone else, I lost a bunch, such as several Superfreq anniversary tour dates, a Northwest Tour, and a show in Europe for the spring – and that comes with a cost financially and professionally.
How much of your income took a hit? Did you learn anything in the downtime? Fortunately, I have always had another job, but I seem to manage my time really well so I could tour-travel on the weekend – so I have been lucky not to lose too much income. However, the other job has suffered a ton, so it has still been a challenging year, especially after buying a new home last September. It’s not surprising since my wife and I learned how to raise a puppy, which has been super-fun, as most of America has done the same thing.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? My latest EP is “Broke,” and it’s a collab with Lubelski and it’s out on Superfreq. Also, I’ve been lucky to have John Digweed play both tunes on the “Dimidium” Ep for the Bedrock Bunker 26 and Damian Lazarus put “Hot Jupiter” on the first Crosstown Podcast. Of the other remixes that I released… for Mr. C, my Superfreq partner in crime, “Shape Your Dreams” hit 26 and “Space Invader” [by Maják & Diego Knows] on the As.if label hit 12 on the Beatport charts. Honestly, just trying to have a nice catalog of tunes for 2021 and a few sets out on Electronic Groove and some others will keep promoters interested in booking me once things turn around – whenever that happens.
What’s in your studio? I’m using Ableton Live, Waves plugs, the entire suite of Arturia plugs – Buchla Easel V is my new favorite – Arturia MiniBrute2, Roland SE-O2, Juno 06, Analog Lab. When Jake Lubell [aka Lubelski] and I work together, we tap into his Modular, Prophet 6, in addition to a few other plugs like Guitar Rig.
What’s your creation process in the studio? The creation process typically is finding a weird sound or some sort of synth line, and working the rest of the tune around something that draws inspiration. In some cases, I have an idea in my head and just need to get it out.
What’s your typical DJ set-up & why do you choose that route? I’m fairly easy, but most important is proper booth monitors. But, it’s three or four Pioneer CDJ-2000s and the [Allen & Heath] Xone: 92. Mostly, I prefer to let the music speak for itself, but I do like looping and playing three or four tunes or snips.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? I didn’t realize how much I generally love people and really miss seeing friends on the road. The one weird thing was I kinda missed being in a plane and the downtime in between shows.
Have you done anything online recently? Have you seen any DJ video streams that impressed you? I have done a few with streams with the Desert Hearts Black channel and the Distrikt Burning Man camp. Yeah, I think some of the live-streams have been interesting to watch and it’s always fun to hear Digweed play both of your tunes on your “Dimidium” EP.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? “Night Flight” by Franc Moody – it’s a feel-good jam.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? The whole thing has been surreal on so many levels and so many people have had their lives turn upside down… so I know that keeping your body in physically good shape helps fight depression. I have made a point to work out daily through the Nike Training app, bought more dumbbells and started working out in my living room, which was super-weird at first. It has honestly changed my mind from wondering and worrying about things that are out of my control and stay focused on what I can control.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.