DJ Rush – Sex on Decks

When I was asked to interview Chicago’s DJ Rush, I was barely aware of who he was. I knew he was an American techno DJ, and I had a copy of his recent hit track, “Mutha Fucking Bass”, and that was about it. Having not been to Australia before, DJ Rush’s profile here is not all it could be – and the more I discovered about him and listened to his music, the more my anticipation grew.

Getting his first residency in Chicago’s The Reactor club in 1989, Rush started off playing disco, and his musical style has evolved through jazz-influenced house to the bass-heavy, percussive techno he plays today. I visited his website to find out more about the man, and was hooked on the samples provided of his own releases as well as his “current top 10” – Rush likes it hard, fast and dirty. That goes for his personal life too – a 6’6” occasional cross-dresser, the flamboyant Rush is a self-confessed freak, and this personal style is integral to his music.

As a closet freak myself, I was really looking forward to talking to Rush, but unfortunately ITM was only able to secure a written question-and-answer session. I sent off my questions with fairly low expectations of receiving anything too exciting, expecting the usual PR-department blurb in response. I was so wrong – Rush came back with a really open, personal reply, and I can think of nothing better to do with it than quote him verbatim.

TG: Our Melbourne techno fans in particular have been raving about the unrelenting intensity of your I Love Techno set – can we expect that kind of aural assault, or have your sets evolved from there?

DJ Rush: Well I’m looking forward to coming down under, but most people expect to hear a similar set to I Love Techno. I don’t want people to base me and my style on that particular set, because I will do something different for sure, but trust me my set will be heavy and fast. I hope the kids can party like the kids I’ve been playing for in Europe. (The words kids is a slang for party people). I like it dirty and ruff…

TG: I’ve hear you described as “sort of a cross between Green Velvet and Dennis Rodman”. How would you describe yourself?

DJ Rush: First I would like to say, I hate when people compare me to Green Velvet… I have my own style and when the people see me and meet me, they will understand that there is nothing similar, only that we both sing on our tracks and even that is different. I can only say I’m out there, oooh very very out there, I’m a outcast, I like to have fun, this will show in my performance.

TG: You’ve traveled a lot over the last few years as a DJ – what have you gained as a DJ & producer from working overseas, and what are you anticipating / looking forward to about your first trip to Australia?

DJ Rush: I have traveled so much in the last two years and I have learned so much from the party people and how they enjoy and feel the music. Each country is so different, I have made so many friends from traveling and still we keep in contact, I have also learned more about myself. I hope to gain more friends and meet some nice and interesting people from Australia…. I hope the people down under enjoy music as much as I do, because I feed from people like this, it’s important to have good people around you and no negative people, and this is something I’ve came across when traveling… people just enjoying every breath and second of their life and truly enjoying themselves at these parties. This is wonderful, because then I feel I’m in the right place and I’m playing for the right people. No time wasted when I’m away.

TG: One of the features of your recorded work is your funky voice-overs on your tracks – when DJ-ing do you also do open-mike work over the records you are playing?

DJ Rush: Heheheheheheheh, I must laugh, because I’m a mess when it comes to vocals. I love to express certain feelings with my lyrics. I figure why hold it in? Sometimes I use the mike to say some phrases or two, but not all the time. The feeling must be there and I must be in touch with my people (the kids)……

TG: Tell us about how your live performances differ from your recorded sets. A lot of your tracks include sexy vocals, are about sex, or simply ooze sexuality – clearly music and sex are strongly linked for you. What are your thoughts on how sex and music are linked?

DJ Rush: When I’m DJ-ing I get the chance to play around with sounds of other people records and this is something I love, but when I perform live I have the chance to do my thing on stage, I can dress up and let the kids have it fierce, I’m just rolling the drums and speaking mess all over the mike, it’s a funny show I tell you, something special….. I think most people are afraid of themselves and would act out their feelings, so I’m only saying what I feel or what others feel. Music makes the body move and makes you feel sexy even sometimes hot, so sex just heat up things more…….. I’m a freak and I’m nasty………..

TG: You say “it’s always important and interesting to make music according to your feelings and experiences”. What interesting feelings and experiences have you had that have influenced your music?

DJ Rush: I was in a relationship that went wrong in each way, man o man what a time in my life, so I wrote a song about it and it was so touching to some people. I had people telling me their stories and saying that song was for them, music is so powerful and I realized that more and more when I travel. I can touch people with what I do. That’s why I like to produce music from the heart and not just do it because it popular. It’s love straight from the heart.

I also made a record about a neighborhood in Chicago where young boys go and sell their bodies for money so they can buy food and milk for their babies.. This song was called Freaks on Hubbard, I’m a freak and I’m nasty, I like to fuck.. I fuck anything that moves, not a dog, not a rat, but I’ll fuck a human and I fuck like a rat ha ha ha ha…… There are more songs but to many to talk about… Take me out for dinner and I’ll tell you all kekekekekekekekekeke…

TG: What gives you the biggest rush?

DJ Rush: hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe funny, I will not answer that one, because it’s so personal, there’s only one way to find out……….Kekekeke I’m a mess I tell you…….

TG: Looking forward to seeing you here in Australia!

DJ Rush: Thank you, and maybe we will meet and have a chat or a party. Just keep your eyes open and your ears covered because the bass is coming down to tear up the place baby……….

While I strongly suspect that Mrs Technogeekery will be along to chaperone me, I will be Rushing big time. Ask yourself this – do you like mutha fucking bass? In your mutha fucking face? If the answer is yes, come and join us for an orgy on the dance-floor with DJ Rush.

DJ Rush plays Kerplunk @ Yu in Sydney on 21st Feb, with N-Zed, Michael X, Elektra, Fax & Ajax in support. All profits will go the NSW Rural Fire Service.

He also plays Pure Flow @ The Goods Shed in Melbourne on 23rd Feb, with Will e Tell, Simon Digby, Simon Coyle, Dave Pham and others in support.

Finally, he will be appearing in Perth, as part of the Two Tribes event on March 3rd, along with Jeff Mills and with Troy, Puff and MRW in support.