Hudson Eakin aka DJ Wubson: Part II
What’s been the hardest challenge in getting this company going?
Probably finding people as talented and driven as the team we’ve created. I’ve been doing music since I was thirteen; I was in a punk band until I came to Clark. We made FM Radio, we were getting courted by labels and stuff like that. But I just couldn’t deal with my drummer at the end of the day. We were getting to the point of no return and it was just like, I can’t get married to you, I’m sorry. So I left. Since then I’ve been in rock bands here at Clark, and I got into hip-hop because of Justin and Yoni. All five of us were friends way before BDM even started. These are my boys; I’d do anything for them. So they introduced me to the four elements of hip-hop: DJ, MC, graffiti artist and break-dancer. Punk rock is a lot more DIY—you see something, you see a void that needs to be filled, you do it yourself. Punk and hip-hop always kind of got along, so I jumped over to hip-hop because of them then discovered dub step through that.
It’s weird, it just kind of happened. I can’t tell you how many friend requests I’ve gotten since the Rusko gig. I accept all of them, but it’s weird, it’s never happened to me before. [Rusko] was the big break I needed before people really started taking me seriously. Anyone can play Burning Man, and that was cool, that was a step up. But this, I had to earn this. There’s a lot of people who always want to get involved and they always have good ideas. There’s a lot of people who you think have your back, and don’t. So there are a lot of people who could have and might have been a part of BDM at various points. BDM went through a ton of resurrections before it got to where it is now. Our team is still working [stuff] out, still learning the ropes because we’re still very young to this. But we’re doing it right. I trust these guys completely.
The other part was figuring out how to make money out of it. Originally it was just an idea. At our events, why don’t we have dancers, why don’t we have sculpture instead of lights, or why don’t we do both? And then it just kept going, and it all just clicked. I guess brains I trust is what it really comes down to.
How much time a week do you spend working on your tracks?
It all depends; there are a lot of steps. There’s practicing, which I don’t get to do enough of these days, but I try to get in 8-10 hours a week practicing. That’s not nearly where it should be. There’s a lot of it that’s just finding new songs, getting them in key, stuff like that. After you get all your information about your tracks-- their beats per minute, what key they’re in, and all that—from there it’s how do these songs fit, how do they work best, and just experimenting with them. The way I mix I try not to alter the songs too much from their original state, so for me it’s a lot more about finding where they fit and the overall key, as opposed to other DJs who are like “how does this vocal sounds over this” or whatever. There’s a lot you can do. You can get super nerdy. [My mentor] taught me about the sacred math of DJing which is--- I can’t tell you more than that--- but you get really mathematical and numerical and all with it. There’s a lot of thought that goes into it.
Who are your favorite artists to mix?
It depends on the genre. The three genres I mix are house, moombaton, and dub step, and I go for a different feeling with each one. With house I focus mostly on fun and bouncy, things like Afrojack, a lot of Deadmau5, Feed Me, I’ve got like everything by Skrillex. And Major Lazer and Diplo. Actually if I could see any DJ in the world right now, it would be Diplo. But he also applies to my moombaton. With moombaton I go a lot more for sexy, dirty. But it’s a different kind of dirty from dub step. This is baby making music. Dylan Francis would probably be my biggest guy for moombaton. I get my moombaton in a very different way than I get my dub step and everything, because moombaton is such a young genre. There isn’t a moombaton genre on Beatboard. They call it house and not many moombaton songs break into the charts. With dub step it’s all about the raw energy and rocking the f*** out. The reason I was attracted to it is because I played punk rock for five years. It’s heavy, hard, and fast and I love it. I do try and approach dub step differently from other guys as well.
There’s two performances I’ve seen that really, really shaped where I’m at with my dub step—and dub step’s my favorite one to mix. The first dub step show I ever saw was Skrillex in the UK during his tour, and he inspired me. Before, I was just a kid DJing with his friends in his room because he was bored and he liked electronic music, but I saw that show and I was like “no, I’m bringing dub step to Clark. I’m making this happen, I’m doing this.” It was an incredible show. It was my first time seeing turntables right up close and all of that. It was also my first date with my girlfriend in like seven months, so it was just an amazing night. Because of that show, “Cinema” is our song. We have a dub step song as our song.
I wasn’t really educated on the genre though. I was still entry level and going onto Beatboard for my first few rounds and getting a taste for what was there and other artists that existed. So by the time that I saw Nero at ID Fest I had developed a better taste for music and for the genre and everything. I was no longer interested in just dropping filth all the time. Even though that’s really, really fun and really, really cool, there’s a time and a place for that. And don’t get me wrong: I love dirty. Everything. I just love dirt. But you make dirtier more special if you put it next to something pretty. Nero not only was a much better DJ than Skrillex, he’s probably the best DJ I’ve heard. Nero mixed Skrillex better than Skrillex mixes Skrillex. He still had a lot of Dr. P. and a lot of really, really dirty dub step, and I think he had a little bit of Datsik in there at one point. But just because of the way he mixed it with Nero’s original orchestral sound, there was just a teensy, tiny, little bit of art in that set. Just a little bit.
Ever since then I’ve tried to go for that balance, where there are certain mixes of certain songs that are just special. If you do it right, people can get something a little bit more than just fun out of it. And that’s what I go for; I don’t try to say a whole lot more than that. I want to make this dub step set special to you; I don’t want you to just have a great time. I want you to think about it later. I get really heady into my sets. There’s always a message, there’s always a theme, there’s always something. It might be a really personal one that I don’t talk about or anything. This next set that I’m going to record, it’s an homage to hip-hop. It’s homage to everyone who I listened to, mixed with dub step. It’s that transition from hip-hop into dub step for me.