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Eric Pomerleau (@DjDownstairs)

 

Most bars suck. The drinks usually cost four times as much as they should, the place is always packed, and the music is never quite what you hoped it would be. Up until recently, I had come to terms with the universal truth that the remainder of my weekends here at UNH would (more or less) be a crowded, dimly lit, Pitbull-playing slaughter of my youth…. and then I discovered @DjDownstairs.
 
Eric Pomerleau is the Dj behind the Twitter handle that changed the awkward process of drunkenly requesting your favorite Beyonce song. ‘Tweet your request’ on Thursday or Saturday night in the Scorps Bar basement, and Eric will answer by playing your tune of choice and/or tweeting you back and telling you that you should save your selection for your earbuds. We got a chance to interview DjDownstairs to find out what grinds his gears and gets his soundboards spinning.
 
 
Tell us how you came up with the Twitter handle @DjDownstairs
 
Years ago when I first started spinning at Scorps they would write “Dj Downstairs Tonight” on a chalk board sidewalk sign along with the drink specials on the nights I was playing music in the basement. After a while of that people at the bar started calling me “DjDownstairs” and it just stuck. Being much cooler than “Dj Eric,” my only other handle at the time, I decided to buy the domain and embrace it!
 
How long have you been spinning in the Scorps Bar basement?
 
Oh boy here I go aging myself...11 years! At first I was actually set up right behind the bar with the bartenders slinging drinks all around my equipment and that didn’t fly for long. That’s when we cut in a door and carved out a little spot for my cozy, removed booth that you see now.
 
 
What would you say is your favorite genre of music?
 
Trance. However that doesn’t go over so well in NH typically, so my second favorite is house music. Top40 remixes are where my heart has been lately and they go over well at Scorps. I feel like anyone can listen to the album version of Taylor Swift’s “Trouble” so if you ask me to play it expect a remix of it and like it. The nice thing about remixes is I’ll have 2-10 different ones of the same track that all work at different times of the night and for different crowds.
 
What’s on your personal most-recently played list?
 
I’m a die hard Tiesto fan, the recent show at UNH made 16 for me, he played a lot of music from a new duo called Showtek so they are getting some heavy rotation in my Suburban on the late night drives back to Hampton.
 
What is the most common request you get from the kids at UNH?
 
Pretty sure it’d have to be A.$.A.P. Rocky’s “F#ckin’ Problem at the moment but Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack” is the all time most requested track at Scorps by far!
 
What is the most annoying request you get?
 
How many answers do I get here? Haha. Let me try and limi it to the two most annoying ones:
 
“Play something that will make us dance!” Yeah because my thought when selecting this track was ‘man I wonder what song will get all these girls to stop dancing and make all the dudes leave the bar.’
 
“Play some rap.” Listen I know when and when not to play 2 Chainz and it’s not at 11:30pm when the whole floor is filled and the energy is already at a 10 from DANCE music. If you’ve spent some time at Scorps you know I play a lot of variety and hip hop gets played in the beginning of the night, sometimes a set in the middle of the evening (although it goes against what I believe) and then a set to end the night. If you request a song and not a genre, I can mix it in (with a remix), most anytime of the night. So be specific with your requests. Asking for a song is what #TweetYourRequests was intended for. Telling me in caps to play another genre is you telling me how to do my job and its a waste of a tweet.
 
It’s very difficult for me to hear requests through the window over the music volume and people always seem to knock on my window mid-transition messing with my flow, so looking over at a screen to see the exact song someone wants to hear makes my life easier enabling me to play many more requests.
 
I can’t make this one up and it was just last year. Here it is word for word because I will NEVER forget it:
 
“Yo Dj, play something that we can like, (awkward long pause) you know f#%k to.”
 
Um I don’t even know what that means but I do know that the staff, myself included, would like you to wait to get home to do that...
 
What’s your go-to song for getting people on the dance floor?
 
Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” still did it this past thursday even though my ears bleed a little bit every time I hear it now. However one of my all time best party starters is
 
a light remixed version of Montel Jordan’s “The is how we do it.” no matter the age group or venue, people seem to flock to the dance floor when they hear it.
 
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen from behind the windows in the basement?
 
Good question. Years ago I witnessed some huge, really, really jacked steroid induced meat head of a dude push a girl I was really good friends with so hard that she fell on the floor. This DJ didn’t wait for any bouncers, he came out of the booth like a freight train and pushed the massive dude so hard he fell....luckily the bouncers were on him before he got up and knew what happened or else I’d be typing this one letter at a time holding a stick in my mouth from my wheelchair.
 
You get to see a lot of interesting things go down from behind that window especially since some don’t even know I’m back there. On the other hand, I’m looking down a lot at my mixer and computer so I’m really only able to look up for a few seconds between mixes.
 
What’s one piece of advice that you would like to pass on to someone looking to get into the Dj business?
 
It took me YEARS of playing in my bedroom and for FREE at parties before I got a paying gig. It takes years of practice to be able to play in front of a crowd and be ready for anything that comes your way. However thanks to technology anyone with a few hundred dollars, a laptop and a trip to Best Buy can be a “DJ,” and therefore wants to spin a night. Have a mix ready or better yet have a few mixes ready showing you’re not a one note, 128 BPM all night, glorified iPod and then let’s chat.
 
On that note, I have to be honest: mixing isn’t that difficult to learn. It takes a lifetime to perfect and master, however I’ve had some friends pick it up in a matter of weeks. Reading a crowd and knowing what to play when is the true art form and takes years of playing for a live crowd to understand. Ask your favorite local DJ if you can watch him or her play live first and experience what a night of drunken requests can turn into. Then talk about playing a set for them one-on-one to show off your skills. Don’t ask for a night or to “open.” You’re probably not ready for that so why ruin your first experience. Take time to experience what goes into a 4 hour live set and then think about an opening spot.
 
I am always looking for people who love music and have an interest in becoming a DJ to intern for my company AudiblEvents. I have a very successful business of
DJjing (above ground) and doing lighting for high end weddings and need dynamic DJs on my staff that can spin a bar one night and a wedding the next. Shoot me an email if you are interested: info@audiblevents.com.
 
What has been your favorite/most memorable moment as a Dj?
 
On a slow friday night at Scorps seven years ago me and some friends were shooting pool and I was playing music wirelessly from my 11” Apple G4 Powerbook for the few people, mostly staff on that night, that were at the bar. It was a pretty low key night until a group of three girls and a dude walked through the door and one of them was a blonde that immediately sparked my interest. After a little while of them dancing within their group, I made my way over with my computer and asked if there was anything they might want to hear? The blonde chirps in with “Bon Jovi, anything Bon Jovi I LOVE Bon Jovi.” In the heat of the moment, I didn’t find it awkward that this hot young blonde wanted to hear some ‘Dead or Alive’ so I cued it up remotely from my laptop and gave her what she wanted. At some point, after more conversation, she asked how I was playing the music from my laptop and commented that she “had the exact same computer.” Um wow hot, blonde, she’s an Apple person and she’s into technology...I think I’m in love.
 
So that Sunday we went on a date, yeah I got her number, and the rest is history. Sonja and I are engaged and have been together ever since that slow Friday night at Scorps nearly seven years ago. Oh and I eventually found out years later that she hates Bon Jovi! (Maybe we can find true love at Scorps! Fingers crossed!) 
 
 
Who’s your favorite Dj?
 
Dj Tiesto. Hands down! If the concert last week was the first time you’ve heard about this Tiesto guy, then I highly recommend you listen to one of his ‘In Search of Sunrise’ albums. There now 10 installments of these mixed albums however, I’d only recommend listening to the first 7 as they are mixed by Tiesto. The name ‘In Search of Sunrise’ was inspired while Tiesto was playing at the world famous Privilege Night Club in Ibiza where the roof opens in the wee hours of the morning so club goers can actually experience the sunrise while still dancing the night away in the club!
 
What other venues have you Dj’d at?
 
House of Blues Boston’s main stage, The Foundation Room at the House of Blues Boston, The Harp in Boston, Jose McIntyre’s in Boston, Coogans in Boston, Bills Bar in Boston, Sweet Caroline’s in Boston, Kings in Boston, Pasta Beach in Boston, The Page in Portsmouth, Fat Belly’s in Portsmouth, The Central Wave in Dover and Surf Side 5 in Salisbury. I’ll be doing video trivia Monday and DJing top40 remixes Thursdays at Surfside5 all summer so come visit!
 
 
Will you DJ our wedding?
 
Absolutely!!! Check out the wedding packages on my web site:
 
Leah Tully is currently studying nutrition, wellness, and writing at the University of New Hampshire.
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