DJ MEGA – interview by kevin farr
He might appear disturbing when engulfed by a gasmask. He might seem punk rock when he dances. He might be whatever the fuck he personifies and you interpret him to be. DJ Mega Havoc will appear with the Drumz 2002 massacring the tables as he spins cranial banging ear piercing drum and bass. And don’t let Havoc’s talents as an entertainer and the art of Spectrumega Media distract from his blend of hard core and drum and bass. Let Havoc reek, let Havoc speak and please you with his hands as they massage vinyl while you massage a drink.
Born in L.A….um… grew up there till I was about 18, then moved down here to San Diego and I’ve been living here pretty much ever since. I fell in love with this town, I love San Diego, and San Diego loves me. I put in a lot of work in the drum and bass scene down here, just like making sure parties happen and making sure that the parties that do happen are like the highest quality, you know? So I um… I really don’t have any inclination on leaving here any time soon.
When is the first time you touched a table?
In…I think somewhere around ‘97 or ‘98 but I really just got started playing records in November of ‘98. But I was listening to a lot of drum and bass and wanted to DJ and got some decks and started off.
How did your early influences shape the way you spin now?
Well, I am like a cyber-punk, I’m a punk rocker at heart, I grew up and I was just you know your typical like underground like crust hardcore type. I listened to a lot of bands like Distopia and State of Fear and Econo-Christ, Nausea and Conflict, all sorts of really underground bands that people haven’t heard of just like shit that you gotta buy on vinyl cause they don’t make it on tapes or CDs or anything like that and its all underground shit and uh… a lot of the music that I was listening to had a lot of messages about vegetarianism. I’ve been a vegetarian for like five or six years ever since I was a punk. That music is just always something that is a part of me. I still listen to a lot of punk and I think that is why I am into the rubber side of drum and bass. Early on when I started spinning jungle there was this guy Blend who kind of took me under his wing and taught me how to mix. Since then there has been a lot of other influences…uhh… RAW. He is one of the like dope drum and bass DJs in the world, I’d say he is number one. He just got this fucking ill-ass style. He has been around since the beginning of drum and bass in America and he is just L.A.’s number one drum and bass DJ hands down. Just watching him, that’s how I do my homework. You know, just peeping’ out his sets . Another influential point has been Spectre, the guy who runs Trump clothes and Specter Mega Media. He doesn’t really spin or anything like that but he is a musician at heart. He has gotta do his art thing and he you know never bought records cause he doesn’t want to get addicted to that shit cause he is trying to do his company right now, but he has been a big influence just because I have spent a lot of time working for the company. There have been a lot of trips to Arizona and San Francisco driving around in my truck. We have had a lot of flow sessions on drum and bass and dope sets and how a dope set is put together and shit. So even though he is not a DJ he has been a big influence. All the guys from my team are influential. They are a big influence from the very core scene. Hazen and Con’Fuscia and Peace Maker are some of the other DJs from the drum scene and Willow, I watch everybody. I go out and I do home work so that is the way I get ideas and inspiration. Those are the real influences in the drum and bass scene. I really am into other types of music too like classical and jazz.
What music do you listen to currently?
Pretty much anything except for country. And I hate pop music, that shit sucks.
Do you appreciate anything about pop music?
Yeah, I mean, yuppies need fuckin’…yuppies need something that is simple and digestible for their feeble little brains. I don’t know whatever…it makes people happy, that’s cool but its trash. When I hear that fuckin’ Britney Spears ‘Slave’ song with these little Casio keyboard sounds, uh man, it’s bad stuff…I hate pop culture. I don’t get any sort of influence from that. That’s why I always end up with the punk rock bands that I was in to. I never really liked Pennywise or Guttermouth or, I mean its all good like I respect them a lot more than like the Super MTV people, but real underground shit that you have to dig deep to find, that’s the shit that gets me off. Yeah, I was down for Extinction of Mankind, that was really dope man. Disorder and Crass and stuff like that.
Have you ever dubbed punk over drum and bass?
Yeah, yeah, I do… during a live show absolutely, there are some really cool intros. I haven’t been able to match up the tempos. Its been hard to find stuff that would match the tempo with that, but I have played full punk songs at parties and shit.
Tell me about the gas mask concept?
That came about at a party called Luna Three that Just in Time did. It’s one of the big promoters around in San Diego and I just like came up with this idea to wear a gas mask because I just don’t feel like its important that people see my face. It’s supposed to be about the music. I don’t want them to focus on who this person is, who he’s been with or what he’s done. I don’t want people to be thinking about me on a personal level up there. So its like losing the face, is like losing the soul of the person. Not really, cause the soul is coming through the music instead of facial expressions and its just cool because then I can go and promote and tell people to come to a show and then they’ll be like “Oh…shit, Havoc” and they can come support their boy. They won’t know its me that they are talking to and its just nice. I can go out and just be part of the crowd and vibe off the DJs and have fun without having to talk to all sorts of people. I’m just like shy in that sense, you know? I’m a really outgoing person and extraverted, but I’m not when people try to approach me about music like “Hey that was so this or that” whatever, I’m really not to into that…I’m not really, there’s so many people that are just so fuckin’ ill that I know.
What do you feel you have offer heads that other DJs don’t?
Doing entertaining shows where we actually have a DJ on stage. Doing something crazy, the MCs also doing something. I’m thinking crazy to the point where Hazing will be DJing, I’ll run across the stage and tackle him and put on the headphones and start mixing and then Fuscia comes over on a zip cord and knocks me over. Just like crazy shit, not that exactly. But just like some show element, some entertainment. When bands play, there’s four different people to watch and they’re jumping around and they are putting on a show. But when you are watching a DJ, it’s just the same thing. Some guy with headphones mixing some records back and forth and that’s it. What I want to do is try to turn it into more of a show. Where people come and they experience the next level of entertainment. And that’s where having the artwork comes in. When we have the artwork from Specter Mega Media up all creating three dimensional designs and shit, it’s always changing and that’s a cool atmosphere and that’s a part of it. Rolling with Specter Mega Media and drums is a big part of where my future lies. Cause Pete Morehouse, Specter, that’s his art name, he’s the shit right there. He’s on the same tip. We have to put on a show for people so when they walk out of there they are like “Fuck, we can’t get this anywhere else.” Except when we come to drums parties. That’s what I am shooting for, I’m just trying to throw sick ass parties where everybody gets their fucking heads thrown back. He calls it Visual Jungleism. I’m playing on the radio too. I think its 92.1, is that the local station? Right after Artwork of the Jungle on August 3 at 2 o’clock. I’ll drive over to the station and do a set there.
Compare the SD scene to other cities you spin in?
Well, SD, it’s hard to throw a party here, cause its so small but the people here really love shit. They are really into it. In L.A. it’s a bit bigger, so there are a lot of heads that know what’s up, and are really cool up in L.A. San Francisco is really cool because it’s the numbers of people in L.A. with the level of respect of the people in San Diego. To go into parties up there is really cool. Arizona is the only other place that I have been. Out there people are really cool too, and there’s a lot of hot chicks out there.
Last words for Modern Fix?
Can I make a couple of shout outs?
All the points of inspiration, Drumz Clothing, Spectra Mega Media, Spectr, RAW, Blends, Dischord, Basics, Vyke, Hazen, Con’fuscia, PeaceMaker, Jason at Equinox he’s always hooking up records for me shit, that store in general has helped me out a lot along the way. With out all there support I wouldn’t be able to get all the cutting edge tunes that I get. The Poison Cream Lovers and you know Kemf and that’s pretty much it oh and Tom Fudge.
HAVOC WILL BE FUCKEN UP TABLES AT ART VS JUNGLE AUG 3 (619-317-2765)