Mixmaster Mike at Red Bull Thre3style in L.A. 2010 Carlo Cruz / Red Bull Photofiles

DJ Mix Master Mike -- co-founder of The Invisibl Skratch Piklz and resident DJ to The Beastie Boys -- killed the wax at the latest Red Bull Thre3style stop in Dallas, where more than 1,400 fans watched DJ Fisher Pryce take home the crown.

We sat down with the legendary DJ after he rocked a two-hour set, where he explained the significance of listening to a variety of musical styles and how Thre3style helps the DJ culture.

Get Familiar with DJ Mixmaster Mike

  • Born in San Francisco, CA
  • Comes from a German / Filipino background
  • Winner of the 1992 DJ Battle for World Supremacy competition in New York
  • Associated acts include The Beastie Boys and The Invisibl Skratch Piklz

How does preparing to tour with a group, like the Beastie Boys, compare to preparing for a DJ contest?

Well, preparing for tour with a group is like going to combat with a platoon and working as a collective. Preparing for a DJ contest to me was like a solo strike. No holds barred.

What do DJs get out of rocking a crowd compared to working on a mix at home?

Working and practicing a mix at home is the first step. Rocking a live crowd is when you know your practicing at home is paying off.

Where does the DJ fit into music today?

It depends on skill level not only as a DJ, but as a producer/remixer, as well. My favorite thing for me is scoring films.

How does DJing impact your work in a group or as a producer?

Being a DJ sharpens your timing as a producer. Plus, the knowledge of music as a DJ always comes in handy, period.

How has the increased presence of dance music impacted the way you’ve played at clubs during the last five years or so?

Well, being that I'm a hip-hop DJ that plays all genres of music, I'm constantly evolving in all areas of music. So, I would say not compromising what I play always makes an impact.

I grew up listening to jazz, rock and funk before I got into hip-hop

That being said, the Thre3Style competition requires the DJs to incorporate at least three different musical genres. What impact does that have on a DJ?

I grew up listening to jazz, rock and funk before I got into hip-hop. You must do the knowledge before you can call yourself a DJ. It helps in the big scheme of things.

So what would you say is the significance of the Thre3style event to the DJ community?

It offers up and coming DJs a chance to shine while keeping turntable culture alive.

What do DJs learn from competing against one another in events like Thre3style?

As a DJ, you learn about your own capabilities while competing.

As long as you stay true to the art, it strengthens your chances of becoming something

How does winning a contest change your life/career as a DJ?

The more contests you win builds more confidence. As long as you stay true to the art, it strengthens your chances of becoming something.

How does rocking a club in the Bay Area compare to rocking a club in Dallas?

Being from the Bay Area, hometown shows are always amazing. I’m just looking forward to meeting all the great DJs in Dallas.
 

For more from Soren Baker catch him out in Twitterverse: @SorenBaker

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