Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Interview with NEN's Kidplastik

"Kidplastik, aka Drew Taylor, is a pixel-player by day and dance-floor-slayer by night - known for both his DJing and a Design. Kidplastik has worked for and supported artists such as Le Castle Vania, Classixx, Villains, Shinichi Osawa, Lies in Disguise, Eli Smith, Lazrtag, 80Kidz and Kids at the Bar. He has performed at events around the world varying from clubs in Tokyo to the Swatch MTV Playground event in Beijing to raves in the middle of a Utah desert. " . .

So let's go back to the beginning for the folks who aren't to familiar with you, talented boys. What is NEN?

NEN stands for Never Eat Neon. Which is a DJ duo team and combined forces of myself, Kidplastik, and good friend, Hot Noise. I would like to say the name "Never Eat Neon" means something, but it really doesn't. This is common with a lot of projects I do. I just start bouncing words around in my head and eventually decide on a word or a combination of words that sound right. Even if they don't have a specific meaning. I was actually living in China when Jeff (Hot Noise) and I decided to do NEN. Jeff had come out to visit me in Shanghai and we played several shows out there together. I was planning on moving back to Salt Lake City, so we decided to team up officially.

Who is Kidplastik?

Kidplastik was created as my moniker for designing under back in 2004 before I even started DJing. When I started DJing I was living in Shanghai, and many people already knew me under that name. So to keep it easy I decided to use it for both my DJ name and my design name.

What would you say influences NEN's sound the most?

The cool thing about NEN and DJing with a partner is that you both bring something to the table. Jeff and I both bring our own inspirations into what we do, but I would say a constant source of inspiration for us is the people on the dance floor. That's what keeps me wanting to continue playing shows. Creating a way for people to dance, have fun and connect through music is the root inspiration for us and most DJs I think.

On thursday Febuary 17th, what would you say the goal was for NEN?

It had been almost a year since NEN had played. Jeff and I had been talking for a long time about doing a show that would raise the bar for shows in the local dance scene here in SLC. It seems like we as local DJs had gotten a little complacent and we wanted to do something different. We wanted to try to put on more of a "show". That is the main reason we chose The Urban Lounge, because for the most part that's been used as a live music venue. We also dumped a lot of our own money and time into the visuals and stage setup hoping that would add something different to the night. In addition to that we wanted people to come, get drunk, dance and have a shitload of fun!

What was the theme of the show, I and many others noticed all the cool visuals and shots of guns!

We didn't really have a set theme for the night in general. But for visuals I wanted a very retro, faded almost VHS look. A lot of visuals for DJ performances are very clean, crisp and polished. I wanted the opposite of that.

What inspired those specific visuals?

I watch a lot of the music videos coming out for musicians like Washed Out, How To Dress Well, Twin Shadow and Neon Indian. They all have these music videos that reminds me of watching movies like 'Condor Man' on my parents VHS player. Oh, and Japanese girls.

Should we expect more at future shows?

I hope so. I also hope they get better and better, but the visuals are really time consuming. Anytime you are working with video you should expect really tedious work. But I think they add a lot to performances.

What feeling do you want to evoke out of the room when playing your set?

That kind of depends on the night and where I am playing. It kind of seems like that has evolved as I continue DJing as well. When I first started I would just throw random tracks back-to-back not caring. Really happy, fun tracks that were more dance-rockish. I just wanted people to party and didn't care as much about the technical aspect of DJing. Now when I am playing with NEN I think it's more about creating a certain mood throughout the entire set. Building it up and dropping it back down at the right times. When I DJ on my own as Kidplastik I would say my sets are more lighthearted and I just want people to have fun.

What was your favorite track to drop that night?

That's a hard one. I think the intro track was perfect to set the tone, which was 'Reborn' by F.O.O.L.. It starts out really ominous sounding and then hits REALLY hard. I like to start out my sets with something really heavy to let people know we're not messing around. I also really like The 8th Era Bootleg Edit of 'Liquid' by Clouds, it's super bouncy.

Did any of the tracks get a reaction you hadn't expected?

. .I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you.

What was your thoughts on the overall night?

It's always hard when you are the ones organizing the event and also headlining the event. I am always really concerned about how it's going to go, so maybe I am not as relaxed as I should be. Overall though I think it went really well. We have gotten a lot of good feedback from the night, and we had a full dance floor until well after last call which is rare for The Urban Lounge. Looking forward to next time!

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