DJ Charles Feelgood Brings the Beats to Starscape 2009
By Courtney Nichols
Tell me how you became the DJ you are today.
I started out in Baltimore and I started doing club
nights of my own at a club in the late '80s, early '90s, called Metro.
I started off by playing Eel Water and Depeche Mode and a lot of English soul
12-inches, and I wanted to do my own events. So I started doing my own events
that focused on this sort of music. I started promoting the parties and then I
actually started DJing them in the early '90. That’s how I got started.
Where are you located?
I’m in New York.
Oh, you’re in New York! I started doing events for
this huge warehouse, which still exists today with the same ownership, in Baltimore
called Paradox. The guys from Starscape are doing events there now. I stated
doing bi-weekly events there for kids from Pennsylvania and New York and Ohio
and Delaware, the tri-state area, and once I started doing these events kids
from Delaware would be like, “Can you come over and DJ this event.” I would be,
“Sure!” Eventually I was all the way over in California by the mid '90s.
I’ve been going all over the place since then.
How did you create your name?
I always played really happy house and one of the
people when I first started said, “You play happy house!” My real last name is
Fields so I came up with alias Charles Feelgood.
Which artists are you most influenced by?
Mostly artists like Paul Weller, The Clash, New
Order, Depeche Mode. I stared listening to a lot of industrial -- Nine Inch
Nails. Today it’s still Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, a lot of the English
Could you go through the process of recording one of
your songs? What kind of technology do you use?
Of recording them? Or making them?
Making and recording. Also, when you are performing
live, are you performing songs you already know or do you improvise?
There is some improvisation and also I make my own
records. Now with digital technology it’s a lot easier. I use a program called
Traktor Scratch Pro. You have two time-coded pieces of plastic that look like
records but they actually play the mp3s that are burned to your laptop. Now
it’s a lot easier to mix in all different forms of music and loop things on a
fly and bring tracks in because you’re not just dragging them with your finger
or putting your finger on a mouse on a turntable or on a laptop. Then the
plastic record that is on a turntable responds and plays it.
And your label. Who are you signed to?
The CD that came out May 26th is on
Moist Music out of New York.
What other DJs are on your label?
There is DJ Icey, Markus Schulz, Christopher
Lawrence. There are a lot of people. If you go to MoistMusic.com, you can see them all
there. Those are the ones I can think off the top of my head.
Are there other DJs you are into?
Those are just some guys on the labels. I am more
into bands right now.
Do you play festivals a lot? Since you are playing
Starscape, are you playing other events similar that this summer?
Actually I am just getting my summer schedule now.
Have you played festivals before?
I played at Lollapalooza before and I played at
Coachella. Definitely done the festival thing quite a few times.
Do you have a favorite venue on the East or West coast?
One of my favorite places to play is Ampersand in
New Orleans. It’s the crowd. I always love going to New Orleans and it’s always
such a festive atmosphere. I played this year my 15th Mardi Gras in a row.
I love going down to New Orleans. It’s one of my favorite places to play. I
play in other countries as well. I love going outside the country to South
America, Peru. I like going to Asia. Canada is a lot of fun too.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on new tracks right now and I have a
new remix album coming out, Live At How Sweet It Is Festival. I just played
that festival last week here in L.A., with over 20,000 people. The mix CD coming out is
a live recording of that set. There were a lot of good DJs, like Kraak and
Smaak. I played the same stage as them at the festival.
-- COURTNEY NICHOLS
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