Founders AplusD of the legendary Mashup event BootieSF sat down with Dark Beauty Music telling about the origins of their award winning global phenomenon. This is one of the hottest Saturday parties you’ll ever attend with 1,000+ in attendance, multiple rooms, live performances and guest producer/DJs every week.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where are you both originally from?
Adrian: Ohio, mostly.
Mysterious D: Texas!
For both of us, San Francisco is truly are home. We both moved here soon after college and neither one of us have looked back!
I love BootieSF! You both play such unique music. Can you explain to our readers what a “Mashup/Bootleg” is?
In its purest sense, a “mash-up” is a song that is composed of two (or more) elements from pre-existing songs – usually, the vocal track of one song mixed over the instrumentation of a completely different song. Producers and DJs use audio editing software to match the tempo and musical key of the songs, combining them into a new hybrid work. Oftentimes, the more diverse the artists or musical genres, the more successful the “wow” or “fun factor” of the mash-up. Of course, most of these are produced without the copyright clearances or permission of the original artists or their record labels, which is why when the scene started in the UK in 2001, they were called “bootlegs,” which is where got the name for our party. “Bootie” is an homage to the early days of the mash-entendre-up scene, in addition to be a double entendre for “pirate booty,” since technically, most of these mash-ups are “illegal.” (Although we would make the case that their creation falls under “Fair Use,” since they are made available freely on the internet, and almost none of them are sold for profit.
Were you the 1st club to do this music format and when did BootieSF start?
We started Bootie in 2003, and we were the FIRST club night in the WORLD dedicated to playing only 100% mash-ups. Before that, we were inspired by a small pub night in London called Bastard, although we never actually went.
Your flyers are so eye catching, the artwork matches the music perfectly. If you could mash-up something besides music (anything in the world) what two things would you combine together?
If we weren’t combining different genres of music together, then we’d probably be doing it with fashion. Goth vs. Preppy? Hip-Hop vs. Business Attire?
If you built a BootieSF Time Machine and could go back into any dimension, what 2 artists would you bring back to do a LIVE mash-up performance with?
One of the first mash-ups we ever heard was Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” over Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” created by Scottish producer McSleazy. My live mash-up band Smash-Up Derby even does a version of it. How awesome would it have been to see Kurt and MJ, two of the most talented artists of all times, on stage together in 1992 doing that live? Heads would have exploded.
Your event is global now, what countries do you have events in?
Besides the United States, we also have regular parties in Brazil, Germany, UK, Austria, and France, along with regular tours doing one-offs from China to Australia.
Congrats on landing Bootie in VEGAS!!! When is this happening and which club? Where would you like to take Bootie next?
We debut in Las Vegas March 11th at the Gold Spike 217 Las Vegas Blvd Nevada. Like our Vegas page here: BOOTIE VEGAS
Tokyo has always been on our radar, South Africa as well. Actually, we’ve been saying this for years – we would LOVE to do a Bootie Antarctica! Bundle up for Bootie at the bottom of the world! We also do multiple nights at Burningman!
What drives you to do what you do?
We love mash-up culture, and definitely wanted to bring attention to it and share it with the world. It kills us that there are so many talented producers and DJs out there that are under appreciated and unknown. We very much want to “big up” the mash-up scene as much as we can. Weird as it sounds, simply exposing more people to the cleverness, fun, and talent of a well-crafted A+B mash-up still brings us crazy amounts of joy! We also love bringing together a diverse crowd, where you see a variety of people with different styles, backgrounds, cultures, ages, and sexualities, all getting down and having fun.
I love DJing your event, everyone is there to dance their asses off! Everyone seems to be having a great time and the crowd is more diverse than other typical nightclub events. Why do you think that is?
We used to say that Bootie was like the “Noah’s Ark of Nightlife,” because you could always find at least two people from every subculture or scene. That’s really because of the diversity of genres that we showcase in the mash-ups we play. No one can be too “precious” about the music, because we’re constantly mashing up songs, combining them with something different, or re-configuring artists in unexpected ways. So because of that, we tend to attract a pretty open-minded, unpretentious “up for it” crowd that just wants to have fun. Mashed-up music has always been the central theme of a Bootie party, so the crowd tends to be as mashed up as the music.
Adrian you also front the band “Smash Up Derby” performing Mashup’s LIVE at Bootie. Explain the differences in performing live and DJing:
As a mash-up DJ and producer, you are limited by what you can produce, based on whether you can find the accapella or instrumental audio sources you need to make it sound good. You might have a great idea for a mash-up, but if you can’t find the isolated vocal or instrumental tracks, you might not be able to produce it properly. As a live band, we have no such limitations, we can just play it and sing it ourselves!
Mysterious D, can you give our readers some inspiration and let us in on your secret of success:
We started doing something we had passion for and really loved due to the music’s inherent creativity and diversity which was also very exciting. So what started as a passionate hobby has now – nine years later – become a full-blown career that has taken us all over the world. It’s given us the opportunity to explore all kinds of places, cultures, fashion and art. It has allowed us to meet some of the most vibrant people on the planet. I know it’s a cliché, but it’s been true for us: Do what you love, and the rewards will be even greater than you can probably dream.
What’s next for Bootie?
We’re revamping the entire BootieMashup.com website, so instead of being a party with a website, we’re aiming to be a website with a party. In fact, we want to be THE one-stop spot on the internet for all the best mashups – curation is really the key. So many other blogs and websites just post whatever is sent to them. We aim to be the quality control of the mash-up scene because sometimes the mash-up scene needs it!
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Both of us came up in the Goth scene, which is so filled with dark beauty with an appreciation of the darker side of music and fashion. Yet as we’ve gotten older, we’ve discovered a nascent, conflicted love of pop music. Yet we still retain some of our Goth roots in our appearance, so it probably surprises some people to discover that we actually play a lot of shameless pop music mash-ups for a living. Although we must admit, we’ve made our share of mash-ups containing music from The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division and other bands that certain evoke “Dark Beauty” to us.
Photography by Topher Adam, Attic Floc and Eric “Shutterslut” Stein