A man who needs no introduction to the world of music fiends, DJ Muggs is a limitless powder keg of harmonious inspiration. The LA local recently sat down to share some wisdom with us about his newest music projects, advice for young musicians, and how to take care of your ladies.
How you doing my man, Muggs?
Fantastic, brother, never better.
Hey, where ya’ll living around LA nowadays?
Right in downtown.
Sounds like the perfect location for you. You recently played the Smokeout festival this weekend. How was that?
Smokeout was great – 20,000 people strong.
You just signed to Ultra Records with your new solo album, “Bass for Your Face”. It’s been a long time coming, but what made you decide to sign to Ultra?
I thought it was the right fit for this record, you know? If you’re going to put out a bass music record, it might as well be with the best label there is to put it out with.
What was different about recording this new album opposed to the many other records you’ve put out?
There is a lot more bass on this record.
Is that the only difference?
Yeah, pretty much.
Are there any collaborations on this record?
There are a few. Chuck D from Public Enemy is on a song, in addition to a few other MCs.
What is the release date for this album?
Sometime in June.
Is it all complete?
The record is done. We’re just doing some final tweaks.
Where can people find sample downloads of this album?
Google that shit!
Where can people see you perform?
I’m all over. Go to www.djmuggs.com and all of our tour dates are on there.
Do you plan on doing more festivals like Smokeout?
Oh, I do all of the festivals. I don’t stop! I’m doing Ultra festival next months.
Doing any performances at SXSW?
Nah, I’ll be in Europe this month. Then I head straight to Miami.
What is your favorite type of party to perform at?
Anywhere I can play what I want and not have to fit into a particular format.
Just doing you, huh?
Yeah, man. Doin’ me.
You’ve worked alongside so many talented musicians over the years. Who are your favorite you’ve worked with?
Definitely Dr. Dre, RZA from Wu-Tang, Pearl Jam, the Edge from U2. Those are some of my favorites to work with.
What is the latest with Soul Assassins? What have you guys been cooking up lately?
We don’t stop. We are the number one artistic movement in Los Angeles period. Art, Music, lifestyle, Soul Assassins is a crew and we pretty much run everything out here. We have a new collaboration album coming out as well as a west coast clothing line. You can hear us every Monday night on Sirius radio.
How do you feel about hip-hop’s presence in modern music?
Hip-hop is modern music! Hip-hop runs the show. It’s invaded everything, from rock to dance to R&B; everyone looks to hip-hop for inspiration.
Now you see a bunch of divergent sub-genres of hip-hop creeping their way into every form of music.
That’s been happening for years, man.
How has music production technology evolved since you started making music?
We used to use vinyl, a turntable, and a SP1200. Now we have a whole studio at your finger tips. It’s very accessible. Anyone can make music, mix it, and put it up by themselves.
What is your favorite type of set up for making beats?
And for performing?
Two turntables and some talent. I am very into live performances. I think people need to work on their live performance skills. I come from the days where if you were making whack hip-hop you would get booed off stage. Those kids sitting back and pressing buttons on Ableton and jumping around like they scored a fucking soccer goal? That ain’t happening. I want to see some fucking talent on stage.
Yeah, people expect a lot more from live shows nowadays. The bar had been raised. How do you compete with something like that, Muggs?
I bring turn table skills. I play the turntables like a guitar. Stage presence and dope music. I put on a show for the crowd. That’s what you got to do, man. For me, a DJ is like a lead singer in a rock band. You gotta go out there and perform; you can’t just stand there.
How would you describe your stage presence?
What music is turning you on lately, Muggs?
I have been going to this club in LA called the Low End Theory. Really forward thinking shit, man.
I am addicted to the Low End Theory.
I love Daddy Kev, I love Daedelus, I love Gaslamp Killer, I love Nodoby, I like John Wayne, all of those kids coming out of there, man.
I think what they are doing there is going to be the next explosive scene.
I agree 100%. If I were 18, that’s where I would go for my hip-hop. When I got into hip-hop, that’s what hip-hop was, what the Low End is now. Hip-hop lost itself somewhere along the fucking way; I don’t know what the fuck it is anymore, I can’t even tell you. I don’t go out to hear music a lot, but I always go out to Low End Theory. You can’t hear this shit on the radio or anywhere else, you’ve got to be there and experience it, and that’s what hip-hop was.
Yeah, I had the same conversation with Marty Party. These 18 year old kids going to the Low End Theory and seeing the amazing music performed there is going to grow up to be the next Dr. Dre or Timberland. Inspired shit.
100%, that place is all about the music. It’s a free vibe, you can smoke weed and chill out, and there is no aggression in that whole place.
It’s very chill, isn’t it? Would you be interested in collaborating with any of these Low End performers?
I played the Low End about 4 times already. I even gave them a stage at the Cypress Hill Smokeout. I mean, this is the future of music, so I had to make sure I had a spot for them there.
We are doing another article about the male and female perspectives of oral sex. Can I get your opinion on that?
Women should definitely take care of their man. They should be ready to go, or why do you have a boyfriend. At the same time, if you have a girlfriend, you need to please her too. If you a stranger? Nah, strangers don’t get nothing than balls in they mouth.
Are you a giver or received?
Both. I take care of my ladies. All my girlfriends are happy. First you eat it up then you beat it up!
It’s been a very enlightening and condensed interview, Muggs. Is there anything else you want to add?
For all the kids making music, keep pushing boundaries. Don’t let nobody tell you that you can’t do this. If you’re a hip-hop kid and you want to make electronic, if you are an electronic kid and you want to make hip-hop, or rock and roll, or just put it in a jar and shake it all up! Do what you feel like doing. Don’t feel like you need to play a certain way because there are no boundaries in music and there is no limit and there are no rules. Just do what you want to do, and what you want to do might not be what you want to do in 5 years and you might be into some totally other shit, but just be inspired. If you are inspired, you are already ahead of the game.
We appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom with us, Muggs.
Thank you. I appreciate your energy, brother. Keep doing what you do.