Too often in today’s music world, people think a DJ is just a guy who is savvy with his computer programs and knows his music. Reid Speed is certainly savvy and knows her stuff, but she’s the real deal much like the records she spins. Diversity is in Reid Speed’s blood – her musical influences run the gamut from early alternative of the 90’s and classical back to mainstream pop.The DJ who claims to be your favorite DJ’s favorite DJ is out to get the people of Austin moving to her beats at SXSW.
Describe your sound in your own words.
I am your favorite DJ’s favorite DJ.
How did your band form?
One night in 1994, DJ Dan opened my mind to the realm of the dance floor. The seed was planted. Two years later, Reid Speed emerged from the underground of NYC.
What are your musical influences?
My influences are diverse; from classical and opera. I grew up on to the alternative stuff like Negativland, Nirvana, the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Mudhoney, to the early years ofMetallica, on through early break-beat hardcore of Hyper-on-Experience, Foul Play, Omni Trio, early John B, on to newer artists like Pendulum, High Contrast, Logistics, MJ Cole, Ctrl-z , Autobots, LA Riots & Wolfgang Gartner. I also love Jay-Z, Wu Tang, and the production values of mainstream pop music.
How did you come up with your band name?
It was given to me by my first DJ friend, Darkstar. I walk fast, talk fast, live fast. He was just observing!
What is your typical creative process?
I cant say I have it down to a formula yet. If it is a remix, I vibe on the original for a minute, decide what parts I want to use, and start chopping vocals or sounds, and then create a fat bass line and leads. If it is an original, I usually have a good idea of what I want in my head before I even get to the computer.
What is in your SXSW survival kit?
Earplugs, wellness formula, my Robert Anthony ring, my CD book and headphones!
What are you currently listening to?
Do you have a favorite venue to play in? Why?
My favorite venue I’ve ever played was probably in a church on top of a mountain in Puerto Rico. It was spiritual and breathtaking. Bourbon St. in Baltimore is a recent favorite, the Steez Promo parties go off there.
What has been the craziest thing to happen to you while on tour/at a show?
The craziest thing that ever happened during one of my sets was at an outdoor party in the mountains outside of Vancouver. The promoter was on a drug bender and came onstage near the end of my headlining set, killed the sound, and screamed at me in front of 1,500 people that had been having an awesome time, [saying] that I had ruined his party by playing the wrong genre and that I wouldn’t be paid. A fan overheard this, and when the promoter walked off stage, the fan tackled the promoter, put him in a headlock and told him that I had made the night and to pay me. Security was called and I was ejected from the party without being paid, without my records (which kids had poured vodka cranberry onto because I kicked them offstage for skipping my needles), so about 100 of my classic speed garage records were ruined that night.
Ironically, the fan’s brother was one of the investors for the party, and that promoter got his ass handed to him after it was all said & done.
What is a typical day like in the life of Reid Speed?
It goes something like this: coffee, Internet, listen to tracks for the label & DJ sets, sort tracks for DJ sets, work on music, get on a plane, do label art on the flight, burn CDs, vegan dinner, rock show, smoke, pray for sleep…