DJs On Strike :: Don't Sue Us: Antarctica's DJs on Strike! Turn Grunge into Techno
NIRVANA GOES ELECTRONIC. It's a totally awesome concept. Pairing one of the greatest rock bands of all time with some of the brainiest electronic music dudes Antarctica has to offer (well, they say they're from Antarctica, anyway.)
Known collectively as "DJs on Strike!", these international men of mystery recently released their new record, I'm So Happy, which steals Nirvana songs and reformats them into dance club bangers. It's "Smells like Teen Spirit" with rad glitchy club beats, "Come As You Are" gone disco. It's smart and funny and visionary—half subversive piracy, half clever found art.
In preview of their upcoming club night at the Casbah—billed as a "Nirvana Reunion Show"—I chatted up head Antarctican Johnny Kawasaki to get the goods, and found out a couple things. First off, it's totally sincere—no retro irony allowed. Also, the DJs want to bring grunge into the future and believe it'll flourish in today's music market. And they're totally getting sued. That one I figured out on my own. Courtney's gonna be pissed when she finds out about this. I hope they have a safe igloo to hide in.
Fahrenheit: How does Nirvana translate to the dance floor?
Johnny Kawasaki: We love Kurt so much we want to open trance pantsers and drum and bass facers and househooligans up to the vast sea of Nirvana and grunge music and make more money for Courtney so she can pay someone to take care of her.
FSD: Break down the grunge/electronic marriage for the readers. What can they expect?
JK: We'd like to see glow-sticks in the middle of mosh pits. We'd love it if Paul Oakenfold and Sasha Digweed fans wore flannels instead of candy. Sugar isn't good for your skin and hippy ravers smell, so maybe Teen Spirit will shape them up. In Antarctica, where it is cold, if you are one of the non-deodorant wearers you have no chance to get a girl, and since there are, um, about three girls in the Lake Vostok area, you best wear some Spirit.
FSD: Do you expect more ravers or an alternative rock nostalgia crowd?
JK: We hope that everyone can join hands and love grunge music. People of 2004 seem in the mood to rock out and shake shake shake their asses off, hot dancin.' Why not rock out and dance? We were forced to crowd surf at the last show while the audience was dancing and singing along. (That's the other thing about our new material, people seem to somehow know it already so they sing along—pure emotion, I tell you). We don't need a stage. We rock out with our people. We are one with them. At our show, it is time to party with some Eskimos that know how to have a good time and rock out and mosh and dance.
FSD: Are you guys rocking an irony stance or is this 100% serious?
JK: Uhhh ... I don't see any irony, buddy.
FSD: I've met a lot of people recently that go for a kind of ... faux neo-grunge lifestyle. They talk big about Temple of the Dog and anti-fashion, but are really flaky indie rockers in disguise that just a few months ago would've dissed grunge to the end of their days. If you guys are on the sincere side, do you think the fans and show-goers are too?
JK: We take turns and have a capella pirate grunge sessions for inspiration. One member of our group you would think was Eddie Vedder ... oooohhhhhhhhhooooooo. I think that show-goers are gonna be about split, but that is what we do it for ... to open some eyes. Flaky indie rocker tools are weeeak!
FSD: If grunge were to come back today, would it be just as huge as ever?
JK: It has the potential to be. It is so much better than Incubust and Linkin Logs. Even that Silverchair singer could totally kick those dudes' asses.