Photo Courtesy of :Maria Maniak Govea aka Thesupermaniak
If Saved by the Bell is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear AC Slater, you should slap yourself right now and dig into the man's Soundcloud page and get acquainted. His imprint Party Like Us (part of the Trouble & Bass family) should also be on your radar as the camp continuously throws out free music for our listening enjoyment.
I had the pleasure of seeing AC play at the Avalon earlier this year and was amazed by what I heard and the crowds reaction to it. Good vibes all around, despite having to fight off the mounds of people trying to cop the free Sol Republics and Beats by Dre headphones being thrown in the crowd. Tho, I did walk away with some awesome stickers and have been proudly repping AC Slater ever since. If you haven't seen him, just know that he brings massive amounts of energy to his shows… and his tracks incorporate everything from hip-hop to electronic to dubstep to even some old UK rave inspired sounds.
After moving to NYC I just kind of discovered myself and grew into who I am.
While his music is pretty well known to my iTunes library, the man behind the sounds was a bit of a mystery to me. Cue the perfect opportunity to send the man some questions, and ta-da, mystery solved! So here you go, the fun loving, self proclaimed weirdo that I can assure you has nothing to do with the Saved By the Bell star of the past.
Where does the name AC Slater come from? Any story there?
I have a love/hate relationship with the name. But it came from everyone calling me by my initials, AC, and introducing me by that name and people would be like, "Oh like AC Slater from Saved By The Bell?" and when it came time to come up with a DJ name I just went with it.
What track are you currently listening to, anything stuck in your head?
“70” by Villa.
Where are you from? Do you think this has influenced your music style/ choice of music?
Raised in West Virginia, schooled in Philly, came into my own in NYC.
Where is home for you now?
I live in downtown Los Angeles for the past year.
What do you mean by coming into your own in NYC?
After moving to NYC I just kind of discovered myself and grew into who I am, and figured out what I want to do with my life. Met the T&B crew and everything fell into place.
I saw the Chemical Brothers live when I was 16 in New York City at Hammerstein Ballroom. It blew my mind and I decided I wanted to make electronic music to make people dance.
How and why did you get your start? Any interesting anecdotes there?Anyone you owe “big time?”
I was raised in a household of music. My dad is a musician. I’ve always been into all types of music and started messing around with DJing and making beats around age 14. I saw the Chemical Brothers live when I was 16 in New York City at Hammerstein Ballroom. It blew my mind and I decided I wanted to make electronic music to make people dance.
What do you like to do in your free time when you aren’t traveling or making music?
I like to dabble in video editing and stuff like that. I’m in a dodgeball league. I like films, food, cocktails and howling at the moon.
The first time you venture out as an artist after you’ve seen some success is probably the most exciting time in touring.
If you visualize music as your listen, what (generally) do you imagine?
When I listen to music I usually see a color, depending on the song. I’m a weirdo.
I know you credit the Chemical Brothers to getting you into the electronic music scene. What is your favorite song and what color do you see?
It's hard to pick a favorite song, but the track "It Doesn't Even Matter" took my appreciation of bass to another level. Thats a blue, almost dark blue song!
Is there a band whose covers you love? Or a designer of covers?
I miss poster art. I guess it’s a lost art form. As for cover art, I’ve always loved So-Me’s work, also Dust La Rock and the Zonders. I did a really cool project with Dust La Rock for my double pack vinyl release of my "Calm Down" EP on Trouble & Bass, it looks like an old book and we individually numbered and signed each one.
Which do you prefer, a smoky, low-lit club or a big stage with bright lights and colored gels?
It depends on the event. Some of my favorite parties were in small sweaty dark basements (we specialize in these at Trouble & Bass!) but at the same time I’ve had incredible times at places like Avalon (LA) and Webster Hall (NY). I’d have to say the dark low lit club if I needed to choose just one.
Talk about some of your “classic” memories of touring? What cities stand out to you?
I think the first time you venture out as an artist after you’ve seen some success is probably the most exciting time in touring. You get to see new places, experience new things, cultures and music scenes. Once you’ve been around the world a few times though you gain a new perspective on it and by then you’ve build friendships and have a better understanding of many places that help give you a deeper appreciation for traveling.
Discuss a musician or an era which has influenced you. When and how did you come upon what moved you?
I grew up listening to everything. But my favorite music was always hip-hop as far back as I can remember. Then older UK rave stuff took over my life in the late '90s. I definitely hear those sounds in my music more than anything.
What made you start Party Like Us? Is it a lot of work managing a record label and your own music?
It was an accident. I wrote a song called "Party Like Us" and sent it out to a bunch of DJs and someone wanted to put it on a compilation CD. They asked what label it was on and upon finding out it was unsigned suggested I start my own. So lazily (albeit fittingly) I called it Party Like Us Records. Go figure the abbreviation is PLUR.
If you happen to be in Austin for SXSW this year, check him out at the Trouble & Bass vs. Mad Classy daytime party at Barcelona and the Smog v. UFK event in the evening on March 16th. For those of you who were fortunate enough to snag a ticket for Ultra, you can also peep him at the T&B x Bromance daytime event at Gramps Bar and Lil Death in the evening at Jelsomino March 22nd. And if you are like me, and are too broke to attend either of these events, be sure to keep an eye out on AC Slater's Soundcloud or Twitter feed for new songs, as well as some remixes he has coming out soon for Manufactured Superstars and Jack Beats and the hip-hop EP he did with Taylor Gang rapper Tuki Carter.