Disco lives on in the heart of Texas! A long-time local DJ, Davey Schacherl has been fighting the good fight for well over a decade. As The Silver Rider, he has released some much needed grass-fed tunage, and as label boss at Whiskey Pickle, he has curated top notch releases operating out of a barebones shop. How does a man devote himself to disco, full time? Well, it seems it's in the blood. Much like the 100 acre family ranch he lives on. Having recently devoted himself to the success of The Silver Rider project, we were anxious to hear why he is letting his locally renowned Richard Gear take a back stage. We convinced him to take the trek back into town so we could pepper him with questions. Surprisingly despite the torture, he was nice enough to hook us up with an exclusive mix, too! Enjoy the ride!
Magnetic Magazine: Who is The Silver Rider?
The Silver Rider: The Silver Rider is a trans-dimensional traveler and purveyor of fine disco, house, funk & soul!
MM: When's the first time you touched an instrument?
The Silver Rider: Well, I started playing guitar when I was ten. I was already listening to Pink Floyd and the Beatles and things like that. Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, that kind of stuff. I was just like oh I just learn how to play Led Zeppelin solos, you know, that's all I want to do. Then by the time I was twelve one of my parents friends gave me a pair of turntables for Christmas. They used to own and operate like nightclubs, 1979 was the first club that they opened here in Austin. My dad had a company that would do installations and my mom would do all the designing, pick out the fabrics, make the drapes. My folks are definitely proud of me and my lifestyle choice, so that's nice.
MM: How did your skills progress?
The Silver Rider: Pretty much from the time I got my turntables I was collecting records and trying to figure out how to DJ despite the fact that I didn't really know anyone to learn from. YouTube wasn’t around in the 90s. The decks had been given to me and I just thought it was cool to play with. Then I went to a rave when I was 15 and it was like, “ohhhhh! This makes way more sense.”
MM: How did The Silver Rider project start?
The Silver Rider: I was living in Brooklyn really cheaply with a good security blanket of money and lots of free time. So I developed the project as a strictly like edit kind of thing.
MM: How did you end up in Brooklyn?
The Silver Rider: A close friend of mine was down in Austin for SXSW and as we linked up, she casually mentioned that she was going to sublet her apartment in Brooklyn for $500 all included. It sounded great because I had a pretty good network of other DJs in NY, various people that I'd brought to Austin on a “Hey you’re a cool DJ from New York, I want to fly you out to Austin and to play my party” sorta deal. I was banking on those relationships but it didn't really pan out as well as I'd hoped. It was easier for me to get myself booked at a bar or restaurant or whatever rather than to play a cool party. The cool parties were like "oh yeah we'll get you next week, we'll get next month" and it never really panned out.
MM: Where did the project go from there?
The Silver Rider: Well, I did my first handful of edits and then I kind of just sat on them for a number of years. It wasn't until about 2013 that the first one came out. I did my first digital releases and then eventually I released a vinyl on Whiskey Disco. I already had a relationship with Sleazy McQueen, who is the owner there. I brought him to Austin a couple of times and we just kind of stayed in contact.
MM: How do you find material to release on Whiskey Pickle?
The Silver Rider: A lot of it is from people that we know who make music. We like what they're doing or they reach out to have us check out their new track. When I want to have a remix done, that's normally where I'm reaching out to people I don't know. Like Vanilla Ace did a remix for us a number of years ago and all I did was dig up his email. I made the connection, played him the track, and told him our budget. He was just like "Yeah, song sounds good, let's do it." That's really it. It's been the same thing with some of the other bigger remixes that we did. James Curd, Sleazy McQueen, Ursa 1000, Dead Rose Music Company, we were like, “Hey, this is what we want and this is what we can offer. Are you interested?”
MM: What’s your favorite part about contributing to Music is 4 Lovers?
The Silver Rider: They've been doing a mix series called The Love Bath that's more disco, sample based kind of stuff. A lot of other re-edit guys like Fingerman, Eighties Child, and Dave Allison have been contributing to it. Jimbo James and I have known each other for a long while since that South By party, and he felt like I could bring the fresh angle because this is absolutely my kind of stuff.
MM: What does the future entail for The Silver Rider?
The Silver Rider: Well, I recently moved outside of the city. My family has 100 acres of property in a small town east of Austin called Giddings. This property has been in my family for SIX generations. My wife and I have a couple of goats. We've got our two dogs, we've got a cat. We have a small garden. I'm like kind of a farmer now. I'm taking care of a herd of 20 cows. Just recently we had a calf, a baby bull! I'm driving a tractor, putting hay out, and these are all things that I have relatively no experience at. I'm just kind of like yeah, well! I want to live out here. Part of the responsibility for living out there is that I've got to take over stewardship of the cows.
MM: How is the farming thing?
The Silver Rider: I mean the cows are very robust animals. They do a lot to take care of themselves. I have had a few dramatic things with some of our calves. I had to administer antibiotics to this baby calf, all the while the momma cow was circling around me like “what are you doing to my baby!” Unfortunately this momma cow is the most ill-tempered cow that we have so it was kind of scary.
MM: What about the music side of things?
The Silver Rider: At this point I'm starting to get really itchy. I've got ideas and I've got samples that I want to fuck with. I’m really ready to make some more tracks once we make room for my studio at the ranch. Also I'd like to go play shows in new places. People are reaching out to me actually for me to come play, so there are things on the table.
MM: Why the full bore into The Silver Rider?
The Silver Rider: It was something that was sort of an experiment. My alias Richard Gear fit pretty well, and I tried it and it was cool, but I have something that’s new and different for me. Over the last three or four years it’s been picking up steam and I’ve established a steady flow of releases. I’ll see a friend jocking one of my records and I’ll ask em, “hey, can you tag my Silver Rider account on the post? Don’t mention my real name.” Now there are a lot of record label owners and other DJs who only know me as The Silver Rider. Now I just want it to grow!