Q & A with DJ/producer Chris Cox
Pure’s new resident chats about skeletons in the career closet, keeping tired tracks interesting and DJing during a live sex show… wait, what?
Fri, Apr 24, 2009 (midnight)
Grammy-nominated remixer Chris Cox originally cut his DJing chops while attending UNLV. He’s since accumulated about 20 years in the industry and multiple chart-toppers. Cox began his new residency on April 14 and returns on the 28th to spin every other Tuesday all summer long on Pure's terrace.
What can we expect to hear next time you’re at Pure? Have you had to changed your style at all for the Vegas audience?
I like to play very celebratory music. I like parties and over-the-top and really big sounds. … I like taking club people on a journey like any other DJ, but I’m not trying to be completely deep and esoteric and educating them. It is what it is. It’s an outdoor summer party in Las Vegas. I’m not just going to give them all hit after hit after hit, but I’m gonna definitely recognize that people are there to have … a great time and turn them on to other stuff that I’m picking up from around the world.
What lesser known remixes or unusual bootlegs should Vegas clubgoers keep an ear out for?
I’ve been doing a lot of live remixing and sampling. If you see me work, I’ll play with three or four CD players. … I like making new versions of stuff you might know, but just kind of doing it on the fly. … Every DJ gets completely burnt out and sick of hearing certain things. It’s a way of breathing new life into something like a record that maybe you’re not crazy about playing or just over it, but you know that they crowd really wants it. So it’s a way of making it fresh for you and the crowd.
What’s the most unorthodox remix you’ve ever done?
A lot of people don’t realize I actually produced an entire album for Hannah Montana… I used the same techniques and sounds and things that I would use for any mainstream club record. The whole purpose was to maybe turn on the next generation to house music and break beats. … It’s actually pretty cool. But I actually tried to make it [so] if you didn’t know it was [Miley Cyrus singing], at least it’s somewhat incredible… I’ve got a lot of skeletons in the closet production-wise. I did a thing years ago for Fox—the NFL theme. They wanted a remix of it for some album, some weird Fox sports compilation… but I’m always up for a challenge.
When can we expect another mix album or perhaps even an artist album?
I actually signed a deal for one probably about (laughing) oh geez, it’s been close to three years ago—on Tommy Boy. I was just kind of going through some musical changes and wasn’t really sure where I wanted to go with it, so they were really gracious to kind of give me the time to work out whatever I wanted to do with it. I’m actually in the process of doing it now. Hopefully this year? I’m crossing my fingers… It’ll probably be a hybrid of some remixes I’ve done, but new takes on them, as well as some originals.
What are your thoughts on dress codes at major clubs, especially critiquing footwear?
I’ve had problems getting in places [in Vegas] even when I was playing a couple times. I understand they have standards and dress codes, but the shoe thing has always baffled me. If you’re going to go out and you want to dance a lot, who wants to wear dress shoes for dancing? It sucks. Allow tennis shoes—not ratty or anything—but c’mon. If they’re gonna go out dancing, let people be comfortable.
What’s the most unusual thing that’s ever happened while you were spinning?
I did a party one time where all the go-go dancers were gay porn stars, and it was a thing at the House of Blues in Chicago, so it was this big leather party. I was up in the booth on the second level playing. I guess the promoter got mad at the House of Blues… he told the dancers “I don’t give a shit what you do.”… I wasn’t really watching, and I suddenly hear this football cheers coming from the audience of 5,000 people. I look down on stage and it is a full on live sex show going on. … One of my really good friends who’s a gay DJ was there and comes out and he looks and is like, “Honey, I’m gay and I can’t even handle this.” I kept my head down and kept the beat going and kept doing my thing. ... I think security then came out and cleared the whole area.