DJ Dossier: William Fucking Reed

Categories: DJ Dossier
It's somewhat fitting that two of the most influential dance events are ending on the same night in (roughly) the same area. Last week, DJ Dossier profiled Sadisco* czar Squalor (who ending their monthly parties as of tomorrow night) and this week it's William Fucking Reed's turn.

More than five years ago the 32-year-old launched Shake!, a "motherfucking dance party" that has become a bigger hipster shindig than its predecessor Hot Pink! and went on to help inspire such current hipster-friendly affairs as Party Foul! at Homme Lounge and Cheap Thrills at Blackforest Mill. Sadly, Reed felt five years was enough for Shake! and is sending the event out in style with a fabbo fete tomorrow night at the Rogue Bar.

The well-dressed cat took time out of his busy spinster schedule to provide some insight into why he pulled the plug and what he'll be doing in the coming weeks and months.

Name: William Reed

AKA: William Fucking Reed

Club night(s): Fridays I'm working with Jen Deveroux on a brand new thing called HARL♥T at the Mondrian which kicks off tomorrow. On November 7, I'm gonna team up Shake! with fauxShow to present Cheap Thrills on Saturdays. I'm also helping out my buddies with something at the Sidebar called Loose Lips, which is gonna be a Sunday chill thing.

Preferred genre(s): That's tough. When you're a DJ, its different from the music I listen to at the house sometimes, because you're always going through tracks you can potentially mix together and get the dance floor going. I love '77 punk and post-punk, The Clash is my favorite band. Plus, New Wave, rock 'n' roll, especially '60s garage rock. I also love electronic music, including ambient. Everything from Boards of Canada to Aphex Twin and even more of the electro stuff I'm playing today. It's so wide and varied, I could never who my favorite band was, maybe my top 20.

How did you get started as a DJ? It's funny, because for years I'd absolutely refuse to call myself a DJ. When I thought of the term DJ I thought of guys like Pete Salaz and Z-Trip and guys like that from around here and I simply never wanted to put myself in the same categories. About 10 years me and my buddies were throwing these illegal desert raves and they all eventually started DJing and I kinda kept on with the promoting aspect. Couple years went by and a buddy asked if I wanted to come play some music at this dive bar in downtown Phoenix at this night called Jam! at the old Fat Cats.

We did that for awhile and the same year my friend Katie Rose was bartending at the Rogue and I guess they had just gone through a transition and she's like, 'Hey you wanna come DJ tonight while I bartend?' I'm not a DJ and I know it's a punk bar, but I'm not gonna play all punk music. So if you're cool with that. I got paid $50 and got free drinks all night, which was awesome. So I did that after a couple weeks it turned into a regular thing and kinda snowballed from there.

Why are you shutting down Shake! after five years? It's kinda been a long time coming. There's an unspoken formula for successful, or semi-successful, club nights where the life expectancy is only a couple years. There's not real rule, but you take a look at some of the hip parties, they last about two years on average. I'm kinda stubborn and the night now, in the last year or two, is completely different from how the night was the first two years. I can't even compare the Shake! of today to the Shake! of 2005 because they're totally fucking different. It was all rock 'n' roll back then and now its pretty much dance music. It just got to the point where [after] five years I kinda wanted a change of scenery. Its been fun and I'm gonna miss it, however.

Were there any other factors? The venue has a different vision, they want to focus primarily on live bands and eventually all-ages and become mainly a live music venue, so taking that into consideration as well. That, and my good buddies [Cheap Thrills' Jared Alan and Sean Watson] saying, "Hey William, Let's combine parties" for months and months. So everything just kinda came together all at once, and it wasn't like one thing, its just that the time was right and we said, "Let's make Halloween the finale." So here we are.

What's next? Actually, I'm concentrating on writing music and composing music, which is kinda behind the scenes. This year I've been gathering music equipment and teaching myself how to do this and that and picking up lessons here and there. I've been trying to do that in my spare time which is really non-existent so wherever I can.

Do you think you helped inspire nights like Party Foul! and Cheap Thrills: Yeah, definitely. There were events that inspired me and the others who started Shake, like Hot Pink! for example. Those events are now defunct or they're located elsewhere. And that's great, since it should always be like that, DJs inspiring other DJs.

Last album purchased: It was Pete Doherty's solo album, Grace/Wastelands. It was a while ago.

Track currently stuck in your head: Pretty much every song on the Miike Snow self-titled album has been stuck in my head lately. Their music is super melodic yet it has elements of pop to it. It's been stuck in my CD player for the past few weeks.

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