Jeremiah Gratza Talks DJing as President Gator, Opening for Jimmy Eat World, and How He Almost Managed The Format
Jeremiah Gratza, also known as President Gator
The 29-year-old, who's a promoter with Stateside Presents, occasionally has performed as DJ President Gator over the past four years. He's spun up a musical menu that includes chillwave and electro at Crescent (natch) or at special appearances at Sticky Fingers and Cheap Thrills.
We spoke with Gratza recently about his part-time DJ career as well as how he got into spinning and how, back in 2005, he almost had a chance to manage The Format.
Name: Jeremiah James Gratza
A.K.A.: President Gator
Prefered genres: Indie, electro, downtempo, chillwave, witch house
How did you get into the DJ thing?
Funny story, actually. My friend from the "west side" wanted to start a dance night out there a few years ago and [asked] if I would be her resident DJ. I told her I didn't DJ and had never done it before and she said, "That's fine." So I asked William Reed and Jared Alan if they would help and teach me. They did [and] we all DJ'd at this dive bar in Glendale called Donna Jean's Libations. So when all these "hipsters" invaded Glendale, it was the funniest thing ever! I think I have pictures somewhere. I keep getting horrible requests from the regulars.
Jeremiah Gratza behind the decks as President Gator.
Bon Jovi, Lynyrd Skynyrd, et cetera. They had never heard of anything we were playing before! Needless to say, that dance night didn't last but two or three weeks, if that!
What's the significance of your nickname President Gator?
Oh, God. I used to manage bands back in the day, and I didn't have a name for my company at the time. I really wanted to manage this new up-and-coming band called The Hot Guy Band (it was members of this older band called Nevergonnascore [also] featuring Sam Means and Nate Ruess). When they broke up they formed, The Format and The Hot Guy Band. Mike Jarmuz put his money on The Format, and I put mine on the later. Needless to say, they were interested in me managing them under one condition: I call my company President Gator, based on a comic book they gave away at their shows. Eventually people just started referring to me as President Gator.