DJ Hazardous on How Mill Avenue and ASU Parties Hard, In Or Out of Underoos
Thanks to its close proximity to Arizona State University's main campus, wild times are often afoot on Mill Avenue. And most nights, you can find Damion Hernandez helping stoke things up at some of the rowdier bars along the Downtown Tempe thoroughfare.
Tyler Dunn/Picture This City Damion Hernandez, better known as DJ Hazardous.
The 33-year-old, known to the scene as DJ Hazardous, drops high-energy and electro-heavy mixes during thrice-weekly sessions at such joints as Fat Tuesdays and C.A.S.A., typically with many members of the 40-person Party Time Crew that helps promote and support his events. And while Hernandez has appeared in recent years at Scottsdale joints like The Mint and Wild Knight (where he's opened for such names as Lucky Date and Spryte) loves Old Town's posh nightlife establishment, he's got a major yen for Tempe and its resident revelers.
It might be due to the fact that he's gigging frequently in the city's bar or has headlined at a couple of the raucous after-parties that have followed the equally raucous annual ASU Undie Run, but Hernandez is firmly of the belief that Tempe can go just as hard as the cats up in The 'Dale.
He explained his reasoning behind this opinion during a recent chat with Up on the Sun, which also included him discussing the time he partied so hard that wound up with an entire rainbow of color coming from his mouth, much like the cartoon unicorn adorning PTC's logo. If you're not disgusted after finishing the preceding paragraph, read on for more.
Name: Damion Hernandez
AKA: DJ Hazardous
Preferred genres: I am an open format kinda of DJ. I like to roll with the times.
How did you get into the DJ game?
It all started back in '96 when my Uncle Mike, that recently passed, dropped a crate of '80s breaks and freestyle vinyl on me. He told me, "Here, do something with this." After that I bought my first pair of turntables, which were crappy belt drive decks. I would just lock myself in my room for hours and just practice.
Friends and family would tell me that I sucked and that just pushed me harder to get that much better. I never stopped then and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. I now own about 75 crates of records and still collecting.
What sets you apart from other rank and file DJs in Metro Phoenix?
I talk to people and interact with my fans. I don't just go up there and play music, I try to get my crowd involved.
What the biggest moment of your career thus far?
Spinning at Axis-Radius the first time and finally being recognized. I gained so many gigs after I did Axis. I had the dance floor packed from start to finish of my set.
What bygone club do you miss the most?
Axis-Radius by far. I miss it already.
facebook.com/hazardousaz DJ Hazardous (right) with Joshua "Q" Quintero during a gig at Axis-Radius in April.