Interview: EDM’s Storm Chaser Robot DJ Carnage
“If I want to make a rap record I make it, if I want to make a house record I make it. If I want to make some pretty shit I make some pretty shit.” -Carnage
DJ Carnage is seizing the moment. As the sun sets over Governor’s Island at Laidback Luke’s ‘Super You & Me’ costume party, the NYC cityscape lights up as the 22-year-old – born Diamanté Blackmon – paces and talks fast over Adventure Club’s booming dubstep in the background. “I’ve never played here before. It’s amazing, just amazing.” The Los Angeles DJ-producer is restless and bursting with energy. You wouldn’t think he just rocked a one and a half hour set in 90-degree heat. “Let’s just fucking go rage in the crowd for Laidback Luke,” Carnage exclaims to his posse. He’s ecstatic. On top of the world and feeling invincible.
After climbing the dance music ladder seemingly overnight, the Los Angeles renaissance-man musician has good reason to be thrilled. With production credit on RiFF Raff’s lead single, the birth of an upcoming SiriusXM radio show, a huge EDC Las Vegas performance and (to top it all off) Chipotle offering the DJ free burritos (“burrito bowls when I’m feeling fat”) for life are some of the reasons why Carn – as his manager calls him – is willing to fend off his “#Chipotlegang” followers and rock to Laidback Luke as if he were a fan, and not a personal friend of his.
The audacious producer exploded after his remix of Hardwell’s “Spaceman” a mere ten months ago and adamant on making music history. His upcoming hardstyle-esque single with Tony Junior, “Michael Jordan,” is a vivid painting of Carnage’s bold tenacity: “It’s just a legendary record, everything I make is legendary. I’m like a robot,” he states matter-of-factly on why he named the track after basketball’s greatest. The man is feeling like he’s #23 and he wants it all. The tour is called ‘6 Rings’ because “[Jordan] won six rings. This tour is about winning the title. Every show is a game and I’m going undefeated.” Let’s hope Carn never gets traded to the Wizards.
The hip-hop beatsmith, festival trapaholic and big room house hybrid reflects on if he’d never picked up the decks: “I’d be a tornado chaser,” he says without a millisecond of hesitation. It’s a good interview answer. Creative, and most likely in jest yet it makes sense because in some ways Carnage is a tornado chaser; always searching for the next thing that’ll tear. shit. up. Admitting his infamous festival trap is coming to an end through a twitter rant, house and trance are Carn’s next storm with “big music, big shit. Massive stuff.” This guy is a schemer.
Yet there seems to be no method behind the madness of Carnage’s diversity and multi-genre capabilities: “I honestly live a life of whatever I feel like doing. It’s spontaneous. If I want to make a rap record I make it, if I want to make a house record I make it. If I want to make some pretty shit I make some pretty shit, you know?” Carn is as free and untamed as the tornados he chases, with the real carpe diem attitude and genuine interest for exploring the musical spectrum, never afraid to remind you that he’s the league MVP.
Stay tuned for “Michael Jordan,” dropping the July 23rd on Dim Mak Records and catch the “6 Rings” tour in a city near you. -@Spaz_tik
6 Rings Tour
7/19 Dallas, TX Lizard Lounge
7/20 Denver, CO Global Dance Festival
7/26 Boom, Belgium Tomorrowland
8/2 Montreal, QC Osheaga Festival at Parc-Jean
8/3 Costa Mesa, CA Sutra
8/9 Ocean City, MD H2O Nite Club
8/14 Virginia Beach, VA Peabody’s Nightclub
8/17 Washington, DC Trillectro Music Festival at Half Street
8/22 Phoenix, AZ Monarch Theatre
8/23 Miami, FL Mansion
8/24 Valley Center, CA Harrah’s Rincon Casino
8/28 Jacksonville, FL Pure Night Club
8/31 South Padre Island, TX Isla Del Soul
9/1 New York, NY Electric Zoo at Randall’s Island Park