Updated: Jan 22, 2019
First of all, shut up and book Reid Speed right now! CLICK HERE. Second of all, there is no second of all! Book Reid Speed Now! There's a deep desire all over the world for filthy bass music and you can't spell deep desire without Reid Speed! (See what I did there?) It goes without saying she is the undisputed Bass Queen but gender labels aside she is a Beast among mere boys.
Speaking of labels, she's got two. Fully loaded with a ridiculous roster, Play Me and Play Me Too are never short on the #Bass supplies. Holding it down since '97, she's been a staunch DNB/Breaks/Trap/Hip-Hop/Dubstep/Electro representative from NY to LA and has been legendary since Break Science, Her constant stream of bookings is proof of that yet, she still found time to answer some of my fanboy queries. Soooooo stoked to have gotten the chance to pick her brain and super honored she'll be rinsing out some bass for us at THC: Turntable Heavyweight Champions next weekend at Cluster Studios! She's an amazing DJ/Producer/Cat Enthusiast blah blah blah blah but what I was taken aback with the most was her humility, her sense of humor, and her passion for music. Truly thankful she agreed to let me get to know her a little better so I'm passing the blessings on to you. Now.... Go. Book. Reid. Speed.
...:::Bass'D Out DNVR:::...
Bass'D Out DNVR: My first introduction to you was about 8 years ago at a party called Future Sound of Breaks in Denver but you started long before that. How long have you been a DJ and what got you started? When did you start producing? Reid Speed: Started DJing in 1996, producing around 1998. Didn't get really serious about producing till about 2002, still a work in progress, always & forever.
BOD: Outside of being an artist what other types of things are you into? RS: Cats, weed, bike rides, hiking, reading, painting, eating delicious food, laughing, helping other artists achieve their goals.
BOD: You had me at weed... From your Facebook page I can tell you have a thing for cats. Fan's are dying to know, "What's up with the cats?" RS: I want to hug every cat. Also I am fairly certain cats were put on Earth by the aliens who helped build the pyramids to monitor us so they will know when we have progressed enough to evolve. Then and only then they will come back and help us fix the mess we've made of Earth.
BOD: I'm actually a cat person too! And I can totally see that! Ya know, when they're not licking themselves between naps, or bringing dead animals into my crib, or attacking my house guests for no apparent reason ...Which leads me to my next question: how involved are you with interacting with your fans? Have you ever had to deal with fans being a little too 'supportive'? How do you handle that? RS: I am always a bit mystified that I have fans. I'm happy to interact with anyone who wants to share how something I made or played positively affected them. And sure, there are always fans who take it personally if you don't live up to their expectations, but I just do my best to be real with everyone, fan or hater. I'm extremely grateful for grateful ears!
BOD: Were you involved in the scene as just a fan or party-goer at all before you started performing? If so what kind of events did you attend?
RS: I was a hardcore teenage raver before I had saved up the money to become a DJ.
BOD: My inner raver is pleased by this! I could totally see you in some parachute pants and an Adidas visor. Pacifier too maybe...? Fast forward a couple decades and now you get to rock the shows you used to rage out at. Who would you say are your favorite artists or greatest influences? RS: My current fave artists and current heavy influences include: Noisia, 21 Pilots, all of Critical: Emperor, Mefjus, Enei, Kasra, Sam Binga, Hyroglifics, Klax, Kasra (et al),
Basically everything put out by Ram Records: Loadstar, DC Breaks, Wilkinson, Delta Heavy, Hamilton, Frankee, Bensley- Andy C is my artist spirit animal/ RAM is prob my fave all time DNB label! Current Value, Phase, Misanthrop, Proxima Ivy Lab, Richie brains, Imagine Dragons, Santigold, and Ignorant rap music as a genre of lolz and life. Migos or Stitches (laughing) the worse the better.
But, my all time musical faves and heavy influences... Pendulum, The Doors, Nirvana, Metallica System of a Down, Jay Z, Nas, Tori Amos The Streets, Artful Dodger, Moving Shadow Records 1992-1994 breakcore-turned-darkside aka the birth of jungle
2 step or Speed Garage Stanton Warriors Deekline ...this prob doesn't even begin to cover it all.
BOD: Wow, I'm digging the passion behind that response! It's easy to see why you are so great at what you do. Are there any artists you have close friendships with outside of the professional realm? RS: Sure...way too many to name.
BOD: I see what you did you did there... OK, so the first event I saw you at, you opened up for one of my favorite DJ’s, the legendary Krafty Kuts. Now that you are the headlining act, how do you like for the openers to warm up the decks for you? RS: When did I become the headlining act? I think I'm a really good opener. I can warm things up really well for almost anyone, I pride myself in being able to take a room from nothing to pure vibes in 90 minutes or less, without tiring them out. I don't really produce enough to be considered a true headlining artist yet, at least not in my own opinion. Now if just being great at DJing was still a thing that determined who headlined, then maybe I would be. That said, I like people who play before me to do a great job of what they do, without tiring the crowd out too early. It would be great if all DJ's shared my sentiments about properly warming up a room, but these days finding that is rarer than finding Donald Trump's tax returns.
BOD: Ooooh! POTUS burn! Nice! (In my Trump voice) Looking back on your long career, what do you say is the most gratifying (or "tremendous") part of being a DJ-Producer? Worst part?
RS: The best part of DJing is when you look at the crowd mid-set and they are lost in bliss. Of producing, maybe hearing your song on the radio or seeing it dropped at a festival and the crowd dances super hard and/or sings along. Worst part? Constant, crippling self doubt. Also worst: having to stand there and watch terrible "artists" with powerful management and booking agents get paid tens to hundreds of thousand of dollars, with no audible DJ skills, train-wreck or somehow bungle a poorly planned set of garbage tracks while yelling at the crowd to do things because if the crowd hears no yell-counting, does the drop even exist?
BOD: Well damn... Tell us how you really feel! What's the most challenging thing for you as an artist today? RS: Fighting that self doubt and continuing to push forward. Also finding ways to cut thru the pay-for-play tower of babel that the music industry of 2017 has become...
BOD: Every time I’ve seen you perform it felt like the crowd response had an effect on your set. Do you rely at all on track selection and if so how do you integrate that with the vibe you get from the crowd? RS: I don't create sets in advance, I have never planned a set in my life. That would destroy more than 50% of what is essential to me about it...I think of the art of DJing as akin to being a shaman. I have a sacred (rekord) box of tools (tunes), but the vibe of the event tells me what music to play. The energy I'm given will lead me to the next song. I have over 6000 songs on my USB right now, and if asked, I could happily throw down any genre of bass music, alone or B2B with any other DJ, and properly slay it.
BOD: I def feel you 100 percent on that notion and no doubt #DNVR loves the way you slay! Obviously, that's why you’ve been summoned all over the world to perform for thousands of people. Do you notice any differences among crowds in the US versus crowds in Europe or Asia? Are there major differences between crowds in different parts of the US? RS: Crowds are both different and similar around the world. On some level, most people who attend underground dance music events (not mainstream club nights or festivals) are seeking communion with the music. That's what I'm in it for...
BOD: On the flip-side though, performing on that level, you've had to have seen some crazy shit go down, right? Ever performed with someone who partied too hard before a set or clashed with promoters and club owners? RS: Craziest thing I can think of offhand, was seeing the promoter of a rave getting eaten out in the middle of the dance floor-
In the middle of a roller rink rave...
And of course there have been clashes with terrible promoters, but why give them any air time?
BOD: Dropping a coitus-inducing set! At a skating rink no less. Not sure if that's the low point of a career or the focal point! As an artist and label owner you’ve been exposed to a lot of different music that the average listener may not be familiar with. What artists do you feel aren’t getting the recognition or bookings they should be? RS: Pretty much everyone on Play Me: not sorry, Wild Boyz!, Eliminate, Frank Royal, A Boy & A Girl, Ahee... can I include myself here? BOD: You make a good case. The Play Me roster is def killing it right now. Do you have any new projects that you’re currently working on or want to get started in the future? Any artist or event shout-outs? Comments? RS: I have a lot of DNB and DNB-y tunes in the pipeline coming soon...
Two collabs with Frank Royal
One with not sorry
One with Consouls
And we at Play Me are working on some exciting drum & bass stuff for the future... Not too many details right now though.. Plus, I'll be playing at EDC this year, REPRESENTING DNB!!!"
BOD: Guess I'm going to EDC this year...
~ Reid Speed ~
Huge shout out to Reid Speed for showing B.O.D. some love!!! Check out this DOPE new mix she just dropped on her SC! (Free Download!)
Feed Your bass addiction here (FREE) http://soundcloud.com/playmerecords