LA native, Jason Stewart, better known to the greater EDM/hipster-sphere as Them Jeans, has been an integral part of Dim Mak‘s inner circle of trust almost since the label’s very inception. As the main promoter and resident DJ of LA’s infamous DIM MAK TUESDAYS – responsible for curating and hosting some of the biggest indie/electro school night curfew-crushing RAGERS for over 7 years running, Them Jeans is considered to be one of the key proponents and foremost tastemakers in the sonic diversification of LA’s burgeoning underground/hip-centric club scene. His personal arsenal of his own productions contains an eclectic yet consistently floor-flooding collection of remixes and tracks that range from tropical big room to classic indie electro reflips and even to, a more recent, head first dive into techno. His diversified and genre-boundless approach to his sound is reflected in his unparalleled ability to forecast next-level sounds; the personal contribution of which has had irrefutable significance in shaping the Dim Mak empire into the globally-renowned super EDM power that it is today.
Despite the impending chaos of the county-wide BLACK-OUT that had struck the almighty City of Los Angeles just hours prior, Them Jeans was kind enough to sit down inside his LA pad (assumably in the dark) and have a lighthearted conversation with us. With no lack of dry humor and inferred idolization for Diplo involved, we chatted about his new DJ talk show podcast, TALL TALES, the somewhat surprising direction of sound of his more recent & forthcoming releases, his gourmand-approved Twitter, and about being really, really tall.
TheMixster.com: It’s been a minute since we’ve last seen you in San Diego. So perhaps for the peeps who are new to the nightlife scene and maybe haven’t heard you spin before let’s start from the beginning – How did you first get involved with Dim Mak?
Them Jeans: Well I started the Tuesday Night parties then after 6 months or so, I brought in Aoki and we’ve been doing it ever since.
TheMixster.com: How would you describe your role with Dim Mak now?
Them Jeans: I just do parties with them, that’s all! Steve and I have done 100s of parties over the years together and we help each other. He uses his power of being “Steve Aoki” and I use my skills of figuring out what’s cool, who to book, what kind of music they should be playing, and generally making sure that the overall vibe of every party is not lame.
TheMixster.com: Let’s talk about your Tall Tales’ podcast. You just started doing your new talkshow podcast this past August. And you’ve already had some pretty impressive guest hosts on the show– including Justin Martin, Drop the Lime, AC Slater, Felix Cartal among several other high-profile names. What has been the best or the most memorable Tall Tales Podcast for you thus far?
Them Jeans: My favorite podcast thus far is the Drop The Lime one because we got drunk and there was a bunch of people.. Usually it’s just me and like one or two more people and it’s a bit more intimate. But that one was him and his whole band, and all my friends were there. It was more like a big party. Definitely one of the most fun ones for me. (Link to Podcast)
TheMixster.com: There’s a lot of shit on the internet these days. So what makes Tall Tales special? Why would someone tune into your podcast?
Them Jeans: As far as I know I have the only DJ podcast that has no music. It’s 100% talk show only. There’s a lot of DJ podcasts out there, and there’s a lot of talk show podcasts out there. And usually DJs have bad interviews and they’ve been asked the same questions over and over again. Present company excluded of course! (note: thanks for that.) A lot of times you know, and I’m sure you’ve read a lot of DJ interviews with like the same 10 questions over and over again. One my show I ask questions so that discussions gets a little deeper and talk about random stuff [listeners] might not know about.
TheMixster.com: Are there any artists/guests you have lined up already for some future shows?
Them Jeans: We have The Juan Maclean coming in this week, hopefully soon we’ll have Congorock… Kinda really just whoever’s in town, which changes every week. It’s really just when we have DJ friends in town.
TheMixster.com: Is there someone that you get or still get a little starstruck by in particular?
Them Jeans: Yea, I’d say probably… I really liked hanging out with Mr. Oizo and playing with him. I don’t idolize him but I really admire him for everything he does and I’m a big fan of his. Even though he’s not a giant star, he still made me a little nervous. A little giddy.
TheMixster.com: For the most part, you’re known for your endless collection dance floor-ready remixes. Is there one element you look for in particular when deciding which tracks are worthy of a ‘Them Jeans’ reflipping?’
Them Jeans: Well one thing is.. I like to take songs that don’t have drums on them. So that way it’s like working with a blank canvas, one that I can create a new song out of. I just did a remix for Childish Gambino, and [the original version] is a heavy song. The beat is kind of a heavier electro kind of song, and then I made it like kind of girly, mellow, into a nice piano song. I just like showing different sides of tracks that most may have never thought of or noticed before…
TheMixster.com: As the master remixer extraordinare, I’m curious: if you could choose ANY three artists to remix YOUR own original tracks, who would you choose?
Them Jeans: Whoa that’s a good one! Mr. Oizo would be one of them. Erol Alkan… Annnddddd, this is a tough one… Wait for it, it’s gonna come to me… Oh yea, and Diplo.
Them Jeans: Duhhhhhh!
TheMixster.com: What do you have planned for us in 2012? Saw you just put up a track called “Voodoo” about a month ago… Can we hope/expect to see more original Them Jeans tracks or possibly a full release?
Them Jeans: Actually “Voodoo” has not been released yet. We’re waiting on the whole package of remixes, so hopefully it will come out next month, maybe the beginning of next year… I have a remix coming out soon, and I am also working on some techno originals right now but not really sure what’s gonna happen to them yet.. I’ve been into the techno music lately, making original stuff…
TheMixster.com: What! Last time I saw you you were drunk at a small indie club playing hard electro jams. That’s a big change!
Them Jeans: HAHA! yea as you can see I have a problem jumping all over the place…
TheMixster.com:How’s that considered a problem?! You can only tell because you’re like 8 ft. tall.
Them Jeans: (laughs) yea I that’s why I don’t get away with it.
TheMixster.com: Have you ever met a DJ that’s taller than you?
Them Jeans: ummm actually no…. I’ve never met a DJ that’s taller than me. I met one in Australia who was the SAME height as me. But not taller. Haha. I’m the tallest DJ! Woo!
TheMixster.com: What’s one track you have in arsenal that’s been getting a great reaction from the dance floor these days?
Them Jeans: Um…. Well um other than Rhianna and Calvin Harris?! (laughs) One I like to play is the Erol Alkan‘s remix of Metronomy. I’ve always tried and to find a way to fit that into my sets, over the last two months. Cuz I like to hear it. For people who haven’t heard the song before it’s really mellow, and everyone kinda just stands around wondering what’s gonna happen, but when the song kicks in people really like it because it’s like a fun surprise.
TheMixster.com What song have you played before that you thought was going to get a better reaction but didn’t?
Them Jeans: Whoaaaa…! Ummm the new Surkin – “Ultra Light.” It did NOT go over as well as it did in my head.
TheMixster.com: At Dim Mak you guys get first access to some of the best, and well everything else the underground music world has to offer. Who are a couple of emerging artists you’ve found within the last year that you think we should be paying more attention to?
Them Jeans: I like Sam Tiba. There’s this guy SFV Acid from here in LA that’s really unknown but he’s really good.
TheMixster.com: Looking forward into 2012, what genre or direction of sound do you think is going to be the “next big thing” in LA?
Them Jeans: Hmmmm next big thing in LA… Usually I can kind of predict but right now I don’t think I really can! I mean I thought people would get sick of dubstep by now but that’s not happening. Moombahton keeps getting bigger and bigger as well! I think people here are starting to get a little sick of the Dutch House, but I think techno is definitely making a little big of a comeback right now.
TheMixster.com: Outside of the Dim Mak compound what are some of your favorite local hangs?
TheMixster.com: It sounds really authentic.
Them Jeans. Oh, it’s VERY authentic. It’s a truck.
TheMixster.com: Last question – what’s the coolest thing about being “Them Jeans”?
Them Jeans: The coolest thing about being me?! Ummm whoa. I’d say probably my Twitter photos of food. Yea those pics on Twitter, are the coolest thing I’ve ever done. As you can see, I have a very important life.
Catch Dim Mak’s finest, and indisputably, TALLEST, next-level party-provocateur behind the decks at The Loft @ UCSD tonight, along with fellow LA-natives Poolside! Show is 18+/21+ to booze and starts at 8:30pm.