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Photo Credit :: MRNY
Special Events
Chad Jack Gags On Nasty Pig
Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
Sep 25 2011
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During one particular heyday of New York nightlife, it was possible to hit Roxy, Limelight, and Spirit - and hear the signature ferocity of DJ Chad Jack at all three clubs. A deejay as noted for his extraordinary immersion in the deep roots of house music as he is for his dynamic performances in the booth, Jack recently teamed up with Nasty Pig partners, David Lauterstein and Fred Kearney for a series of hook-laden, old school bitch tracks that has the kids kiking and the queens shrieking for more.

MRNY: You do realize, of course, that the one stipulation about this interview was that you were to show up in our office wearing Nasty Pig, right?

Chad Jack: It's an amazing clothing line - so of course I did!

MRNY: Well, thank you for that. And you wear it well. We heard from a certain Nasty Pig that you have a great gag reflex. Or did we hear that incorrectly?

CJ: Next question.

MRNY: Oh, well, all right then, moving on... Maybe what he said was "Gag On It," which just happens to be the title of your latest track with David Lauterstein, who just happens to be the CEO of Nasty Pig. Talk to us.

CJ: David came to me with the hook and we recorded it in my studio where I lay down some beats. I sent him a snip with the "clanks" in it and he gagged. We knew we were onto something.

MRNY: There - that's what we were talking about: that gag moment. When everything comes together. The gag reflex. Does the track's refrain "I love house music" sum up your heart and soul?

CJ: The track itself doesn't say that, but yes, I love house music.

MRNY: It doesn't? Well, what were we hearing then? Maybe it was the mini-mix - or else it's our medication. We'll have to get the kids to give it a closer listen.

CJ: [laughing]

MRNY: "Gag on It" is your follow-up bitch track to "eZbreeZ," which had the bitches gagging. Clearly you and Nasty Pig collaborate well. How do the two of you determine who's on top?

CJ: David and I have been friends for a very long time and we contribute equally to Chad Jack vs. Nasty Pig. It's actually very cool.

MRNY: What is it about the Nasty Pig sensibility that appeals to you?

CJ: Nasty Pig - you can't pin them down. They just keep gagging the boys. Also, David and I have a deep appreciation for house music.

MRNY: We heard that Nasty Pig was born on the floor of Sound Factory. Were you there?

CJ: No. I moved to NYC in 1995 right after Sound Factory closed.

MRNY: Oh dear, someone should've called you sooner. But hey, you've got the End-Up in San Francisco. As the resident deejay, you must be aware of that club's iconic status in the history of SF nightlife. What do you think the End-Up has that makes it so unique?

CJ: The crowd that goes there are pure house music heads.

MRNY: Exactly. We won't even tell you when we first started partying there - but yes, that's exactly how it was, even then.

CJ: For me, it's a deejay's paradise because I get to play what I want and the crowd really appreciates it.

MRNY: It's a great crowd, with the same kind of cohesiveness that always marked Body & Soul here in New York. Recently, we spent a weekend partying in West Hollywood. Do you believe in that East Coast/West Coast thing? Is there a different vibe in San Francisco, say, than in New York?

CJ: Years ago, I would have said that there was a completely different vibe, but now, I don't think that there's much of a difference.

MRNY: The world got smaller.

CJ: It all really comes down to the crowd and party.

MRNY: Exactly. It's what we make it. Which reminds us - your new track references ball culture. Why do you think ball culture came out of New York?

CJ: NYC is always giving rise to culture. It's just my opinion, but I think ball culture has its roots in the same energy that gave rise to hip-hop.

MRNY: Oh, that's a dissertation right there: "How Ball Culture Birthed Hip-Hop." Speaking of birth, you were born and raised in Michigan - just like Madonna. Did you vogue together at the balls in New York?

CJ: [laughing] Nope, can't say that I did.

MRNY: Well, Madonna got Jellybean to take her promo - and one of your big breaks in nightlife happened back in the day when Junior played your mash-up of Vernessa's "Reap" and Whitney's "Whatchulookingat" at Earth.

CJ: Yes, that was one of my first “breaks” into the NYC scene as a producer.

MRNY: In spite of what some people might think or believe, most deejays are supportive of one another. You've been gifted with strong friendships with people like Danny and Victor and Hex.

CJ: Yes, I have. Those guys are incredible artists. I will always have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for all three of them. They were all very helpful to me in the early days of my career here. If you guys read this: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

MRNY: I think they heard you. Can you name a classic bitch track for the kids who were still in diapers, one of those that still works you over - and makes you gag on it.

CJ: Hmmm. That's a tough one, but off the top of my head, I guess I'd say “Beat that Bitch” by Johnny Dangerous.

MRNY: Why do you think we love bitch tracks so much?

CJ: I don't know. I guess because it's the “queen's language”? [laughing]

MRNY: [laughing] Which is the opposite of King's English. Historians sometimes cite Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" as the birth of hip-hop. Is there a similar track for house?

CJ: I'm sure that every deejay has a different answer for this but for me it would be Marshall Jefferson's “Move Your Body.”

MRNY: Oh, that's good - one of the first with piano, very Larry Levan.

CJ: Or actually anything from Farley “Jackmaster” Funk.

MRNY: In the hour-long "Gag On It" mini-mix, the track samples a number of classic bitch tracks. Share some details.

CJ: Well, I just wanted the podcast to have a theme to it, so I tried to think of tracks that I felt would be very representative of that sound, whether old or new. When selecting tracks for the mini-mix, I had to be able to visualize the kids battling at the end of the night. [laughing]

MRNY: That's a brilliant image. That's our history. You've got Barry Harris, Coletta & Lacava, as well as Superchumbo, doing their own "Gag On It" remixes. They're all servin' it up for you.

CJ: Yes! I'm very happy with all of the mixes. They all did an outstanding job!

MRNY: What do you think, are we going to be hearing "Gag On It" at this year's Black Party?

CJ: We will, if I spin that party. Are you listening, Stephen? I'll kill it for you!

MRNY: We'll second that emotion. Thanks so much for the time, Chad. And in answer to your song's hook, "Why you all gagging?" Because you're working us over. Serve on, Mr. Jack!

“Gag on It” (Remixes, Part 1) on SoundCloud:

“Gag on It” Mini-Mix on SoundCloud: