Ottawa, Ontario DJ Gnarstruk is fairly new to the Ottawa scene. In the short time since his arrival, I’ve been seeing him everywhere. If you are in the Ottawa area and have a chance to catch one of his shows you won’t be disappointed. He’s one of the most energetic and positive people you could ever meet. He is always busy and on the go it’s a wonder he had time for our interview.
1. Where are you From?
I was born in California, but I'm currently living in Ottawa, Canada.
2. How do you like Ottawa?
It's pretty chill out here to be honest. There's a lot of great people that I've met in the time that I've spent here and aside from the winter, I like it better haha.
3. What got you into DJing?
There were a number of things that got me into it actually. When I started listening to the electronic music genre I figured I would give it a shot. A couple buddy's of mine started showing me some stuff on their controllers (or mixing boards if you will) and I picked it up that way. Take note though that when they were showing me, it would be like once every month if that and I didn't actively start learning until January this year when I picked up my own equipment. Now those guys come out to pretty much every one of my shows and I thank them every time for showing me something I've grown so passionate about.
4. Which artists Inspire you?
To put certain people in a list of those who inspire me wouldn't really work. There are so many aspects of music you can grab inspiration from that my list specifically would be quite lengthy. But, if I were to pick a top 5 of my favourite artists in no specific order, it'd have to be Moksi, Zomboy, Habstrakt, Jauz, and Ghastly.
5. If you could only take five items with you what would they be and why?
First item would definitely be my skateboard. That fine piece of technology has managed to keep me from winding up in the ole looney bin many times haha. After that I'd bring my phone, my Audio Technica M30x headphones, my vape because I'm trying to quit smoking, and I guess a bottle of water. I've never been the kind of guy to be materialistic so as long as I have my essentials, I'm good.
6. Describe your Music?
My music is definitely not for everyone. Bass House and Dubstep are what most everyday people who don't listen to it considered to be "just a bunch of noises" or "aliens trying to signal us". When you really break it down and really listen for it, you can actually hear that there's a set melody and is actually structured like most other music out there.
7. What's the best compliment you got that was meant as an insult?
Oh yea this is a good one. I won't name any names because I'm not that kind of guy but there's a certain person out there who was going off on social media like "Oh I don't like what Gnarstruk plays, but I'll come out to see MAC because they're awesome!"
Turns out this guy doesn't pay attention to my music at all because if he did, he would know that MAC and I have a very similar taste in music and play a lot of the same stuff. I don't take anything to heart though. In the end, I'm playing what I want to play and having a fun time doing it. There's gonna be haters everywhere.
8. Where do you see this taking you? and How far do you want to take it?
Quite honestly I don't know. Everything has happened so quickly for me that I'm just kind of riding the wave and going where it takes me. Of course it would be nice to be big and famous and not be able to walk down the street without someone knowing who I am, but like I said before, I play what I want to play and I have fun doing it. That's all that matters in the end.
9. You're a pretty successful Skateboarder too. How did you get into that?
Yea I've been doing that for about 10 years now. It's treated me well so far since I'm currently riding for a number of sponsors like New Beginnings, West 49, Rixor Clothing, and Trilotac. I've got a couple connections I'm trying to work for some more sponsors as well so things are looking pretty good for both my DJing and my skateboarding.
10. Do you have any free time nowadays?
What is free time? Haha. As of late I've pretty much been on the grind every day. Whether it be promoting for various events that I'm working for, scheduled sets I'm playing, finding new music, it's a lot of work to be in this field. It's worth every second if you ask me. I still do my best to make time for family and friends too so I've gotten pretty good at planning out my week before it happens.
11. Would you say that DJing and Skateboarding are from a very similar culture so it was only natural that if you do one you might like to experiment with the other?
Yea you could say that. Every skater that sees someone on a skateboard is pretty much family already, where as the same thing happens in this scene. Everyone is brought together because of their passion for the music. Of course there's those people who like to go out and get absolutely wrecked at shows and drink their face off, but you'll easily be able to pick out the ones who are there for the music.
Skateboarding and music go hand in hand. In a skate video you'll be using the skaters favourite song, or use one that fits his style and technique. Same thing goes for DJing. Everyone has their own style and technique when playing a show. For example: my buddy SHAKE who is playing at Valhalla music festival in Montreal this year, I don't understand him at all. I'll be watching him behind the decks and just scratch my head like "how the hell did you figure out that worked?".
12. Oreo of Fudgee-O cookies?
It's funny, I actually don't really like either. I don't eat a whole lot of chocolate at all. The only times I'll really have something with chocolate in it is if it's chocolate milk. I love that stuff haha. But since I have to pick between the two, I'd go Oreos 100%.
Below are all the places you can find Gnarstruk.