Mixing It Up
With Mix Master Mike

Mix Master Mike is one of the world’s most skilled turntablists. Live, Mike is an amazing performer. He has the ability to mix so many different records back-to-back (DJ Shadow to Led Zeppelin) and keep the mix completely in time. Mike was a member of influential turntablist group Invisibl Skratch Piklz and he now serves as the DJ for the Beastie Boys. Mike’s latest release is the CDBangzilla. Mike recently wrote in to talk about tips for putting on a great live show, his favorite deli and scratching messages on Adam Yauch’s answering machine.

What records made you love hip-hop?

The records that made me love hip-hop are:

Public Enemy-Nation of Millions

Eric B. & Rakim-Paid in Full

BDP-Criminal Minded

What’s the key to putting on such a great live show?

The key to putting on a great live show is to have a keen sense on what records to cut up during the right moments in the set and to also make sure you use the microphone to command crowd response.

What’s been your craziest gig?

My craziest gig was with the Beastie Boys at a festival in Germany when opened up the first 15 minutes in front of a crowd of 200,000 people.

Do you have a favorite venue to play?

I like to play all venues as long as the monitors sound nice and the p.a. system is bangin’. I really would like to play Carnegie Hall one day…

What’s your favorite deli in New York?

My favorite deli in New York is the one in soho on west Broadway and Canal Street. Across the street from the soho grand. (Don’t know the name)

Do you have a favorite DJ?

I would have to say my favorite DJ is Wolfman Jack.

What’s your fondest memory from being part of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz?

My fondest memory with the scratch piklz would probably be practicing and created routines together while the toadman practiced his martial arts.

What artists would you love to remix?

I would love to remix the Meters if they laced me with nothin’ but the drum tracks.

How did you first get involved with the Beastie Boys?

I hooked up with the Beasties in late 1997 when I met up with Adam Yauch, we exchanged phone numbers and when he wasn’t home I would leave crazy scratch messages over his answering machine.

Do you have a favorite Beastie Boys song?

I have all kind of favorite Beastie tracks…one that sticks out would probably be “Beastie Groove” on the Maroon Def Jam label.

What was the method for creating “Three MC’s And One DJ”?

For “3mcs and one DJ,” we wanted to create a track that was purely recorded live with 3 microphones and 1 turntable. We wanted that raw uncut form of underground hop-hop, which is rarely attempted by groups today.

Do you follow a certain creative process when you work with the Beastie Boys?

There are no guidelines in the studio with the Beasties; we always make sure that the “safety” is off….

Bangzilla is out now on Immortal Records.


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