When you become known for one thing it’s hard to change people’s perceptions and find a career in something else.
Tristan Jaxx is experiencing that problem right now. Known for his career in porn, Tristan is also passionate about music and is building his reputation as a credible DJ.
We caught up with him to find out more about his DJing, to discuss the difficulty of being taken seriously and to find out what he’s got coming up in the future.
How are you today?
Procrastinating doing laundry but other than that I’m awesome.
You’re making a name for yourself away from the adult film industry as a DJ. Tell us about that.
I originally got into the adult industry to help push my name as a DJ. It really helped with getting me bar gigs now and then but my heart was hellbent on breaking into headlining main room gigs. I worked hard, constantly pushing out new podcasts (which were all recorded from live sets) and making my own reworks and mashups to elevate myself as a legitimate producer, in addition to DJing.
How did you get into DJing in the first place?
Since about 18, I began noticing dance music. I remember that my first dance CD was NYC Underground. Immediately, I fell in love with house music. There wasn’t a day that went by that I wasn’t digging for new tunes. The fascination with getting all the music I could find, then playing them for my friends at house parties, began the hamster wheel in my head. Friends suggested that I should DJ because “duh, you love music so much.” Some even asked me to produce mixes for them. I felt like a needed an edge with all the competition out there so I started doing adult movies. This led to my initial gigs in the Castro. My big break was when I was asked to spin at Gus Presents’ Epic in the front room for six hours, and ended up having the largest crowd for much of the night. This was the turning point of my career and it was shortly thereafter that I was offered the opportunity to produce my own event at BeatBox, San Francisco’s hottest new dance venue.
You are the creator, promoter and resident DJ for CHAOS at BeatBox. Tell us a bit about those events.
CHAOS is more than a dream come true for me. My vision for CHAOS has always been to keep the focus on the music. I spend hours on end researching DJs that will fit the required CHAOS sound, which is a constant high energy, keeping the crowd moving. I often look for DJs that I can sense are about to break out and explode onto the music scene because I know how hard it can be to get that big break. My production team and I all passionately love house music, and our desire is to give people the feeling that they are at a friend’s house party, although it’s actually a huge club with amazing sound and lighting.
You’re known more for your adult film work at the moment. How difficult has it been to gain recognition as a DJ?
Being a successful DJ is something you truly have to live and breathe for, a quality that most assume is not found in those in the adult industry. This stereotype has always been my biggest hurdle. I have made it a point to continuously release live mixes, my own productions, and lots of videos from events where I spin so people can see and hear for themselves the dedication that I put into everything I do.
How frustrating is it to be constantly defined by one label when you’re skilled in a variety of areas?
The frustration is always there but, as I’m a Taurus, I use the criticism as motivation to push myself harder. Whether it’s producing, promoting or driving the crowd crazy with my beats, I give it my all. And doing a little dancing myself here and there while I spin helps too. All I ask is for the chance to be judged on my music alone when being considered for DJ gigs.
Is your plan to balance both of your careers or are you trying to move away from the adult film industry?
I have enjoyed my time in the adult industry but my true passion is music. Ultimately, I would like to work full time in the nightlife industry.
What music really inspires you and gets you dancing in a club?
The music I spin is inspired by the types I enjoy dancing to myself. I’m heavily influenced by Brazilian and Mexican DJ’s such as Mauro Mozart, Jeff Valle, Beatallfusion, Oscar Velasquez, Enrry, Allan Natal, J Zuart, Edson Pride and Arenna, to name a few. Other big influences have been after hours DJ’s such as Paulo and Tony Moran due to their ability to keep the energy up for insane amounts of time, something I strive for with every set.
What other things would you like to pursue in your career?
My next step is to learn how to create original productions and work with other artists to create unique tracks.
What else do you have coming up in 2012?
At Chaos, I either open and/or close and occasionally, I headline, depending on the month. Besides that, I’m getting ready for several upcoming events. I’ll be headlining Pure Pride in Winnipeg, Canada on the Friday & Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. I’ll also be closing out the IML/Grabbys weekend on Sunday at Hydrate in Chicago. Additionally, the success of Chaos has given me the opportunity to produce a new event, Climaxx, occurring at BeatBox on Folsom Street weekend. Climaxx will be following Real Bad on Monday morning at 2AM, a new closing to this award-winning circuit weekend. I’m pleased to announce it here first that I will be the DJ for this dark after hours event.