4 Major Life Lessons I Learned From Traveling With EDM DJs
As people, we find inspiration in many different ways and are constantly finding life lessons in the most unthinkable places. Whether it be the innocence of a child or the wisdom of someone older, someone who we love and cherish deeply or someone who we hardly know, we are constantly learning and growing from our interactions with others.
I’ve been fortunate enough to do quite a bit of travel in the past couple of years and meet a number of interesting people. Everyone offers their own thoughts and their own perspective and I love improving myself by taking a little lesson away from everyone I meet. Sometimes, those people I meet happen to be world-renowned EDM DJs and producers. So, here are the five major life lessons that I have taken away from my time with some of the biggest names in EDM.
Sharing is caring
A few years back, I was in Ottawa, Canada, for the Juno Awards. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s basically like the Grammy’s but for Canada. The big headlining act that year was an old pal, Deadmau5. After his big performance, we met up at a local night club where we had a few drinks before Deadmau5 decided it was time to head back to his hotel room for some weird viral video watching (one of his favorite activities). As the two of us stumbled through the late-night streets of downtown Ottawa, we were stopped by a homeless man begging. “Spare some change for an army veteran?” the man asked.
Personally, when I’m faced with a situation like this, there are really only two options; give him some change and carry on or give him the “sorry, I don’t have anything” excuse. I knew I didn’t have anything on me at the time, so I began explaining the latter. Before I could get any words out, Deadmau5 jumped in with a sudden barrage of questions. “Where were you stationed?”, “What infantry?”, “What was your badge number?” The guy stumbled and fumbled and ultimately had no answers. He was speechless, as was I. Then, just as the awkwardness had elevated to its peak, Deadmau5 pulled a $20 bill out of his pocket and said “next time, don’t fucking lie to me” before handing it over to the man.
It probably meant nothing to him, but that’s something that always stood out to me. In one brief moment, Deadmau5 not only helped a man in need but also gave him some sound advice on how to conduct himself. To some, it may have come off like he was being an ass, but to me, I knew it was simply his special way of teaching someone a lesson while doing his best to help.
Comfort is key
While at an EDM festival a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hang out and chat with a longtime favorite of mine; HeRobust. Rather than discuss the music industry or his production style or any sort of generic, predictable conversation you’d think we would have, we talked about underwear. Yep, underwear. More specifically; pouch underwear. For anyone who isn’t familiar with what that is, there exists a special type of underwear, made specifically for men, that keeps things, um, well… organized. Essentially, the underwear features segregated pouches for your different parts in order to avoid any unwanted touching, rubbing, or sticking.
To women reading this; I’m aware this all may seem confusing and like a lot of new information. I can guarantee that every male reading this, however, completely understands the issues I’m referring to and can appreciate a genius solution such as the pouch underwear. HeRobust explained the concept to me with such passion and interest, it felt like an astrophysicist talking about outer space. He couldn’t stress enough how much these underwear have improved his life and how badly I needed to get on the bandwagon.
The important lesson that I took away from that moment was that, even in the midst of all the commotion of a loud, booming EDM festival occurring just feet away, this man felt so passionate about comfort and about pampering yourself that I could tell there was nothing more important to either of us in that moment than comfort.
Always be open to try new things
When it comes to drinking, I consider myself to be better than the average person. Whether it’s vodka, tequila, whiskey, rum, wine, beer, or basically anything else, I can usually drink it with the best of ’em. One thing I had never tried before, though, was something called a Pickleback. That was until one fateful night at a bar in New York City when I randomly ran into Skrillex.
I spotted him from across the bar and wasn’t completely sure if it was actually him or not so I got up and went in for a closer look. As I stealthy approached, something strange happened; we locked eyes. In a surreal moment, before I could even be sure if it was him, I saw his face light up. He totally recognized me and waved me over to the bar where he was standing surrounded by people. I walked up and greeted him, still a little uneasy and unsure of what was going on (lets face it, I was not expecting Skrillex to know who I was). He eased my nerves by handing me a shot. “Cool,” I thought. It was a brown liquid so my guess was whiskey. Then he handed me another, clear liquid in a shot glass.
My first assumption was that the second shot was tequila and that Skrillex was a flat out wild-man for doing back-to-back whiskey/tequila shots. He explained to me that the second shot was pickle juice, and this is referred to as a Pickleback. I was reluctant at first. On the one hand, I’m not a huge fan of pickles to begin with. Therefore, a juice comprised entirely of it’s condensed flavor didn’t sound so appealing. On the other hand, could I really turn down a drink from Skrillex? I took the two shots and to my surprise, it was incredible!
The pickle juice completely erases any harshness from the alcohol and it made it feel as though I was just having water. Skrillex warned me of the dangers of the Pickleback; “you don’t realize how easy it is to drink, be careful!”. About 17 or 18 shots later, we were just two regular dudes hanging out at a bar having a great time. I definitely woke up the next day with a massive headache, though. I never got the chance to speak to him again, but I hope Skrillex wasn’t hurting too bad.
Family is everything
I was invited by my friends Adam and David, who together are a EDM DJ duo named 1daful, to one of their gigs in Quebec City. I usually tag along to a lot of their gigs, mainly to clubs where they perform so I can drink their free booze and mingle with crowds. This performance, however, was more of a concert than a club performance. The first act was a rapper by the name of Madchild. He put on a great show for a very excited audience. Next up were my boys 1daful, who delivered a great, high-enerygy set, as they always do.
The final, headlining act was an EDM DJ duo of brothers from Australia; the Stafford Brothers. I had heard of them before, but I had no idea how awesome they were. They were the nicest, most down-to-earth guys on the planet. One example of their humbleness was the fact that they insisted fans from the audience be allowed on the stage to join in the party with them. Their teamwork as DJs was also an impressive sight, as they took turns; one controlling the mixing and the other rallying the party and mingling with the people. I’m fairly certain I even witnessed them each take separate bathroom breaks (the longer kind) during their set. Now THAT’S impressive. My favorite part of the night, though, came when Adam asked one of them advice on achieving such great, flowing hair. Without a single beat passing, he quickly responded “grow it out for a year.”
Not only was it great to see such genuinely nice guys doing so well, but it was really inspiring to see these two brothers work together in perfect unison and achieve such success as family.