You may have seen last month that RJ Mitte, aka Walt Jr, aka the one that kept on asking his dad what he was having for breakfast in Breaking Bad, has been booked to play a 'DJ set' at the high end B.B. King Blues Club in New York as part of a themed night called 'Breaking Beats'. A cynic would probably point to it being another case of a minor celeb making a quick buck on the clubbing circuit, but looks can be deceiving; let's not forget Elijah Wood's surprisingly deft hand at mixing house and disco behind the dials.
With Mitte's big appearance looming, we thought it would be a good idea to chat to the venue's owners Harrison Waxenberg and Jonathan Cappetta about their thoughts behind inviting possibly the most annoying character from Breaking Bad down to their establishment to play his first ever DJ set.
THUMP: So guys, first things first. What made you want to put on a Breaking Bad themed event?
Harrison Waxenberg: We've done all sorts of events in NYC, the most recent having been Rave of Thrones (which for those who might be unfamiliar, is the Game of Thrones themed event featuring Kristian Nairn a.k.a Hodor from the HBO series). As we were wrapping up production on that, we found ourselves saying that we wish a character from Breaking Bad were a DJ (since Breaking Bad was one of our other favourite shows). Literally less than a week later this opportunity to work with RJ presented itself to us, so it just made perfect sense to do it.
Fate eh. What else are you planning to incorporate into the 'Breaking Beats' theme of the night?
Jonathan Cappetta: The real blue meth used in the show will be there. Also a VIP breakfast buffet, broken marriages, kids in Los Pollos Hermanos shirts…
What kind of stuff does RJ play then?
Jonathan: Music that he likes, and thinks sounds good in the club.
Cool. Care to elaborate?
Harrison: There is no way to categorize the kind of stuff he plays into one, lowest common denominator genre, so come to the show and you'll find out! Besides, the average music listener's concept of genre has been so perverted by the media that words like "house" and "dubstep" are virtually meaningless. The bottom line is that RJ has put a lot of thought and time into this, will be mixing live, and will be taking inspiration from his vast library of influences.
Mixing live you say? Is he good then?
Harrison: In a world where top selling "DJ's" get paid exorbitant amounts of money to press play on the same pre-recorded sets night after night, and the only "mixing" they're doing is the eggs and flour required to make the cake they throw into the audience.
Jonathan: It's important to note that this isn't the first time he's ever been behind the decks, just the first time he's playing out. He's been working on perfecting this for some time.
So he hasn't performed anywhere before?
Jonathan: Probably in his bedroom, many times in his dreams, and hopefully at least once or twice for his agent or a few friends.
Do you not think that people will question the integrity of your venue?
Harrison: We're not entirely sure what you're implying in this question. B.B Kings is a staple of NYC. It's located right in Times Square, boasts a capacity of around 1,000 people, has a brand new sound system, and is absolutely gorgeous. We threw Rave of Thrones there, brought in an epic production, and it was a wild time for all involved. We're looking forward to doing it again.
My point exactly - is it not just a cheap gimmick?
Harrison: No, it's not just a cheap gimmick. We have produced shows for everyone from unknown bedroom producers up through internationally touring artists. RJ is someone who is passionate about music, excited to play, and is giving his honest effort. He deserves the same opportunity as anyone else working hard, putting themselves out there, and doing something they've always dreamed of.
Are you not concerned that there might just be loads of Breaking Bad superfans there instead of genuine clubbers?
Harrison: As a result of being one of the most successful TV shows of all time, Breaking Bad has a crossover appeal that permeates into the club scene. We're not concerned about the "type" of people who are coming. This isn't an exclusive club event where you have to be wearing four lbs of hair gel and buying five bottles of Dom Perignon in order to fit in and have a good time. We welcome people from all walks of life, and look forward to the diverse crowd that will be in attendance.
The $30 entry price does seem a bit steep though – was he expensive to book?
Jonathan: More than DJ Tanner, but less than the kid from Modern Family…
Harrison: No, it's not steep at all, but if you really can't afford it we're also accepting food stamps.
What are the chances of Gus Fring turning up as an unannounced guest?
Jonathan: We still have that open offer out to Aaron Paul, but if Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring) is thinking about launching his DJ career, we'd love to help make that happen. Fuck, we'd give Skinny Pete a set if he wants to play.
Finally will you throw people out if you catch them taking meth?
Jonathan: I personally will not be throwing anybody anywhere but I imagine B.B. King's security won't be too stoked to see that…
RJ is now rolling out on an American DJing tour, taking Breaking Beats from coast to cost.