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ETC!ETC! is All the Way Jose

The prince of turnup talks about the bleached bangs he had in high school. Sus.
December 4, 2013, 9:00pm

ETC!ETC!—another Los Angeles boy with a knack for turning it the fuck up. The Mad Decent secret weapon initially turned Soundcloud clicks on the strength of his moombahton rhythms, but his DJ sets maneuver between whatever gets the job done—thus the name.

Together with artists like Bro Safari, Brillz, and Kill The Noise, he's cornered the year-round festival circuit with an unmistakably American sound that repurposes reggaeton rhythms and remixes rap classics like Pharaohe Monch's "Simon Says."

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His recent take on Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" trades in high drama drops and melancholic melodies—plus the kind of breakdown that would make you turn to your friend and be like, "I just want you to know that I think you're great," and then your friend would be all, "yeah, dude, I think you're great too." I'm catching feelings all over my desk right now.

Anyways, we think he's great so we asked him some questions about growing up in LA, and all of the dumb shit his friends have done. He told us about learning how to pop-lock because he was too chubby to break dance, and about the bleached bangs he had in high school. Pretty sweet.

THUMP: I'm sure you get asked this all the time but why did you choose the name ETC!ETC!?
Etc!Etc!: Early on in my career when I was first starting to make music I got approached by a friend who invited me to DJ his party. I didn't have a name at that point and didn't want something corny like "DJ Jay" or "DJ Jose" [laughs] so I thought about all the types of music I play. I could play everything from hip-hop to electro, dubstep, indie, etc, etc. Then it hit me and I was like "hey, that can work." So I went with ETC!ETC! and it stuck. Here I am today.

What are some other names you thought about but didn't choose?
MasterVader, Build Me A Look Alike—weird ones like those.

Tell us a hilarious story about Bro Safari.
Once we had a show in Edmonton and ended up going to an after party. When we walked in Bro Safari left some shoe stains on the floor from snow and mud, and when I turned around he was on his knees cleaning the floor. It was so funny to me at the time. Maybe I was just a bit drunk.

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What age did you start going out? Tell us about the first rave you went to.
I started going out at a young age, mostly to see bands and to go to festivals like Coachella. Eventually one of my cousins started taking me to rave events like Monster Massive, EDC and Together As One, which is how I really starting getting into the scene.

What part of LA did you grow up in? What was your life like when you were 15?
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley and at the age of 15 I was an aspiring break dancer. I would wear all Adidas (or Puma) and break dance in the hallways of my school. I used to be very fat, so I wasn't very good at it. I eventually started pop locking which I would end up mastering and started to lose tons of weight. I had bleach bangs and everything else was shaved [laughs]. I didn't drive until I was about 18 and had a shitty Toyata Celica.

What is something about growing up in LA that you would never know about if you're not from there?
That everything you need is all around you in one spot. People always say that you need to drive far for everything but a lot of stuff is really very close around you.

What is the ultimate turnup?
Probably just being with all of my friend at a show. Everyone is there drinking and spinning music. I think being with all my buds anywhere has to be the ultimate turn up.

Tell us your favorite joke.
Jokes are lame, I'd rather make fun of people in real life. That's the best.

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What is your most popular tune and why do you think it's that one?
I think its a run between "Swoop," a collab I did with Brillz, and my "Summertime Sadness" remix. I think "Swoop" took off because mainly because we made it when "trap" was at its beginning states; we didn't think it would get as big a reaction as it did, but it did and people tell me all the time that it's one of their top five trap tunes which is awesome to hear. Lots of people still play it out and it's been almost two years since we made it. The "Summertime Sadness" remix was just easy to relate to; it was simple but hit hard, and all the ladies love it. If the ladies love it then the guys will be soon to follow!

Miley Cyrus, Mila Kunis, or Zooey Deschanel?
Zooey Deschanel for sure. She can get it about five times. I don't really care about the others.

You once tweeted "Avicii look like a beluga whale." Discuss.
[Laughs] Before I knew who who Avicii was Diplo said that he looked like one. I ended up googling them both with side by side pics and I mean… twins.

What is the best mixtape you ever owned and why? Who made it, when did you own it and what was on it?
Hm, it's not really a mixtape but I will say that Craze's Scratch Nerds Mix he put out last month is so so good.

What is the dumbest piece of clothing you ever rocked?
I used to rock a vest and a v-neck, because I thought I was a QT. I was just a douche.

Tell us a hilarious story about Kill the Noise.
There's just so many when it comes to Jake. One I will never forget is from last year's Holy Ship. Jake got way too drunk so we walked him to his room so he could lay down. It took us about forty-five minutes because he was just going cray. We eventually got him to his room and left. An hour later, in another room where Skrillex was playing, Jake appeared barefoot. We asked him where his shoes were and he said he threw them off his patio into the ocean. We couldn't stop laughing. I love Jake.

Who is your favorite DJ to play with right now and why?
Bro Safari. His energy and the way he moves the crowd is just nuts. He is always so hype which is something I really admire.

You make all kinds of stuff, but what kind of music are you really enjoying making at the moment?
To be honest it's whatever I feel like at the time. It can be trap, dubstep, house--anything. I can even pick up a guitar and just plug it in a record some riffs or whatever. Most of the plugins I use are from Ableton, I use the sausage fattener a lot, and Massive. I try to by best to keep it simple.

What can people expect when they hear you on the OWSLA/Nest livestream on Friday?
Ass clapping.

If you're in LA, you can enter below to win a chance to party with Nadastrom, Kill The Noise, and ETC!ETC! at our Lunch Breaks livestream this Friday, December 6.