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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
by Christina Li on Nov 04, 2010
SF native Edwin Garro, known as UFO!, set out on a DJ career at a young age and hasnít looked back. Starting as a drum ní bass DJ, and now delving into more melodic rhythms, his roots go back to launching Phunckateck crew to now being a prominent part of Hot N Heavy Recordings. UFO! recently spoke with SF Station in a phone interview. Check out his latest EP New Sick, currently climbing the Juno charts.
SF Station (SFS): You havenít been out DJing lately. So what has confined you to your studio?
UFO! (U): I went out for the Giants parties but other than that, I have been buckling down to work on the album. I havenít been taking any gigs, thatís why. I donít want to go out, I donít want drink, I donít want party; if I come up with an idea, I want execute it. When I DJ, Iím in key with the music, but the festivities always take over. Right now I just want to sit at home and try to make the best music I can squeeze out of my mind
SFS: I bet many people wish they could do that.
U: I planned this a long time ago. Iím bilingual, but my English was fucked up because Iím Colombian Costa Rican. Grades were bad, so I was like, I have to do something that does not require society. Skateboarding came in as an idea, but then music came in. Once high school came around, I was getting $500 to just DJ a night. I planned it out, and I havenít had a job for so many fucking years now. Itís just like when I want take a day off, I take it off. But of course, youíre an artist; you got to make money, too. I donít have the comforts.
SFS: Thatís pretty awesome. Youíre doing what you always wanted.
U: The school system doesnít teach you to do what you want. The school system puts these boxes and around you. You have to find yourself. Music was just there, and I think at the same time, my dad bought an organ or something. He was a carpenter his whole life and then he decided to make some music.
SFS: Why did you decide to include UFO in your DJ moniker?
U: Well, a long time ago in a far away land called Serra Manila, a strange creature came to me in chicken adobo form and told me that I was one of three humans on earth to channel their mind-bending music to earth in order to prepare humanity for the coming of the real stage puff marshmallow man ó who I just think is some fat- ass nerd from outer space. Anyway, they bent me over and probed me from behind with their dark centurion crystal and thus I became the UFO!
SFS: Hot N Heavy is a pretty cool label, how did you decide to go to them?
U: I was hanging out with DZ from Badman Press and Jamal over at Lower Haters. I donít know how the fuck I ended up there. Next thing I know Iím downstairs and I happen to have all my stuff with me, fresh from Costa Rica, and I just started playing with them and they started freaking out. And they wanted to put it out, so Jamal and I finished a tune. I was working on ďCapp Street,Ē which is kind of like a hell-hooker song.
SFS: So with all this inspiration, you still donít want to test out material at gigs?
U: Too many people call me and I say I canít play because itís taking away from the time of my new EP called Revelation. This is going to be my darker side of music, but Iím really pushing more musical elements in dubstep. Iím thinking pop, like Muse or Killers of that level of melodic structure. A lot of kids are making dubstep, and the bass is interesting but really simple. I like the melody structures of when rave was coming out. The new generation is really technically advanced, but musically it lacks.
I kind of want to push myself to see if I can actually create a pop song. Itís really easy to make an avant-garde song, but hard to make a pop song. Iíve been kind of studying pop music, not Britney Spears but on the rock íní roll realm.
SFS: Any guilty pleasure tracks?
U: I know no guilt when it comes to music.
SFS: Who ideally would be sitting at your Thanksgiving table?
U: Hitler and Ghandi ó nah that could be really boring. I would say all my ancestors.
by Christina Li on Nov 04, 2010