Bottlerokitz, otherwise known as Andy Smith, is the co-owner and resident DJ of the Wobble Room. BottleRokitz has been throwing down in the BASS music scene for four years. A regular at the second to none Tuesday night banger, The Trap House, Andy is coming into his own both as a dj and a promoter. Known for his legendary Halloween party at the top of the Willis tower, “The Tower or Terror on the 99th Floor,” and booking shows and music festival around the country, Andy has asserted himself as a true up and comer in Chicago’s BASS music scene.
How did you first begin DJing/Producing?
When I was a student at DePaul University, I got paid to throw parties for friends at their houses, I brought lights, sound and kids who wanted to party. I was close with Patrick Stratton and Carlo Pasquesi ( Stratus + LoBounce) and I was doing everything I could to help kickstart their music career. I would watch them practice and make music, and I got hooked after spending so much time around them. I would host and throw house parties, and eventually started hosting nights at DePaul bars and moved to nightclubs and concert venues. Erik Johnson and Bobby D of Kings Of Class were my neighbors growing up and played a big part in helping me get my music career, so shout out to them! I started BottleRokitz with Jake Johnson before he started Regulators, then I moved to the other side of town which made it difficult to continue together.
Who have been your biggest influences?
I grew up on HipHop. I have always loved Camron, Dipset, 50 cent, NAS, Ludacris Gucci Mane etc…My biggest influences growing up in Dance Music were The Crystal Method, Daft Punk and Justice.Once I got to college my influences that developed my music taste today were: Stratus, LoBounce, Pretty Lights, Skream, Rusko, Bassnectar and most of the HENCH, Circus Records, Dub Police of the UK. I was fascinated with almost all BASS music and low-end, down and mid tempo Beats.
What was your favorite party you have ever played?
My favorite Party I ever played was a fundraiser I organized for a ver close friend and producer, Eric Jasper, who passed away in 2011. It was called The Tower of Terror on the 99th floor of the Sears Tower on Halloween weekend in 2013. It was open bar, catered food and we managed to get everyone to dress up in formal wear. We had a James Bond type theme and had casino tables and games for people to play. All the proceeds from the entire event went towards buying instruments dedicated to Eric at the Merit School of Music in Chicago. It was an event that meant so much to me and I was so happy to get a total of 8 musicians all friends with Eric to perform.
What was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you on stage?
Jake and I were playing at Proof nightclub for the first BottleRokitz show, opening up for SOFI and they quit letting people upstairs because it got so packed. The set was going perfect, and in the last two minutes, my soundcard broke. The music stopped and I had not had anything in the CDJ ready in case that was to happen. That sucked, and you can believe me when I say I never bought another M-Audio product again
What do you do when you are not working on music?
Aside from music, I have multiple jobs and side projects. I sell Power Plants as my day job which eats up most of my time during the days. However, when I was in college I decide to send all my savings to China and manufacture LED Foam Glowsticks to sell at music festivals and to Clubs and promoters. It was a way for me to travel anywhere in the country and go to any concert or music festival I wanted to. I still sell them today. Also I spend a lot of time building and organizing event for The Wobble Room.
Tell us about The WOBBLE ROOM:
The Wobble Room, a monthly festival, which is raucous to say the least, hums to the beat of both Chicago’s emerging artists and formidable veterans. The spacious loft where the party is held boasts 3,000 sq feet with two separate stages, a pool table, smoking room, and just about whatever else you could imagine. With a large dance floor and a few lounge areas the atmosphere is everything a nightclub with an added hint of hazard. Murph, the resident English Bulldog, greets everyone with vibrant enthusiasm at the door and the bar serves strictly PBR and stiff cocktails. Rumors are the venue has booked some upcoming can’t miss shows for the summer, but the details have yet to be revealed. The Wobble Room may be the opposite of “good, clean fun”. The Wobble Room hosted after parties for Spring Awakening (June 14th), Pitchfork ( July 19th) , North Coast Music festival (August 31st). The club is hosted in an unassuming brick building in Chicago’s near west side.
What do you like/dislike about current EDM culture?
There is so much I love, like, dislike and hate about the EDM scene. First and foremost, I am happy to have been around to see the epic growth of the scene. I love that music producers are being recognized just as much as the people singing over the tracks. I like the fact that there is a genre for everybody, yet, I dislike the fact that people use incorrect verbiage when referring to genres and subgenres of music. I hate the bad image music fans receive for simply associating themselves with the culture. People should give the music a chance and appreciate it for what it is; an art form.
What do you think is the next big thing in the EDM world?
I think “the next big thing” is right under our noses. It just is waiting to be discovered. For instance, I think JAUZ may be one of the most talented producers in the game. Artists who push the boundaries of electronic music by mixing them all together is what impresses me the most. JAUZ for example, in my opinion, does an absolute amazing job at combining house, deep house, hip-hop, electro and dubstep/bass music all into one single track. If you have not heard his music, I highly recommend checking his stuff out.
Is there any upcoming shows/music we should look out for?
Catch me at Maggianos Grand Ballroom for NYE. Also, I am happy to be involved with Promo7 and THE TRAP HOUSE of Chicago, the best source for BASS in a weekly party; every Tuesday at the Double Door. Charles BROtinez and George Rizzio from Promo7 have been key contributors to my music career in the past year, so thank you to them. That being said, keep an eye out when I play at The Trap House. Those parties tend to be the some of the most fun I have as an artist. I am working on a side project with another artist who I perform with often, which I am sure you will hear about shortly. Also check out The Wobble Room and follow the Facebook page to keep up with each event.
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