Bucky Fargo is in the Artist Spotlight this week. Bucky has been spinning records for decades. He is a Chicago based artist who throws his own events on a weekly basis using his Night Sweat Events company. You can also catch him on Electric Playground (101.1 FM) every Saturday night. This Saturday he will be preforming at #Afterlife for Cherry Bomb Vol 4 along with Dajea & Gene Farris. Read the interview we did with Bucky Fargo below.
How did you first begin DJing/Producing?
It was a long ride of listening to others before I finally was able to make the step to become a DJ. I grew up in the 80s so my uncles, aunts, and cousins were really into house, freestyle, and new wave. I was lucky enough to have them expose me to what was going at around 8 years old. Since then I never looked back. Unfortunately my parents never supported my love for music. They still to this day think it’s a phase I need to grow out of regardless that it’s my profession! I didn’t have the luxury of having my parents cheer me on and hope I do well with this. Well long story short, I had to work my ass off to finally buy my first pair of technics at 19 years old. Long days of sweating at dealerships and oil change spots. Production was always a secondary thing till years into DJing I grew and made the initial moves.
Who is your biggest influence(s)?
This is a tough question. I mean how do you answer this? For one, my main influence at the beginning was Bad Boy Bill. When I heard him on the radio in the late 80s I knew this guy was special. Then came the Hotmix series and like many Chicago kids, I wanted to be like him. If it wasn’t for BBB, God knows if I and good majority of Chicago DJs would be here right now. He spawned the “mixtape” Djs and most younger guys have no clue that they are indirectly influenced by him since most guys learned the curve from Bill.
As my taste changed and I grew I pushed away from the local popular house sound. It was two guys that really pushed me to the point of saying “fuck this! Im not buying mixtapes anymore. I want to do what they’re doing!” It wasn’t easy to find raves in the 90’s. You actually had to know someone or go on a witch hunt to figure out how to find out if you had no connects. But after hearing DJ Hyperactive and Mike Dearborn’s mixtapes, it’s exactly that is what I did. Two of my favorite Chicago Djs who molded me into who I am. I have mad respect for these two.
Finally when I started playing I really got into the deeper darker sound. As an actual young DJ, I used these guys mixes as a literal handbook to programming and mixing. I still think to this day John Digweed and and Anthony Pappa are pure geniuses. I can say that I gained knowledge listening to them and learned how to in key mix from them. I learned how to program by watching them over and over. So my influence is not one sole person.
What’s your favorite record of all time?
Man I can’t answer this one. In my head I have an encyclopedia of tracks from the 60s till present. It would do an injustice to all the rest if I named one. My favorite track changes everyday depending on my mood.
What was your favorite party of all time that you have played?
If I had to say which stays in my mind and keeps a smile on my face. I’d have to say playing in Hungary back in 2005 or so. I used to play overseas a decent amount back then but the vibe that night at Atlasz was something special. 10 hour set and I still had the recording till my hard drive crashed last year and lost it, along with all my mixes from 2000-2013. That one still hurts.
Who do you want to collaborate with in the future?
To be honest I don’t like collaborating. I’m not easy to work with I don’t like compromising my style. The other person has be very close to what I do. Mark Angel is one of them and both of us are coming along very well. Got some good stuff we are working on.
What’s the most embarrassing thing thats happened to you at a show?
This ones easy. My first time I got to play somewhere outside of a house party. No DJ name yet…nothing. It was at this place Wiseguy’s in Chicago on Halsted where I was invited to do a set….if you want to call that. My god, I could not put one transition together! My hands were shaking to hard that I couldn’t put the needle down in the record. I choked so bad in front of all these Djs that were laughing at me and calling me wack behind my back that I left with my tail between my legs in utter shame. I didn’t speak to anyone in the car ride home and just kept my head down. It’s not like I wasn’t decent at blending. I was alright at home and few house parties but I train wrecked everything I possibly could that evening. Needless to say, it opened my eyes and I learned from it. I kinda miss those days of having butterflies in my stomach before a gig.
What do you like to do when you’re not working on music/DJing?
I been DJing for long time now. Live gigs and studio takes up a huge chunk of my time. I have two great kids and my lovely wife. I like to do family things. I don’t miss a beat, I’m there and juggle both like a multi tasking maniac.
What is your opinion on the current EDM scene?
It’s a double edged sword. We have more people that are getting into our culture every second at the same time this makes it watered down. You have to take the bad with the good. EDM has never been this popular in the US. I consider “EDM” (as in the pop dance scene) and necessity. Eventually most of those people will filter out or move on to more artistic expressed forward thinking music. It’s part of the human cycle. Most of us don’t get into anything without starting on the beginners level. In this case it’s electro, pop house, and bass. I think we’re healthy and the only way is up.
What do you think will be the next big thing in EDM?
Next big thing….Commercially it’s deep house or future house is what they try coining it. The underground’s next big thing is techno. It’s really taking grip of things. It’s really nice to see things coming around to my side of ballpark. I don’t think necessarily straight loopy 128bpm techno but more darker slower stuff druggy tracks. I see it from a mile away.
What do you think about all these “frauds” in the EDM scene using ghost producers, buying likes and purchasing their own tracks on Beatport?
Well it’s horrible but what can you do? Ghost producers have been around since day one of music business. It’s not surprising. But the rest is just a big joke. Before you’d have a producer that might have not technically made his track but still had the talent to DJ and brand themselves. Now you got these young dickheads that have a look and that’s it. They have no promotional skills, no musical skills, and no character. So the tracks aren’t theirs the mixes aren’t live and fans aren’t real. They stand there and collect a pay check that is ridiculously high pretending to be this fake persona that really doesn’t exist. If anything is gonna burst the EDM cultures bubble, it’s gonna be this. It’s an atrocity to see someone get paid in the tens of thousands to stand there and pretend. That’s one hell of a hustle though.
Is there any upcoming releases/shows we should keep an eye out for?
Gig wise you can catch me on the radio here in Chicago every Saturday night on Electric Playground 101.1FM. Every Thursday at Grandbar. Got tons of loft, rooftop, boat, club events, and weekly Afters around Chicago so keep in touch with me on Facebook. Later this summer NYC, Boston, Montreal.
Production side I’ll have a few releases coming out in the next few months including one on Nightsweat Recordings which launches later this Summer. Very excited about this, we have been working very hard to get everything going the way we would like so please keep an eye out. On the Format Records side we have lots of big things from Yellowheads, Hyperactive, Submerge, Angel Alanis, and many a list techno releases/artist this year. What we signed at Format these past months is amazing! Can’t wait to let the cat out of bag!