Steve Aoki Talks Hardcore Roots, New Documentary

Steve Aoki Talks Hardcore Roots, New Documentary

I met the great character that is Steve Aoki at The Roxy Hotel in Tribeca on August 22nd, 2016.  He was in New York to do a handful of interviews about the new documentary film, Steve Aoki: I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, that was released on Netflix last week.

I spoke to him briefly about the movie but, as both the main produced piece above as well as the bonus bits below attest to, we really got carried away talking about punk and hardcore bands.  I asked him if he modeled Dim Mak Records on Ian MacKaye’s DC based Dischord and the answer was yes. He said that the models for his label were Dischord along with Revelation Records which is based much closer to Steve’s home base, in Huntington Beach.  Even if Dim Mak, that he started as a 19 year old out of a dorm room, were his only accomplishment, one might applaud Aoki’s great success.  The label’s twenty year anniversary will be celebrated at this year’s Electric Zoo Festival with its own stage featuring only its artists on Saturday, September 3rd.  Steve Aoki will anchor the Dim Mak stage and play last.

His remarkable run with Dim Mak, of course, is just the tip of Aoki’s accomplishments’ iceberg.  His drive, clearly, was inherited from his father Rocky Aoki who was an entrepreneur as well as a daredevil for the ages.  The minutes spent introducing him and the relationship between father and son in I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead are among the flick’s most rewarding.  Among the bonus bits of our conversation below are Steve’s reaction to the documentary and some comments about Rocky and New York City where he lived.

Also below, enjoy tidbits about the tremendous rock bands who turned up for Dim Mak Tuesdsays as well as details about Aoki’s record collection, his take on and experience with DIY culture, and first DJ gig…

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