Music Interview: Growing into funky city mice

By Kate Foote

As the weather warms up and classes wind down, students’ thoughts turn to excessive drinking and summer love- the overnight kind included. After two gruelling semesters of classes and all the drudgery within, it’s finally time to let loose. So here you are on the eve of BSD, outlining your drinking itinerary and contemplating which gaudy Hawaiian-print shorts/skirt/skort to don. Pete Emes and Mike Grimes of the Smalltown DJs, however, are busy deliberating on how to rock your BSD.

Emes and Grimes are quite familiar with the debauchery that is BSD. Last year they were invited to play and ended up rocking the second stage in MacEwan Hall due to bad weather. Since last year, the Smalltown DJs focused on their music, refining their sound and hooking up with Miss Ange from Vibe 98.5, who contributes her vocal talent, as well as emcee abilities. Armed with a stronger sound further involving their love of funk and a new contributor, the Smalltown DJs are definitely ready to break some beats.

“[Last year] was a really big success so they wanted us to play on the main stage this year,” says Emes. “It was a huge party- it was one of the best parties we played all last year.”

That’s saying a lot for BSD, as the Smalltown DJs are certainly no stranger to a good party. Over the past six years, they’ve been a Thursday night standby, playing their “cracker-ass” funk first at the Night Gallery, and now at the HiFi Club for Hai Karate. Although mainstays on the Calgary scene, the Smalltown DJs are also well traveled.

“We’ve played every big city in Canada- except Halifax. We’ve also played in the UK, throughout the States and in the Cayman Islands,” says Emes of their journeys.

Travelling all around the globe has given Emes and Grimes a different perspective on various music scenes. While many believe the ideal scene exists in Vancouver, L.A. or New York, Emes holds Calgary, despite its redneck reputation, can still compete.

“I like Calgary’s music scene. I think it’s pretty well rounded. Most of the indie-rock kids are pretty open-minded. If you go to shows in Vancouver, all the scenes are so segregated that the shows aren’t as exciting,” explains Emes. “Everybody looks to this utopian thing. People think Vancouver, L.A. or New York have these crazy scenes, but it’s the same kids doing the same things as we are in Calgary.”

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