He's been around the world. He has played in locales as exotic as Paris, Rome, Berlin and Dubai. He has probably shagged women who would sooner cross the street than look at you. And yet, DJ/producer/remixer King Britt doesn't mind coming down to Houston and entertaining us mortal folk with his hypnotic grooves. The Philadelphia native took some time out to talk about his upcoming gig tonight at La Strada, what it takes to be a good DJ, his latest projects and why he's just so got-damn cool!
Rocks Off: The last time you were in Houston, we believe, you played the dearly departed Engine Room (now the Jet Lounge). Now, you're playing La Strada Restaurant. How did that gig come about?
KB: Hmmm, not sure. They call my agent and he sends me a list of gigs. Anytime Houston is listed, I am there!
RO: As a DJ, do you prefer playing someplace more low-key and intimate like a restaurant or lounge, or do you prefer playing big rooms or events, like the Sin City Festival in L.A. you're playing the next day?
KB: I love both environments. A good DJ can rock in any situation. It keeps you on your toes. You can be much more creative however in an intimate environment!
RO: As a man who's played all over the world, trotting across the globe like James Bond with turntables, how does Houston compare?
KB: The last time I was in Houston was bananas. As I said, whenever I get a call, I'm there.
RO: As a vinyl nut, we still haven't gotten over going to clubs and seeing so many DJs pop those red Serato discs on their turntables and let their laptops turn out their sets for them. Since you're a vet at this game, I wanted to get your thoughts. Should guys like us just shut up about it and just let things evolve?
KB: You know, I use [CD turntables] when I play so I don't have to carry vinyl. Serato is cool but the sound I think is a little thin. But regardless, whatever tools you use to spread the love of the universal language which is music, then that's what you use!
RO: We see that freakin' vampire show True Blood included a track from your King Britt Presents: Sister Gertrude Morgan album in one of their episodes. How did that fall into place?
KB: The producers called for "Power" last season and then "New World in My View" this season. I love that show and was honored they used it. They paid very, very, very well too! (laughs)
RO: You've released a mixtape on your Web site, called Kingstrumentals. It's not bad, quite minimalist in some areas. Did that come about because you felt that even househeads need to download mixtapes once in a while?
KB: It's actually not a mixtape, it's just beats I needed to do without all the fillers. Old school loops and kicks and snares. I included liner notes with the entire process.
It was fun. But my podcasts have really really been a great source for people. saturnneversleeps.com is my main focus at the moment.
RO: So, what are you doing next? And may I just ask why are you being so cruel to us fans who want to see another Sylk130 album?
KB: Ah, the new Sylk130 is next summer. I will be re-releasing everything and then the new album. It's called Swoon and it's all beautifully crafted love songs, uptempo and down. Also, I will be releasing two concert videos of the very first show and last show, so no worries!
RO: And here's the Barbara Walters question: What do you want people to take with them after attending your gig at La Strada?
KB: Damn, he played some sexyclectic treats!
With DJ Chicken George, Brotha Jibril and John Calero, 10 p.m. tonight, at La Strada, 322 Westheimer, 832-272-3933 or www.lastradahouston.com.