DJ and recording artist Jon Bishop has been at the forefront of the Southern California techno scene since 1991. His radio show Sounds of the Underground on 92.5 FM was one of the first electronica/techno music programs to air. In 1992 he cofounded Club Hedonism at Rich’s in Hillcrest, an event that ran weekly for over a decade, sometimes drawing upwards of a thousand patrons and earning press in Playboy and Details magazines.
Bishop has worked on a dozen albums as a producer and recording artist but always returns to hands-on DJing at area events. These days he’s using CDs more than vinyl.
“With less vinyl coming out every month,” he says, “downloads have become the norm for DJs finding their music. My sets have gone completely digital, with all my tracks on CDs now. Not my choice, but for ease of getting new music and the cost, not to mention lugging those heavy bags of vinyl through airports, you can’t beat downloading music. I love spinning vinyl, and I think people like seeing that, too, but it’s become very costly and a slow way to get music out to the public.”
Bishop is not in love with computer setups nor a fan of programs like Serato, which claim to replicate the vinyl experience. “[It’s fine] until it crashes in the middle of your set, like I’ve seen happen with a few DJs. Nice concept, but you’re screwed if your computer messes up. I’ll play CDs, thank you.”
WHAT’S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
1. Billy Idol, Devil’s Playground: “Best rocking album to come out in the past ten years. Steve Stevens’s guitar playing on this album is over the top.”
2. Jamie Cullum, mix CD: “Great mellow-out music with a twist of fun.”
3. Cheap Trick, mix CD: “These guys rock, period.”
4. The Police, mix CD: “The tightest three-piece band ever, back when Sting was king.”
1. Caddyshack “Funniest movie ever.”
2. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior “Raw, intense thriller that leaves you on the edge of your seat, even when watching it for the 50th time.”
3. Meet the Fockers “Funny movie and even funnier outtake clips in the DVD extras.”
4. The Hollywood Nights “A sleeper comedy not too many people know about.”
5. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King “I’d take all three, but if I ran out of room I’d just take the final one in the series.”
DREAM LUNCH DATE?
“Tiger Woods, because I’d like to get into his mind to see how it works. He’s the greatest athlete at any sport we’ll probably ever see. His focus and work habits are above and beyond anyone else’s.”
“Never broke a bone, but I’ve had six shoulder dislocations. Once, during sex — which was pretty embarrassing.”
WHERE DO YOU HANG OUT?
“Sunset Cliffs, because there’s no other view like it in the world when the sun is setting.”
BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
“My dad told me to be your own best friend in life and not to rely on others. I hope he wasn’t talking about masturbation.”
“My first job as a dishwasher at a restaurant when I was 15. You can’t DJ with dishpan hands.”
BIGGEST POLITICAL CONCERN?
“I have three that are related: Global warming, pollution, and overpopulation. We are our own worst enemy, and we’ll probably overpopulate and overextend the Earth’s natural resources before any terrorist or nuclear war can kill us all.”