Well it’s finally Friday. That means two things: 1) you made it through another grueling week of work/school/funemployment and 2) we’re only one day away from the next installment of VELOUR! We are beyond excited to break in our new home at Infusion Lounge on 16 S. 2nd St. in Old City, so join us tomorrow night for the best music, drink specials and beautiful people the city has to offer.
Our headliner this time is Krueger, who has been making his mark in Philly for some time now. I had a chance to catch up with Neal this week to discuss how he got his start, where he plans to take things from here, and whether or not we can expect him to rock a Fedora and striped sweater during his set on Saturday.
Take us back to the early days: Did you grow up in the city? What were the first clubs where you started going out & exploring live music around Philly?
I actually grew up in NJ about 15 minutes outside of the city. I was always really into live bands and stuff so I would go to local shows in Jersey and Philly. Those were usually weird punk shows and shit. It wasn’t until around 2009 when I started to venture off into the “club” scene here in Philly.
Did you have any special motivation to get into DJing, or is it just something you’ve been doing your whole life?
In 4th grade I was supposed to DJ the school talent show… no joke. BUT I chickened out. I think it was just a one mix routine of me mixing some Roni Size record into a breakbeat or something. That was the end of my DJ career until after highschool. My friend gave me a copy of Reason 2.0 and I went off making hip hop beats and sampling vinyl. That was always a hobby though until my trip to London in 2010 when I went to Fabric. That was the night that pretty much solidified what I wanted to do.
Ever since then it’s just been my life. All in all I think its a nice balance I have between the two and I try to keep it that way. My brother Mike was DNB DJ when I was growing up and I always say that subconsciously I kinda owe everything to him.
What were the early days of your career like? Play a lot of warehouse & underground parties? Do you still enjoy the underground scene?
In the early days it was a lot of small gigs and house parties. Mainly house parties. But yo, I LOVE warehouse parties! They are always the best and worst parties. I love not really knowing what you’re in for. Nothing like DJing at 4am to a packed warehouse.
How did you develop the Krueger persona?
I think I was Freddy Krueger 5-6 years in a row for Halloween. When it came time to pick a name I made a list of things that I’ve always had an affinity towards and Krueger stuck out to me. That being said I stray away from any nostalgia connected to the name. You won’t be seeing me DJ in a glove with knives as fingers anytime soon.
What would you say are the most prevalent elements/styles you seek out for new tracks & mixes?
The things that inspire me or give me ideas can literally be ANYTHING. It’s always fluctuating as my life and influences change.
Focus for the future? Any new releases or collabs you can let us know about?
Right now I am just trying to stock pile new tunes. No plans for release soon on anything. I also have some collabs in the works with Ana Sia, Dr. Jeep, Obey City, Drewish, and some others… some are new, some are old, all will get finished.
What are some of your favorite spots around Philly? (Food, nightlife etc)
I love Philly for mainly one reason… ITS CHEAP AND AWESOME. There’s few cities where you can get such quality for such a low price. I live in Fishtown so I like to stick around and explore my neighborhood for the most part. Johnny Brendas is up the street and they have great food as well as a good list of talent coming through. I saw Total Freedom, Inc., and Kelela there. Such a random spot for them to play but it was awesome.
Can you share your best moment as a performer so far?
I don’t think I have one yet. So many awesome things have happened here and on tour but I think something bigger and better is coming.
What are the best albums you’re listening to right now?
There is a lot of great music out right now. The Inc. album that came out this summer has been an anthem for me… by far my favorite album of the year. Other than them it just rotates between new club music and old bands I like still.