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  John Kelley
by Jason and Sabrina Weil

This interview with John Kelley took place at Shapeshifter Productions' Battle Over Cybertron on April 24, 1999. It is sometime after 1 am.

Lunar: First of all, we know that you have played in Atlanta several times. How do you feel about playing in Atlanta?

John: I like Atlanta quite a bit, the energy's good, and kids like to dance and party here and get into it, and people are really nice especially compared to... a big city like Los Angeles or something like that. I love the scene in L.A., but as far as the people in general it's a lot friendlier here.

Lunar: Could you tell us a little about your latest projects?

John: Sure! I signed another deal with Moonshine. I should have that new CD coming out probably..we just started working on the tracks for it, clearing the vinyl and what not, so it should be coming out hopefully sometime this summer, in a couple of months maybe. And then working on original materials, so I should have my first single out sometime this summer as well. That's actually much more exciting than the whole CD thing. That I'm excited about.

Lunar: I believe that how you got started was kind of an interesting story. Can you tell us a little about that?

John: I got my start; I was a bedroom DJ, made a tape for some friends that were taking them to this desert party that we were really into, and it was really small back then, like fifty people, but we dug it — the scene sucked in L.A. back then. So this guy heard my tape and was like, "Hey [I had only been spinning for three months], you wanna play next month?" I was like, shit, alright, I started playing. My hands would shake and everything, but...they asked me to be a resident there and that party ended up [to be the] Full Moon Gatherings by Moontribe. And those parties ended up blowing up big time in L.A. It was a really, really good party, all word of mouth, no fliers, no voicemail and in its peak we would get one to four thousand people out there. I kinda just got at the right place at the right time. There are a lot a talented dj's out there, but you need a little bit of luck too, so I feel fortunate.

Lunar: How do you feel about the state of breaks in America right now?

John: The state of what?

Lunar: Your music, or the kind of music you play.

John: Well, it's kind of a weird question. I'm known as a breakbeat dj, but...actually in the last year I've been playing a lot of hard house, funky techno...cause a lot of the breakbeat music coming out right now isn't really up my alley. When I used to play breaks it was — I liked a lot of the harder, acid-styled breaks, and a lot of the breaks that come out right now are a little bit slower and on the funkier side. Some of them are pretty hard, but still not as high energy as I would like, so I've been moving in another direction. I think there is a lot of really good techno and house music out there right now. It's just where the best music is right now, and that's what I'm into.

Lunar: Is that what we can expect here tonight from you?

John: Oh, absolutely. [laughing] I'll play maybe one breakbeat track, but probably not. I only play breaks if some kids come up and are like "please, please play me one," and then I'm like "ok, I'll play ya one," but I'm more into the...different groove right now.


Knee Deep cover art Knee Deep
Record Label:
Track Listing:

  1. Tribal Phunk - Peace Division
  2. Spirit Catcher - The Mod Wheel
  3. Incessant Sound - Melrob
  4. Filter - Jan Driver
  5. Engage - X-Cabs
  6. The Freaks - Uberzone
  7. B-Line - John Kelly/D.T. Swendeman
  8. Horsepower - CJ Bolland
  9. Fly Mutha Beatz - Brownie (Mr. Funkster's Oh Yeah mix)
  10. Drum Tumbler - Jack Mackrel
  11. Soul Survivor - Urban D.K.
  12. As If - DJ Icey
  13. Freewheelin' Franklin - Rabid Punk
  14. The Vision - Make Some Break Some
  15. Breakthrough - Sven Vath
John Kelley (far right) at Battle Over Cybertron

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