Chopstick & Johnjon (DE): “John helped out”

Chopstick & Johnson with Heiko Laux and Funk d'Void in Japan
In 2017 I interviewed Chopstick & Johnjon about their first gig. Chopstick: “The pressure not to mess up and the many drinks beforehand, due to me being nervous, had made me a bit tipsy as well.”

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

In 2017 I interviewed German DJs/producers Chi-Thien Nguyen & John Muder a.k.a. Chopstick and Johnjon about their first gig. They remember their first performance together vividly. Chopstick: “The pressure not to mess up and the many drinks beforehand, due to me being nervous, had made me a bit tipsy as well.”

“Our first DJ gig together was around 2005 at Club Morphine in Hamburg, Germany. The venue was situated right behind the infamous Reeperbahn. One of our friends was the booker and he offered us the opportunity to expose our record selection skills.”

Chopstick Johnson augustus 2011 1024x780 - Chopstick & Johnjon (DE): “John helped out”

Safety net

“It was an intimate club and maybe could hold around two to threehundred people. I was super nervous as I hadn’t played anywhere in front of a crowd ever before. John was calm as fuck as he has been DJing at various venues before. In a way he was my ‘safety net’ because we had connected a Y-adapter to the mixer which went into twee headphones.”

Many drinks

“Back then it was all vinyl and when playing at home it was always easy to beatmatch.” (laughs) “It was much more difficult in a club. Why? Because I had to get used to the monitoring. On top of that, the pressure not to mess up and the many drinks beforehand, due to me being nervous, had made me a bit tipsy as well.”

Chopstick johnjon miami beach 2017 - Chopstick & Johnjon (DE): “John helped out”

Playing by ear

“I did plan a few records that I knew I would play for sure. But usually it’s hard to prepare a set when you’re part of a DJ duo. Generally your DJ partner plays something you wouldn’t even come up with.” (laughs) “So ‘preparing’ a DJ set was never possible. To this day, we don’t draw up anything, we always simply spontaneously play by ear.”

3hrs DJ set

“So, whenever I had the feeling of messing up a mix during our first gig, John had a listen on his headphones and adjusted the turntable appropriately. I think he helped me out a couple of times in the beginning of our 3hrs DJ set, but once I got the hang of it and had enough alcohol in me, I did really well.” (laughs) “Naturally I did fuck up a few times but thanks to my ‘safety net’ called John, I don’t think the dancing crowd really noticed.”

Chopstick johnjon Berlin 2018 - Chopstick & Johnjon (DE): “John helped out”

Always B2B

“It was the start of a twelve year long DJ journey around the world and back. Our girlfriends were present that night to support us as were many of our friends in Hamburg. It was a great night! John and I always play B2B and it was heaps of fun and still is!”

chopstick Johnjon March 2021 1024x1024 - Chopstick & Johnjon (DE): “John helped out”

“From that first gig onwards, I acquiered more self-confidence and felt more secure when mixing. At some point, it became my second nature. This had been the case for John for a long time, as he was a skilled DJ, playing various hiphop and house parties before we met. What he is as a DJ to me, I was as a producer to him back then. We complemented each other pretty well and nowadays we are in every aspect on the same level!”

This interview is originally published on December 22nd 2017 on DJMag.nl

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