THE BIRDHOUSE 083: Jason Bentley Interview

If you know – or want to know – anything about good music in Los Angeles, Jason Bentley’s your go-to guy. He’s the Musical Director of KCRW and hosts the station’s flagship show Morning Becomes Eclectic, as well as Metropolis, the station’s Saturday night dance programming. (Not bad for a kid who got his start at KCRW manning the phones after high school.)

Given his three roles at KCRW and a full DJ schedule, Jason is a seriously talented curator and trendsetter… he’s also an incredibly busy dude, so we’re thrilled to welcome him to THE BIRDHOUSE. We’re doubly honored to have him be the first guest to answer our new Birdhouse Questionnaire, for which he supplied some pretty excellent answers.

Check out this week’s show below and read on get to know Jason a little better.

THE REAL

How did your music career get started in earnest?

In ‘91 was playing House music on my college radio station and writing for a local music monthly URB magazine when I got hired by London/FFRR recordings to send them cassette tapes of my favorite new tracks for $200 a month. That was my first paid gig in the music business, and ultimately it helped me buy more records, so I thought it was a great situation. This led to producing my first CD compilation California Dreaming for FFRR in 1993, which featured all West Coast Dance and Electronic artists.  

Where are you from and does it have an influence on your music?

I grew up between Boston and Los Angeles, and I’m definitely influenced by both cities. I believe my early interest in the underground club scene in Los Angeles was an effort to find the urban diversity I had experienced in Boston. These days I’m very much a part of the fabric of the LA music scene as a radio and club DJ and curator of public programs as Music Director of KCRW radio. 

How many times did you want to quit trying to make this your career?

Never. You can’t really quit a “calling.” It’s like knowing a bigger purpose. It's not something that can be denied. 

When you were getting started, which artists did you try to emulate (both musically and careerwise)?

I guess all of the local guys in the ‘90s LA Rave scene; Doc Marten, DJ Dan, Marques Wyatt, Barry Weaver, and many others – peers and friends from a thriving dance music scene in those days. 

When you have a tough week or a rough tour, how do you get yourself back on track?

Lately I’ve been trying “float therapy” where you get into this warm salt water sensory deprivation tank for an hour. You might laugh, but it works. I’ve been going to this place near my home in Venice called Pause Float Studio. 

Where and when are you at your most content/happiest?

In the DJ booth.

 

THE REST

Favorite and least favorite colors?

Favorite color is black. Least favorite is khaki.

Favorite and least favorite words?

Favorite word is “mellifluous" and least favorite is “manbun”.

Favorite animal?

Ocelot.

Favorite board game?

Nude Twister.

Favorite guilty pleasure food?

Hawaiian Pizza.

Favorite guilty pleasure song?

Katy Perry “Teenage Dream”.

German or Detroit techno?

German Techno.

Festival, club or illegal warehouse?

Club.

Biggie or Tupac?

Bowie.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars.

Exercise or Netflix?

Exercise, every day.