Many circuit and gay dance club DJs - including lots of the well-known and well-compensated - are fairly one dimensional: they play a steady diet of higher-energy, hard driving tracks that suggests that peak hours are a 24-hour phenomenon. Rare amongst the group of high-profile traveling booth occupants is the well-rounded DJ with ample talent to play a wide variety of dance music and enough confidence to spin a layered and textured set - complete with an uptrip and downtrip - that will please even the most discerning dance floor.
A certified member of this latter group is DJ Joe Gauthreaux, a native of New Orleans who is now based out of New York City. Widely acclaimed and admired for his DJing versatility, he is currently at the top of his game and one of the most sought after DJs in the U.S. and abroad. His schedule is chock full of gigs, ranging from pool parties and tea dances to main event and after-hours parties. Given his proven ability to put wide smiles on so many different dance floor faces, it only makes sense for Joe to be DJing in Chicago during the 2006 Gay Games.
Gauthreaux recently took a little bit of time out to answer our exclusive signature ChicagoPride.com Quick Hit Interview questions in order for his fans to find out a bit more about who he is.
DP: Set the record straight on the correct pronunciation of your last name.
JG: It’s Go-tro, with both "o’s" pronounced as vowels.
DP: How many brothers and sisters do you have?
JG: One sister who is 16 months younger than me.
DP: What was your favorite subject in high school?
JG: English. I wanted to be a writer for the longest time.
DP: As a senior in high school, were you voted an award like "Best Dressed," "Most Likely To Achieve," "Cutest Guy" or something like that?
JG: No. I should have been voted most likely to get the hell out of New Orleans. :-)
DP: Boxers, briefs, or commando?
JG: Briefs all the way.
DP: Michael Jackson or Prince?
JG: Michael Jackson, but before he got all weird.
DP: Your favorite color?
DP: What's your favorite Madonna song of all-time (the original version, not a dance remix)?
JG: "Open Your Heart."
DP: Who’s your favorite current actor or actress?
JG: Reese Witherspoon.
DP: From a consumer’s standpoint – not a DJ - name your favorite nightclub in the world to dance and party in?
JG: Club Stereo in Montreal. I always seem to get crazy and let go there.
DP: Who’s your favorite remixer/producer at the moment?
JG: Freemasons. Their stuff just has so much energy.
DP: Other than NYC, Chicago, or New Orleans, what’s your favorite American city?
JG: Atlanta, because I have so many friends there. But yeah, New York and Chicago would be in my top 5!
DP: Which three DJs influenced your early development the most?
JG: First there is Ric Herrington from Oz Nightclub in New Orleans. I used to go out and dance to him every night before I knew I even wanted to be a DJ. Susan Morabito was the first DJ I heard at a circuit party and it was then I knew I wanted to pursue a DJ career. And Lydia Prim, because she was really there for me in the beginning as a friend and mentor.
DP: What’s your favorite non-American city?
JG: Probably Toronto in North America, or Barcelona abroad.
DP: Here’s a scenario: You’re DJing a late night/early morning marathon set, it’s 7 am, and the sun is rising. What 2 or 3 songs are you likely to play?
JG: I always like to bring the music down a bit, especially if it's after a really long night. I reach for "Where Love Lives" by Alyson Limerick a lot. Also, Talk Talk's "It's My Life" and Lighthouse Family's "High." Those songs always seem to connect no matter what kind of crowd I am playing for.
They are also pretty special to me as well.
DP: What’s your favorite comfort food?
JG: Anything with salt - French Fries, potato chips. Oh wow - I haven't had fries in so long! Thanks - now you got me thinking about them!!!
DP: What was your favorite dance track of the past year or so?
JG: From a crowd perspective, it would have to be Mary J. Blidge "Be Without You." It's been huge!
DP: What’s the #1 song on your current Top 10?
JG: Probably Rihanna's "Unfaithful." I think it's definitely the song of the summer.
DP: Name the one U.S. President – dead or alive - you’d most like to sit down and have dinner with?
JG: The current Bush - to figure out if he really is as stupid and ignorant as he seems.
DP: The nightclub or party with the best DJ booth you’ve ever played in?
JG: The Winter Party suprised me this year with a pretty flawless set-up, especially for an outdoor event. It was actually better than most club set-ups.
DP: Pre-crack Whitney Houston or post-Glitter Mariah Carey?
JG: Whitney - pre or post crack!
DP: Your favorite reality TV show?
JG: Kathy Griffin - My Life On The D-List. She is the funniest person around.
DP: Are you single or in a relationship?
JG: Single. For now. :-)
Editor's Note: DJ Joe Gauthreaux will be at Hydrate Chicago on Saturday, July 15, 2006. (Event Details)