Javin Jonathan Rusco has been spinning the black circle since 2007. For those of you that aren’t super hip, that means he is a DJ. Under the nom de spin Cap’n Dangerous, Javin has been thrilling audiences around the Greater Lafayette area with his unique style, tasty beats, and funky stage presence. This weekend Cap’n Dangerous will take the stage once more. Think Lafayette sat down with Mr. Dangerous to chat about what it’s like being a DJ, where he got his awesome, and what’s next.
Think Lafayette: I’ve had the privilege of catching a couple Cap’n Dangerous shows. I have to admit that when I first read the name on the bill I didn’t know what to expect. For those that haven’t experienced a show yet could you give us a little description of who Captain Dangerous is and where he came from?
Cap’n Dangerous: I don’t take myself very seriously, and encourage others to do the same. I didn’t give myself the name either. I’ve been called Cap’n Dangerous by several of my closest friends for many years, and for many good (ridiculous) reasons. When I played my first Lafayette show at Skylight Coffee back in 2007, the promoter asked if I had a DJ name. I’d never really thought of that before, having always just used “Javin”, so he said “well, your email address is iamcapndangerous, so we’ll call you Cap’n Dangerous.” It stuck. I made a brand, some stickers, banners and stuff and it suits me just fine.
TL: When most people here the word DJ they probably think something a little more along the lines of a DeadMau5 or someone like that. How would you describe the music you play and where do you come up with your ideas for shows?
CD: I’ve been spinning records for a long long time and have amassed over 10,000 of them over the years, so I have a pretty wide and eclectic selection to choose from. The music that I play is pretty unique and you don’t really hear much of this stuff around here. I spent a lot of time at the roller rink as a kid and the music the DJs played back then really soaked into my bones, directly influencing what I play today. When people ask me what type of music I spin, my answer is usually something like; “It’s not disco, it’s roller-boogie-disco-funk.” It’s party music, but old-school. Most of the music that I play, odds are high that you’ve heard it, but probably not since you were a kid. Admittedly, however, I do incorporate a lot of real rare “crate-digger” type stuff that has a familiar vibe that you instantly identify with, but probably have never heard before. There are several of these tracks that are staples in my sets that my fans know well enough to sing along with at the shows, which is really a trip. The main point is that YOU WILL DANCE. Every song that I play has a contagious beat and/or hook that compels you to move, and I beat-match most of it so the fun doesn’t stop until they kick me out.
TL: Spinning the black circle has become a reasonably popular hobby these days, but not everyone can put together a show and entertain a crowd. As an OG who has been dropping needles for a while now, what do you think about the popularity of DJing? Are more DJs a good thing or a bad thing?
CD: The DJ scene has certainly become more watered down as of late, with the accessibility of tools that make it easier and more portable to put on a show, but at the same time, that makes true vinyl DJs that much more appealing. There is an element of performance art to spinning wax that gets the audience more involved and interested in what’s going on in the production of the show. Plus, vinyl sounds awesome. I’ve watched shows where several DJs played back to back, all with similar styles and types of music, but only one played wax and that was the only time that everyone was dancing. There is something that’s lost in other formats and the way that good vinyl makes a crowd move is undeniable.
TL: Do you do any special preparation for your shows? How do you get ready?
CD: I get asked this question quite a bit, and the honest answer is that no, I don’t do any kind of preparation for shows at all, other than just playing records at home all the time.￼Truth is, I let the crowd tell me what they want to hear. The first three or four songs will let me know exactly what people are gonna ‘get down’ to and I just go with the flow throughout the night. It works better that way. I’ve seen DJs spend hours, even days putting together flawless sets only to see them flop to an audience that spends the night looking at their smart phones. You have to watch people and see what trips their trigger and go for the jugular, MAKE them dance because they can’t help it.
TL: When you hang up Cap’n Dangerous’s cape, what kinds of things do you get into?
DJing is just something I do for fun once or twice a month. During my days, I’m the Production Manager for MadMen Creative. We are a large format printing company with an eco-safe printer, specializing in big graphics that make a bold statement. You’ve seen our work all over town and we’re very proud of what we do.
TL: What advice do you have for someone looking to take their music, no matter the genre, to the people of Lafayette?
CD: The key here is to find a niche that needs to be filled, and a few venues that cater to that niche. Cap’n Dangerous shows wouldn’t work at a sports-bar, for example. Really, luck has a lot to do with it though.
TL: When and where can our Think Lafayette readers catch Cap’n Dangerous in action next?
CD: On Saturday night, October 27 at the Black Sparrow Pub, DJ Winchester and Cap’n Dangerous will be hosting our 3rd Annual Face-Off DJ Battle. Each DJ will take possession of the beat when they find a track to match the previous DJs record. We have a lit up arrow between us, indicating which DJ has possession of the beat. It’s a lot of fun and people get blisters from dancing so much. After that, Saturday night, November 10th at Black Sparrow again, for the regional Bike Polo tournament after-party. Those guys know how to party, and the positive vibes guarantee a good time.