Dylan Eiland, also known as Le Castle Vania and DJ DJ Dylan, is a DJ, song writer and music remixer. In 2007, he presented MJQ’s monthly 18-and-up event “F**k Yesss,” which was named Best Club Event for the Best of Atlanta 2009. He is an Atlanta native.
1) How did you first get started doing this line of work?
Well, there is really two parts to what I do. The first half is being a producer, song writer and remixer, which is the half where I actually create the music. The other half is the DJ side, which is where I get to present the music to the world. I guess I got my start by being passionate about writing, creating and discovering new music. I have been DJing for about 10 years now, started when I was 16.
2) What are the ups and downs of being a DJ?
Well, for me the ups are obvious: getting to make a living from doing something I am really passionate about, getting to travel and play my music around the world and also having the opportunity to share and connect with so many people in celebration. It’s really exciting.
But of course there is always a down side to touring and traveling a lot — it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. There is a lot of time spent alone on the road and traveling; it can be really exhausting. Also, being away from home for such a long time can really take a toll on your personal life, personal relationships and friendships, of course.
3) What qualities do you think make for a successful DJ?
Well, of course, an understanding of the technical skills is important. There is a lot more to being a really good DJ than I think the common person thinks. Most people think it’s just about having good taste and just pressing play, but there is much more to what a DJ like me does — such as beat matching and mixing and blending songs together in key with each other and creating the mood and energy of a party. Timing is also super important, like knowing just when to drop the right tracks in a way that just makes the whole crowd get excited.
4) Where does the name Le Castle Vania come from?
It was really just an inside joke I had with a few friends when I first started the project. It was based off the name of an old video game. I really didn’t think too much about it when I started the project but then later on, once things really start to take off, I was just like, “oh well, I guess that my name now.” I think it worked out well though — it seems to kind of catch people’s attention.
5) How did you come to work at MJQ’s 18-and-up event “F**k Yesss”?
Well, it’s my party. I created it as an outlet for me to build the scene for the type of music I am into and enjoy playing. It’s been really awesome to watch it grow from something I started from nothing to now being rated as the number one club event in Atlanta by Creative Loafing and several of the other local press.
6) Who can be more irritating to deal with — Emory students or Georgia Tech students?
I have no comment on this — both have rad people.
7) You’ve said before that you try to make your shows more of a performance than just a DJ’s, can you explain that more?
It’s all about the energy that I give off and the energy that I get back from the crowd. My shows are also more visual — I play on a stage versus some lame DJ booth.
Anyone that wants to see what my shows are about should really just check out the videos on my website.
8) Having toured all over the world, what do you think of Atlanta’s music scene and nightlife compared to that of other cities?
I think Atlanta’s scene, although it’s still just starting to blossom, is really rad. There is a lot of cool fun people and a lot of great musical talent, although I find it is sometimes lacking in the motivation needed to really make things pop.
There is a serious need for more event promoters and better venues. There is a lot of room for some people to come in and really make some awesome things happen for this city, because there is definitely a large market of people who are ready and willing to party here. There is just a lack of really exciting club events. Most of the promoters here kind of just aren’t really in touch with what makes an event exciting for it’s patrons, but I have a feeling that a new generation of young promoters will turn that around. I wish I had more time to put into events, but I just simply don’t have time to do any events out side of “F**k Yesss,” with everything else I have going on.
9) If you had the choice, would you leave Atlanta to work in any other city?
Well, I do have the choice, really. I could leave any time I like, but I grew up in Atlanta and really love it. I own a house here, and it just feels right to me.
I used to have a place in LA as well and used to travel back and forth between the two, but I didn’t really feel productive when I was in LA. There were just too many distractions. Here in Atlanta, I feel I can get the best of both worlds — there is enough social interaction but also enough solitude to focus in on my creative stuff.
I can see how some people get bored with Atlanta, but luckily I get to travel and party outside of Atlanta pretty much every week, so I just end up missing Atlanta and not getting bored of it. That said, if I ever did move out of Atlanta I would definitely move to Australia. That is my favorite place on the planet.
10) How would “Jersey Shore’s” DJ Paulie D fit into the Atlanta music scene?
I’m not even going to dignify this question with an answer.
— Interview by Asst. Editorials Editor Catherine Cai