Over the weekend, a friend sent me an e-mail featuring the subject line “THIS!” That friend is an amazing songwriter and producer, so when he sends a link, you know to expect something hilarious and/or awful.
After clicking through, I discussed “Earth, Wind & Ozzys” by DJ Cummerbund, an excellent mashup of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Septembers,” as featuring cameos by Tim & Eric and “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
My enjoyment of this video led me to seek out other YouTube clips from DJ Cummerbund’s channel, which turned up more content including not only Randy Savage, but also Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. Thus, it was uncovered that DJ Cummerbund is indeed a wrestling fan.
I reached out to DJ Cummerbund via his close personal associate J. Gary Gildersleeve, who set up Q&A upon e-mail. Let’s just say that DJ Cummerbund is everything that a reader of Still Real To Us could hope for…and more. More on DJ Cummerbund can be found via Soundcloud and Twitter.
What do you wish more people knew about DJ Cummerbund?
DJ Cummerbund: A lot of people stereotype DJs as one-trick ponies, stupid, knuckle-dragging goons that have zero musical abilities and just push buttons. Because of this universally-accepted assumption, there can often be an inclination to overlook the fact that I am a multi-instrumentalist, accomplished composer and arranger, session turntablist, and 4th Dan Taekwondo champion. Aside from all of that, I’m just a recovering glue-addict looking learning to embrace his pansexuality and make a significant cultural impact in this crazy industry.
Some of what you do can be described as a mashup. Some of your tracks are remixes. “Last Resorts” is a beast of its own. How do you describe what it is that you do?
DJ Cummerbund: As a lover of all music, and one who tends to perceive reality in a more intense manner than others, I seek to show the masses that a melody/lyric/groove can be interpreted in a multitude of ways beyond what the original author intended. This becomes most clearly apparent when you blend songs from opposite ends of the musical spectrum, which is why I enjoy putting together so-called “mashups” most prominently. It’s ultimately my mission to align the listeners’ chakras in a sense so they can vibrate in a way that allows for complete openness and acceptance — something that can be achieved in many ways, sonically-speaking.
Randy Savage has found his way into a lot of your remixes. Is he your favorite wrestler of all-time?
DJ Cummerbund: It’s impossible to say I have a “favorite wrestler.” There are elements of many that I find endearing — Randy’s charisma, Hogan’s glistening muscles, Ted DiBiase’s resolve, and The Berzerker’s intensity, amongst many others. If I had to choose a favorite wrestler, it would not be an existing one in our 4D plane, but a hypothetical one. It would be someone who embodies the aforementioned attributes wrapped into a 6’10”, 360 lb., Albino Afro-American man who I would name “Delicious” Chickadee Dougan and would wear a variety of hats and coats to the ring.
“Be A Man” has been sampled in one of your videos. Is that the best wrestling-related hip-hop song you’ve ever heard?
DJ Cummerbund: Every song on Randy Savage’s 2003 album is iconic and masterful in its own right, and it’s clear that his songs have been quite influential on my work. A lot of people in the industry say it was ahead of it’s time — which is something I believe kept it from multi-platinum status. In my opinion, the quintessential track from Randy’s debut album is “Gonna Be Trouble,” a bold-yet-sexy proclamation of bravado that only a true warrior could legitimately flaunt without being called out for being disingenuous.
One of the key elements of the song “Be A Man Hulk” is the subtle acknowledgment of the intimate relationship both Randy and Hulk shared under the thin guise of a “diss track”; it’s virtually a love song for those in the know. This is something I always found both interesting and inspiring about the song, and something that I try to keep in mind when working on my own material. Perhaps surprisingly, I don’t find any of Randy’s songs on his incredible album being my favorite wrestling-related hip-hop song. This distinction has to go to “Beach Patrol” from Hulk Hogan’s underrated 1995 release Hulk Rules, a song that just resonates with me for reasons I can’t even begin to explain properly with human language.
To you, where does Randy’s brother Lanny Poffo rank among the all-time greats?
DJ Cummerbund: “Leapin” Lanny, The Genius, is one of the most under-appreciated wrestlers of all-time. He had the mic skills, the moves, the looks, and the intellect to have been WWF Heavyweight Champion several times over. People often overlook the fact that he defeated the great Hulk Hogan via count-out — a match that truly displayed the amazing effort on Lanny’s part that went into the effeminate, brazen Genius persona. His work with Mr. Perfect is nothing short of trailblazing, and he should be easily be considered in the top five of all-time in the industry.
Has anyone in the wrestling community ever reached out to compliment your remixes or mashups?
DJ Cummerbund: Several. “Mean” Gene Okerlund is actually featured at the beginning of my hit song “Hulk My Hogan” (a remix featuring departed hip-hop greats), and I’ve conversed with many current and legendary icons of wrestling via Twitter and Reddit, respectively. One of my favorites came in the form of a phone call from the Hulkster himself. This was shortly after the audio leaked with his racist rantings, and being understandably-sensitive at the time — I suppose — he was not appreciative of me using his music in my songs. I have to say that he was very polite and professional, and we came to an amicable understanding following an intriguing conversation about the AWA and Kamala.
Is there a video of yours on YouTube that you are most proud of?
DJ Cummerbund: One of my personal favorites — and from what I understand a favorite of the band themselves via a radio interview with Chad — is “PantsFeet,” which is essentially a mashup of two Nickleback songs proclaiming an appreciation of pants, feet, and their symbiotic relationship. I’ve yet to hear Scott Stapp of Creed fame’s take on it, as he was a crucial part of the project and its focus on the eternal struggle to achieve spiritual Golden Feet.
What’s coming up for you career-wise?
DJ Cummerbund: Aside from readying a release of original compositions in the coming months — I keep getting bombarded about this from labels, etc., but I plan to release on my own — I have also been hard at work on a musical, Summerslam ’91 – The Musical, focusing on the themes and events of that iconic pay-per-view against the backdrop of the U.S. aggression on Iraq in 1991. Primary rehearsals begin late autumn of 2017, which I am extremely excited about.
Finally, DJ Cummerbund, any last words for the kids?
DJ Cummerbund: I mentioned this already in a recent interview, but I want to be clear — I very much appreciate the adoration, but my personal life is beginning to suffer from my success. PLEASE do not come up to me in public asking for a selfie, autograph, or any other intrusive nonsense. If you would like a personal greeting from me, please visit https://www.celebvm.com/djcummerbund where I donate 100% of the proceeds of this transaction to the North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, New York. Twaddle!