HOT DAMN! The Acumen of Landon Cole
HOT DAMN! The Acumen of Landon Cole
by Trey Hebron
These days in Jacksonville it seems like amateur events are a dime a dozen. The recent influx of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) has pumped the necessary confidence in every recent high school grad with a laptop to decide they’re going to be a DJ, a “bromoter” (yup i went there) or even worse; both. The problem here isn’t their ambition or drive, (I am no dream killer and an entrepreneur myself,) the problem is that quality comes last for the majority of these pop-up weekly events. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up a flyer spattered with buzz words and pictures of women in bikinis claiming to soak you with neon painted glow-foam while “DJ Mediocre” presses play, all for the low price of $5.
As someone who works hard to put on quality events here in town, you can imagine this sort of saturation has become quite the pet peeve for those of us who do this for a living. For that very reason I decided to reach out to Landon Cole to discuss Hot Damn Dirty Disco. Landon is someone who clearly gets what it takes to put together a proper event. His heavy emphasis on class and style in a trendy, urban setting sets an exemplary level of dedication not only to brand establishment, but to quality control. I sat down with him to discuss all things past and present with Hot Damn Dirty Disco.
Trey Hebron: So Landon can you tell me a bit about the history of Hot Damn Dirty Disco and how it came to be?
Landon Cole: So Hot Damn came to be one day when Ryan Rummel of TSI got in touch with me and asked if I could put together some kind of event; any event. Just put something together you know? This was back when I was DJ’ing a lot more (Summer of 2011) and throwing events was kind of a passion of mine so I just decided to take him up on it. I was really in to disco at the time and I still am. Disco house, french touch, french house, filer house, etc… so I wanted to include that genre.
I wanted to try to give it a sort of classier spin if I could and emphasize style. The first Hot Damn was in June 2011 and it was a huge success! After that we wanted to bring in acts from other places of the world. We brought in Viceroy as our first act and he was awesome, but surprisingly, that show yielded the lowest turn out. We brought in Fare Soldi from Italy and Bit Funk from NYC, and we’ve co/hosted shows with Wes Reed (Are Friends Electric) when it was back at Square One. Lately it’s been stagnant as most people on the team have been pretty busy, so for the better part of a year we haven’t had a Hot Damn. But a few of us got together and we’re making it happen again at Underbelly, Friday the 27th.
TH: Nice man! Crazy to think Viceroy was your lowest turnout with his own recent success. I also attribute a lot of that to disco being back on the upswing in major markets such as NYC, LA and etc. Do you feel the same about the genre as a whole and was that any sort of inspiration to bring the event back?
LC: A lot of people had been asking about Hot Damn and when it was going to come back. I was working full time for the better part of two years, but then one day I quit my job, and I had like a month and a half of time on my hands before I went back to work. So I decided to bring it back at Underbelly. It’s an awesome venue. I love it’s decor and atmosphere. No other club like it in town.
TH: Yeah, in my opinion, you couldn’t have picked a better venue in town. Obviously I’m a little bias as a huge advocate for the area, but its feel fits your style perfectly.
LC: But I do think Disco and that kind of sound is definitely gaining more and more acceptance as time goes on.
TH: Absolutely. I suppose Daft Punk would be the obvious example of of a monster who’s embraced the genre, but we’re even seeing underground producers and mainstream artists such as Skream, Disclosure, Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake and more touching on elements of the genre. All these artists have in common a sort of dapper, sexy style that also coincides with the general theme of your events. A few years back I never would have thought that the younger generation in Jacksonville was ready for an event with a swanky sort of dress code and urban aesthetic. Do you attribute your success in this area to anything particular or are you just the man?
LC: <Laughs> I think our success comes from a solid reputation that’s been built up one event at a time. We have a unique angle too. I think people want an excuse to dress up and go out, and there aren’t a whole lot of other things going on in jax where that sort of thing is appropriate. It happens every day in some other cities. I don’t think there’s any reason we can’t do it in Jax, and get away with it without taking ourselves too seriously. Also we put a ton of work into marketing the event through photo shoots and video. We developed a look and feel that helps set the tempo for the event. I think that also contributes to our success. Just hard work and an attempt to really do it “right”, versus just creating a Facebook event with a flyer and calling it a day. I work with a great group of people that get stuff done. Definitely couldn’t do it on my own.
TH: Nice dude. You’re only as good as your weakest link, right? In any event, I appreciate you taking the time to rap with me a bit. I’m really looking forward to the return of Hot Damn and amped to have another quality event coming to The Elbow! I’ll be there… and I’m going to look good!
LC: <Laughs> Awesome my man! Looking forward to seeing you there!
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