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Interview With DJ Don Swindler at Any Kinda Music

Interview with DJ Don Swindler Owner of Any Kinda Music
By Springfield Brides Editor Julie Albaugh



1: How Should Couples Select A DJ?

Just like any major  purchase, do your homework and get referrals from family or friends who have used a DJ, or ask the DJ for referrals from past clients. Meet with several DJ’s at least six months, or preferably one year, in advance and go with the one who meets your needs and is willing to work with you. Make a list of questions you want to ask. Most brides lack the experience to ask the right questions and instead go with the cheapest DJ. Price,although important, should not be the driving force on picking a DJ. Brides and grooms spend thousands of dollars on a dress, tuxedo, venue, cake, food, flowers, and then they look for a DJ. With our experience, we should be one of the first people they hire, especially if they are not using a Professional Planner/Coordinator for their reception. I have played at lots of the Venues, Worked alongside  hundreds  of  caterers  and  photographer (some good, some great, and some I would not recommend).  I have seen the most  beautiful centerpieces, cakes, flowers and sadly the failures.


2: How Can A DJ Transform A Wedding Reception Into A Party?

Experienced  professional  DJ’s like me have done hundreds of  receptions. I use that experience and knowledge to help make your  reception  successful. I listen to what my client wants, and I use that information to help make their  party  unique to them. I use professional lighting and wireless microphones to help aid in a visual and audio experience for  clients  and  guests. Experienced DJ’s also have a vast Library of Music so when grandma and grandpa ask for the song they danced to at their wedding; they can put it right into the mix. I like to take time during dinner and walk around and talk to the guests asking questions like: How was the ceremony or are there any requests I can play for you?  Most guests will not remember the bride’s dress or if the Groom was wearing a Suit or a Tuxedo, if the Cake was chocolate or white but, they will remember if the music  was too loud or the DJ mispronounced the bride’s mother’s name or didn’t have any of the five songs they requested to be played.


3: What Can Go Wrong If A Couple Uses An Ipod For The Reception?
Mp3 files played on an ipod tend to be recorded at varying volume levels. Without somebody monitoring sound levels on the device, volume levels may rise and fall dramatically from song to song. DJs’ know how to use and trouble-shoot their equipment. If technical issues arise at an ipod wedding, lengthy delays or awkward moments could result. Pre-programmed set lists on an ipod may not reflect what’s happening on the dance floor.  Renting a professional sound system is not inexpensive. Assuming that the song is on the client’s ipod, guest requests can be fielded at a party. Remember, there are no “do overs” for a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Also an ipod is a machine devoid of personality and life experience, while a DJ is a unique, talented and flexible individual who can think on his or her feet and solve problems. And unlike a band, DJ’s don’t take 15 minute breaks that turn into half an hour.



4: How Can Couples Add Some Entertaining Elements To The Reception?
I tell my clients to use their imaginations, nothing is impossible! And above all else, have fun. I did an outdoor ceremony and reception that they released Chinese lanterns after it got dark. At another reception  while talking to  guests, I found out that the  bride  and her three  sisters  and one  brother  used to travel around the  country  singing professionally. I ambushed them into doing a  song. It was such a big hit that they did another song and ended up singing three more songs during the evening, it was fantastic. Another  bride’s father had a Carillon Bell group play at his daughter’s ceremony. He was also a member of a big band group that played during dinner. I like the surprises brides pull on the groom, usually with my help.


5: Any Other Tips That You Would Like To Give?

Don’t look at a DJ as though “he just plays music.” Put more of your budget towards the entertainment even if you have to cut back on other things like flowers or a three layer cake vs. a four layer cake. I go to meetings, take phone calls and get all the songs a client wants to hear. With the time spent setting up and tearing down of equipment. I am usually the first to arrive and the last to leave. Many hours of preparation go into a reception. There is the overhead cost of operating,  travel,  fuel,  vehicle  maintenance,  insurance,  trailer, cost of the music, professional lighting, speakers, amps, microphones, projector, TV, lots of cables and other  equipment. I don’t just show up and play  music, I am a professional entertainer. To all who moan about the price of Musicians see a joke told in the entertainment business: A guy calls the Musicians’ Guild to get a quote on a six piece band for a wedding. The Rep says, “Off the top of my head, about $2,000.” The guys says, “What, just for playing music?” The Rep responds, “I’ll tell you what, call the Plumbers’ Union and ask for six plumbers to work from six to midnight on a Saturday night. Whatever they charge, we’ll work for half.”