Matt Consola

Matt Consola is one of the most informed DJs that I’ve ever had the pleasure to speak with. He owns his own record label called, “Swishcraft” ( and has recently done Gwen Stefani’s remix, “Misery”. He is the longest running resident DJ DJ for one of the largest gay circuit parties designed for “Bears”, in the world. I spoke to Matt in detail about his very interesting career, the music business, and his “Bear” parties. He was very enlightening, musically brilliant, candid, and really down to Earth.

 Where are you based out of?
I’m based out of both San Francisco and Portland. We founded a label in San Francisco, and I have a place in Portland as well. I go between the two. Right now I’m in Portland. Portland reminds me of San Francisco 20 years ago.

So, how long have you been a DJ?
I have been at Dj since I was 16, and I’m 48 now.

You did the remix of “Misery”, by Gwen Stefani?
Yeah we’re on the new Gwen Stefani release.

How did that happen for you?
We work a lot with the Mighty Real agency, out of New York. They represent quite a few of their major labels and artists for remixes. My partner Robert Ladic is a huge Gwen fan, so we always let Jack Harmon know that if anything for Gwen comes his way that we definitely want to be on the project. So he was kind of keeping us in mind for that. We have done a lot of projects for him in the last couple of years. The Gwen project was already in the works with the label, and they were short a mix. They were specifically looking for a pop radio friendly mix. They basically gave us 36 hours to turn something around. So we basically just stop everything, and we did it. In about 16 hours we did this mix and we still needed enough time to have it mastered and have it on his desk. We did the mix, sent it in, and they didn’t even ask for changes. We were really excited about it. We usually do more of a tech house sound, but they specifically wanted something that was pop radio friendly, with some tropical overtones. They seemed to like it.

It used to be the singer that you came to see in concert, now it seems to be the DJ. Why do you think that is?
I’ve been playing the big circuit parties for many years. I am the head resident for the club Bearracuda. It’s one of the largest gay traveling events in the world. We are in 58 cities, and 11 countries. It’s a party that is geared towards “Bears”….Gay men Bears. It’s been 11 years now and it just keeps growing and growing.

Matt, are you a Bear? How did you start your career?
I am a Bear. I started in college radio, I did the mobile DJs and weddings and stuff in the early 90s or so. Then I started making my way into clubs, and just kept doing it for years. I owned a magazine called Playland, which is always geared towards music. I wrote for Dance Music Authority Magazine. I was doing a big club called Metropolis in San Francisco, then things started to crack open and the label I was with, Redzone Records, they were doing a DJ compilation series called “Circuit Grooves”. I got put on issues 9, 10 and 11, and those exploded. Suddenly my manager had me on the road leaving Thursday and coming back home on Monday. I was like in Denver on Friday, Atlanta on Saturday, and Miami on Sunday, or they had me over in Europe, for close to nine years. I was just constantly traveling. I loved it, and it allowed me to buy a house. I’d probably not be able to buy one now. It’s just the way the music industry is. Then the circuit scene wasn’t doing it anymore, and the music was changing, and the Bear scene was just starting. I was already a Bear. What started out as a 75 person dive bar in San Francisco has essentially grown into what is now a big Bear circuit party.

Eileen Shapiro

Best selling author of "The Star Trek Medical Reference Manual", and feature celebrity correspondent for Get Out Magazine, Louder Than War, and Huffington Post contributor, I've interviewed artists from Adam Ant, Cyndi Lauper, and Annie Lennox to Jennifer Hudson, Rick Springfield, LeAnn Rimes, and thousands in between. My interviews challenge the threat of imagination....

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