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Slamdance 2013 Q&A: ‘Rebel’ DJ LeCash as quirky as his film

January 20th, 2013 Posted in Arts and Life

Story by Katie Swain

PARK CITY—Josh LeCash is an eccentric, egocentric, Miami-born DJ who propelled himself to fame with his charm and charisma despite having a reputation as one of the worst wannabe DJs.

Sundance 2013 LogoAfter gaining success in Miami, LeCash went international as the official DJ for pop songster Katy Perry’s tour.

Intrigued by the fast-track lifestyle and party atmosphere where LeCash thrives, filmmaker Kyle Schneider created the documentary-style, 25-minute short film “Rebel, Rebel, Rebel,” centering on LeCash’s chaotic but successful romp as a DJ.

“Josh LeCash is lazy, self-absorbed and unprofessional,” Perry is quoted as telling Slamdance, Utah’s “subversive” festival of non-Sundance entries, “but I love him.”

Katy Perry cameo in ‘Rebel Rebel Rebel’ outtake

Egotistical? “I probably help more people than f***ing . . . politicians don’t help people, also doctors,” LeCash, apparently clad only in tattoos, underwear and a glove, tells an interviewer in the film. “I have way more to say than anyone else you’ve ever interviewed.


LeCash and Schneider at Slamdance 2013 in Park City. Kevin Schneider photo

“I have so much to say—we could be here for seven hours times two, 14 hours. I will talk about anything and everything and I won’t even stop for a breath, because there’s so much important s**t going on in the world.

“I’m very spiritual,” LeCash says.

“Rebel Rebel Rebel” premiered Friday at Slamdance at the Treasure Mountain Inn, and will screen there again Tuesday at 2:15 p.m.

The Hard News Café’s Katie Swain sat down with LeCash, who also produced the documentary, and director Kyle Schneider Saturday to discuss the DJ’s personality, career and the movie’s premiere.

Hard News Café: So first of all, for both of you, obviously I’m really curious about the Katy Perry quote. You’re kind of known, as she says, as “lazy, self-absorbed, and unprofessional.” I want to know is there truth to that, how do you feel about that? Are you bothered by that?

LeCash: I don’t think there’s truth to that. Katy’s a very playful person.

Schneider: There is truth to that! But despite that, he still manages to excel and rise, and his audience space grows and they pay him more and more money for shows.

HNC: What do you attribute that to? You have this crazy fame, this celebrity status, you’re doing Katy Perry shows, and yet people are like, this guy is so unprofessional! So what is it?

LeCash: It’s jealousy. Yeah, I sound like a young girl on one of those Jerry Springer shows, but it’s true—it’s jealousy. But I’m not calling them bad names, these people who are attacking me, but it’s just jealousy, that’s it and we’ll leave it at that.


Filmmaker Kyle Schneider and DJ Josh LeCash talk to Hard News Café reporter Katie Swain at Slamdance 2013. Dani Hayes photo

HNC: Jealous of your fame?

LeCash: Jealous of everything. Yeah, everything.

HNC: And the hair? Are people jealous of your hair?

LeCash: The hair is very samurai. I’m being very samurai. I’m very zen.

HNC: What do you have to say about that, Kyle?

Schneider: The state of this DJ culture is just like that right now. There is this segment of DJ population who aren’t really artists, they’re just kind of technicians, kind of “play-button DJs.” They show up at parties, they press play and that’s it.

LeCash: I do more than that.

HNC: Well, then do you still think there’s an art and a talent to DJ-ing?

LeCash: Of course, yeah.

HNC: Tell me about your talent.

LeCash: Well I’m not as talented as let’s say A-Trak, who’s a turn-tableist. That’s an art right? So it’s just different arts. Arts within arts. I make art. I said art like five times. That means that it is art.

HNC: Does that make you an artist then?

LeCash: Yes, I am an artist. And a rockstar. Artist-slash-rockstar.

HNC: A famous artist-rockstar DJ?

LeCash: Yes. Hey, you’re the one saying it, not me.

HNC: I’m validating your fame.

LeCash: Yes.

HNC: Kyle, I want to know what drew you to this story.

Schneider: So I’m at this show that Josh is DJ-ing—a party for Lil’ Deaf—and I saw all the electronic DJs down in LA, and we started talking. And I thought it would be an interesting project to shoot in, and it just sort of sparked. It’s sort of one-way, it’s a borderline fluff piece between him, the environment, the girls—it’s just the whole thing, this sort of culture, this excess.

LeCash: I’m so interesting that it just became so much better.

HNC: Kind of what you were saying before, Kyle—within the LA party scene, everyone’s trying to reach that cool status, and sometimes conceited, or self-absorbed, is cool—that’s what it is most of the time, talent or no talent. So do you have it both Josh—the talent and the cool?

LeCash: What do you think I’d say to that?

HNC: I’m sure you’d say yes –Swain372

LeCash: Yes! Yes I do.

HNC: As any “self-absorbed person” would say.

LeCash: I’m not, I’m not self-absorbed.

HNC: Can I ask you about your mug shot that’s on the back of your fliers here. Last night while I was kind of researching you I got on your Twitter page . . .

LeCash: Oh I saw that you tweeted me!

HNC: Yes, I tweeted you! So I saw your mug shot on there, and that you gave photo cred to the LAPD.

LeCash: Yeah, it’s one of my better pictures. And it’s the most expensive picture I’ve ever had taken of me. It cost me $3,000 in lawyer fees, but, hey, I got a good picture out of it. And I made mug shot t-shirts, too.

HNC: Did you really?

LeCash: Yeah, I made like 10 of them.

HNC: And did you sell them?

LeCAsh: No I gave them to close friends. My dad wears it sometimes, I swear.

HNC: Is he proud?

LeCash: No, but . . . I . . . um . . . well, but, yes. No, but yes.

HNC: How did you get started with DJing?

LeCash: Well, growing up in Miami, it’s something I was gravitated to. I mean the night life is like 20 minutes away from my house and goes until like 6 a.m., and I just figured I could do better than the guys that were playing. I enjoy finding obscure songs and I’m kind of annoyed when the DJs play the same thing over and over and over again, so that’s why I wanted to do it.

HNC: So you’ve got different music?

LeCash: Sometimes. Depends on the party. Sometimes I have to play what they want.

HNC: So is it your different music that propelled you into fame? Or is it your charisma?

LeCash: Oh, everything about me contributes to that. I don’t think it’s just the music, because there’s a million people like that, there are other DJs who really dig deep and try to find different music, but they’re still DJ-ing in their basements. So yeah, I think it’s a lot of things.

HNC: Kyle? How do you think he got so famous?

Schneider: I think it’s all of the above. There’re a lot of factors, and the whole state of DJ culture—I think that’s a big contribution to his ascension.

HNC: It sounds like a great movie Kyle.

Schneider: Thank you, and it shows again Tuesday.


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