At around 6 PM on Sunday evening, I had the pleasure of chatting with the one and only Dack Janiels. Coming off the high of his first festival set in two LONG years, he brought amazing energy to our interview. We met up in the press lounge at Hard Summer Music Festival and discussed everything from knee surgery to astrology.. oh, and music too! Get to know this Insomniac and fan favorite with me.
All right. So without further ado we have Mr. Dack Janiel’s here? That can’t be your real name.
Where did Dack Janiels come from? I’m assuming the liquor but who knows…
Honestly, um, when Instagram first came out, I was drinking whiskey and all my favorite skateboarders have cool names. And I was like, you know what, Dack Janiels! And then since this moment, Dack Janiels has just lived on. It’s never been the same. The world as we knew it.
It really hasn’t!
It forever changed in that moment.
I was wondering, speaking of skating, deejaying skating, what came first?
I’ve skateboarded my whole life. That’s my first love in the world. And, uh, I feel like music and skateboarding goes so hand in hand. I tore my MCL and ACL. When I got hurt and when I still had sponsors, I was like, dude, like, what do I do? It’s part of listening to bass music. It’s like, I may as well go balls, deep in the shit right now.
You know what I mean?
So you were injured and thinking, I need something. Did you have to get the surgery?
The whole thing. Yeah. Still out here. I love skateboarding. Still skate as much as I can. It’s like my one thing I truly love in this world. I love music, but it’s a job.
Interesting. So you look at it as more of a hobby or?
Truly like the way that people look at, like cooking, you know what I mean? Like that is like my escape from work, you know, I might tweak my ankle and like, whatever, but, um, I’d rather, you know, that’s a good way to start the year. Tweaked ankle and playing shows.
So since music is a job, is this is like a day in the office here at Hard Summer?
No, this was a day in the, uh, the anxiety factory?
It’s just cause it’s my first, my last festival was Hard Summer 2019. I did the green tent and I bodied it, but that was the last one.
So what have you been doing in the last couple years?
I run a label called 40ozCult. My sister, Wenzday my homie, Ami. Uh, we released, I think we just hit release 150? Been doing our shit for like three years. So, yeah just running a label and making music.
So you were kind of behind the scenes?
For the last year making music for sure. But I wanted to take COVID as an opportunity to put on acts that I truly thought deserve the recognition right now. There’s so many people out there, bass music is bigger than ever. Marshmello is opening it up with Riddem at Lollapalooza. Like why not put the guys who deserve it on? I’d be happy ending on a good note right here and pushing people up. You know what I mean?
So you kind of like to do both, you like to be on stage and behind the scenes? Are you a Gemini?
I’m a cancer. My birthday was last week. I was like, you know what Hard Summer is my party.
And did it feel like a party?
Everything went so well! So Hard Summer was the first festival I ever attended. When I moved to LA back in 2012, (he grew up in San Francisco) Hard Summer was my first festival here. So now being able to play this. Yeah. It’s special place. A special place in my heart.
That’s so sweet! Your sister does music as well. So its a family business, family affair. Is that something your parents pushed for you guys as kids?
My mom is a smart, wonderful lady. My dad hardworking, wonderful man. My sister’s like a really good scholar, did good in school. She DJ’ed a little bit. I was like the black sheep. I didn’t do good in school growing up, whatever. And then we both fell into music around the same time. Then it just kind of like, uh, planets align, you know? I push Wenzday as much as I can, because my sister is my blood and I will draw blood for, you know what I mean? But she pushes me too. She just did Lollapalooza with her house project.
That’s kind of crazy!
Bodied that crowd and then she came out and jumped to my side today. That’s how deep we are. We live together.
Wait… so she came to Hard Summer? Straight from Lollapalooza?
She flew from Lola after her set to make it to my set today.
Wow. Yeah, that’s real as fuck.
Very special. Nothing beats family at a vibe like this. Two years without, I’ve never felt energy like this.
I love that you guys have that relationship!
So what’s next? Do you have any other gigs on the books?
So I have Escape from Wonderland in October. Bless Insomniac, thank you. Um, and a bunch of shows in the meantime, making music, crushing it with a label. And fucking do what I do.
Doing what you do! Where can we keep up with you?
Dack Janiels on Instagram and then, uh, all my social handles are kind of fucked up, but just look up Dack Janiels.
Well, thank you!
Thank you so much for your time today. I appreciate it. And I hope your Hard Summer was great.