StoneRokk (left) and Graham Funke (right)
DJs StoneRokk and Graham Funke (his real name – seriously) are busy guys, working regular parties in LA and Las Vegas while doing special events for everyone from Marilyn Manson to George Clooney. But they don’t let all of that Hollywood glitter get in their eyes. Their focus is the music, whether it’s the latest pop hit or your favorite classic rock tune. It all works if you know how to work it, which Stone and Graham certainly do. I spoke with them in the bar at the Hudson Hotel, which doesn’t have iced tea and will make you check your coat whether you want to or not.
SJ: Folks in NY and LA tend to forget that nightlife exists in other American cities. As DJs who have been all over, what other cities have stood out for you?
GF: The trend is: you have a number of nightlife meccas – NY, Miami, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco. People from places not usually associated with nightlife come to visit these places and figure out what they want to do in their cities. So the clubs we’re playing at in places like Kansas City, Oklahoma City, or cities in Texas have elements of the clubs in the (bigger) cities – they have bottle service, they have a door policy. It’s not like the other cities are so isolated that you can’t figure out what works and deliver it to your smaller town. The places we’re playing are really high end, and those cities have people who have a ton of money, so if you associate some of these places with the backwoods, two dollar Pabst kind of thing – it’s not even like that. People are popping magnums of Dom like crazy; people are wildin’ out in these places. There’s a place called Sweet in Dallas that’s handled beautifully, it’s an amazing club, I love that one. Tomorrow we’re at Blonde in Kansas City, another place we’ve been playing at a long time…I mean that club could be anywhere, Chicago, New York.
SR: And most of these people accept it as, like, their taste of the big city. In Kansas City for example they have the $2 beer sports bar thing where I’m gonna get drunk for $22 and, you know, I’m gonna go home with this girl and maybe get laid, maybe not. Then this new place comes in and it’s $12 for a drink, $400 for a $20 bottle of booze…and people aren’t scared of it. They feel like they’re getting their fix of the New York’s, the LA’s, the Miami’s of the world.
SJ: You’re originally from Queens, right?
SJ: So you grew up here in New York?
SR: I moved when I was 13. Most of my family moved out west and my mom was like, “let’s ship out.” Which was kind of a bummer to me, but you know, it is what it is.
SJ: Fair enough. I was about to ask you what parties you were into here in New York when you were growing up. But unless you were, like, full-on Larry Clark’s Kids… Continue Reading »