DJ Carnage’s new album, Battered Bruised & Bloody, is exactly what the title portrays. If there’s one thing the Guatemalan-American producer, DJ, rapper, comedian can do, it’s create some of music’s most hard-hitting, head-banging, turn the fuck up tunes for listeners to enjoy.
In fact, the first time I heard of Lil Uzi Vert was through Carnage record “WDYW.” Outside of the ridiculous energy that comes with his catalog, it’s the particular features that really set him apart from the rest of the pack. Working with Lil Pump to create “i Shyne” is no coincidence. It’s the mutual love and respect between the artist and producer that Carnage is able to hone in on.
— Power 106 (@Power106LA) April 11, 2018
Carnage celebrated the release of his sophomore album, Battered Bruised & Bloody, in the form of a private album listening and secret show to follow. Taking place at 1720 on a Tuesday night, die-hard Carnage fans were lined up for blocks on end. Honored to attend the album playback, I couldn’t help but notice the all-stars in attendance: A-Trak, Reo Cragun, Yung Pinch, DJ Mo Beatz, and many more.
iEDM caught up with Carnage in between sets.
For those who don’t know, who is DJ Carnage? Carnage is… you can’t ever really hate Carnage. You might get mad at him, but you love him.
iEDM: How would you describe your sound?
Carnage: Obnoxious and loud and really good.
iEDM: When did you first fall in love with EDM?
Carnage: One of my friends, Paul, used to play trance and hardstyle, like old Showtek. And I was completely sober (in that I didn’t drink), but I was getting that euphoric feeling. And I was like I really like this. Above and Beyond’s OceanLab.
iEDM: Above and Beyond made me cry!
Carnage: Oh, on a good day. That song is my favorite song of all time.
iEDM: Congrats on your sophomore album Battered Bruised & Bloody. Can you talk about the concept behind the project and the album cover?
Carnage: The concept was letting people know I’m also an actual great producer. I make great music. I create great music. I’m not here to make a banger. I’m not here to get a radio song, or a song that gets hella plays. I’m here to actually create a great piece of work and show that I’m capable of that.
iEDM: Can you talk about the album cover?
Carnage: That shit is crazy! The album cover is just fucking lit. I don’t even know. I was crushed. I don’t even remember that. I think that might be a picture from one of my shows or something.
iEDM: That’s real blood?!
Carnage: That’s real blood.
iEDM: Talk about who you choose to get featured on the project.
Carnage: I choose to get features with somebody who creates good music — who makes great music with me. The connection. A good chemistry. And I’m a fan of the majority of everybody because I can see somebody and I can get what audience is going to like that. So I accept it and I go, “Okay, that’d be dope for them. So I like that.” I look at it that way. I don’t look at it like “Oh, do I like that? If I don’t like it, then I don’t like it.” ‘Cause there’s a lot of whack shit. I look at it like, “Oh that’s dope, but I know that type of crowd will like it. And it’s going to work for this.” I look at it that way.
iEDM: Speaking of, I saw Reo Cragun when we were out there for the listening. He’s one of my favorites. And then you played the record with him.
Carnage: Great artist, great singer. I got to do that with him and that was really dope. I’m excited.
iEDM: What’s your relationship with Lil Pump?
Carnage: That’s my little brother. He’s just a wild out. You can’t tell him what to do. We were in South Padre Island and he was on a balcony and we were there with a bunch of girls. We were chilling and vibing, and nd he just starts throwing glass bottles off the balcony.
Carnage: I don’t know man. Everything was breaking. It was crazy.
iEDM: Talk about going back to high school to get your diploma. What was the motivation behind this?
Carnage: ‘Cause my whole family hated me. [laughs] That was my main motivation. That’s one thing they had on me, so I had to do that.
iEDM: Do you see education as important for making it in the music business?
Carnage: Education is important. I built a school already in Nicaragua and a lot of people don’t know that. But I built a school in Nicaragua. I’m working on my second school. I’m working on building an orphanage. I’m doing a lot of cool shit, you know? Just so if somebody ever has to bitch at me, I can just be like, “this is what I did.” [makes bomb noise]
iEDM: You give crazy explosive performances. What keeps your energy up?
Carnage: The energy from everybody in the crowd. The testosterone that is shared between everyone.
iEDM: Do you smoke?
Carnage: Marijuana here and there. I’m not that big of a smoker, but I like to take CBD pills and shit like that.
iEDM: Do you like edibles?
Carnage: No, I don’t like edibles. I have bad asthma so I can’t really… but if I’m fucked up, I might. I like CBD pills because I’m stressed out. I have anxiety a lot, but it keeps me level.
iEDM: What are your thoughts on addiction in both hip-hop and EDM?
Carnage: I just want everybody to be safe. That’s it. I’ve never really researched into that whole thing, so I don’t like speaking on it. But you know, I’ve had friends who have died from overdoses. I come from Frederick, Maryland. There is a crazy heroin epidemic going on in Maryland in the Frederick area, you know? I just want people to be safe. That’s all.
iEDM: What was your reaction when you found out about Lil Peep?
Carnage: I was heartbroken. I knew that he supported me. He was a big fan of my stuff. I’ve watched all these guys from the smallest to the biggest, like I’ve seen them all. I sit back and I watch them grow. It’s really sad.
iEDM: What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
Carnage: I’d be a meteorologist or a tornado chaser.
iEDM: What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
Carnage: When I can just talk to them and they don’t ask for a picture. And they just wanna like… you know? But I get it. I would ask for a picture from somebody that I fucked with hella hard. I’ve done it before, multiple times.
iEDM: Dream collab?
Carnage: If I could collab with Carnage, that would make me happy.
iEDM: What advice do you have for someone aspiring to be a DJ Carnage?
Carnage: Do not give up. Don’t listen to what anybody says. If everyone shits on you and you know that you got fire — and you got something to offer to the community — then keep chugging.