All house phenom Claude VonStroke needed to finally play Vegas was an offer

Stroke this: Claude vonStroke is coming to Vegas—so you’d better get ready to sweat.
Dan Wilton

Claude VonStroke is a lava-hot producer/DJ. So why hasn’t he played Las Vegas outside of Electric Daisy Carnival? The answer is maddeningly simple. “To be honest, I’ve just never got any bookings—really, no one asked me,” says the owner of the Dirtybird dance label (which throws killer BBQ parties) and San Francisco house star, who also represents the latest Marquee afterhours booking. But he won’t stand for scenesters who hide out in VIP. Per his bio: “Claude VonStroke is only coming to see you if you want to enjoy yourself and get sweaty and nasty.” That’s easy-peasy for Las Vegas, right?

Would you rather be taking advantage of our 77-degree afternoons DJing at a pool, or do you prefer the afterhours gig? I’ve been to the Vegas pool parties, and I think I’m on at the right time. I don’t really play any commercial music, and at the pool parties it will be about anyone who is at the pool. And they might not like [my music]. They might want to hear Miley Cyrus.

How did you land the residency with Marquee? I’m not exactly sure. But I have a very good agent, let’s say that. I think my management company and agent teamed up and said, “We should probably start going to Vegas.”

Do you find yourself introducing this kind of house music to cities that don’t have much experience with it more often? I actually feel the opposite. I feel like now we are going to cities we’ve never gone to before, and there’s almost always people who have been waiting for us for a long time. I’m running into psychotic fans in the front row more than [hearing], “Who’s this guy?”

The Dirtybird sound is unique, but how is it also influenced by external factors and other sounds? It’s been a progression. In the beginning I’d say it was hip-hop and drum ’n’ bass and girls. Two or three years ago we were doing that whole garage house with the R&B samples. Now that’s mainstream; we don’t release anything like that anymore. This year we’ve gone a little more funky, more disco, more jackin’ house, more rootsy-type stuff.

Is it hard to promote artists on your label while also trying to further your own career? Yup. That is the real crux of my life (laughs). Where is the line between me and the label? It’s a constant conversation with my wife and managers.

Claude VonStroke with Brett Rubin March 22, 2 a.m., $20. Marquee, 333-9000.

Tags: Nightlife
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