WILLIAMSBURG — Tunes in Town is an occasional series that will catch up with some of the local musical talents that call Hampton Roads home.
For Steve “DJ Kudlz” Hathaway, being involved in music was something he knew he wanted to do. Not being a musician, however, he turned to the technical side of things.
“I started out with just DJing and helping a friend’s band out with sound. As I was playing music during their set breaks, the bartender was asking if I was interested in having a DJ night. That built into doing more DJ work for awhile,” Hathaway said.
Hathaway has always been a lover of live music. As he worked as a DJ at local bars and restaurants, he would often run into music acts. Spending time with them, he’d ask questions and learn from their sound crews at shows.
Hathaway provides sound for many musical acts throughout the Hampton Roads area. Working full time as an electrical designer for Dominion Energy, Hathaway uses his secondary job with music as a way to give back to the local musician and business communities.
“While I run the sound for local musicians, I really try to promote our local musicians and our local businesses. There’s so many local musicians that I’ve had the pleasure to work with and if I can help bring awareness to them, I really like to do that,” Hathaway said.
Hathaway says that most people don’t realize just how technical his job running sound is for a performance to be at its best.
“There’s a lot to know from different frequencies, different volumes, eliminating feedback from speakers, learning the room or venue layout, there’s a lot that goes into it. We get paid to bring in equipment and carry it out, but what we do in between is just the fun part,” Hathaway said.
While not a musician, he takes pride in giving the local music talent a chance to play without having to worry about the technical side of a live show.
“I’ve always had a love for music in general, but I’ve always loved live music and seeing people perform. I don’t have any musical talent, but I like the idea of being able to make whoever is playing sound as good as they can. Good sound makes a huge difference during a live event,” Hathaway said.
Hathaway is always learning. He is constantly picking brains of other sound operators at shows. And investing in the right equipment is paramount.
“I still have so much to learn about doing sound. I usually just go by the feel or the sound of what I think sounds good versus the technical, knowing how certain things work. I’ve invested in my equipment so that I can have solid equipment for musicians,” Hathaway said.
Overall, Hathaway couldn’t imagine doing anything else as a side job. He takes every performance to heart and is grateful to have a hand in seeing the local music scene succeed.
“The comfort that the artist has by just being able to show up and plug in and play is huge. It takes one aspect of what they have to worry about off their shoulders. It’s a nice feeling to know that I’m helping in an overall performance in entertainment,” Hathaway said.
For more information on DJ Kudlz, visit facebook.com/DJKudlz.