Business, Music, & Life with Joe Bunn of Bunn DJ Company – E105

Chat with Joe Bunn

Joe Bunn of Bunn DJ Company and Matthew Campbell of My Wedding Songs chat about his businesses including the DJ company, Bunn Gear, DJC Mentoring, and The DJ’s Vault.

Visit Bunn DJ Company, Bunn Gear, DJC Mentoring, and The DJ’s Vault.



Show Notes:

  • Memorable Wedding Moments
  • About Joe Bunn and His Company
  • Perception of DJs
  • Career Challenges
  • Managing Money
  • Enjoying Life
  • Importance of Music Knowledge
  • Tips for Building a DJ Brand
  • Future of DJ Industry
  • Background Music
  • Dance Floor Hits
  • This Song vs. That Song Game
  • Current Projects – Command Center + Mentoring
  • Contact Joe

Welcome everybody to the Wedding Songs Podcast. I am Matt Campbell. Today I have on the show a very special guest. I’m going to start by giving some of his credentials. He’s the owner of Bunn DJ company. He is the co-host of the PhDJ Podcast and owns the DJ’s Vault, Bunn Gear, which has the command center improving the look of DJs at shows.

Involved with Crate Hackers and the DJ Collective, which is a conference for DJs to up their game. I have to say too, that Bunn DJ company is located in five States across the United States. Welcome to the show, Joe Bunn. What’s up, man? Thanks for having me. Hey, thanks for hopping on the call. I appreciate it. Absolutely.

Memorable Wedding Moments

I have to start off the way that I start off with every podcast is, Can you describe one of your most memorable moments at a wedding? Most memorable moment at a wedding? I, you know, It’s tough, right? It’s, it’s kind of like one of those things where people ask you to pick your favorite song or, you know, your favorite child, which is just insane to me, having two sons of my own, I almost look at weddings or parties.

Or events that I’ve done as like a collage. when I think about all the shows I’ve done in my career these last 30-some years, I remember more if something bad happened, than I do if something really good happened or unusual. So really almost all the good stuff runs into this constant reel in my head where clips just keep getting added to it.

and I try and kind of hold onto those memories. When I was looking over what we were going to talk about, I didn’t have this one vivid memory. I still get soft for a parent dance. I still love a good first dance, especially if the song gives me goosebumps, you know what I mean?

Or if I haven’t heard the song, which is even more amazing, like I’ve only really heard it when I was prepping for their crate. And then once I saw it live their dance was just perfect. those all just kind of run together though. There’s not this one definitive moment. It’s just like a rolling collage of highlights.

I agree with that. That’s the way I remember it too. I always remember the bad things and it’s so sad that we have to remember those. Yeah, but they’re learning moments, right? Oh, I didn’t go out there and line them up. I let the wedding planner do it. Or I just assumed that the next dance was.

The mother-son, but he was dancing with his sister because his mom passed away. I mean, luckily I haven’t done that, but what I’m saying is you get into this routine, especially if you do a ton, or if you’re doing these back to backs Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and we’re human, right?

You’ll make a mistake. And then it’s like, how do you recover and what did you learn from it? So sometimes I remember, and I can see an image, I’ll look up here on the wall. Sometimes I’ll be like, Ooh, I remember that was weird. Or I’ll look at one of these pictures and be like, Oh, that was so like that.

This girl had all the guys lying on the ground. She stood on top and they rolled across the floor. She surfed the entire dance floor to, you know, so I can just, it’s almost like I’ll look at these pictures and just had this, this quick memory of something special or tragic that may have happened.

Great memories. I love the wall cause, it brings back to, you know, bringing the couples even to your, even into your office just to say, Hey, these are some of the great moments that we’ve created. Everybody that walks in here comments, even the, you know, Amazon walks in here. He’s like, Whoa, dude, this is so cool.

I mean, and it goes all the way, way down there and all the way down. It’s, I don’t even have any, that’s it. Like now I’m gonna have to start swapping them out when they get dated, but it’s, it’s full now. It’s awesome.

About Joe Bunn and His Company

So can you tell everybody in your own words, a little bit about you and your company?

You know, I was just at the bank opening a new account, which by the way, I haven’t been in a bank in a long time. Like actually it’s the worst. And this guy was The guy there, he’s been there for 25 years. It’s not like I had some rookie and I was there 90 minutes and not waiting, just like sitting in his office to open a bank account.

It was so painful, but I was telling him, he was like, you guys did great. I was looking at my checking account. I was like, yeah, we had a great year. And he was like, where, you know, what are you doing marketing-wise? And I was like it’s for me now it’s become 30 some years in Eastern North Carolina, which is the main office here in Raleigh.

I grew up in Eastern North Carolina. I went to college at Chapel Hill, which is more kind of middle North Carolina and now I’m in Raleigh, which is kind of in the middle of the state, but like from Raleigh to the beach we play we got. I don’t know, 20 some guys now we have our company holiday party tonight.

I think we have 25, seated at the table. and they’re all running around out there with these black and yellow Bunn DJ Company business cards. And I think that. We’ve just built this reputation now of, between the vendors and the venues and the clients that’s how we’ve become successful.

Right. And when you flash that card or you show up in the black polo with the yellow logo, or you tell the venue owner or the coordinator there that, You’re with Bunn DJ Company, regardless if they’ve never seen you play, they feel you can almost see a sense of relief.

Oh, we’re going to be fine tonight. Yep. It’s one of Joe’s guys. And so I feel like I built the company, but I built it with these soldiers is what I call them. Then these other offices just were. Almost a by-product, they were people that worked here that wanted more, right? They had a little more, entrepreneurial drive or wanted to be a business owner instead of just a soldier.

And that’s how those came about. Those weren’t just random ads I put in the back of an entrepreneurial magazine. It was people that were, working here and said, Hey, I want to open a Bunn DJ Company in Charleston. California, so that’s the, the company in a nutshell, but it’s, it’s all based on the talent and their responsiveness to me, their responsiveness to customers, their show, their professionalism, their willingness to be part of a team.

But they’re also very well taken care of and this is exactly where they want to be. From day one, I got people been here for 23, four, five years, I got people that have been here for, six months but. When they’re first brought on and onboarded, or even before they’re onboarded during the interview, I’ve always told every one of these DJs here, that this is not your full-time job.

This is not, you cannot support your family on this. This is your Disney trip. This is your wife and your vacation to Jamaica. This is your wife’s new Louie bag for Christmas. You can make a lot of money, great money, but you’re not going to support two, three, four. People off this, especially if you have a house and a couple of cars and you want your kids to go to school I’m very honest and open about what this job is, but as an owner that’s why I like the multi-op model, right.

As an owner, I don’t have to play at all anymore, quite frankly. I love it. play all the time. I played last night. I’m playing in an hour and a half for a corporate event. still like to play, but I don’t have to play. At 52, you know, getting older, I do less shows for more money.

More money than I ever thought you could get a DJ. When we were at $995, I was like, we’re killing it. This is we’ve hit the mark, like we’ve made it. and now I’m asking for four or $5000 to go out and do a wedding. And so it’s just such, an incredible ride and journey really. Not even just from a personal career standpoint, but just to watch the rise of the DJ in general, you know, the DJ.

Perception of DJs

Listen, are there people that still go, dude, you’re still doing that? Or they look down on it or they have no idea how much money you can make doing it. A thousand percent of people I went to college with people I don’t like people I don’t circulate with, but it’s just, they can be condescension, but at the end of the day, the rise of the DJ over the last, let’s call it decade is.

Undeniable we’re in Sprite commercials. You’re playing, you know, we’re playing in stadiums. You have residencies in Las Vegas and you’ve got, guys that are making 5, 10, 15, $20000 to go out and do a wedding where that used to be reserved for the eight, nine, 10 piece band, cover bands. it’s a revolution. I don’t see it going away.

You can, you can talk AI and you can talk replacement of the DJ, but. If you’re good and you’re, you’re providing a, a service and, and being a good person and treating your clients well and your customer service and client experiences next level, you’re not going anywhere, but, but, I think that the rise of the festivals has really improved the, the stigmas of DJs. You know, when you have the Calvin Harris’s and people like those guys that are out there performing. I think that’s only leveling up the DJ stigmas. I mean, I think it helps all the way around.

Right. Because it doesn’t help is the people that aren’t very good because now If you were entertaining, couples that could be half your age, which is true with me, not every weekend, but a lot of weekends are 25, 30, 35. they did not come up hearing the fuddy-duddy tuxedo-wearing DJ that was fading in and fading out songs.

They came up. Going to festivals, they came up going to Las Vegas clubs. They came up even at the college bar down the street. I guarantee I’ve been in those bars before, you know, and I’ve seen the guys playing in there and I’m like, this dude’s really freaking good, you know what I mean? And so they didn’t come up on this fade-in fade-out song.

They came up with quick mixing and song selection and remixes and mashups and things like that. So, I think that the, there’s good and bad of the exposure of the DJ. Has made it great for DJs to rise, but it’s probably hurt the people who never adapted or wanted to become better. And a lot of DJs, like you said, are part-time.

It’s not their full-time job. Taking care of them is that much more important because they have to level up their skills just to be hired by couples today and what they expect. Let’s take a little bit of a left turn.

Career Challenges

What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your career? I think, to me, money, which I know sounds crazy up until, I don’t know, five years ago was a challenge holding it and managing it and saving it.

and I think that probably is not even DJ-related. I mean, entrepreneurial-related, and I think it is probably creative person-related. but, I feel like just overall money management was my. And still, I’m just like I said, I feel like I’m still new to, the game, but it was always my Achilles heel and it’s taken a long time even to just put the right people in place to manage it better.

I’ve definitely been through a couple of accountants that just didn’t do a good job. I’ve been through a few bookkeepers that didn’t do a good job. I didn’t do a good job personally, either spending too much or, being too high risk, I am high risk. I don’t try and shy away from it, but sometimes you have to have money before you before you go into that risk, phase of your life.

And, and back then I didn’t, you know, I was just trying all these different things and buying all these different things and it, you know, it caught up to me and so, You know, I feel like if, if that was my, my weakness, I’ve conquered it or I’m at least in the process of conquering it, but that was always my weakness.

And I don’t, you know, it’s kind of like if you go through whatever left brain, right brain things like sometimes my brain is more like focus on. What can I shoot today? That’s going to be entertaining or what kind of mix can I come up with? It’s going to be a dance floor hitter. And then the other side of the brain is like, well, you made a Bunnch of money today, but what are you going to do with it?

Managing Money

You know what I mean? Like you need to. My kids are old now. I mean, we’ve got one in school this year, college. So it was like, didn’t do a great job saving that money up. And he picked the most expensive school. He could, of course. I’m in the catch-up phase, put it that way. I don’t know that I have regrets, but I don’t, I certainly do. I don’t have life regrets, but I certainly have regrets about not. Doing better saving and planning with my money when I was 25 and not 45. It’s interesting you say that because we had a conversation the other night about just that. If you went into high school and instead of doing DARE, you did money management, what a difference.

Society that we would have, it’s a hundred percent I agree. I mean, any replacement any arbitrary program. I mean, take out dodgeball whatever, or even do that year one college. I would’ve loved that college course. As an elective or really required, like you said. It is totally overlooked and not discussed. And there’s probably a reason behind it. I don’t want to get into conspiracy theories, but I don’t know, maybe we’re supposed to live in debt. Well, I can tell you for the business owners listening in November of 2017, I don’t know why I remember that we took a Dave Ramsey course.

it was the beginning of owning our money instead of our money, owning us. And yeah, things totally changed. I have good and bad thoughts about Dave, right? I mean, I’ve vocally said something I probably shouldn’t have. The DJ Collective won’t repeat it on the show.

Enjoying Life

But I appreciate what Dave is doing, but I also am not going to. Alter my life to the point of unenjoyment. Like today, did I go and spend $5.50 on a latte and another $4 on a scone? Yes. Will I go do it tomorrow and probably the next day? Yes, because I, that’s what I like, right? That’s how I like to start the day.

I like to sit at the end of the bakery. Bar and drink my latte look at Instagram and eat my delicious scone. You know, like there’s some things I’m not going to do. But I also don’t have this insurmountable amount of debt. I’ve never taken on crazy amounts of debt. So I do believe in that, right?

I don’t want that weight sitting on my shoulders. That’s why I never got into, AV production, for example, right? You see a lot of DJs take this pivot towards video walls and screens. So now they’ve got trucks. They have video walls, they have a warehouse, and they have 15, 20, 30 people on staff.

They’re carrying millions of dollars worth of debt that could be just sitting in the warehouse if they don’t have shows that weekend. I’ve never was that guy or wanted to be that guy. So I ride the line, right? I love what Dave’s saying. I love what he wants people to do, but I’m not willing to.

However many thousand dollars are in scones and lattes a year, I’m sorry, Dave. I don’t want to shave my mortgage off that much. You know what I mean? What I enjoy in life, is the simplest thing. Yep. We’re in 100 percent agreement there where we curtail it to the lifestyle that we want to live, we’re not going to bypass a trip to a baseball stadium just because I want to save.

No, I’d rather live life. Absolutely. You have to add those life experiences, those memories, the chance to go to these different stadiums or watch the games to sit in the sun. That is life, you know, like, yeah, that’s great. I could have gotten to 60 and been debt-free and paid off my house and all my cars and my kids to go to school.

But I wouldn’t have done anything. I wouldn’t have gone to the concert and sat in the front row. I wouldn’t have gone to take my son to countless basketball and football games all over the country. I’m just not going to live like that. We don’t even know that we’re guaranteed to make it a 60.

Right. I mean, who knows what’s going to happen? And then what? You don’t even finish out your run and you did nothing other than save money. That’s insane, Dave. Sorry, buddy.

Importance of Music Knowledge

So let’s get back to music because Hey, we are the Wedding Songs Podcast. That’s true. How important is music knowledge to you when hiring DJs? It would definitely be top. Three things that they would need to come work here. the model here is very interesting as compared to, have you had Mike on yet? Mike Walter, you should definitely get Mike on. just cause we’re so different.

It would be an interesting conversation, but the model here is very different than Mike Walter. Mike is in New Jersey, which as y’all know, if you listen to this, or if you’re a DJ is the most highly populated market of DJs. You can’t throw a stick without hitting somebody that’s an absolute rockstar.

They’re just tons of incredible. I can name 50 off the top of my head that live within an hour of each other that are all amazing. but everybody that came to work here over the last, two decades, whatever, three decades now has been a DJ of some sort.

It could have been in a skating rink, could have been in a Mitzvah world. It could have been, that they had their own mobile DJ company, but weren’t making any money. They all are DJs. Mike, on the other hand, that’s how I started talking about Mike is the opposite. He would prefer to not teach an old dog new tricks.

He might be at Chili’s eating wings and the bartender’s incredible. Personality-wise, he might be like, Hey man, you’d make a kick-ass DJ. Here’s my business card. Call Elite Entertainment. If you ever had this notion of being a DJ or somebody will come up to him while he’s doing a wedding and be like, dude, this looks so fun.

Michael said you should try it out. Here’s my card. And he’s trained absolute superstars that have been there for two decades as well. But both of us are going to ask these people. Tell us about your love of music. how did you get into this? Right. That’s how I got into it.

My parents weren’t DJs. They weren’t musicians, but still, I never walk in the house. and there’s not something playing. In the car that was all the radio was always on the house. They still play CDs. Like there’s just a CD player playing somewhere in a corner.

The music’s always been there. And so I’m always asking people, tell me about your, musical past and you’ll get everything. Oh, I’m a bass player in a church band. Oh, I’m a drummer in a rock band. Oh, I’ve been DJing forever and just don’t really like the admin and running the company.

And I’m sure Mike does the same because that would be a red flag one for me. I need to know you love this, like love the music, the business. Maybe you don’t love, maybe you don’t love setting up, but if you don’t love music. You’re in the wrong profession, man. Like, and I’ve told my guys that if you don’t, if you’re dreading going to do these shows, you’re dreading putting that suit on it at two o’clock on a Saturday, I don’t need you anymore, man.

I’ve got plenty of guys here that want to work. I can’t have you out there with that kind of, attitude. It is highly important that I get to that in that interview. I appreciate that. Yeah, I agree. Music’s so important.

Tips for Building a DJ Brand

What are some tips for building a successful brand as a DJ company? It’s so multi-legged and faceted these days. I mean, I think there are so many, definitions of branding and so many. Wings or whatever legs, like it’s, it’s like a spider, right? Yeah, you got to have your brand, you know, your, your logo, you got to have, what are you going to send to the client for after they book you?

We send a little gift out. What is your show? Like, what does it look like after you set it up? What are you going to wear? What does your email sound like? The voice, does it sound like something AI-generated or super corporate when you don’t need to be if there are so many different pieces of media and what is your social look like?

What does your website look like? There are so many ways to hit people now. Number one, it just has to be consistent, right? Have the same voice, and the same look, but it’s just so hard to say. Right. I mean, how do you build a brand? It’s all of those things. And I’m not saying one area can’t be a little weak. Some people don’t do great on social, but they have a great brand because their show is so good or because they’re well-liked. we’ve gotten.

Shows I’ve gotten shows where people have never even seen me play before, but I met them at a networking meeting and they were like, man, you’re a cool guy. Like you probably got, you got it going on. I like what you’re doing. I’ve heard about you, you know, and, we’ve literally gotten on the preferred vendor’s list from conversations.

And so it’s all of those things and they have to be all functioning. It’s something you always have to have your pulse on. if I feel like we’re kind of lacking in our networking with other vendors, I’ll tell Randy, let’s send them all whatever scratch-off ticket or something with a funny letter.

Let’s, plan a dinner for every wedding planner. We did a luncheon like I think last year, big Bankskin restaurant, you know, had probably 25 wedding planners. Most of them hated each other. I don’t even know how I got them in the same room, but it was, it was genius from our end.

So anyway, it’s, it’s multifaceted and I think it’s a two-hour podcast in itself. Creativity with not giving up and just like the podcast, not giving up. Yeah. So important. It is every element of your business and your brand. I don’t want to say you overthink it or need to overthink it, but especially as you’re growing, as you’re coming up, needs to be thought about.

Sometimes I remember two, one or two years ago, Randy and I, I was like, let’s, and this was in January, February, we were slow. let’s step outside this and look at it from the customer angle. Right. I’m going to ping the website right now and act like I’m booking a show, a wedding for Joe Bunn.

And you respond how you respond. And then do everything. If we send out a gift, boom, send the gift, like do the whole experience. We kind of tweaked some things from that. So sometimes I think you have to step outside of being an owner or a DJ and put yourself in the shoes of the client.

Golden nugget right there. There it is. When I ran my company I did the same thing. I secret-shopped my competitors to say, what are they doing differently? And if you’re not doing that, number one, please do it. Just make up some random christysmithatgmaildotcom number one. And if you think it’s unscrupulous or it’s affecting your morals, know that they’re doing it to you.

So you might as well just go ahead and do the same. It’s just being a smart business person to know where you fall in this line, at least on your pricing, right? We want to be at the highest. We’ve earned that, we deserve to be at the highest. So if nothing else, that’s why I do it.

It’s funny. I have a funny story about that where I secretly shopped one of my competitors. And one of the things I did when I got that inquiry. I sent them a list of their popular wedding songs. That’s kind of how I got started at all. Yeah. He sent me my playlist back as a secret shopper, was it rebranded or anything?

Nope. Just copied it. Wow. I’m like, wow. Yeah. This is a, I need to send a letter from a lawyer just cause I’ve never seen that one. That’s a slick move there. Crazy. Wow. Hey buddy, I’m going to do you a favor. Look at this hot list of wedding songs and you’re like, Hmm, that looks familiar. Right. Cause I wrote it. Crazy. What people will do?

Future of DJ Industry

So where do you see the future of DJing headed up? I was going back to what we were talking about earlier. I, and I don’t mean that in, over the top production level gear level. I don’t think that has anything to do with your success.

I know it doesn’t. the stuff that you see me use, not even my guys have, right? It’s just kind of part of what I like and what I’ll take out, but I’m still in and out and under an hour period. Even if I did it by myself without Saquon, I could get in and out and under an hour easily. That’s what I always train myself to do, right?

To be a mobile DJ, to know that I got to bring it in, and take it out at every party. I’m not just showing up with a thumb drive, like a club DJ. So I don’t base success on that. I feel like the South is kind of two years behind anything that New Jersey does. And so I kind of am able to look at things from a bird’s eye view and really think about it before I have to buy it or before anybody even asks about it.

The sparks, we’d never even really got into it. We had a few, I kept seeing. Disaster stories and this, the floor got burned or the overhead, stuff caught on fire. And so we did them outside only for a while for exits, but even that, you know, the DJs didn’t want to do it, even gobos. We could never really get the skew right on them.

And we didn’t really want to go to projectors. We were still using the OG metal gobos. We got out of that. We never really got into TVs. Because we didn’t want to get into what are we going to put on them and drag an 80-inch TV around and road cases. And most of my guys have midsize SUVs.

They have small rigs. We play 125, 150 people. You can see these pictures. I mean, some of them have gig bars and simple facades and stuff. There’s another one like that. It’s just, that’s not part of what makes a DJ successful or great or anything like that. Right. It’s what you’re comfortable with, what you want to look like.

They all still have their cables tucked away. They look professional. They sound professional. They’re dressed well. but the future of DJing is here to stay if you are talented, you don’t want to be the hottest scratcher mixer or whatever, but you have to be good and you have to be professional and you have to be likable and you have to be a good person and you have to treat people well when they come up and ask for things it’s a multifaceted person that you have to be.

And you have to have a unique personality to have longevity in the game. Cause I’ve seen a lot of people. Especially over the last 20 years, just in Raleigh, I was at that NACE, event I played last night and I looked around and I, I may have seen, I think there were 110 people, no exaggeration, probably three people from when I started 20 years ago, maybe three, one florist.

And, I think one lady older planner that now kind of has younger people under her, that was it. I was like, and I looked at Lynn, I was like, man, we are the OGs here we kind of are the only people that made it, and still like it still makes money still profitable. It’s pretty amazing, to look back and, and so now, just a final note on that you have to keep going to these meetings because.

There’s a whole new wave of people in these venues. There’s a whole new wave of wedding planners. They may not know me. I have to kind of reintroduce myself to some of these people sometimes, or introduce myself for the first time, Hey, I’m Joe Bunn. I own a DJ company.

Love to take you to coffee. Love to grab lunch. It’s a never-ending cycle. Attrition where people are getting fired or changing jobs, moving to other states, or having babies or whatever. and fighting to stay on that list, but it’s a lot easier when you’re a really good DJ, or you’re supplying really good DJs because then they don’t have a choice. It’s like, we have to have these guys on the list. Absolutely.

Background Music

Speaking of experience, can you give any favorite background tracks for setting the good vibes? Background, not like instrumental like a cocktail hour, dinner, whatever, it’s your, you know, yeah, I do a lot of consulting with other DJs.

A guy called me yesterday from Germany. I’d set up a call with me for an hour. Actually, the English was really good. I mean, he had a heavy German accent, but his English was outstanding. And we were just talking about the cocktail hour. I think he was just walking me through and their receptions are like 12 to 14 hours.

He told me, and I was like, dude, I’m so glad I don’t live in Germany. But he was kind of walking me through the day and talking about cocktails and, that he was live mixing cocktails and dinner, which is rare that I do most of the time because it’s in a different area or it’s outside.

Sometimes I autopilot it, but what I was telling him is. What I still think is so important is those two hours. The selection either provided partially by the couple usually my chance to play all the stuff that is not danceable. Right. So if I’m playing Coldplay, the guests are going to be like, Oh, Kelly and Rob love Coldplay.

He must’ve worked with them. So I’m already like plus one star. but then it’s also my job to just like open dancing to fill in the blanks. That’s where my, it’s almost my selfish time. Sometimes my guys I like, or my girls, I like the Amy Winehouse is, or the, the Bob Marley’s or the Van Morrison’s or the Ray LaMontagne’s come into play.

That’s that I’m selfishly interjecting those between whatever they picked. It’s almost more artist-driven than it is track-driven. And then if it was. Not a wedding and it was corporate like this thing today. I flipped it, I had this cool cocktails crate, which is kind of some of the same artists, but more beat-driven so you might hear whatever Fosters The People in there or some remix of a Rolling Stone song that I found that, that there was like an authorized Dr. Dre. Miss you remix.

It was on some random Austin power soundtrack. that’s just super unusual to the point where people come up and be like, what is this, what is this? Or where did you get this? Is this something I can get on Spotify? Like you want those moments during cocktails or dinner where people come up and be like, I love this.

Or where did you find this? I think that’s how, you know. You’re doing a good job, not that you’re trying to be super unique, but that you are being noticed. You’re in the background, but you’re also creating that first moment that first, I’ve arrived at the party, I’m getting my first drink, I’m having my first conversation, and I think it’s. Incredibly important. Great tips.

Dance Floor Hits

I know you’re in North Carolina where, you know, I was raised in Montana. And so it’s kind of the same thing, we’re two years behind in music. But what are you finding is filling the dance floor in your area?

 It’s still all over the place because The tried and true, whatever mobile beat top 200, the Matt Campbell wedding playlist, top 100. I mean, you, you can close your eyes and put your finger on one of them. And I could probably pull it and I’m going to, I can make it work, whether it’s Brick House or Signed Sealed Delivered or Uptown Funk.

The gold is where you turn to become. More original. Or where the bravery kicks in, like where is that line of Oh, this dude’s gone off the rails? He’s lost me or this guy has ascended to a God because he’s just dropped whatever. Right. I think that’s the hardest thing for people to do.

As a DJ, especially a mobile DJ is because you do have this handful, giant handful of songs that are going to work damn near across any age group. But then, you’ve got this pocket full where you’re like, man, I could, this could either, this can go one of two ways. I could go next level right here, nuclear.

Or this is going to clear the dance floor and I better have the next song ready. It’s like, everybody talks about chess. I don’t know how to play, but it’s always I’m two, or three songs ahead in my brain. If this doesn’t work, how do I get out quickly salvage it, and keep it going without having to play the Cha Cha slide or a ballad?

So I don’t know. I’m sure I jumped off the question, but it’s. The tried and true always work, but I do think you have to interject to make yourself relevant, to appease the audience, to let them know that you’re not just some ho hum wedding DJ that they know you’re going to play Uptown Funk, but did they know you were going to play this Taylor Swift remix?

Or did they know you were going to, play a Dua Lipa track that just came out last week? That’s where you go to the next level. I think. I 100 percent agree there. The greatest feeling as a DJ is to play that one song after a song that you know is gonna. Be fantastic.

Let’s say everybody, you know, in your area, everybody loves Sweet Caroline. Well, great. That one goes off. Wonderful. Everybody’s singing along, but what’s that next song that you’re going to play? Exactly what you’re saying? Are you going to clear the dance floor? Well, maybe you go to Four Non Blondes What’s Up just to keep that sing-along.

Yeah. Where it’s a chance. Yeah. They may not know what’s a little more down. I haven’t played that in a while. My self. I love that song. Or, the DJ Miko version where it’s the four on the floor kind of, yeah. Yeah. So it’s, I agree. It’s taking that chance where, Oh my gosh, this is awesome.

I, nobody thought of it and it’s going to make you so much happier. I mean, I did it last night. I think I even got on the mic and again, this was friends, frienders, vendors, at this nice thing, but I said, this one’s for me. It was a Fall Out Boy song and I was like, I don’t know where this is going to go.

I don’t really care. I wasn’t even being paid if we’re being frank, but it went off, you know what I mean? But I just was like, I’m going into this pop punk set because it’s it’s a holiday party. I’m supposed to be having fun too. I volunteered for everybody to have a party for people who do nothing but play parties all year. And. I might as well have fun too. So I go into this pop punk set and luckily it went off, but I probably would have dumped it if it had.

This Song vs. That Song Game

That’s awesome. Before we close out here, I have to do a quick game with you because we’re both music lovers and I’m trying to make it a little bit more personal just for you. Okay. I’m going to ask you, which one do you like better? Okay, I’m going to get a little bit crazy on the first one.

So would you pick Village People YMCA versus Billy Ray Cyrus Achy, Breaky Heart? That’s tough. Okay. Am I, hold on, let me quantify the rules here. Are you saying if I had to pull one at a party or if I have to ride around in my car and listen to this? That’s a great question.

Let’s say, okay, let’s see. I’m pulling YMCA for the quick, just chorus in and out. Okay. Next up, we’re going to do Notorious B.I.G. with More Money, More Problems, or Warren G Regulate. More Money, More Problems all day. The tempo and the speed are better. I got an edit that cuts straight to the Biggie verse.

The sample, is just, yeah, that song’s elite in my opinion. That’s an easy one. Okay. Let’s make it more difficult with Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way versus NSYNC Bye Bye Bye. Oh, Bye Bye Bye scooter remix all day. And I would have gone maybe out of it. Sped it up into Backstreet’s Everybody Backstreet’s Back, but I do like, I Want It That Way, but I, I’m, that was an easy one.

Okay. This one’s a little bit odder. Okay. Nirvana’s Come As You Are, Smashing Pumpkins, 1979. Love those bands, like, I mean, like, as if they were my brothers, both of them, I’m going Come As You, cause I think it would be more known. That’s the only reason I think I could, I could think I could sell it a little easier just because Kurt was so unique with his voice and it’s got that, that, that baseline, 1979 is a little more erratic, I think I could sell come as you are.

I agree. If I’m in my car, I’m listening to 1979 same. I would have switched it there. If you, if you, if it was a car thing, I’d switch. Okay. Let’s get personal here. I know. everybody’s going to love this one. Avril Lavigne, Sk8er Boi versus Fall Out Boy Sugar, We’re Going Down. This is, this is hard.

You’re right. Sugar, We’re Going Down is my anthem. Like I’ll jump up on a speaker and kick you in the face just for the sheer. I’ll put that song in my top five personal songs of all time. And I don’t even know why. It’s just, it gets me so hype when somebody else plays it. I’ve always loved that song. I think it was kind of one of my introductions that like that whole pop-punk movement, but I don’t know if you, if y’all have seen Avril Lavigne lately, she’s basically my girlfriend.

She looks as good today at 40. She’s got to be 40 years old as she did when she was 18. She’s gorgeous. But song-wise, I’m going Fall Out Boy, but Avril Lavigne’s my girlfriend too. There you have it. I didn’t make it hard for that one. Cause I know you, you do like Avril. Yeah. Oh, love her. Just kind of close it out.

Current Projects – Command Center

Can you tell anybody a little bit about any projects that you’re currently working on that you want to share? Yes, I will. The reason I went and wasted my morning at the bank before this podcast is because for the first time, in three and a half years, I have full control. over Bunn Gear. I don’t have any partners.

I don’t have anybody to answer to. I don’t have anybody. I have to ask if I can spend money on this, that, and the third. And I have 100 brand new black and white booths coming from the manufacturer as we speak, set to arrive. Shortly, and so you will once again, be able to purchase these, I’m going to try and get the price down a little bit.

I’m going to try and get the market share that I lost from these pauses back. I’m going to sell these booths to make DJs look and feel better when they’re out there on the dance floor and not set up behind these facades or on these raggedy tables with dirty linen on them. I want DJs to look. And feel amazing when they’re out there entertaining people.

And you should because you are the focal point of that room. Do not hide behind some ridiculous wall. People want to see what you’re doing. And I don’t appreciate all the people who have stolen my ideas and looks and everything else. So I’m, putting it out there that I’m coming back.

Bunn Gear is back. It’ll be I’m not sure when this drops, but, there’ll be, for sale very soon. Arrival we’re recording this in December arrival within the next week. By the time we get them processed, boxed up, and everything is shipping in January. So I’m standing behind that. I’ve missed these dates before, but I posted a picture the other day.

I’ve never gotten a reaction like I did. There was literally a hundred sitting in a room and that’s not how these other factories had treated me over the years. They would trickle them out and that would mess me up. And so I’m very confident. The prototype was immaculate, increasing the aluminum quality a little bit.

I mean, sitting side by side beside the very first one I ever made. I couldn’t even tell the difference. so it’s the same booth, but probably better quality and a little bit lower price. So I’m very excited about that. That’s the main thing I wanted, would talk about right now. Awesome.

Congratulations. Yeah. That’s improving the DJ industry, with products like that. So that’s awesome. I hope so. I hope so. That was the intention. I’ve, I haven’t done a show without mine in three years and I don’t care if I’m playing at a cycling studio or epic games for 2000 people on a stage in front of a fortnight bus last weekend.

Current Projects – Mentoring

Like it’s, it’s at every show I did. Is there anything else you wanted to talk about that we didn’t cover today? Man, the last thing I’ll say is I know your audience is kind of diverse, but for any DJs listening, if you are having a hard time with your DJ business, there are two things I’ll recommend.

One is not even launched yet. So whenever this podcast is, released, as long as it’s after tomorrow, you’ll be able to sign up for this myself. Brian Boni and Jason Jani, the guys who created the DJ Collective, which is a high-end DJ conference experience, if you will. we just got done doing it in Atlanta in November.

We are doing, something we’re calling Collective Mentoring the three of us every week on a call with whoever signs up for this thing. it’s gonna be If you want to get involved, it will launch tomorrow, which is December 14th. So as long as you’re. If you hear this in the future, you can sign up at

And then, I will always be most proud of the DJ’s Vault. if you’ve never heard of it, it’s It’s my membership site. I have a thousand DJs in there from somebody that started last month to people that have 30, 40 years under their belt and it is everything in my brain.

Spit out into short, powerful videos and documents that you can use for your company, new content drops every single, month at the first of the month. And then also almost every week we do a live show kind of like this, with other people that are in the DJ space. I promise you if you are spending time searching YouTube for this, that, and the other, and having trouble running your DJ business or you just need a platform to sound off on.

We have a private Facebook group with no trolls in it. I promise you it is worth $27 a month to get in the DJ’s Vault. Just try it. You can quit anytime if you don’t like it. In fact, I think if you go to right now, there’s a seven-day free trial and you get a free PDF called How to Get on the Preferred Vendor’s List.

I don’t know how you can turn that offer down. but those are the only time. At the end of the day do I make money on these things? Yes. Do they take a lot of money to create and run?

Yes. But at the end of the day, the job that I feel like I’ve been, that I’ve accepted and the role I’ve accepted over the last decade is to help DJs be better. And I spent, 10 years before that writing for every magazine that used to be out and disjockey news and speaking at all these conferences for free for 0 and just realized that you don’t touch enough people that way. with the vault, the whole world, like I said, that guy from Germany knew me from being a member of the vault, somehow he found it and watched the videos and learned and grew in his business.

It’s very powerful to know there are DJs all over the world, potentially learning from these videos. Yes, we all appreciate you in the DJ industry being an influencer and helping everybody up their game.

Contact Joe

So how do you, people contact you if they want to reach out to you? You can reach me. Honestly. Anybody listening to this JoeatBunnDJCompanydotcom comes directly to me and nobody’s screening that you can reach me there anytime. I’m guaranteed within a day or so I’ll get back to you. Please don’t send me a novel of some issue you have, but if you have a quick one-off question.

I’ll be glad to spit an answer back really fast to you. Anybody that knows, from any of my channels, Instagram, or whatever, I’ll usually if somebody’s got a question, I’m going to respond to it. I respond to the YouTube comments. I respond to the Instagram DMs. But if you are listening to this, then I would just shoot me an email.

Cause it’s obvious where most of my business goes, DMs and things like that kind of get confusing and you lose conversation sometimes. But if you just shoot me an email, at least then we’ve got the record of what we’ve said back and forth. Well, thanks Joe, for being on the show.

Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for everybody listening and stay tuned for next week for another episode where I’m going to be interviewing another wedding professional. Thanks for listening. Have a great day. To you guys.

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