A slice of ‘Heaven’

By Sophia Coleman

Rock DJ Heaven Malone has seen his fair share of famous venues and celebrities during his five years as a disc jockey and eight years as a party-planner.

From collaborating with artists like Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars, Marilyn Manson and Dragonette, Malone has left no genre of music untouched or unmixed. With residency at hotspots like Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz’s Angels & Kings bar, 230 N. Michigan Ave., and Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Ave., Malone has been influential in forming Chicago’s vibrant club scene.

Malone, hailing from New Orleans, now calls Chicago his home due to the massive amount of support he has received and what he calls “openness and passion” of the people. The Chronicle met with Malone to discuss upcoming shows and what he has done to break down the divide between rock and club-land.

The Chronicle: What made you interested in Deejaying?

Heaven Malone: I was throwing a lot of parties, and I was booking all the acts to fill the night. I got the feel of what songs I wanted to play myself. I experimented with deejaying and I got pretty good at it. I moved here and got into the Goth/industrial scene. I started meeting all the old Chicago legends like Ministry and the Thrill Kill Kult, just by chance.

The Chronicle: What influences your sound?

HM: It depends. I will go to a really good party and will see how the crowd responds to certain kinds of music. It’s all about the feeling in the moment—understanding the vibe. I have to stay on top of what the crowd’s feeling over a certain span of time.

The Chronicle: How did you land the residency at Angels & Kings?

HM: I casually knew one of the owners at the original location on Clark Street, and he had asked me to help him throw a party one night—a “New York”-style party. The idea was we would close the upstairs of the bar and use the VIP section downstairs while having a secret 4 a.m. license that’s why the party was called “Disappear Here.” From that point on, I had established myself [at Angels & Kings], and began deejaying there.

The Chronicle: Who’s your favorite artist you’ve collaborated with?

HM: It’s hard to remember because I get so drunk. But really, Dragonette was one of my favorites because I was a fan of their music before they got really big. Their hit single “Hello,” in my opinion, is overplayed too much.

The Chronicle: Why do you call Chicago your home, and what drew you here in the first place?

HM: It’s really difficult to get away from such a great community of artists. I’m originally from New Orleans, but I got a job here, so I essentially made a choice between 110 degree weather and zero degree weather. Chicago won out.

The Chronicle: How did your launch of the “White Horse” party at Ultra Lounge, 738 N. Clark St., on Sept. 3 go?

HM: We brought in a DJ from New Orleans named Musa, a Mumbaton DJ, who’s best friends with Switch and Diplo. The atmosphere was intense—very party monster-esque. We will be hosting another “White Horse” party on Sept. 10 from 10 p.m. – 3 a.m. I’m [also] doing a show with The Faint on Sept. 17 at Beauty Bar, which starts at 9 p.m.

The Chronicle: You have “broken down the divide” between rock and clubland. How do you suppose you’ve done that?

HM: When I started doing parties, there was the dance scene, and there was the band scene. I came upon the cusp of the electro scene, which combines the two, when most bands that you hear of today—for example, Ladytron—were DJs before they were bands. Because I started deejaying at that time, I was able to influence some of the sounds these artists were producing, which ultimately was a mixture of club and rock.

For more information, visit HeavenMalone.com or go to Myspace.com/HeavenMalone.