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Off The Mic: Mike Van Esler

Off The Mic


Mike Van EslerName:
Mike Van Esler
DJ Name: MVE
DJ Shift: The Rinse Out, Thursdays from 10pm to Midnight
Major: Film & Media Studies PhD
Notable KJHK Contributions: Third year of The Rinse Out, Content Staff member
Hobbies: DJing, playing baseball


Ellie Fehlig: What’s your favorite color and why?
Mike Van Esler: You know, it changes a lot but I’m going to go with black just because I like monochromatic color schemes. Black and white works together pretty well.

Mike Van EslerEF: Any hobbies?
MVE: Besides DJ-ing at KJHK, grad school doesn’t leave me a lot of time for hobbies, unfortunately. But I watch a lot of television shows and I also play baseball.

EF: What TV shows do you watch?
MVE: This is really basic but “Game of Thrones,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and “The Walking Dead.” It is also sort of embarrassing to admit. I like a lot of TV shows – too many to name. It would get sort of boring just listing off everything that I watch.

EF: Alright, I can understand that. And your favorite artist or artists?
MVE: I’ll give three that I enjoy right now a lot, so James Ferraro, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Legowelt (Danny Wolfers). Those are my three main ones right now that sort of fit the vibe of the show that I do.

Mike Van EslerEF: What would you say that vibe is?
MVE: I mean, it’s electronic music but it’s electronic music for people with taste, not to be stuck up about it. It’s not like EDM or things like that but it’s people that have been working seriously with electronic music for a long time.

EF: Have you always listened to that genre? What was the first album that you bought?
MVE: This is embarrassing but I think it was Weird Al’s “Running With Scissors” in the late ’90s.

EF: That’s a good one. Who or what got you interested in the type of music that you listen to?
MVE: When I was 14-16 I listened to a lot of, I guess now I would say, bad electronic music. I listened to a lot of trance then and then I got out of it for a while. When I was an undergrad I didn’t really listen to it anymore. For whatever reason, around 2008, I started getting back into it and that was really sort of when my music taste crystalized and started to stay the same.

Mike Van EslerEF: Okay, so what song would you say describes you as a person or explains what you’re like?
MVE: Let me think about that. I’m going to say Will Smith, “Wild Wild West.” I don’t really have an explanation for why.

EF: Onto the movie questions since you’re working on your Film PhD. What is your favorite ’80s movie and why?
MVE: Oh, that’s easy actually. It’s “Bloodsport,” with Jean-Claude Van Damme because I’m a huge fan of his in general. That’s what I consider to be the platonic ideal of a Jean-Claude Van Damme film. There’s a lot of martial arts, a very cookie cutter storyline, but cookie cutter in a good way. It’s a very hyper masculine film but there’s also a lot of homoeroticism in it, which is sort of an interesting pension, I think.

EF: I’ll have to check that one out. Who would play you in a movie version of your life?
MVE: People always say I look like Louis Theroux so I’ll just say the British TV personality, Louis Theroux.

EF: I can see that. Do you read? If so, what’s your favorite book?
MVE: I read all the time but unfortunately it’s not stuff that I really want to read; it’s for research. I’ll go with Candide by Voltaire.

EF: Why would you say that book?
MVE: It’s one of the few fiction books that’s actually stuck with me when I read it a long time ago. I just thought it was really funny.