ID Spotlight Redux: Justin Gerstner
“Stay a while; listen to the adventures of a person who has traversed many miles to a world of pure imagination. It is a story of a man who has crossed from many different worlds and has finally found his home. It is quite a strange place to some, but it is still quite familiar to one and all. A world devoted to late nights, unforgettable memories and fantastic journeys that seem to be from fairy tales. But alas, these are all true stories, right here on this very planet. I must be getting ahead of myself. I should probably introduce myself. Hi, I’m Justin, my rave name is Rambles, and its a really long story why, but I’m sure you already understand why.”
Streams of consciousness similar to these are I
got (earned) my rave name. I am a story teller. I’ve spent almost ten minutes explaining what I have done for the past two minutes. This fast-talking word fountain has been given the opportunity for a second feature here at EDM Identity. So this article will go more in depth about the person and why I am a SoCal correspondent here at EDMIdentity.
Around the tail end of 2012, a group of friends had been going to festivals and kept saying that I’d be perfect in that scene. That events like Nocturnal Wonderland and LED’s Anniversary would be perfect for me. I kept shrugging it off, saying that it wasn’t for me. “I’m a metal head, I just want to mosh.” “They don’t have that at your raves.” When I think of festivals, I think of bands playing, not DJ’s or whatever.” But they still persisted. So eventually, I gave it a chance. I said, “Find the best they could offer, but you’ve only have one chance. But don’t expect me to have a good time.” It didn’t take long for them to reply with EDC Las Vegas 2013. So I bought my ticket and everything without knowing who was on the lineup, what “EDM” was, even without knowing any artist that I liked. Taught some of the basics, making kandi, what to do, what artists they really wanted to see. Everything changed when I got to the Speedway on that first day.
I gave up on whole “too cool for school” gimmick and learned to accept the rave scene for what it was. It was legitimately overnight that I had found my place, and before long found my niche within it. I was a “basshead”, talking to other bassheads that found their place the same way as me. We had found our kind of artists that were pushing heavy bass and grungy sounds over the trance synths and melodic chords. Artists like Noisia, The Bloody Beetroots, Excision, even Major Lazer, among many others. For example, I had made the decision to separate from my group to see Cookie Monsta vs. Funtcase rather than follow my group to see Empire of the Sun that year.
After that event, I was hooked. I pretty much hit every festival in southern California for the rest of that year, and even started to explore into the club scene here in San Diego too. And that tradition has still continued. Every event, I love that I see old friends from other events, hear about a few more artists, and have always have an amazing time. The other event that I would always love to go to is Q-Dance LA. If you are not familiar with this particular event, it is an all Hardstyle event normally held at the Shrine in LA. It isn’t for the faint of heart, it is definitely not for everybody. Q-Dance is loud and its constant bass thuds alone could give people nausea or headaches. But it’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of for an event. It was the only event of the year that I’d dance my heart out, leave with the cheesiest grin, and be the happiest person around.
Nowadays, when I am not going exploring events like Mad Decent Block Party or CRSSD festival here in San Diego, I’m frequenting the ample nightclub scene and seeing what shows come through that are not typically seen in the festival scene. When I tell people the shows I go to, I always bring up my review of Wooden Wisdom (Zack Cowie and Elijah Wood). Its not everyday that you get to see Elijah Wood aka Frodo aka my favorite character in Back to the Future! Much less play an all vinyl set and get to enjoy a sushi dinner at the venue.
Also, I have been honing on my kandi craft for a few years now. Seeing what I can do to break away from the traditional cuffs and perlers that are a dime a dozen nowadays (I do not support the sales of kandi but if you think otherwise I understand). I have also been gloving as well, currently using a rotation between my Oracle set and my newly gifted Element set (Shoutout to Kevin and Grant on that one). At events, when I’m not trading kandi or shows, I usually am holding a totem so the others can go dance and be free. Running off to go get water or food for those too busy dancing to step away.
So after I had my third EDC Vegas under my belt, the Editor-in-Chief here at EDMID formally asked me to join the team. At first, I had more of an advisory role, then writer, then other jobs here and there. As a correspondent, I have a great outlet to share my stories with others and I love it. EDMIdentity is a good home, one family I am proud to be a part of. When asked what my identity is, I simply say that I am a wildcard. A person who is generally unpredictable and has no defined role in a group of friends, and their often reckless and wacky behavior can either benefit or hurt the group depending on the situation. [Source: Urban Dictionary] Because everything is way more fun with a wildcard.
Final note: I prefer wearing jeans at festivals. Rain or shine. Except for that one day I wore a Squirrel Suit at EDC.
Justin's favorite artists are: Excision, The Glitch Mob, Adventure Club, Zomboy, Dillon Francis, Pendulum.