Monday, November 17, 2008

Beyond the Pink Mohawk:
Richard.Gear feature

Austin nightlife mongers know the disc jockey with the cotton-candy-pink mane simply as Richard Gear, but his name is not Richard Gear. It isn’t even Richard.

Weaving in and out of the Tuesday night crowd at the local bar Black & Tan, the 24-year-old DJ dances as guest DJ Markus with a K plays a disco-house mix. Tuesday nights at Austin Chronicle’s voted best new bar are piloted by DJ Richard Gear under the self-explanatory title Sounds!Fun!. Richard Gear is the DJ pseudonym of Robert David Schacherl, whose friends call him Davey.

Schacherl has been deejaying for over half of his life, since the ripe age of 12, when he received his first set of turntables. He says he has always been exposed to the music scene because his parents operated various discos in Austin and throughout Texas in the mid 1990s. His parents’ friends, who were DJs, mentored young Schacherl and a DJ was born.

Schacherl has dabbled in just about every genre of club music, it seems. At 14, he began going to raves. Soon after, he grew fond of drum and bass, a style of music characterized by the fast break-beats. He deejayed several Austin clubs such as Plush, Velvet and Spiro’s. By 18, he obtained a weekly set on Monday nights at the Whisky Bar, where he had a live drum and bass set with a friend. Schacherl received an associate’s degree in commercial music management with an emphasis on audio engineering and recording at Austin Community College and worked as an engineer and producer at a local recording studio. There, he worked with notable local bands such as Ringo Deathstarr and The War Against Sleep. These days you can catch him catering to the hipster crowd with his electro, Baltimore club and banging techno music, he said. For the near future, Schacherl has some new surprises up his sleeve.

“I’m trying to work my way into the gay scene,” he said, mentioning the prominent gay bar Oilcan Harry’s, where he’d be able to play more “clubby dance music” and “play stuff the hipster crowd wouldn’t be into.” He is also looking into a different weekly to reach a different crowd, a soul night somewhere, two or three monthly gigs and producing some music, he said.

As for long-term goals, Schacherl said he would like to continue doing what he is doing. He said he is not anticipating on becoming a huge superstar DJ but would like to make a living in the music industry. “I’d like to be respected musically by people I respect musically,” he said.

Schacherl has earned himself an honorable reputation in the local DJ scene already.

In response to being asked what motivates Schacherl, he said, “watching people dance, being able to play something people react to.” Every Tuesday night, various friends and newcomers visit Black & Tan to hear Schacherl DJ and to move their bodies along to the music reverberating throughout the dim-lit club.

Every Sounds!Fun! guest for the rest of the year. Dec. 9 sounds fun.
My Opinion: Richard.Gear is definitely a staple Austin DJ -- one of the best. You can tell he knows his shit and does what he does well. He seems to really enjoy the music, too, never afraid to move along to it. Go check him out at B&T on Tuesday if you haven't already.


EliteSuburbanites said...

RG rocks! and so does this post! nice work TD!

James Allen said...

I don't even 'dance' anymore since I moved to Austin. I like dancing to stuff with lyrics; 80's pop and modern electronica is what I was used to in Houston.

I'd may check out his stuff at Olican Harry's