One of the faces behind SIMshow’s screen Christina LeClaire leads a bit of a double life. Both a producer and DJ, Christina has been apart of Sound In Motion for about two and a half years. Although this talented act has her heart in dubstep, her musical roots come from metal and rock. Yet, Christina LeClaire does love herself some variety; her first electronic show was Gareth Emery at the former EPIC nightclub. Outside of the EDM scene, Christina focuses on her career as a Graphic Designer. In addition to promoting for SIM, Christina uses her designing and marketing skills to assist in SIM’s graphics and social media departments. When she’s not lending her talent to the industry, this quiet hard worker can be spotted on a stage as heavy-hitting, bass-loving DJ, Jane Doe.
SIM: How long have you been involved in electronic music? Were you always as ‘deep’ in it as you are now, or were high school and college a different story for you?
Christina: Being into electronic music is so relatively new for me. Heavy metal was my ‘electronic music’ in high school and college; it still is too. During my last years of college, I was heavily into metal, and I’d always be at Station 4 in St. Paul; that was the place to be for heavy metal shows. I really liked As I Lay Dying, Kill Switch Engaged and August Burns Red.
SIM: Do you have a memorable metal show?
Christina: Between the Buried and Me Concert in the Triple Rock.
SIM: Do you have a stand-out rock show?
Christina: My first rock show was Avenged Sevenfold, and it was very, very overwhelming. I was with a friend, and we wanted to be front row. We got to the front and Avenged Sevenfold came on; everyone started pushing super hard. I started freaking out, and was like, “We need to get out of here”; we hung out in the back for the rest of the show. It was still a lot of fun, but I was like, “I’m not as bad-ass as I thought, I can’t handle it up there”. (laughing)
SIM: (chuckling) So, what brought you to dubstep? I’ve seen the comparisons across the spectrum; many dubstep kids used to be metal kids because of dubstep’s similarity to metal. Would you say the same for your transition? And do you see any similarities between metal fans and dubstep fans?
Christina: I was drawn to dubstep because it was a newer form of metal to me, but as far as the [metal] fans and culture go, it’s different but the same; the same as in you have your people that are at every show, extremely into the music and their specific style is associated with the music. You can say [the same] about electronic music as well.
SIM: It’s cool to see an artist starting out in one genre, and then progressing into another creatively. Did you get into metal because of your friends back home, or was this something you discovered on your own?
Christina: I was the one that got my friends into metal and rock- I started listening to 93X for some reason and I really liked it; I started finding all of these obscure bands through different websites and my friends [were] like, “Where are you finding all of this weird music?”; they weren’t accustomed to the style. We had this local venue in my hometown, where they [threw] these screamo and metal shows. I remember going there, [as] this 15-16 year old girl, and I would go to these shows and I would be in the middle of these mosh pits. I’d have a bloodied lip, and guys would be going, “What is this girl doing? I don’t want to hurt her” and I’d be like, “I don’t care, I’m moshing for a reason”.
SIM: Yeah, people don’t realize original mosh culture is very violent, but supporting; it’s like-
Christina: If someone falls, immediately people put out a hand and help you get up.
SIM: Yeah, which is interesting because it’s like a mutual understanding of safe, bloody [mosh pit] warfare. (laughter)
Christina: Yeah, exactly, you’re exactly right.
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SIM: So you were the metal/rock junkie, you got your friends into the music, and you continued with metal and rock through college … well hold up, how did you end up at a Gareth Emery show at EPIC?!
Christina: One of the SIM kids, Ryan Walters, was really into trance, and he’d always post music like that, and he’d produce and send me music asking, “What do you think of this?”. He really got me into trance because he introduced me to it. And then I [discovered] turntable.fm, and that’s how I found dubstep. So while trance was my first experience with EDM, dubstep made me go “OHMYGOD”. I really got into turntable.fm [my senior year of college]. You’d choose an avatar, and you’d enter these chat rooms that were broken up by music genre, and I’d always go into the dubstep room. It became this kind of weird place where I’d go each night and hang out with the same group of [people]. Knowing someone who DJ’d and then following in love with dubstep, I really wanted to [DJ] too. I tried to learn as much as I could from Ryan Walter; I got this crappy mixer and I DJ’d in my room for a while. And then I met Zach Morin, who was like, “We should play a show together”; that was my first show, at the Kitty Kat Klub.
SIM: Do you remember your first, main stage booking? Or maybe a few favorite shows you’ve played?
Christina: My first main stage slot was Pegboard Nerds at the loft [about two years ago]; I opened that show. Another main stage show I played, which is one of my favorite [still], was Carnage at Muse, right before Boombox Cartel. It was insane, I think I blacked out the entire time; it was a huge adrenaline rush. I’ve played a few other sets, I played at ESCAPE at the Skyway Theater this past summer before ZEDS DEAD; one of my biggest goals was to play a TC dubstep show and I did that this past year. I also played a slot in the VIP camping area at Summerset, which was a ton of fun. That was my first time playing for Summerset, and my first time playing on CDJS alone; anytime I had played on them before I had tagged with someone. I was so nervous for my first time on CDJS, but it went well.
SIM: Besides this upcoming Benny Benassi show, are there any other upcoming SIM shows you’d like to open for?
Christina: As far as opening a show for SIM goes, I kind of played my dream show when I opened for Seven Lions. Honestly, if I never opened another show again I’d be content because that was big for me.
SIM: Its sounds like the only way to really top it would be to open for a bigger Seven Lion show.
Christina: Yeah, actually.
SIM: Do you think DJing has changed you, taught you some important lessons, or maybe helped you learned more about yourself? Especially in the past two years since you’ve really gotten into DJing, into SIM and into finding your ‘niche’ in electronic music?
Christina: Yeah, I mean I moved down to Minneapolis for school, and I lived in Uptown. I was so 110% focused on school that I literally had no social life; I didn’t make any friends in college because I always wanted to do my homework instead of going out with people. I never got to create any bonds with people; when I wasn’t doing homework, I was sleeping. After college, I didn’t really have a good friend base here; I had like two or three good friends from high school that I kept in contact with. Going to shows and being a part of SIM really helped get me out of my shell. When I started DJing, I was pretty shy. [DJing] helped me talk to people I didn’t really know.
SIM: And so, is there a story behind the name you picked?
Christina: There is. In college I was a major in graphic design, and [in] one of my final classes [there was an] assignment was to brand yourself. I came up with a deer logo because I always liked the animal. And my tagline was, “Christina LeClair, not just another Jane Doe”. When I started DJing, I was like, “Woahh, I don’t have a name, I guess I could just go by Christina” and my friends were like, “No that’s lame, you need to have a cool name”. I wasn’t sure of [a name], and then someone threw out the idea of, “Well why don’t you be ‘Jane Doe’ like you [were] in school” and I liked that.
SIM: It sounds like a great persona though; you have a whole other face, you have a whole other opportunity to be a complete different person. Most people don’t really tag faces to names, so when you play a set you can take the step forward and talk, or take a step back as needed.
Christina: Yeah, exactly.
SIM: It’s also really cool to see how you transitioned from metal to dubstep; Jauz did the same growing up, and to see that kind of musical transition in two of Friday’s artists is very exciting.
Make sure to come on out this Friday, February 13th, to support some incredibly talented local acts, as well as see what’s next in music. Don’t say we didn’t warn you, get your ticket here.
Interviewed by: Annette Lucero