If you grew up on the East Coast of the US and hit your twenties in the early 2000’s there are a few parties that you probably identify those formative years with (read: drunken, sweaty, party rocking, making out in dark corners).
No dress-codes, no bottle service, no bullshit. Just good music, cheap drinks = great vibes.
Brooklyn’s The Rub is one of those parties and DJ Ayres is one of the party rockers who started it. You may be familiar with his dance floor slaying from his numerous Rub mixes or gigs around the world. However, you probably didn’t know that he also is a runner.
We were lucky enough to chat with Ayres about his relationship with hitting the pavement and he blessed us with the Spring mix of all Spring mixes.
We hope you enjoy the interview and this mix. The Sun is peaking out, the days are longer, and the run vibes are strong. #PavementBound
Hey Ayres, tell us about yourself.
I’m a 38 year old professional DJ and I do a party called The Rub and run a record label called T&A Records. I live in Brooklyn NY with my wife and daughters.
How did you start running, any story behind it and where you are now?
I resisted it for a long time because it seemed too hard, and I worked out with weights for a while, but I felt like I was bulking up rather than slimming down, and I wanted to add some aerobic exercise. I was at a party and a friend told me about a running training app, which prompts you to warmup, run and walk, and cool off. That seemed like a good way to get into it, and I gave it a try and liked it. My knees aren’t great, because I skateboarded for years and years, so I run on an indoor track in this huge, beautiful armory which is now a YMCA.
What’s the running culture like in your city?
I live right next to Prospect Park and there are tons of runners… I don’t really know about the culture. Even though I have lots of friends who run, I like running by myself.
What gets you amped to run? What helps you push through those harder moments?
At this point it’s just a good habit, and if I slack off, I don’t feel as good, so that motivates me to get back on it. It’s its own reward, you know? I don’t do like marathons or anything, so I never get to those, like, shit yourself, crazy hard moments. And because the track is at the gym, I’ll run and then stretch and then work out on the resistance machines. So I’ll run maybe 40 minutes then save some strength for resistance training.
Does being creative have any impact on the way you approach running and your crew?
Kind of the other way around actually – running helps with everything else. Especially creatively; it’s almost like meditation, and I have lots of good ideas while I’m running. Sometimes I’ll slow down and make a note in my phone when I have a musical idea which I’ll come back to when I get home.
What kind of music do you like to run to? Your own, stuff you don’t play or dj with?
It’s weird but when I started out, I tried music but I didn’t find that music helped me run or work out – I listen to talk podcasts, especially comedy and news. It’s more entertaining and takes my mind off the repetition – it just feels like the time at the gym passes faster when I’m listening to podcasts. Otherwise, I listen to music all day, for work, so it maybe occupies a different space for me than for other runners. My favorite podcasts are Answer Me This!, On the Media, Stuff You Should Know, 99% Invisible, Bullseye, Jordan, Jesse GO!, This American Life… I subscribe to a bunch and always have something new to listen to when I get to the gym.
What do you think makes for a really good running mix?
I’d assume it’s pretty similar to DJing at a party; a mix of familiar songs that make you feel a certain way, and enough unfamiliar songs that it keeps you interested – and obviously energy and tempo. And enough vocals to keep you from spacing out or getting bored.
Check out more Music from Pavement Bound on our Mixcloud here.