For Chicago-based musician Dylan Hyde Castle, working hard comes naturally. Between DJ duties as nightclub staple Gun Love and playing drums for emerging electro-funk trio Ghosthouse, Castle ended the last quarter of 2011 with a blitzkrieg of live performances.
“I counted,” he explains to me during an interview at his storefront studio at Chicago Congress Theater, where he’s lived since [2009?], “and from October to January I did 117 live shows. And that’s only the scheduled ones. There were some that just happened last minute too.”
As a DJ, Gun Love attributes his booked-solid schedule both to his eclectic range and to his dance-floor empathy.
“I don’t play video games,” he says. “Traktor is my video game, and my score is how much I can get people moving on the dance floor.” With a ladies-first approach to track selection, Gun Love understands that once the women are moving on the dance floor, the men won’t be far behind.
Gun Love was born Dylan Hyde Castle 27 years ago in [birthplace] Michigan and was raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. At age 11 Castle, who had a prediliction for hand-drumming on his desk at school, got his first drum kit and learned to play. At age 14, and with the help of his older brother, Castle began to explore Detroit’s vast and prolific electronic music scene. In high school, Castle played in several bands before graduating and moving on to Chicago, where he studied Percussion at Columbia College and played in math rock band Them, Roaring Twenties before diving right into the music industry by living at and working for the Congress Theater as a [insert specific job title].
“Working and living at the Congress opened a lot of doors for me,” he explains. “Literally and figuratively. I’ve had the opportunity to open for some heavy-hitters,” he says, a list that includes Rusko, Skrillex, MSTRKRFT, A-Trak, Laidback Luke, Simian Mobile Disco and many other heavy hitters.
As a Chicago DJ, Gun Love has residencies at Evil Olive’s infamous Porn ‘N’ Chicken Danceparty and at Exit for the Zombies Vs. Skeletons afterparty, but he can also often be found playing The Mid, for Mayhem at The Mid and often on Fridays. His career has also taken him on tour to such places as many cities and overseas.
But when it’s when talking about his band Ghosthouse that Castle waxes especially enthusiastic. With an EP set to be released this year and many more live performances on the horizon, Ghosthouse is making moves.
But at the end of the day, it’s his dog Bruce Willis, aka DJ PupStep, who keeps him grounded. “Bruce is what keeps me coming home at the end of the night,” he explains. “He keeps me responsible. Haha.”
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