Mix Master Mike transmits from Vail Thursday

Caramie Schnell
Born Michael Schwartz, Mix Master Mike had a chance meeting with Adam Yauch (who died of cancer in 2012) of the Beastie Boys in 1994. After that Mix Master Mike would call him and leave him “musical” messages with his signature scratching.
Michael Boardman | Special to the Daily |

If you go ...

Who: Mix Master Mike.

When: Thursday; show starts at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Solaris in Vail Village (held in conjunction with the nightly medals presentation for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships)

Cost: Free.

More information: Visit to learn more.

Concert lineup

Friday: American Authors

Saturday: O.A.R.

Sunday: Craig Wayne Boyd

Monday: Barenaked Ladies

Tuesday: KC and the Sunshine Band

Feb. 12: Phillip Phillips

Feb. 13: Matisyahu

Feb. 14: CeeLo Green

VAIL — Mix Master Mike had big plans to be the first DJ in outer space.

“You have Virgin Galactic and the song ‘Intergalactic,’ so why not?” said Mix Master Mike in a recent interview with the Vail Daily. “That’s what it was all boiling down to: Me going up and transmitting from space. It sounds f***ing ridiculous, but it could happen.”

And then the private spaceship company Virgin Galactic suffered a tragedy. SpaceShipTwo broke apart and crashed during a test flight over the Mojave Desert in California in October.

“I had reservations booked on Virgin Galactic with Richard Branson,” said Mix Master Mike. “I would have became the first DJ in outerspace … but I unchecked that box. Until they get their sh** together, I’m not going to do that.”

For now, the Beastie Boys DJ will have to be satisfied transmitting from venues like the Emmy Awards or Rolling Stone’s Super Bowl party in Scottsdale (he recently performed at both) or the Grammy Awards and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (both on tap for 2015). Tonight, he’ll be at the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. He returns to Solaris in Vail to give a free show in conjunction with the medals presentation.

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“I’m so blessed. What can I say? It’s unbelievable,” Mix Master Mike said. “My life, my career — what a rollercoaster. Things that I can’t fathom could happen, happen. I believe there is so much more. I’m keeping myself busy in the meantime and focusing on making original compositions.”

Many DJs remix other artists songs exclusively. Not Mix Master Mike.

“I want to do original compositions,” he repeated. “That’s what I was meant to do. I’m focusing on that.”


In the past few months, Mix Master Mike has released two singles, “Voltron (Standby)” and “Semi Auto Siren.” (You can download them for free at Soundcloud and http://www.mixmaster

“I’m releasing free singles to get people excited and get that buzz going, as a little treat for the kids until the full meal comes out in mid February,” said Mix Master Mike, whose last album, a mixtape called “The Bolt-117,” came out in 2012. “Now I’m re-inspired, and I want to give something free to the kids.”

In Vail tonight, the DJ will do what he does best: play his “live remixes and original compositions,” he said.

“That’s the high, is actually playing something for the first time; there will be a lot of first-time things going on in my set for Vail.”

The last time Mix Master Mike was here he was ushering in 2014, headlining a New Year’s Eve party in Vail. He enjoys his Vail shows, he said, in part because most of the time he brings his family along with him.

“Every time I go to Vail, the atmosphere is chill and I get to kick back and enjoy the view and the mountains and the Vail hospitality,” he said.

Mix Master Mike lives in Hollywood most of the time (he also owns properties in Las Vegas) with his wife, Dianne, and their 7-year-old daughter, who shares his love of music, he said.

“She’s writing songs now,” he said. “She’s got a guitar, and daddy bought her a turntable and a Yamaha keyboard. She comes into living room and says ‘Daddy, listen. I wrote a new hook.’ She knows what a hook is.”


While Mix Master Mike is now nearly 15 years sober, (which is what he attributes his longevity to, as well as working out in the gym, “taking care of himself and lots of green tea and turmeric, if you want to get specific”) he has one addiction that is alive and kicking up the bass.

“My addiction to music has gotten worse. My wife can tell you all about that,” he said. “I just rebuilt my studio downstairs in my house. It’s always inspiring when you have a new studio. You can create and be in that space.”

When he’s not in the studio, he’s often humming bass lines into his phone, recording voice memos he can return to.

“Music is an endless pursuit,” he said. “It’ll never end. It’s a gift and a curse. It won’t leave you alone; you don’t know when to turn off. I’m just trying to channel that frequency and share it with the world.”

And who knows, maybe one day in the not-so-distant future, Mix Master Mike will get to broadcast his music from space after all.

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