Seth Troxler: After-dark inquiry, Red Dot Relief

Seth Troxler: After-dark inquiry, Red Dot ReliefVia: Timeout NYC. Red Dot Relief is a DJ-led effort, spearheaded by the house and techno luminaries of Visionquest, Crosstown Rebels and Tuning Sport, dedicated to raising funds for Japan’s stricken areas. Visionquest’s Seth Troxler fills us in.

Last week, Red Dot Relief didn’t exist; now it seems like half the electronic-dance-music community is involved. How did this come together so quickly?
My fiancée and I were talking, and she said that it would be nice if we could do a party or something for Japan. Her family is from there, and her dad and her brother live there, so the disaster hit close to home. I was like, Yeah, that’s a good idea. The next morning at breakfast, I was thinking about the fact that I was getting ready to go to Miami [for Ultra Music Week], and I realized that this whole dance-music industry that I’m involved with is going to be there, all at one place and one time. And a lot of them are going to be making a lot of money. I realized that if I could talk to people and get them interested—maybe they could donate some of their pay, or even just set up a box at their parties—that could add up. It seemed pretty obvious. So I started e-mailing people, and eventually I contacted [DJ-producer] Jay Haze at the Tuning Spork label. Jay said that he knew this NGO there that was really good called Peace Boat, and we decided that we would get involved with them.

Jay has a really strong activist streak, right?
Yeah! He actually moves places to help people out. He used to live in Germany, and one day he had this big revelation about life and moved to Peru. Now he basically lives in a favela and helps kids. What he does is extremely cool.

Was it easy to get other people involved?
This whole process has shown me how totally easy it. So many people have gotten involved, and it’s really just been a case of sending out some e-mails and making a few phone calls. And then, suddenly, you’re helping people’s lives. People always say, “Oh, I can’t affect anything.” But all you need is a little imagination, and you can really make a difference.

What’s the first step in making that difference?
I realized that if I can get 100 DJs to give $1,000, that’s 100 grand. Right now, there are definitely a hundred big-name DJs in Miami, and I think we can easily meet that goal. That’s a huge deal.

Did the fact that many DJs really like playing in Japan, and have a strong relationship with the country and its people, help at all?
Oh, definitely. So many people go over to play, and come back going, “I love that place! I had such a great time!” And now that Japan has had its worst disaster since World War II, it’s time to reciprocate and help them out. We should be there for them.

Miami is the unofficial kickoff of festival season. Do you see this initiative carrying on through the summer?
Oh, yeah. I’ve been talking to Damian [Lazarus, from Crosstown Rebels] and some other people, and we’re all like, This is stupid that we don’t have something like this going all year round. There are always people who are in need, and being as privileged as we are with this job that we have, it’s really something that we should be doing all the time. I mean, a lot of people are making a lot of money in a fairly easy way, and it’s ridiculous not to be helping people when you’re in that position.

If someone isn’t a DJ, can they still contribute?
For sure! They can go to reddotrelief.org. They can find out about Peace Boat there, and give directly to them.

Are there actual red dots involve?
Oh yeah, we have stickers. And we’re waiting on the T-shirts, too! But simply getting the