Lakewood native Jeremy Nalbone faced a dilemma.
The longtime local musician had no band to play with but wanted to keep performing.
After playing in local acts Welfare Picnic, I Am Frankie Scrapmetal, and I Am Z3R05 And 0N35, Nalbone became a "spotlight DJ" a year and a half ago.
Jeremy Nalbone, DJ 80N3, has gigs regularly in the Jamestown area. The longtime musician has found similarities between playing in a band and DJing.
"Everyone went their own way," he said. "I just decided the bands weren't getting back together and to break out the DJ stuff. I wanted to stay in music. I'd been doing it my whole life."
Nalbone become DJ 80N3, pronounced "bone," and has landed gigs at Mojo's, The Q, Sky Bar, Patsy's and Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. He produces several genres of music, including the latest dubstep, and creates his own material. Nalbone has released two EPs online: "DJ 80N3" and "Manifestation," which is available at dj80n3.bandcamp.com.
Audiences have liked his original music so far, according to Nalbone, but he wants to keep improving.
"I know I can do better," he said. "It's good. It fits the dubstep genre perfectly."
Nalbone plans to continue writing material and to release another EP. As a DJ, he tries to mix in what he enjoys with what audiences know.
"You have to work with the crowd," said Nalbone, who also DJs electronic dance and house music. "You've got to understand what the crowd is feeling. You've got to make sure you've got the right mood every time."
Depending on the venue, some crowds will request other genres, including hip-hop. Nalbone will play various types of music, but he doesn't just put on the track and watch it play.
"I still mix it up with a little electronica and dubstep," he said. "Sometimes I'll go so deep in flanging and glitching that it sounds like something from the 'Transformers' movies. I always make sure it has a lot of bottom to it. People like it."
At some venues, such as Mojo's, Nalbone will play just dubstep and his own music.
The market for DJs has improved lately in Nalbone's opinion. Venues have become more open-minded to booking DJs.
"Of course, we're not going to quit our day jobs," Nalbone said of DJs. "It's not about the money. It's about getting yourself out there and letting people hear your music."
Nalbone DJs at Sky Bar each weekend, typically on Saturday nights. He'll be at the bar Friday night from 10 until close this week, however. In the near future, Nalbone plans to return to Mojo's, a venue that regularly hosts DJs from the electronic scene, he said.
Overall, DJing isn't all that different from playing in a band, according to Nalbone. Instrumentalists and DJs need to know what they're doing to make their music flow together. DJs keep time and key signatures in mind while performing.
"If you're going to blend everything, you've got to be pretty strict with the time," said Nalbone, who hopes to expand his services into the Buffalo and Erie regions, if not farther.
Nalbone hasn't ventured into party or wedding gigs yet. That doesn't mean he would never consider giving up glitching for a gig or two and playing tracks as they were created.
"I want to be as versatile as I can," Nalbone said. "I don't want to be focused on just one thing."
For more information on DJ 80N3, visit reverbnation/dj80n3.
"Backstage Pass'' is a feature of The Post-Journal showcasing local artists, their music and their accomplishments. Send recommendations for future "Backstage Pass'' subjects to Scott Shelters at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 487-1111, ext. 253.