Bad ass DJ? Check. Innovative hyphy producer? Check. Original, unfettered, unfazed, off the chain, on the ball, off the wall, on point, off kilter, unchanged and unchained? Check. Meet Smasheltooth, a no-excuses, self-titled “Punk-Rock Bitch” who rips down walls and social barriers with ease while building a dedicated following and spreading nothing but love. If you get a chance to see her live, TAKE IT. I guarantee you’ll end up gigging so hard you’ll have a difficult time deciding whether to smile ear-to-ear or just rock your thizz face all night long.
Euphoric: Ashley, it is plain to see that you’ve been influenced heavily by the bay area’s hip hop scene. Tell us a little bit how you got into that, and how that eventually translated into your current style as a DJ/Producer.
Smasheltooth: The first albums I remember listening to were Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” and Too Short’s “Too Short in the House” when I was in the second grade (1990). Literally their songs moved me and along with The Temptations and all the Motown my dad listened to, I was always a white girl listening to black people’s music. It wasn’t until 2009 (once I had moved back to the Bay after going to college and then procuring a very fine job as a porn editor in LA as a result) that I heard the man, the myth, the legend Mac Dre. See, I slept on him while getting educated in SoCal. So coming back to my NorCal roots after listening to rap groups in the rave scene such as Zion-I and Blackalicious, I heard Mac Dre’s song with Dubee “Hyphe Like” and it was literally the best song I had ever heard (the beat, the canter, the lyrics, all of it). I listened to it 10 times in a row. My life changed because I found a whole new genre of music that moved me more than anything I had ever heard. It was punk, it was rap, it was rock, it was gangster, it was clown energy, it was everything I loved in a pretty package. As a newfound member of the festival circuit, I was bummed I never heard hyphy music at festivals. So I figured I had to do it myself. And just like Too $hort, and Mac Dre, playing their shit was too hard for the fucking rainbow Nazis. I got a lot of shit at first, and still do, but trap has made my music a little more accessible in the EDM scene.
Euphoric: If you had the chance to collaborate with any non-electronic artist, past or present, who would you choose?
Smasheltooth: If I could collaborate with any non-electronic artist it would be with Kat Bjelland from Babes in Toyland, she really inspired my rage as an artist doing whatever feels good to you, and her fashion sense is a la Tank Girl, which influenced my style a lot as well. Her voice is impeccable and she has been known to talk shit about people who involve themselves in the music scene but don’t play instruments, which pushes me to learn how to use turntables as an instrument (scratching and turntablism) and pick up my guitar or ukulele more often than I do. She would probably be proud to be called what Mac Dre likes to say; a “Punk Rock Bitch,” as would I!
Euphoric: I’ve had more than a few girls tell me that you represent a pillar of strength for them by rocking it so hard in what is traditionally a male-dominated profession. Do you end up having a lot of these conversations with your female fans? Do you have any advice for any of them who would want to pursue a similar career?
Smasheltooth: It seems that ironically the ladies are who appreciate my “sexually offensive” music, and the guys trying to protect them are the ones that are mostly offended! I think there’s a threat that women will dominate the men sexually and men don’t like to be dominated. I do think the ladies like my music because it makes them feel sexy. Its stripper, booty bouncing music! I have had some issues with sexual abuse, so the music heals me. It makes me remember that sex is ok. Its my medicine! And all the shit talking on women by male rappers is like a big joke to me because I have the power as a woman to dance to their music and enjoy it as a woman, which takes the power away from them. Only if you take the words like a gospel will it hurt anyone. So have fun with it! I am working on a Kickstarter campaign to open up a shop on the West Side that sells hyphy clothes mixed with vintage, and has free turntable classes for the ladies and open turntables for all, called “Smasheltooth’s Shatterbox.” So I hope to give back to the lady fans by offering a place they can always find refuge, because they are my main support.
Euphoric: Are you currently working on anything spicy? What can we look forward to from Smasheltooth in the near future?
Smasheltooth: I’m coming out with my first Smasheltooth Presents Project, a collaboration of 20+ electro producers who made hyphy remixes for my first “Smasheltooth Presents: Hyphy Renaissance Volume One: the Thizztape” project with Jared Indaskyes who is my favorite underground producer in the bay. I am also hoping to collaborate with VNDMG, Shady Nate, Traxamillion, and A Plus from Souls of Mischief this year, as well as come out with my first EP.
Euphoric: What are you’re favorite can’t-miss festivals and shows throughout the year? Name a few as a fan, and a few you’ve loved or would love to smash a set at.
Smasheltooth: Raindance is the do not miss festival of the season (and do NOT miss “SHMONDAY FUN DAY” which is the infamous Monday Morning dance party). Emissions is one of my favorite bass music festivals as well as The Bounce, which is taking the year off this year. Reggae on the River has always had a special place in my heart as well. I love to play daytime beach party sets, and have had the honor of nerding out at the beach behind the decks for each of these festivals.
Euphoric: If you could influence one major change in the music industry, what would it be?
Smasheltooth: If I could influence one major change in the music industry, it would be that people start doing quality over quantity and that artists like Tyga and Juicy J stop selling themselves out for jerks like Katy Perry and JLo.
Euphoric.Net: What’s your top secret DJ superpower?
Smasheltooth: My top secret DJ superpower is being a total dork and not keeping up on anything that’s current.
There you have it! Go home and do your homework on that one. What did it mean to me? Listen to live music. Do what inspires you. Bring something original to the table. Most of all… do not change for anyone or anything but yourself.